Bronwyn WilsonLearning, Proof of the pudding

A new initiative at St Peters this year is creating a buzz around the classrooms as students wonder, question and engage in personalised inquiry during iTime.  iTime is a series of personalised learning opportunities that students at St Peters use to prepare themselves for the Primary Years Programme Exhibition (PYPX), which happens in the senior years of schooling.

iTime is about finding a purpose and exploring it independently or in small groups. Our students select inquiries, guided by some prompting questions, that lead them to consider the purpose, who they might be helping, what skills and dispositions they might develop and what connections they are making to other areas of learning and into the wider community.

The “i” stands for a couple of things; 

Inquiry – Asking questions, learning about something of interest or passion or wanting to know more about a topic or subject.

Individual – This is the learner’s project. They choose. They decide. They share.

It could also stand for innovation and imagination as our students record and document their learning, negotiate with others and express their own ideas and opinions.

So, why personalised inquiry?

There are many benefits of iTime for our students including:

  • An increased motivation to learn through personal passion, curiosity and interest.
  • The development of transferable skills including social, self-management, research and communication skills.
  • Negotiating with others about learning.
  • The opportunity to tackle real world questions and problems in local and global contexts.
  • Generating, recording and exploring questions.

We have seen some wonderful inquiries emerging from iTime this year. Children have broadened their thinking to include cooking and presenting food for photography, survival and how to make fire (we are waiting for our resident CFS expert Mr Smith to come back from Long Service Leave until this happens!), making your own computer and mosaics.

We look forward to seeing our students continue to inquire into authentic personal projects and developing agency through ownership, voice and choice.