Grade 9 Big Ideas Class

2 August 2018

'Big Ideas', Gr 9 boys were invited to become part of a ‘Big Ideas’ class which runs in the Biology, History, Geography and Economic Management Sciences time slots in terms 3 and 4. Gerry Noel, Fiona Mallett, Angus Firth and Sean Henchie are the teachers involved and Cheryl Douglas (Global Issues Network) is the course co-ordinator. 30 boys were selected based on the motivations they submitted. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are being used as the content framework, in order to help boys develop 21st Century skills (eg communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, empathy, and resilience). The boys submit weekly reflections on what they have learnt and experienced. The first few weeks of term 3 form part of the ‘Loading Heads’ phase when they learn about the SDGs, design and systems thinking and how to do research. The boys will then work in teams to research an issue they have identified in their community, produce a written report and present their findings in a group ‘Famelab’ format to an invited audience. And, we hope, put their ideas into action. This week the class has been involved in walking down to Bishops Prep and engaging with a class of Gr 3s and on the following day visiting schools in the Heideveld area. The thinking behind these excursions was to introduce SDG Goal 4 'Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all'. Fiona Mallett stated, "I thought it would be insightful for the class to see the different learning environments within Cape Town, contrast these and also to see what is being done to uplift communities and schools to work towards this goal". Linking back to Goal 5 'Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all women and girls', and as an introduction to National Women's Day on 9 August, speakers have been organized to talk about Feminism; Why there is a need for Women’s Day and the experiences of a third year medical student (and OD) on completing a course on women’s health. Boys (and teachers) are learning to work in Microsoft Teams and readings and work covered is available for them on this platform. Guest speakers are invited to ‘Tell their Story” to give boys insight into a world beyond Bishops. If you would be willing to be added to our list of possible speakers please could you email with your name, brief (2-3 lines) job description and your particular field of interest.