Saturday, October 13, 2012

Charity Project 2012 begins - yay!

On Friday morning, our Year 8 students began to get into groups to discuss what they will do for this year's Pathways charity project. I'm not sure what will happen next year when Pathways has been cut back to one period a week because the maths department wanted more time, but for now, the kids are about to have a wonderful time and learn plenty. Perhaps, if we haven't all been moved to other campuses or had our allotments changed, we might be able to start a bit earlier in the year. I do hope this isn't the last time for a wonderful unit of work that engages even the less able students, as well as the capable ones, but you have no control over what the school wants you to do.

My colleague Jasna and I invited in some of last year's Year 8 students, not Year 9, to speak to the combined classes. Brittany, Taylor and Paige nattered away cheerfully about whathad worked, what didn't and how to make sure you choose the right group and handle things when you had two bossy people in the group - all the things we wanted them to know. Pepa, whom I invited to talk about what her group had done - truffle-making - also said what I hoped she would, that they had chosen an activity that didn't cost much, used ingredients you mostly had in your pantry, didn't take long to do and  made a very nice profit.

It was funny, really - she was part of a quiet, well-behaved group of girls who got on beautifully and never had arguments. The other group was a great bunch also, but far more passionate and likely to get into arguments (they themselves said they felt their group had been rather too large, though we allowed the large group because they were reliable). It was like having representatives of a board of directors and a hippie commune. And yet both groups did very well and made a large profit and the girls from the large group have chosen Business Studies this year, because they had enjoyed the project so much last year, and they will have the chance to do it again.

After the talk, we asked the guest speakers to walk around and chat with the groups, answering any questions they might have, which they did. Jasna and I watched, amazed, as the laziest boys in the class animatedly discussed the project.

Fingers crossed this  isn't the last time!

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