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- A commitment to deep understanding in content areas
- A focus on literacy skills in the language arts for a variety of audiences and purposes
- An emphasis on enhancing math and numeracy understanding for all students
- Explicit instruction and practice in the so-called "soft skills" to create independent learners
- A focus on goal-setting, time and project management, and collaboration skills
- An effort to include critical thinking and problem-solving opportunities for practice and skill development
- A commitment to student voice and choice
- Opportunities to explore interests and passions
- Attention to discovering and developing strengths
- An emphasis on visioning career paths
Interdisciplinary Learning--Project Based Learning for English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and ICT
Nelson McIntyre Collegiate focuses on deep learning opportunities through a blend of interdisciplinary study, field work, and connections to experts. Allowing student voice and finding public audiences for student work raises the academic performance for students as they prepare for the world beyond high school.
What About Math?
Students, along with parents and the teacher, set learning goals for math and work towards those goals through a mastery approach to learning. Students in math are all on an individualized pace. Lessons are taught by the teacher through screen-casts found online and through individual meetings in class. Students work through lessons and practice until they are ready for mastery checks. Students must achieve mastery (80%) before proceeding.
Goal setting, time management, and skill building are the cornerstones of this process. Additionally, because mastery is a necessity, students gain confidence.
Weeks without Walls
Career Development: Life/Work Exploration/Discovery
Three times per year, we suspend classes for experiential learning. Students choose from a variety of themes to explore beyond the walls of the school. Topics range from examples such as Careers in Health, to Animal Behaviour, to Robotics, to Bike Repair and more. Students experience careers, skills, and interests first-hand. In Grade 9 and 10, the focus is on exposure and exploration. As students proceed through the grades, the weeks become more focused.
Typically, Grade 9 students require 8 credits. With our unique programming, students can achieve 9 credits or more.
Electives in Grade 9:
- Concert Band (Jazz Band)
- Graphic Communications
- Family Studies
- Foods and Nutrition
- Power Mechanics
- Textile Design and Construction
- Theatre Performance
- Visual Arts
- Project Blocks: interdisciplinary electives newly designed each year
Nelson McIntyre Collegiate is thrilled to have a formal partnership with The Forks and Norwood Community Centre (NCC). We feel that these partnership will benefit all parties. The students will benefit from meeting experts, individuals with shared passions, and possible employer connections in the community. They will also have the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the broader community through their school work and Forks and NCC partnerships.
We have also developed many connections with experts from across the province to enhance the students learning in school.
We believe that rigorous academic study is critical to academic and life success. Content knowledge and understanding is critical, and so are the skills necessary to accomplish those goals. We will explicitly focus on teaching and learning around;
- Problem solving and critical thinking
- Project management and time management
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Character education
Experiential Learning and Real World ApplicationsWe believe that when learning is connected to real world activities, students learn more deeply. Applying theoretical work to the outside world solidifies understanding, helping students to remember the material and transfer their learning to new contexts. Connecting students to outside experts and experiences strengthens their learning experiences and allows them to make better connections in the community as well.
- Academic challenge is critical to the development of the learner.
- Active, experiential learning is fundamental.
- An inquiry-based interdisciplinary learning environment deepens understanding.
- Educational opportunities must be shaped by the needs and interests of our students.
- Leadership is defined by action.
- Effective communities value collaboration, flexibility, and respect.
- Access to technology empowers learning.
- Exposure and exploration of new ideas and experiences is critical to shaping identity.
- Our work is vital and relevant.
History of NMC's Journey
Nelson McIntyre Collegiate has developed a new Project Based Learning (PBL) model of schooling that started with its Grade 9 students in 2016-2017, and is adding grade 10 in 2017-2018. Grade 11s will be added in 2018-2019 and finally, Grade 12s in 2019-2020. This model affords students an opportunity to incorporate authentic deeper learning opportunities into their studies. It focuses on 21st century skills that we call the 6Cs (Fullan, 2014). These are: Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Citizenship, and Character. We have added a 7th C to the 6Cs with one of our own—it is Career Development.
This journey stems from years of researching and visiting schools across Canada and the United States, as well as studying educational and pedagogical experts to develop learning processes that are appropriate for the 21st century.
In Grade 9 and 10, we are working to develop independence by explicitly teaching project management skills through the course work. Students will learn the content and literacies of Science and Social Studies/Geography through an interdisciplinary Project Based Learning approach that will incorporate English Language Arts and Technology skills as well. Projects are developed to incorporate practice in the 6 Cs by creating opportunities for student voice and choice, deep inquiry, relevant connections to the world, authentic audiences and purposes for the work, and ample feedback, revision, and reflection opportunities.
To accomplish these goals, we need be providing opportunities for our students to leave the walls of the school and learn and work in authentic settings. The Forks, a mere 15-minute walk, is one of those settings. With our formal partnership with The Forks, Nelson McIntyre Collegiate can provide a variety of real-life educational opportunities that will be unique, authentic, and relevant. The Forks is an educational partnership because it naturally encompasses so many areas of schooling. Curricular links found naturally at The Forks include connections to History, Geography, Ecological, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Indigenous Studies, Recreational (Physical Education and Outdoor Education), Communications (English Language Arts), Foods and Nutrition, Engineering, The Arts, and Media Studies to name the most obvious.
In addition to our partnership with The Forks, we are working to develop other such partnerships and opportunities for authentic learning. Project work is developed to encourage learning outside the classroom. We strive to connect our students to experts who assist the students in making connections between the walls of the school and beyond.