IGNITING Their Passion
IGNITE is our Gifted & Talented program that takes place during one core lesson each week. The program aims to identify, engage and extend selected students beyond the scope of the standard school curriculum.
IGNITE offers an alternate mode of engagement, focussing primarily on the development of skills rather than just content knowledge. The goal is to develop learners who are comfortable with adversity and who seek to overcome challenges and develop new ideas.
The Year 7 IGNITE class is currently working on a project that centres upon the repurposing of household items to serve multiple new functions. This is a challenging task that involves the planning and construction of a new electrical circuit that will be integrated into the item to give the object a new lease on life.
For example, one group has carved out an encyclopedia and built in a keypad-activated lock to serve as a hidden safe. Another group has built an electrified motor and bound it to a pen – to create a motorised whiteboard eraser!
Through this project, the students are developing a wide range of skills, such as:
- Understanding electrical circuits
- Wiring and soldering electrical components
- Time management
- Working as a team
- Developing autonomy in problem-solving
IGNITE Teacher Taylor Matthews enjoys teaching IGNITE for many reasons. “The nature of the topics covered allows for a great deal of creativity.”
Taylor explains, “whilst creativity is important in all classrooms, creativity is crucial to exploring a range of solutions to difficult problems like code making or breaking circuits, for example. It is great to see students build efficacy by overcoming difficult challenges. These challenges are varied. For some, it will be learning a skill like coding or soldering. For others, it may be managing their time successfully, perhaps for the first time, or by working with peers, they are unfamiliar with.
Taylor adds, “I love learning from the students. It is common for IGNITE students to make suggestions and solve problems in new and creative ways that I had never thought of, and this invigorates my teaching.”