Embracing Sustainability through Project Based Learning

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Wallace High School continues to lead the way in innovative education with its focus on Project Based Learning initiatives, particularly emphasising sustainability. These projects involve students from Years 8, 9, and 10 and are integrated across various departments, showcasing the school’s commitment to environmental education and action.

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a real-world question, problem, or challenge. This is the third year of PBL at Wallace and it allows our students to further develop their transversal skills. In PBL, teachers make learning come alivefor students. Students’ work engages them in solving a real-world problemor answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a product or presentationfor a real audience. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.

PBL at Wallace

The PBL fortnight commences on 10th June and students will engage in a variety of projects which follow the theme of sustainability. Sustainability in education and being sustainable as a school, are exceptionally important values at Wallace. These PBL activities are not only educational but also aim to instil a sense of responsibility and empowerment in students, encouraging them to become proactive in addressing environmental issues. By integrating sustainability into the curriculum through these innovative projects, Wallace High School is preparing its students to be leaders in environmental stewardship.

Our drive towards a more sustainable future for Wallace and our school as a living classroom is displayed in ‘Project Refresh’.

To find out more about ‘Project Refresh’, access the link below:

Project Refresh

Year 8: Year One of PBL

Our Year 8 has a wide range of projects across the PBL fortnight. They will engage in creative tasks like building models and designing eco-friendly spaces, as well as using recycled materials to promote the principles of sustainability. Outlined below are a few highlights of what departments have organised:

  • During Art classes, students with create their very own bouquet of flowers from recycled waste materials.
  • In Chemistry lessons, they will explore the world of batteries. This will involve exploring the problems with recycling and looking at alternatives.
  • Geography classes will focus on working out carbon footprints and how our carbon footprint can be reduced.
  • Students will learn about how to save energy when cooking meals and cooking meals on a budget in NFSH.
  • The Computing Department will challenge students to use Minecraft to create a sustainable plan for managing flood risks in Preston, England.
  • A collaborative project between the Physics Department and Design and Technology will challenge teams of students to develop their own air-powered rockets. Who will be the winner?

Year 9: Year Two of PBL

This is the second year of PBL for our Year 9 students. They will continue to build on the skills and themes of sustainability from June 2023. This year, they can look forward to some of the following projects:

  • Creating a biodiversity garden in Biology.
  • In Chemistry they will analyse the challenges associated with developing biodegradable plastic.
  • During Religious Studies lessons, students will explore the ethical debates around ‘Fast Fashion’ and be challenged to come up with alternatives to throw away clothing.
  • English classes will interview various eco-heroes and carry out research on their roles.
  • Students will explore ancient civilisations as UN investigators in History. They will explore what lessons we can learn from our ancestors, to help make a more sustainable future.
  • Maths classes will focus on the expense of shipping parcels and students will investigate a solution for making packaging containers in a more economical way that produces less waste.

Year 10: Year Three of PBL

Year 10 have had the opportunity to develop crucial transversal skills over the previous two PBL sessions. The problems they have to solve are becoming more challenging and will stretch students to be more creative in their solutions and continue to work effectively in teams. Some highlights for our Year 10 include the following:

  • Exploring renewable power in Physics, whilst creating electricity from renewables in Design and Technology.
  • Music students will create their very own songs and rhythms, using recyclable products. They will experiment with new sounds whilst using limited resources. 
  • During French classes, they will explore the forthcoming Olympics in Paris and assess the claim that it will be the ‘most sustainable Olympics in History’.
  • Year 10 Geographers will look at the reasons for deforestation and its impact on climate change. They will then need to decide on alternatives to deforestation when it comes to feeding a growing global population.
  • A collaborative project between Biology and Chemistry will challenge students to test the claims made about the health benefits of certain foods and additives. 
  • In Art and Design, students will explore the ethical claims made by businesses and suggest approaches to testing the claims made by companies and groups.

As we look forward to the PBL fortnight, Mrs O’Hare summarised the importance of PBL and our focus on sustainability:

‘The PBL fortnight allows our students to continue to consider global problems and offer creative solutions for our future. This is an important event in our school calendar and I always take great pride in seeing what our young people can accomplish.’

To find out more about our PBL in 2023, please access the video link below:

PBL Video 2023

Last modified: June 7, 2024