FLE has been developed in recognition of some important factors for improving student outcomes:
Life-skills, such as the setting of personal goals and being personally responsible and respectful, are vitally important, not just ‘knowledge about subjects’.
Learning blossoms collaboratively, i.e. in pairs or small groups, and achieving things often involves working effectively as part of a team
Learning is often more interesting and beneficial when it is centred around developing useful skills (not just learning about things but how to do things) and linked to ‘real-life’ problems and contexts.
Most ‘real-life’ demands and occupations require use of a broad range of knowledge and skills, rather than from just those from one traditional subject
Learners need recognition that people have a broad-range of interests, needs, strengths, preferences and learning styles.
Learners like a high degree of choice in not only what ‘topics’ they explore but how they can develop and demonstrate these skills
Information literacy and use of digital technology is increasingly entrenched in most aspects of learning and working.
What it looks like
Therefore, in FLE, students opt into ‘real-life relevant’, skill-developing and/or problem-based projects that are cross-curricular and structured to allow a high degree of personal choice and flexibility, as well as necessitating a high degree of personal responsibility.
Currently, four hours each week, based in our Learning Centre , are allocated to this time with Year 9s. The team of teachers come from a range of learning areas including maths, ICT, English, health, social sciences, PE, and Art.
With a favourable response from our current year 9s, this mode of teaching and learning is looking to expand in 2016.