Spark

All Year 5 and 6 students at Canterbury study a Spark elective subject each semester. They combine with other students interested in the subject, in small classes with a specialist teacher for 2 hours per week.

Spark photography students

Spark is about building curiosity, encouraging students to try something different, and providing an exceptional opportunity to embark on their own learning journey as part of their ‘World Ready’ Canterbury education.

By giving students a choice in their learning it can boost engagement, encourage them to capitalise on their strengths and build student autonomy. Spark also exposes students to subjects from the Secondary School, further strengthening their transition and familiarity with staff.

Spark curriculum options are typically drawn from the subject areas of History, Geography, Philosophy, Science and Technology, and Health and Sport, but they vary each semester.

All learning that occurs during Spark follows an inquiry model, with a focus on building student inquiry skills in questioning, researching, analysing, evaluating, reflecting and communicating. When it comes to assessing critical and creative thinking, the learning continuum provides checkpoints on how this thinking should develop.

The four interrelated elements in the learning continuum are:

  • Reflecting on thinking and processes,
  • Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures,
  • Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information, and
  • Generating ideas, possibilities and actions.

These elements make their own contribution to learning and need to be explicitly and simultaneously developed. By following an inquiry framework, the focus is less on the end ‘product’ and more about the learning that occurs along the way. This may look different for each student.

At the end of each semester, the Junior School will hold a learning exhibition where students will present what they have completed during their Spark time. Parents will have an opportunity to see how their child’s critical and creative thinking skills have progressed.

Spark history students laughing