The Isithelo project:
· Is a significant piece of work (product or outcome) produced by a student over 10 days.
· Is a product of a student’s own initiative to develop a product or outcome
· Must reflect their hobbies, talents, interests, dreams and passions
· Opportunity to undertake something truly personal and creative
· Must be able to complete the majority of the work on campus
There will be time in the school calendar for end of year assessments. These might be written exams or could be final assessment products that depends on the course.
Assessments in individual subjects will take place at the beginning of May. They will take exactly the same format as in previous years. The Isithelo Project is intended to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a a way that the student selects and through something that is not tied to a specific subject. It is for this reason that the Isithelo Project is very much part of the assessment of students learning in Grades 9 and 10.
In the last weeks of the school year we have some flexibility with our schedule. The reason for this is that the Grade 12 students will be sitting their IB Exams. This allows us to be creative with our scheduling and maximize the effectiveness of these week.
Grade 11s will be schedule to have focused time in the Higher Level IB subjects and we will be able to reschedule our teaching faculty to enable them to take on mentorship roles in the Isithelo Project.
Aside from these practical considerations we feel that the Isithelo Project give students the opportunity to demonstrate how much they have grown as learners, it therefore follows that the timing of this should be at the end of the school year.
· Is there a clear goal ? (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound)
· Why it is important to the student ? Is there a personal connection ? Inspiration ? Can the student articulate this?
· Does the student have any prior knowledge in this topic/endeavor? If so, it should be explicitly stated
· Will any new techniques/skills be needed to be learned to complete the project?
Students who elect to work in pairs or small groups (max. 3) must prepare a proposal to show how each member will have distinct roles, an equal and appropriate amount of work for the duration of the project. Mentors will determine if a proposal is approved or not. All reflections must be done individually and each student will be assessed individually.
Students will not be allowed to leave the campus during school hours. If they need to be off-campus, they must arrange to do so outside of school hours, with family approval/supervision.
Thinking /communication / problem-solving/ social / research/ creative/ time-management skills
Students will have 10 days - May 13 to May 22. Students will complete the bulk of the work during these 10 days, but may also choose to work outside of school hours.
Students complete Learning Guides for each of the four areas of the Isithelo Project Cycle.
The completed Learning Guides along with the daily reflection that are documented on students Daily Planner form a body of evidence that the student is able to draw on in preparation for their Viva Voce and to write their final reflection. The final reflection will be be validated by the student's mentor then will appear on the student's report for Semester 2.
Students will be assessing on the process and learning they have demonstrated so a product failing could be an excellent learning experience. With this philosophy, t is hard to imagine a project failing. The worst that could happen is that a student does not engage with the ethos of the Isithelo Project, apart from this being a great shame and a missed opportunity this will be reflected on the student semester 2 report.
The tasks that are involved in a project are detailed in the Isithelo Project Cycle, This is a great model to use to determine what steps need to be taken in order to develop tasks that allow students to meet daily goals that drive toward completing the project and meeting the success criteria.
The mentors meet students twice daily to guide them in making decisions about their project. The mentor will also provide guidelines about staying focused. Students may ask their mentor for help when they struggle for ideas or experience difficulties.
Mentors will also "keep tabs" on the administrative tasks that students will need to undertake such as booking Wellness Activities and Work Spaces.
The school will to provide some resources for students to complete their project. If students require additional supplies, not available at the school, they will need to purchase on their own. When determining their Isithelo project, student must be mindful of this, and communicate with parents.
Are there limitations as to how the product can be created? What materials/resources/supplies are available?
Any resource that is already available in the school should be used within reasonable limits. Students should talk to mentors/ teachers regarding availability of resources. (eg: Science teacher to get science equipment, Art teacher for Art supplies etc)
· Technology resources include robotics equipment, cameras for photography and filming, tripods, projectors, lighted stage in the FAC and Theatre, microphones and speakers.
· Art supplies include paper, paints, clay
· Drama supplies include a variety of props, furniture and costumes.
Students document the process by completing their daily planner and reflecting on their Learning Guide. All student have a hardback Isithelo Notebook as well for keeping ideas and thoughts.
Wellness is a key aspect of the Isithelo project. Every day starts with a variety of Wellness Activities that students sign up for the day before. Students start working on their project during Work Sessions.
All Wellness Activities are supervised by a teacher hosting/leading the activity.
During the Work Sessions, students will have an opportunity to use various venues and spaces throughout the campus, such as the maker space, science labs, the library, the robotics room, the film room, music practice rooms and many classrooms.
Student book themselves into a Workspace during the morning planning time then check in with the teacher who is in that Work Space at the start of the Work Session.
Students can choose to write a report/ do a presentation. There will be a formal exhibition to showcase the final product or evidence of outcome.
Yes, in their free time.
Students must leave all outdoor spaces if the weather siren is heard and move indoors immediately.
Students may work in any language, but their reflection and final presentation must be in English.
• A written piece of work on a special topic (literary, social, historical, etc.)
Learn a new skill
• A piece of literary fiction (creative writing, poetry, short story, etc.)
• Presentation of a developed business, organizational plan, etc.
• Original work of art (visual, dramatic, performance, etc.)
• Invention or specially designed object or system
• Original science experiment
• Informational talk or formal talk, i.e. training workshop, radio broadcast
• Film or documentary
• Make a model or life-sized item