Elementary Independent Studies

Independent Study (I.S.) projects are completed by all students at New Horizons as a way for students to explore an area of passion or interest and then share their learning with their peers. These projects allow allow students to explore their topic of interest in depth while using research, presentation and  critical thinking skills that increase in complexity as the students progress through the grades.

Students begin the project by choosing a topic and, at grades 4-6, a big question to explore. They then develop research questions, locate resources, take notes, and finally present on their findings. Expectations become higher at the higher grades with greater complexity in the questions being explored and longer more detailed presentations at the end.

This year, students from grades 3-6 wrapped up their Independent Study Projects with an I.S. fair on March 2 where up to 115 students set up booths to display their hard work to the rest of our school community. The whole school showed up to the fair and many parents stopped by to check out the hard work completed by our students (click link to view video).

I.S.projects are a great way to showcase the diversity of our students’ passion areas in a way that is supported in the classroom through peer and teacher feedback and this year was no different. Projects ranged in topic from the ‘Effects of Colour on Emotion’ to the “Relationship of Debt, Deficit and Credit” and many more in between. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the students and allow our kids to show off their hard work!

 

Junior High Investigations

Gifted learners need opportunities to pursue their areas of interest, often referred to as their passion areas. New Horizons School offers time and support for students to choose an area of interest, focus on an aspect of that area of interest, investigate it, and then share their findings with an audience. At the junior high level, we call this event Investigations.

This year (2016-2017), our format has changed from previous years. Twice this year students will get the opportunity to study a topic of their own choice during an event called  Investigations Week. During Investigations Week, students learn some predetermined skills. Skills range from research skills, oral presentation skills, demonstration skills, or technical skills. The regular course schedule for the week is adjusted to allow ample time for students to focus and gather the information they need to prepare for Investigations Day – the last day of Investigations Week.

Prior to the week, students are given the theme of the week and are expected to have a focus for their investigation.

This year’s first Investigations Week, which was themed “Pursuing Passion,” occurred from November 21-25. Students were able to choose their area of passion, investigate it deeper, and share their findings. The skill focus was delivering an engaging presentation.

On Investigations Day, the last day of Investigations Week, students were scheduled to present in concurrent sessions held a different times of the day. Those not presenting at that time signed up to become part of the audience for another student’s presentation.