Option 1 - Across the School
Keep school as is and offer a
choice programme for 1 Day a week. Some schools already do this. Basically,
students make a choice according to what teachers decide they can offer in
terms of support. It would obviously easiest to organise if the whole
school did this on the same day.
Another option would be for a
teacher to suggest an idea and to recruit say, 20 students to their
'project'. Once approval is granted, that teacher would be provided relief
for their lessons that day. This would be expensive (apply for funding) but
would be a way for a school to initiate the process over a school year to
test it out.
Option 2 - Junior Oriented
Junior Year 1: If there are eight classes of
juniors then divide them into four streams. Let them choose their streams,
where possible. As per this website, those streams would be Sports, Culture,
Trades, Academic (but not, Work).
Sports stream example: Study two timetabled lines of sport, each
targeting different aspects of sport (practical/health). In social
studies/history class they would study sport related topics. In English they
would read/write on sports related texts. Other subjects such as maths and
science would likewise focus on sport related material where possible. Their
entire year would have a strong focus on sport yet at the same time they
would still cover the basics of other subjects.
Likewise for the Culture and Trades streams. Science
for Sport would have more biology. Science for Trades would be more
practical. Those choosing the Academic stream would have a more typical
school education, but having made that choice, they would probably fare
quite well with it being more intense.
Junior Year 2: A certain school might have a
two-year program for each stream. Or, they may necessitate that each
student chooses a new stream. Or, if resourceful, they may offer both
choices. The academic streamers should be allowed to study for two years if
they so wish.
Senior Years 3-5: Students would be free to
choose normal school subjects as per the national curriculum. Having studied
something of their own choice in depth for the previous one or two years
will give most students, especially those at the lower end, a feeling of
achievement that normal programs cannot deliver. Some may continue with
what they have been doing (sports or tech or cultural related studies); some may aim for the
Once successful, this program could be converted
more fully to that offered herein at a later date.
Option 3 - Senior Oriented
Keep the current school system in place and add
various academies, especially for non-university-oriented seniors who are
looking to gain job-specific or useful life skills before they leave school.
Some schools are already starting to do this but it is quite limited and sporadic.
There could be a school-oriented approach that has say: Sports Academy;
Cultural Academy; Trades Academy; Academic Academy.
Another idea could be that individual departments
have their own academies, but this would probably result in more
administrative work. Examples might be: Sport - Football Academy; Culture -
Music Academy and Languages Academy; Trades - Metalwork Academy
and Woodwork Academy; Academic - Maths Academy,
etc. Things like this are slowly starting to happen;
adopting a school-wide approach would be more successful.
Schools need to adapt to 21st Century needs and
those that do so are likely to become more popular in their regions.