Often times learning in school is confined by a fixed schedule. By offering a flexible schedule built around both the objectives of the unit, and the needs of individual students, ISB Futures Academy is able to:
- Offer rich learning experiences
- Increase number of experiences outside of school
- Offer integrated instruction
- Allow for a smaller teacher to pupil ratio
ISB Futures Academy facilitators build schedules around units of learning. For example, a unique schedule was created for an intensive integrated “boot camp” to expose students to the skill necessary for Futures Academy. That schedule will then change when introducing the 1st unit of study.
Blocks of time are no longer confined to only subject- specific classes. ISB Futures Academy offers the following blocks of time to create authentic, unique, and relevant learning experiences:
- Integrated Block: A block designed for integrated learning around the unit projects. Within an integrated block there is humanities, science, math, and often DT instruction. Depending on the stage or phases of the unit, students can expect the following practices:
- Core Academic Skill Blocks: These include blocks labelled “Math”, “RW”, or “DT”. RW refers to Readers and Writers Workshop and allows focused work time on literacy fundamentals. DT refers to Design Technology and allows some additional science time to engineer, tinker, and build.
- Level Up Block (flexible): Offered during some units, the Level Up block is time that allows facilitator and students to choose how to best allocate that time depending on the unit objectives and/or individual student needs.
- Art/Music/Drama: The Fine Arts are offered at various times throughout the year. For instance, in unit one the grade sevens will have an arts component to their schedule whereas the grade eights will have drama in unit three. The arts are offered flexibly to enhance the projects.
- PE: Physical education is offered three times per cycle, and will be offered in that manner for the whole school year.
The following demonstrates how Grade 8 Futures Academy has organized its schedule for project two of the 2017-18 school year. As always, the schedule is flexible and adaptive to change if opportunities present themselves.
Lastly, a major change many may notice on the project one schedule is the omission of “Passion Project”. This year, Futures Academy is excited to launch Ignite! Experience Weeks. Ignite! Experience Weeks will be offered four times throughout the school year to allow students sustained time to build capacity towards pursuing their own passions. Each week will be centered around a theme:
- Week 1: Make It! October
- Week 2: Express It! January
- Week 4: Personalize It! June