Inter-school IDL

Posted: January 21, 2013 in CfE, Curricular development, IDL

A few months ago, two of our outstanding S6 pupils visited Poland thanks to the Holocaust Educational Trust. Whilst the experience was incredibly difficult for them (we really were a bit worried when we saw them the next day) they learned a huge amount and bravely agreed to deliver a presentation to a whole school assembly on the subject.

This was such a success that, today, we went even further – we asked them to deliver an entire lesson to our S1 Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) class. To clarify, the IDL class is delivered once a week to S1 pupils by teachers from across the school (English, History, Maths, RME and SMT) and has so far explored The Slave Trade, Gaelic, Festivals of Light and – now – the Holocaust. We decided to experiment with this idea as a means of encouraging pupils to view their own learning and cross-curricular, and so far have had some significant success in this area.

The lesson today was also a huge success – our two S6 Holocaust experts (assisted by another prefect) planned and implemented an entire lesson with the whole S1 cohort, incorporating drama, discussion, detailed questioning, personal reflection and media. All of our staff agree that the current first years are a ‘lively’ group but today they sat transfixed by the first hand accounts of their peers – it really was a terrific experience. I also had a pleasure of confirming to one of the two S6 girls that I thought their lesson had gone extremely well when I passed her in the corridor a few hours later.

To make things even better, our Head Teacher stopped by to have a look at the work being done in the IDL class and was suitably impressed by the students from both year groups.

Having passed on their knowledge to a younger year group, the S6 pupils will now help them to develop a presentation for an assembly on Holocaust memorial day, thus completing a cycle that proves that when you really trust students they will almost always exceed your expectations.

  1. […] In Arran High School we are currently experimenting with an embedded IDL course for first year pupils – since August S1 timetables have featured one period a week dedicated to interdisciplinary, cross-curricular learning delivered by a small team of teachers from several different subjects (you can read more about it here). […]

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