Big Picture Education is personalised learning and offers a fresh opportunity to connect students’ passion to the community through internships. While students are out there in the real world, they do real, complex and engaging projects which they present for assessment by exhibition.
The Melrose High School Big Picture Academy currently consists of 40 students: a Year 9 Advisory and a Year 10 Advisory. A Big Picture Academy is the local implementation of a Big Picture Education model within the existing structures of Melrose High School.
Each Academy student has a personal learning plan based on individual interests, developed with input from students, their advisor, parents and, where appropriate a mentor. Families play an important role in the success of Big Picture students, and the program aims to empower parents and carers to take an active role in their children’s education.
Each student works one day a week in an interest-based internship with a mentor from the community on an intellectually rigorous project connected to learning goals. This is known as Learning Through Internship (LTI).
The Melrose High School Big Picture Academy has large, dedicated classroom spaces with a wet area for artistic endeavors and a multipurpose outdoor annexed area.
Big Picture Education is an innovative and highly personalised approach to education that combines academic work with real-world learning. It focuses on educating ‘one student at a time’ and inverts the traditional education design by placing the student, their passions and their interests at the center of the learning process.
Big Picture Education
Big Picture students can choose how they structure their lessons. Each student must meet the Education Directorate mandated physical activity hours by attending a PE class. They can then choose to do all other six lines in Big Picture, or four or five lines in the Academy complemented by electives. Students are encouraged to engage in electives that directly relate to their passion.
Admittance into the Melrose High School Big Picture Academy is by application. In Semester Two, all current Year 8 students are invited to write an Expression of Interest that outlines their area of interest and why they want to join Big Picture. These EOIs are assessed by the Big Picture Team and discussed. Selected students are invited to officially apply for a place in the Big Picture Academy.
All applicants are informed of the outcomes of their application at the beginning of Term Four and all successful applicants are enrolled into the Big Picture Academy for the beginning of the following year.
In 2018 Year 8 students will have the opportunity to join the Big Picture Year 8 elective. This elective puts students at the centre of decisions about what, how and when they learn.
In this skills based elective students are introduced to and use the Big Picture model of learning. This learning focuses directly upon an individual student’s unique set of passions and capabilities. Students are supported one-on-one by a network of peers, advisory teachers, expert mentors and family as they pursue those things that interest them most. There are no limits to passions that can be pursued in this elective, but it is not recommended for students who struggle to work independently.
Students in this elective combine academic work with real-world internships, use their head, heart and hands to explore their world and plan their own pathways to future employment, study or enterprise.