Up to twenty year 7 students are invited to take part in the GATE Humanities Project. The project involves answering the question ‘What makes Mexico or Japan interesting?’. Students are to research the history, geography and religion of that country, choosing to focus on any topics they find of most interest. They can then present their findings in any way they wish; for example as a blog, booklet, a detailed poster or anything else they decide on.
Year 7 GATE 2012-13 Year 7 GATE 2014 Helpful Websites
GATE groups meet once a week, usually after school. Working after school allows students to learn in a different environment to a typical lesson. Sessions in 2013 included a tasting session of Mexican and Japanese cuisine, a visit from a Mexican woman and a skype video interview with a man who spent a year travelling around Japan.
In addition to improving students’ work in the humanities, we aim to help them develop independent research questions which could be used in all subjects across the school. We currently use a structure called CWICER to help students focus their research. CWICER stands for:
C: Connect: Reflecting on what you already know about a topic.
W: Wonder: Deciding if you know enough about a subject to create a good project, and most importantly, what you find most interesting about that topic.
I: Investigate: The really important bit! Students need to find out new information for themselves
C: Construct: Starting to put it all together! Students need to write/type up the information they find, making sure they put material into their own words and referencing where they found information.
E: Express: Time to present your findings! You could make your work into a poster, a booklet, a tourist information leaflet, a blog or anything else you think is suitable.
R: Reflect: Always check back over what you have done. Check SPAG and see how it matches up to KS3 level criteria. Ask yourself what you could have done differently and what you will do the next time you undertake an independent project.