Summer is a much-needed break for faculty and students alike. It is also a time that many teachers invest in professional development and course creation or enrichment. This summer our arts instructor and art history teacher, Mr. John Luna, will be planning his new course in “Design Thinking”, where students will be exposed to design principles in a variety of ways. The course will survey the relationship between form and function through a myriad of real world examples from manufacturing to architecture. Students will also get the opportunity to develop hands on skills and produce design projects to demonstrate their understanding. A growth area in education today, design is a popular elective among Grade 10 and 11 students judging by the healthy sign up in May. Connecting students with experts in various fields of design will be another avenue for students to explore career possibilities in this area.
In senior Biology 12, Mr. Oliver Amiel is developing a “kinesiology” version of this course. Essentially a survey of human body systems, Biology 12 is a very popular science but by adapting it to have an exercise physiology focus, we hope to also enable students to apply their knowledge in a context that is highly relevant to their interest in sport.
Meanwhile Mrs. Robyn Amiel will be taking an Advanced Placement prep course to help introduce AP World History next year. This is in response to student demand for a course that helps them get an overview of world civilisations and cultures. Again, this is offered primarily as an elective to Grades 10 and 11 where it will form a scaffold towards senior history electives and provide a challenging history course in those grades.
One of my tasks this summer will be to enter discussions with local universities on how we can offer courses with full university credit to students here at Brentwood. Intelligent planning in this area will perhaps result in some exciting opportunities for students in 2015.