Step III, 7th and 8th grade

Personalized projects, the children individually or in pairs come up with their own questions/problems and take the initiative to plan their own project which they present to the teacher for approval. The child becomes the director of the project in its entirety. It is the step of negociated learning, where the objectives, methods and evaluation are discussed and adapted between the student and teacher.

Projected outcomes

  • To be able to negotiate projected learning goals and come to a compromise
  • Contribute to any group work that might take place and take decisions democratically
  • Work alone on a project
  • To be capable of identifying moments when help is needed
  • To decide on objectives and create a learning program for their accomplishment
  • To be capable of using reference tools and to research efficiently
  • To analyze their own ways of working in order to improve them, recognising their strengths and weaknesses
  • Working as an individual, to see a project through to its conclusion, using all necessary resources
  • To be able to evaluate their work

Class days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning, Thursday and Friday
Class hours: 8:30am-3:30pm (children are welcomed at 8:00am), Wednesday morning 8:30-12:00

German

The objectives at the end of the 8th grade are those of the Romand Program of Study. They must acquire and develop the skills, which enable them to understand short texts, simple stories, game rules, letters and forms. They must have a certain vocabulary and be able to identify certain language characteristics and patterns. They must be able to react to a given situation by expressing themselves in clear sentences.

At the end of their education at La Découverte, the children take the Vaud Cantonal exam in German. Our German teachers are all native speakers.

From the Romand Program Study

Read the objectives in French or :

Extract from the PER (pdf)

Our learning objectives are assessed at the end of Primary according to the procedures of the Vaud State.

Assessment

Parent/Child/Teacher meeting in November and May

More information in Assessment


End of Cycle III report

Parent meeting at the end of 8th grade, followed by a written report.

I.T.

The angle we propose is to use technology to enhance teaching and learning and to bring greater value to our teaching, while enabling children to be at ease in an environement of constantly evolving technology. These tools are integral to our way of teaching and learning which prioritises investigation, experimentation, creation, innovation, exchange and cooperation.

The types of technologies may vary according to the projects that are proposed. It may involve creative play, technical development in robotics (using lego mindstorm, Wedo), development of programming knowledge (scratch, sketch-up), using different presentation and research tools (tablets, interactive whiteboards, cameras, interactive projectors etc). We will also integrally promote awareness of how to use technology safely and mindfully.

The class teachers and Information technology teachers work collaboratively so that the technology objectives are integrated into the program of study.

The practice of philosophy with children

At the end of the 1960's, an American philosopher, Matthew Lipman, wrote a short book explaining the story of a group of children who set out to discover the principles of the art of philosophical thinking. This first essay, 'Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery', is intended for children from 10-12 years and its central theme is the study of the rules of logic. The story scenario is the creation of a learning community where everyone plays their part in a communal search for truth and for meaning. Through this book, a central idea can be perceived that will guide the children throughout the process: it creates conditions for young people to think by and for themselves with rigour, coherence and originality.

This initial experiment revealed itself to be so convincing that Matthew Lipman developed it further, with Ann Margaret Sharp, creating new novels concerning ethics, aesthetics, epistemology and originality. The objective remains the same: allowing the children to participate in a thought process according to the principles of philosophical discussion.

As philosophy is key for developing critical thought, creative though, self-confidence and social skills, there has been growing interest in the practice of philosophy with children, because of its contribution to the development of autonomous, free, responsible individuals.

Recognised by UNESCO as a way of putting emphasis on democracy in education, this practice can be found today in schools in over 60 countries.

At La Découverte, it seemed essential to introduce, gradually, the practice of philosophy with the children as path to building coherent arguments, nourishing critical reflexion and constructing thought processes.