Curriculum at Humanitas
At Humanitas, our curriculum has three main components.
Firstly, we follow the Australian Curriculum and expect all students to be exposed to similar learning to other secondary schools, however the way in which this occurs may differ slightly. We utilise a credit system, with online tracking and student portfolios, to ensure that students are gaining learning and making progress in all the key learning areas of the national curriculum. Students may gain credits from units that they self-select from teacher offerings, as well as from learning experiences specifically designed for them. In this way, we ensure all students are maximising their learning and meeting expected standards in ways that appeal and engage, whilst targeting their appropriate learning levels.
Secondly, all students at Humanitas are engaged in collaborative community projects. In these, students work with a peer group (often multi-age but not always) to solve a problem or create a positive change in the world. These projects are based on questions the students are interested in, and involve work with the community outside the school. Community projects usually last for one term, but may go longer depending on the nature of the project. Working collaboratively on these projects involves all students in communication and teamwork skills.
Lastly, all students at Humanitas are involved in an individual in-depth project on a question that is meaningful to them. (Some projects may be collaborative in nature, but each student has an individual project plan). This may be based on a passion, interest or curiousity. Individual projects can be long or short. Learning coaches are assigned to each student, and meet with them to support their planning, and connect them with key resources to meet their goals (including community mentors and experts who serve as learning guides) and map their projects to relevant areas of the Australian Curriculum. At the end of each term, all students present on their projects to an audience that includes their peers, parents, learning coaches and community mentors. It is expected that this presentation forms a key part of their assessment and ongoing learning.
Students at Humanitas High School will be eligible for a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and will receive a Senior Statement at the end of high school. A variety of subject offerings and recognised studies support the delivery of the QCE, see the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) for details. Humanitas will also support students to engage with a range of formal learning experiences including vocational training, apprenticeships and traineeships. All of these offerings supports students in gaining an Australian Tertiary Entrance Rank (ATAR). Further to these formal processes in administered by QCAA and QTAC, all Humanitas graduates will be able to present a portfolio of learning, a functional tool to demonstrate to employees, tertiary providers and their Great Aunty Margaret what they have actually learned and can do!
So what might a day at Humanitas look like?
Flexible! Each day may look different for different students, and the key component is time given deliberately to meet their needs. We are conscious of the fact that deep learning occurs when students are working in a state of ‘flow’. This phrase, coined by positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, describes a state of energized focus, enjoyment and full involvement in their tasks. When learners are in a ‘flow state’, they are likely to achieve more, retain their learning, go deeper and be more engaged. At Humanitas, our flexible timetabling allows students who are positively engaged to continue working on their projects, lessons and learning experiences.
We believe that students are capable of making decisions about their time, and prioritising their time in order to meet all their needs - intellectual, social, physical and emotional. Staff at Humanitas are skilled and experienced in supporting students to do this well.
Our days start with a morning meeting, where students state intentions for their day and align themselves with other offerings that are happening in the space (e.g. a literature circle might be meeting in one space, a science workshop will be happening in another, and a group of students might have booked a performance space to work on a dance). Our days end with a brief reflection time, where students come together to evaluate their learning and progress, to share thoughts and plan for further action. Community meetings generally happen once a week, where all students and staff create an agenda to discuss and vote on issues that affect the school.
In between, teachers and students offer classes that students may have signed up for (e.g. a five week CAD building unit covering maths, history and engineering; a chemistry elective examining the potions of Harry Potter; design workshops with local artists, etc.) Students meet with their learning coaches to plan their individual deep learning projects, and work on these diligently both on and off campus. Collaborative community projects are planned and enacted. Students and teachers laugh, eat, talk, discuss, work in teams and work separately. Often, students and teachers travel off-campus to attend real-world learning events, visiting museums, libraries, workshops, and generally interacting politely and respectfully with the world outside the school. In brief, learning happens!
Humanitas High School Graduate Profile
Humanitas High School students are able to use a range of communication tools and modes suited to a variety of tasks. They are comfortable communicating with peers and a wide range of people across the community.
Graduates are able to make balanced decisions based on criteria, priorities and objectives. They choose pathways with purpose and can justify the choices that they make. They can plan tasks and take action to realise individual and community goals.
Our students practice quality leadership by making choices that benefit and support, and do not detract from, their wider community. Students consciously make ethical decisions when they are directly leading, researching and innovating, volunteering or advocating for a cause.
People leave Humanitas with the ability to critically think about information provided to them. They are literate, numerate and can use technology to research, communicate and produce resources. They know how to engage with their community and the world.
Humanitas graduates have a broad body of knowledge about their immediate community and environment, and of global connections and the environment. They understand how and why things have been done in the past and use this knowledge to inform their futures.
Our students are aware of the health of their minds and bodies. They are connected with their environments and are reflective about their lives, emotional health and the wellbeing of those around them. They value relationships and care about people including themselves.