Olympic champions of self-directed learning

NOVEMBER 07, 2016 / Events

Planning and executing events with an Olympic theme proved to be hugely successful in developing the 21st Century skills of students in the middle years. Here's what we did:



As part of the 'How we organise ourselves' focus of term three, Mr Groves presented the Wellington Year 7 & 8 class with an integrated studies project challenge; to plan an Olympics Day for all the Year 7,8 and 9 students to participate in.

This challenge incorporated numerous 21st Century skills: working collaboratively, using real world problemsolving skills, thinking innovatively, communicating skilfully and being self-directed.

Six events were meticulously planned and organised by the yr 78 class:

  • The Opening Ceremony
  • Team Sports (ripper rugby for the boys and badminton for the girls)
  • An assault course
  • A 3km run       
  • Team Sports again (the boys and girls rotated between outdoor hockey and indoor hockey)
  • A Closing Ceremony

Mr Groves says the Year 7 & 8 class responded exceptionally well to the challenge. The day ran very smoothly, which reflected the detailed planning and thinking that went on.



Report by Ocearn Bradshaw, Nathaniel Murray (students) and Mrs. Trish Davies (Social Studies teacher)

With the Olympic Games the focus of our World of Sport Social Studies unit in Term 3, we decided to organise an assembly for Years 3-9 based on the values of sportsmanship. It would give us a chance to actively learn and engage more widely with the junior school and our campus community.

For the 50 minute assembly, we split the class into 5 groups:

  • The introduction group
  • The video/visual group
  • Three groups for activities – an Olympic quiz, a version of musical statues in which the students had to get into the shape of an Olympic icon, and a session of jump jam.

Each group had a leader, and they communicated with the overall organiser to sort out timetables, and scripts. We also had two lead organisers who communicated with our teacher.

Everyone worked well together to plan the events. Everything ran smoothly and we got a lot of satisfaction from the very positive feedback we received.

Building on our event management skills, we then began to plan a much bigger event: a four-hour Mini Olympics for the junior school.

We spent 3-4 weeks of Social Studies time planning this special day. We split our class into seven groups that each had an activity to plan. Some were involved in organising four sporting events ­- an obstacle course, soccer, a simplified game of volleyball, and basketball). Others were responsible for an awards ceremony, and others for a celebration lunch.

We discovered a lot about working with each other, as well as the younger children and their teachers. We also got a chance to learn new skills, build new understandings about many aspects of the Olympic movement and share this with others.

We got a lot of very positive feedback from the juniors, our teachers and our community which helped make the experience more meaningful.