At Wellington Secondary College we believe in providing an environment where students can practice and enhance their 21st century skills. Our Wellington Lesson Narrative allows for teachers to encourage students to collaborate in groups, to think critically and creatively, and to communicate ideas across all subject areas.
We are proud of our purpose-built Maker Space in the Vanellus Centre, which was designed to foster a collaborative environment. Our new Digital and Design Technology precinct has now been completed and features streamlined spaces for effortless design and creativity. These spaces pair well with the yearly Design Challenge Week for Year 9 students that is undertaken at the College; however these spaces are available for all curriculum areas to access as the need arises to promote STEM across the College.
STEM Day has been an important part of the STEM Education that we offer at Wellington Secondary College. Our inaugural STEM Day was held in 2017 and was very engaging with our Year 10 students, resulting in higher enrolments in STEM-based subjects. We also offer a growing list of semester-length STEM electives in Middle School such as mBots, Micro:Bit – STEM, Smart City and 9irls in STEM.
As mentioned above, each year we offer a Design Challenge for our Year 9 cohort. It revolves around a central theme and is guided by the Design Thinking principles of Empathise (understand the problem/task at hand), Define (outline the scope and needs), Ideate (brainstorming ideas), Prototype (coming up with designs/samples/models) and Test (testing and adapting the prototypes).
The Design Challenge concludes with a showcase where students pitch their ideas to the school community. Some themes from previous year’s Design Sprints include ‘Sustainable Cities’, ‘Life on Mars’, ‘Life Underwater’ and ‘Design Your Own Middle School Precinct’, which all tied in with current global and/or local events. More recently, joining in our Design Thinking repertoire is the introduction of the Year 7 Wellington Welcomes You Design Challenge which is the transition program for our newest cohort. In this program our new Year 7s are introduced to aspects of our college culture and to secondary schooling while being exposed to elements of STEM/Design Thinking. In the previous years, the Year 7s have created a school mascot and designed the logos for our new Houses as part of this Wellington Welcomes You Design Challenge. These designs have been firmly embedded into our school culture, which has made this transition/STEM program very meaningful to these cohorts.