Love and loss are often regarded as two sides of the same coin: we cannot experience one without also encountering the other.
They are subjects that were recently explored by Year 7 pupils at Park Academy as part of the No Limits Curriculum.
Students at the west London school proudly showcased poems, diagrams and diary entries they had produced as part of their Love and Loss assignment. Due to the timing of the event, the topic of Remembrance was also included.
Students were full of enthusiasm for the knowledge they had developed and for the style of learning.
They were required to link subject knowledge from Biology, Chemistry, History and English and this involved war and love poems being examined alongside the dissection and study of a lamb’s heart.
The No Limits Curriculum is unique to the Aspirations Academies Trust and involves students applying what they have learnt in the classroom to real-world projects that cross subject disciplines, known as Applied Transdisciplinary Learning (ATL). Teamwork and exhibitions are key aspects of ATL.
A year 7 pupil said: ‘’I loved learning in this way, rather than in single subjects, because it helped me to put my learning into context.’’
Explaining why No Limits and ATL are so effective, Jack Taylor, Assistant Principal at Park Academy, said: ”Combining Science, English, Drama, History and more, the Love and Loss project gave students the opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding of the human body, both physically and emotionally.
”Students explored why our emotions change, and how these affect each person individually.
”Students took part in Science experiments including Mentos in a coke bottle, indoor fireworks and making their own slime. This hands on, creative learning has led to the huge success of the new No Limits Curriculum and the Love and Loss project!”
Steve Kenning, MD of the Trust, was also enthusiastic about the impact the project had on pupils. He said: ‘We are delighted with the student experience so far with the ATL assignments. We want to make learning both challenging and engaging, applying the knowledge they have learnt to authentic situations, whilst at the same time developing future skills, such as interpersonal skills. The Park students couldn’t stop talking about the learning experience.’’