Changing the world, one Personal Project at a time
From choosing fast fashion and its impact on the environment economy to understanding consent through art or creating a usable skateboard with guitar strings to exploring teenage mental health problems in the form of poetry—Wesley’s Year 10 students are fostering the spirit of a True Education indeed and learning through real-world, problem-based experiential approaches to education.
A culminating accomplishment at the end of an MYP student’s Year 10, all students at Wesley College are required to complete the Personal Project, a challenging, student-led project which assesses approaches to learning skills that students have developed throughout their MYP journeys. Similar to a university thesis, the Personal Project enables students to participate in a sustained, self-directed inquiry within a global context, harness creative insights and appreciate learning, at every step.
Completing the project requires students to explore an area of personal interest in order to design and create an original product or outcome. Whilst many students find completing the personal project immensely challenging, the showcase is a wonderful opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements during the product-creation component of the project.
Work sample from one of the Personal Projects
Documenting and processing in the Personal Project
Students are matched with a supervising teacher at the Glen Waverley or St Kilda Road Campus and consult closely. Supervisors check in frequently, providing advice and support, typically with lots of face-to-face consultation. It has been a joy to hear our students reflect on their learning through their experience of the Personal Project. These real and insightful reflections highlight their mature attitude toward learning and accepting who they are as learners.
Among other aims, the Personal Project requires students to:
- undertake sustained, self-directed inquiry
- generate creative new insights and develop deeper understandings through in-depth investigation
- demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time, and
- communicate effectively in a variety of ways.
What was their why?
Wesley’s Year 10 students have raised the bar even higher with this year’s projects, with topics widely spanning across concussion and mental health, globalisation, scientific and technology innovation, photography, blood cancer, and toxic masculinity, bike maintenance, manufacturing cosmetics using materials from a local business, the dangers of littering and plastic pollution, improving the community’s football skills and so much more.
There is no doubt that this self-assessment and reflection process greatly benefit students as they set and work towards achieving goals in the future. Watching our students’ virtual showcase videos has highlighted the fact that the Personal Project provided a great opportunity for our Year 10 students to explore their passion and strengths, as well as developing their identity as global citizens.
Below are some examples of student products developed as part of the Personal Project:
In the words of Fred L, a Year 10 student, ‘I learned that I work better when I'm doing something that I have an interest in. As it doesn't make it a chore, it makes it more enjoyable and something that I want to do. And when I do something that I'm interested in, I'm more likely to go through with it’.
Achieving remarkable feats especially during the time of uncertainty, our students faced the roadblocks bravely by keeping themselves motivated by setting attainable goals, taking breaks when needed, breaking down big goals into baby steps, and most importantly—asking for help when they needed it the most. They have truly demonstrated they’re well in control of their own learning, using their academic knowledge and skills, and soft skills from problem solving, critical thinking and creativity, ready to showcase their unique Personal Projects in Term 3.
Kudos to you, Year 10 students and all the best for your personal learning journey!