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Sharee Ineson, teacher at Southland Girls’ High School, tells us how the Online Learning area helps her experiment with teaching ideas.
Southland Girls’ High School is a state secondary school for girls, located in Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.
The school has 1,200 pupils aged between 11-18. Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives has been taught by Noreen Melvin, Deputy Principal, and Sharee Ineson over the last five years.
It was introduced as part of a wider movement to implement a stimulating curriculum for gifted and talented students using Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses.
Sharee Ineson is a teacher and academic tutor for international students. She has a passion for using elearning resources to support her teaching of Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives.
For Sharee, one of the key challenges in teaching Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives is knowing whether or not key skills are being developed at the right level.
She is always looking for ways to teach key skills, such as research and analysis of evidence, in a way that promotes student inquiry and makes use of e-learning opportunities.
As part of the Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives course, Sharee runs sessions called ‘Global Bites’. These sessions are designed to develop key knowledge or skills. Students are encouraged to reflect on what they have learnt and then develop their ideas further through group or individual projects. Sheree has found the modules, forums and free lesson resources in the learning area useful for finding content that can inform and structure class discussions.
The Online Learning area has also prompted Sharee to experiment with other teaching ideas. She said: 'I found that the Online Learning area can also be used to experiment with flipped classroom ideas. I used starters from modules to help form pre-class discussions on our class ultranet. As a result students were already exposed to a wide range of perspectives and came into class ready to work with those ideas in a transfer task.'
One of the main things that Sharee likes about the Online Learning area is that the topics all have global significance, so they are relevant to students anywhere in the world. She thinks that the modules are well structured and provide a good context for further enquiry. Sharee said: 'I love how the site can be used as an electronic portfolio of learning. It also promotes independent research and self-directed personalised learning in a safe and respectful online environment.'
Online Learning has given Southland students a sense of community – they now feel part of a global community of Cambridge Global Perspectives learners. This exposure to a more diverse range of perspectives and opinions has also challenged students’ own thinking.
Sharee’s advice for teachers thinking about using the learning area is to first pick one area to link with an existing activity, and from there to explore other opportunities and possibilities to integrate the learning area into teaching. She said: 'It enhances what you are already doing. It is not a replacement, so it can be integrated into your existing teaching very easily.'