At HPDS our curriculum and everyday activities are based around HOW to learn, not WHAT to learn. The school year is divided into 5 different themed units, during which we teach a wide range of ideas and topics connected to the theme. (For example, under the theme Communication last year, we taught a unit called Story Telling, during which students learned about different forms of story telling including those from other cultures around the world). We front-load each unit with a series of selected topics, then turn the control over to students! After generating student questions, our lessons become the answers!
We teach students the independent learning skills they need, based on their ongoing development, and guide them to find answers on their own. We adapt our expectations and assessments to meet the needs and growth of each student.
Focussing on self-selected topics and questions is very engaging and motivation for our students, who naturally become able to set their own learning goals and develop a sense of self-awareness as learners.