Year 8 Celebrate Their Learning Amazon Journey

This term, Head of Lower School, Miss Hughes encouraged our Year 8s to take on a Learning Amazon challenge.

The concept is focused on individual exploration so girls can choose a question (either one suggested by Miss Hughes, or one of their own) and then have total freedom to explore that question in whatever way they like. They can decide how to answer it, do their own research, follow their own leads, use trial and error and enjoy the fun of learning and exploring something new.

Supported by weekly sessions, the project took place outside of normal lessons and gave students the opportunity to develop their research and presentation skills, with the final projects due in by the beginning of March.

Twenty three students completed a project, with ten girls chosen at random to speak about how they found their Learning Amazon journey in front of their peers. 

The amazingly varied range of topics presented included:

  • Aanya S – What are history’s deadliest colours?
  • Abigail S – The moral ambiguity behind the K-pop industry.
  • Beatrice C – Mary Seacole: Why was she influential and what racism did she face?
  • Harriett E – Will the technology behind the new covid vaccines open doors to vaccines or cures to other diseases or conditions?
  • Jasmine D R-R – Extra-Terrestrial Life and Alternative Realities: Are we the only ones or are there others amongst us?
  • Jaspreet G – Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
  • Keisha A – How relevant is the school curriculum in the real world?
  • Nadia M-S – What are some of the biggest mysteries of the internet?
  • Samara G – What is the biggest threat facing humanity?
  • Tilley C – How accurate is representation in the media?

Feedback from the students taking part in the project was extremely positive:

“I really enjoyed taking part in the Learning Amazon Project, it gave me the chance to study something that is not on the school curriculum and to learn more about a subject I enjoy. As well as this, having the opportunity to do a presentation in front of my year helped to improve my public speaking skills and confidence when doing a presentation. Although, at first, it seemed nerve-wracking to be presenting in front of a crowd of people, it made me feel proud and accomplished by the end and was not as scary as it seemed. Overall, taking part in the Learning Amazon Project was a rewarding and exciting experience.”

“Taking part in the Learning Amazon Project was a great decision since it gave me the opportunity to do more research into a newly found interest. I became much more informed on the subject and it made me even more passionate about the field. It helped me learn how to conduct research and gave me more experience with filming and editing. I benefited from the unrestrictive nature of the project as it gave me a lot of leeway and freedom to do what I wanted. Also, the presentation allowed me to develop my public speaking skills. I would have probably benefited from some more time but overall, I really enjoyed doing this project. I was proud of my work by the end, and whilst I made my fair share of mistakes, those are just more learning opportunities!”

“I have found this journey very enjoyable. I have loved every minute of it. The main reason behind this is because we had the opportunity to learn something that wouldn’t be taught in school, I love conducting experiments on people (Psychology) and how they react to different things. This gave me a chance to do something that I love. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!

Well done to all students taking part on fantastic research, writing and presentations! Mr Shoults tweeted, “Inspired listening to Year 8 presenting Amazon Project research on deep, complex topics. Now more informed about how MRNA vaccines work! “

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