News from The Arthur Holt Library

There’s been something of a focus on our Year 11 IB Diploma Program boys of late. Next term will see the boys begin their Extended Essays, a 4,000-word piece of research that will enable these students to develop many of the skills that will see them through university and beyond.

In preparation, The Arthur Holt Library ran a workshop for the entire cohort that was designed to practice and assess their research skills. We called it a ‘Research Race’. Students were grouped in teams and asked to Google complex questions, search Academic Databases for information, summarise lengthy newspaper articles and apply their critical thinking skills to a series of ambiguous photographs.

It was a great way to warm the boys up for the term that awaits them. At the end of each session we asked the boys to reflect on their own performance by identifying their own areas of strength and comparative weakness. We identified seven key research skills and asked them to arrange them in order of personal ability. The results will help us tailor our future sessions with the boys to those areas where they need the most support.

This is just one example of how we use evidence-based data to inform our practice. Read more about the boys’ reflections and rankings in our blog post analysing the data here.

Ideation, or the sparking of ideas, was the skill most consistently identified as an area of need, so we have been busy preparing a series of sessions to help support the boys in finding a subject for their Extended Essay that will interest and inspire them. We are very much looking forward to delivering them at the start of the new term.

So while we are wrapping up for another term break, our eyes are fixed firmly on the year ahead. We hope the boys share some of our excitement.

“Only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers.”

– Steven Spielberg

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