For one week in mid-September, students in grades 6 – 8 and 11 and 12 left the comfortable classrooms of Tashkent International School to explore the wall-less learning opportunities tucked away in the hills and dunes of Uzbekistan.
Titled Week Without Walls, the annual trips are part of the experiential learning curriculum at TIS. Every year secondary students make these trips, each grade going to a different part of Uzbekistan and focusing on a different subject area.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight each grade and showcase some of the photos from their trips. A few weeks ago we highlighted the Grade 6 trip. To read more about Grade 6, read the story here. Students in grades 9 and 10 will go on their Week Without Walls excursions in May.
Grade 7 – Khiva, Uzbekistan
Of all the grades, Grade 7 traveled the farthest from home for their Week Without Walls trip. They went to Khorezm Province, to the Ayal Khala Yurt Camp and then on to the ancient UNESCO historical city of Khiva. They tested themselves in new ways and were very successful in their approaches to building their community.
They ‘slept’ on a train, no easy feat, and then stayed on the floor of a desert yurt for two nights. By the time they reached hot water and a hotel bed on the third night, they had developed a new appreciation for things that they may well have previously taken for granted. They worked constructively together and showed a real sense of caring and responsibility.
For the grade 7 team it was a vital opportunity to develop relationships outside of the classroom and to strengthen their knowledge of students’ personalities. It was a pleasure to spend time with these young men and women, and it helped us all to identify how best we can work together towards collective and individual successes over the coming months.
One of the projects they worked on during the trip was drawing geometric patterns in their WWW journals based on designs they saw on buildings in Khiva. The journals were used throughout the trip to chronicle all aspects of their Week Without Walls experience. Back at school, the students took their ideas and designs into the design technology classroom and created wooden boxes. They then used a pyrography tool to engrave their surface designs onto the boxes.
The aim of the box unit was to teach students the need for components when making a product and how these components come together to create a functional object. The grade 7 students developed their skills and abilities with different hand tools in the workshop, as well as using computer-aided design software to make design drawings of their boxes.
The grade 7 students were proud of their achievement in this unit, which they completed to a high standard.
Information provided by Siobhan Buckman, grade level coordinator, grade 7, and Richard Reynolds, MYP design technology teacher.