i sea

Pupils at Irvine Royal Academy have been inspired by the 'i sea' theme, part of the vision for regeneration from Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.

The theme is all about reconnecting with the sea and pupils use this as the context for their curricular learning in a variety of different subjects. Pupils use the theme in creative writing for newsletters (Language and ICT); collage-designed cushions (Home Economics); paintings, pottery and exhibits (Technical and Art). The whole project culminates in an exhibition at the Maritime Museum and the production of a video about their learning experience.

The 'i sea' project was introduced for the first time in 2007/8 and has been running successfully ever since.

The resources provided by Irvine Bay allow pupils to work with more specialist materials and produce a higher standard of work. Several of the teachers have commented that the practical outcomes achieved by some of the pupils in S2 would meet the criteria set by the SQA Higher exam.

In addition, by displaying pupils’ work in a ‘real’ environment for public view gives their learning journey purpose and relevance, and motivates them all to engage and achieve.

Pupils are able to interact with external partners, such as the Maritime Museum staff; University of West of Scotland PG students who have coached pupils in presentation skills; storytellers; artists; photographers; interviewers

The project ensures that pupils understand the employability skills they have gained through this approach to learning – covering the curriculum, but applying their learning in a real context (and delivering the Government’s newly launched agenda, a Curriculum for Excellence)

The project has attracted the interest of HMIe, CfE and CPD co-ordinators.

We were delighted to learn in 2009 that the 'i sea' initiative has walked off with top prize in the Technology Teachers Association Award for Best Cross-Curricular Project. Following the impact and success of the project, Learning and Teaching Scotland filmed the project to use as a case study of best practice, which is available to view on their website.

This project is now well established with the Scottish Maritime Museum staff acting as business partners and Irvine bay no longer directly involved.