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PLP featured in the North Shore News

PLP 8 students practise coding using iPads.
PLP 8 students Maggie Whitmore (left) and Jessie Bullen practise computer coding using iPads. Photo credit: Paul McGrath

PLP was recently featured in a North Shore News story on our coding efforts using Swift Playground.

PLP 8 student Daniel Wickstone is quoted in the article: “You can choose your character and there are different levels so it feels like a game, so it’s a win-win-win scenario: the teacher is teaching and we are learning and having fun at the same time.”

Click here to read the story.


PLP Recognized With International Award

The Performance Learning Program has once again been recognized for teaching excellence as the recipient of a 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Project ReimaginEd award.

One of our favourite grade 9 FLIGHT projects was chosen by ISTE as an exemplar of innovative instructional design. Earlier this year, ISTE invited educators to submit lesson plans to Project ReimaginED that focused on redesigning classroom activities to create rich, tech-infused lessons. Our PLP teachers seized this opportunity and submitted one of our favourite projects: ‘Rise of the Frankenstuffies: the Industrial Revolution’.

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During this project, students create a Frankenstein-like creature that combines different stuffed animals to investigate the Industrial Revolution. By integrating science, language arts, math, and social studies, the assignment also covers literature, creative writing and presentation skills while challenging students to communicate research findings in nontraditional ways, all while answering the essential question: how does industry innovation drive change?

Petra Willemse will be representing the PLP teaching team by presenting the project at both a poster session and panel presentation at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia this summer. The ISTE conference attracts over 25,000 international educators and PLP is honoured to be a part of it!

This is the second year in a row that the Performance Learning Program has been recognized by ISTE. Last year, Bryan Hughes and Petra Willemse received the SIGLIB (ISTE’s special interest group for librarians) Technology Innovation Award, honouring a school librarian and collaborating teacher who conduct an exemplary program extending beyond the library. Their award winning project can be downloaded and viewed in ebook format for free!

You can read the ISTE press releases on the Project ReimaginEd award here and find more information on the other winning projects here.

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“Rise of the Frankenstuffies: The Industrial Revolution” is also available as free course in iTunes U. Click here to access on your iOS device.

ISTE is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world. Find out more by visiting

Welcome back!

Welcome to a new school year! 

The FLIGHT team has been working throughout the summer on a developing an exciting, engaging, and rigorous learning experience for this school year.

We are excited to build on last year’s successes: FLIGHT students finished the year strong with provincial exam marks in Science 10 and English 10 that exceeded both the school and provincial averages. 

FLIGHT team for 2013/2014

The new school year has brought some changes to the teaching team for FLIGHT. Jaimie Ireland, Alena Irvine, and Stephanie Strandt have left Seycove, but we are excited to welcome Esther Clark to the FLIGHT faculty.

Esther taught at Seycove and Cove Cliff last year and was part of the school district delegation that attended the Project-based Learning Institute last fall at High Tech High in San Diego, California. 

Esther brings experience and enthusiasm to her new instructional role, and will work alongside Petra Willemse to lead instruction for FLIGHT 9 and 10. 

Also new for this school year is FLIGHT 11. We are excited about the opportunities presented for project-based learning with the rich curriculum content afforded by English and Social Studies 11 and our new course, Inquiry 11. Petra Willemse and Bryan Hughes will lead instruction for FLIGHT 11.

iPad requirement 

FLIGHT is a technology infused program that leverages the power of connected learning offered by one student-one device. The iPad is a required item for every FLIGHT student and is used to receive course materials (we don’t use conventional textbooks), but more importantly is used by students to create and publish learning objects and as a tool for personal expression.

All students are required to have a personal iPad and are expected to bring it to school fully charged on FLIGHT instruction days. We are recommending an iPad (third generation or newer) or an iPad mini with a minimum 32 GB capacity as the best option for students. 

Purchasing apps     

This year the school is able to purchase apps in volume quantities and receive special education discounts from developers. We are working on a plan to pass this savings on to you, so please don’t buy any required apps at this time. We will follow up with more information very soon as it becomes available. 

Calgary Science School Professional Development

On May 24 to 26, the FLIGHT teachers had the opportunity for more professional development. Bryan Hughes, Petra Willemse, Nancy Roberts and Greg Hockley attended the ConnectEd Conference at the Calgary Science School.

ConnectEd is a different type of conference. Its focus is on creating connections and conversations on things happening in the world of education.  People from around Canada joined in on these conversations, and continued to build connections long after the conference.  It was also an opportunity to check out the classrooms of a very innovative school and bring ideas back to our own classrooms.

The FLIGHT team also hosted a session on our own program, so people could learn about running a project-based learning program within a public school.

As is always the case with these events, we learned a lot and have taken a lot away to think about. Thank you so much to Dr. David Overgaard for supporting our visit.



‘iPad Takes FLIGHT’ Again

The FLIGHT 10 students had a second opportunity to give their presentation ‘iPad Takes FLIGHT: 40 tips’ at the recent NVTA Professional Day at Carson Graham.

The event was open to all teachers in the District and our morning and afternoon sessions were completely filled up. The FLIGHT students did a great job sharing their tips and the audience truly appreciated how professionally the students handled themselves.

FLIGHT conquers Macworld!


The culminating experience of the FLIGHT 10 California tour was presenting to an audience of 80 people as part of the Tech Talk series at the Macworld / iWorld 2013 conference in San Francisco.

This review of our presentation described the tips and tricks shared as “nothing short of dynamite”.

You can read more about the experience of presenting at such a large and prestigious event on the blogs of FLIGHT 10 students: Declan, John, Milan, and Thomas.

California FLIGHT 10

On January 25, 17 FLIGHT 10 students plus Mr. Bryan Hughes, Ms. Petra Willemse and Ms. Nancy Roberts, left from Bellingham to travel to San Diego.

This trip had a lot of background planning months in advance to have it happen. Beginning with the HTH residency the FLIGHT teachers attended in October, we knew we had to have our students see what project-based learning could be first hand. We wanted to take our students to High Tech High.

And so, that’s where we found ourselves from January 25 to 29 in San Diego visiting High Tech High. FLIGHT students got a chance to do a tour with HTH students and follow them from class to class. Our students were surprised to see the depth of the learning and engagement that the HTH students showed.

We also got to visit some of the area highlights, including the Midway, Sea World, and Cabrillo National Monument.

By January 29th, we were on the move again. Flying from San Diego to San Jose. From a hotel in Silicon Valley, we were able to day trip and explore several of the tech giants in the Valley, including Google, Intel and Apple. Stops included the Computer History Museum and Stanford.

Finally on January 31st we made our way to San Francisco to attend MacWorld. It was an honour for our FLIGHT 10 students to present their workshop ‘iPad Takes FLIGHT: 40 tips’ at the conference. Students had prepared for months and took this as an opportunity to shine.

With the conference over, it was time to head for home. Twenty happy and exhausted Seycove students and teachers returned!

Presentations of Learning

On the evening of January 16, 2013, FLIGHT held out first presentations of learning night. FLIGHT students had prepared for this evening for months in advance, making sure their projects were ready for a wide audience.

FLIGHT 9 students were presenting their Shoebox of Exploration. Their shoeboxes contained artifacts that told the story of an exploration to a place new to them. They included maps, diaries and even photos of their fantastic journey.

FLIGHT 10 students were presenting their Truth of Memory project. The shadow boxes and stories were all posted on the walls of the Hangar.

We had a good turnout of parents, staff and even some our seniors from the Memory project. Dr. Overgaard also shared his comments on the year in FLIGHT so far.

Thank you to all the FLIGHT students who came and showed their work.