The thinking behind Mount Mourne's D.E.P. scheme
The D.E.P. process in any school is in place to encourage identified students to challenge themselves in their giftedness. This objective is maintained in Mount Mourne School. We direct our students towards examining "Approaches to Learning", one of the 5 areas of interaction, and the 10 Learner Profile traits,as areas to seek to challenge themselves and to explore/exploit their giftedness.
Each student is asked to complete a D.E.P. document, (which can be obtained by following the link at the end of this text), before attending their first conference. The document is essentially a summary of a student's school schedule, sporting activities, in-school and out of school clubs and societies, positions of leadership, and service activities undertaken. Additionally students are asked to identify two goals which will assist in improving their performance academically. These goals relate to the IB Approaches to Learning and Learner Profile traits, and are recorded on the D.E.P. document in the appropriate places. The document is signed by the mentor/teacher, the parent and the student. It is kept in the student's AIG folder as evidence of the existence of the D.E.P.
Please follow these links to find Approaches to Learning and Learner profile traits.
The first goal is planned to improve students' academic performance by becoming stronger in one of the approaches to learning. The student is asked to use the opportunity to create a project/presentation to show how concentrating on the chosen Approach to Learning has helped to improve presentational skills or academic learning. The project/presentation will be shared with the student's mentor and then made available for the school community to view on a showcase evening towards the end of the year. The project/presentation will be started after the DEP conference, with the student defining the timetable. It will be part of the evidence of that student's improvement in the selected area. The project will be of the student's choosing and may be related to either an academic area, or related to a particular passion, interest or hobby. It is expected that time may be allowed during school periods when students have completed assignments, for research or other work on projects/presentations. It is also expected that students will put some time into this work at home. It is likely that some form of log will be appropriate to show the timetable that was used to complete the project/ presentation.
The second goal is related to the Learner Profile traits. It is different. Students choose a trait that they feel could be strengthened and organize a strategy to achieve that goal. Evidence of pursuit of the goal will be something like a log book to keep a record of activities that are being used to help with the trait in question. For example, many students decided over the last 2 years that they were not risk takers. One of the popular solutions was to go and put some time in helping out at the Mooresville Soup Kitchen. All who did so benefitted from the experience greatly, not least in the self confidence they gained. All agreed they took risks in going to a place where they were not initially comfortable. They stepped out of their comfort zone. For the D.E.P. purposes they kept a logbook of their trips to the soup kitchen and had adults sign off on the paperwork. That was all that was needed to show evidence of pursuit of that goal.
DEP Conference Parent student and mentor October 11th 2011
First progress meeting student/mentor December 2011
Second Progress meeting student/mentor March/April 2012
Presentation to mentor/group May 2012
Show case evening May/June 2012