Nurturing World-Ready Minds: The CUBE – The Knox School’s Innovative Approach to Education


In an ever-evolving world, where adaptability, creativity, and empathy stand as essential pillars, the imperative to equip our youth with more than just academic knowledge has never been clearer. At The Knox School, we recognise this call to action and have embarked on a transformative journey to prepare our Generation Z and Alpha students to be not only academically proficient but also socially conscious, ethically minded, compassionate, and community-oriented individuals poised to make a tangible difference in the world. Community is the thread that runs through the fabric of all we do at The Knox School. We believe in the power of education to transcend classroom walls to engage our learners and positively impact both the School and the community that lies beyond.

Central to our educational ethos is the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset, underpinned by principles of mastery, good character, and proactive engagement. Through a dynamic blend of project-based learning, design thinking, and experiential education – hands on learning, we endeavour to instil in our students, a profound understanding of the authentic application of knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.

A hallmark of our educational approach is the active involvement of students in the co-design of their learning experiences. We recognise that true engagement and ownership stem from giving students a voice in shaping their educational journey. By honouring their input and interests, we create a learning environment that is not only relevant but deeply meaningful to each individual.

the active involvement of students in the co-design of their learning experiences

Our students are encouraged to leverage their learning to address real-world challenges, while collaborating with experts and producing tangible products, services, or solutions for community clients. Through this process, they not only deepen their understanding and authentic application of academic concepts but also thrive as they cultivate a sense of civic responsibility, care, empathy, and action.  One shining example of our commitment to innovative education is our Year 9 CUBE elective program. Spanning a semester, this program integrates an array of projects each involving three subjects, fostering design thinking and inter-disciplinary learning while honing the essential human skills of the 6Cs of collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking, contribution, and character development. Through these real-world projects, students gain firsthand experience in applying their skills to make a positive impact upon the community.

Reflective practice is seamlessly woven into every project, empowering students to evaluate their progress in collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication.  They do so by referencing a comprehensive rubric unique to The Knox School known as the GRObric.  Notably, the cultivation of ethical awareness and the consideration of potential actions and their impact hold paramount significance in the projects.

One poignant example of the transformative power of our approach is the ‘Behind those eyes’ CUBE project, where students connect with residents of an aged care home through the lens of photography, History, and English.  Students capture the stories of elderly individuals, honouring their lives through creative portraiture and written biographies. Commencing with an immersive experience of viewing a historical photography exhibition, coupled with working with an expert in the field of portraiture has assisted students with working towards mastering the necessary photographic elements. Students take a deep dive into establishing connection with their interviewee, learning from experts the art of interviewing and biography writing skills whilst researching and incorporating historical facts associated with their interviewees’ stories.  The culminating product will be a book of biographies and portraits that capture the essence of each story, which will be gifted to the residents.  Both students and residents will congregate in the concluding showcase where the beautiful work will be celebrated to the School community at the end of the semester.

‘Behind those eyes’ CUBE project

This immersive experience not only refines technical skills but also fosters empathy, connection and understanding across generations As students returned from their visits to the aged care home, a palpable sense of excitement filled the air. They are not just completing assignments, they are forging meaningful connections, learning from real-life experiences, and making a difference in the lives of others. It is this sense of purpose and impact that defines The Knox School experience.

Another example of a CUBE project is ‘Crews not passengers’ where students are exploring English, Humanities and Outdoor Education / Health and Physical Education by discovering how to minimise their environmental footprint with a focus upon preserving our beaches and oceans of the Mornington Peninsula, whilst engaging in an outdoor experience.  Students are engaging with their client, a research institute to produce a story board for them that can be shared with The Knox School community.

The Knox School is not merely an institution of learning; it is a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing the next generation of global citizens who are creating positive change in the world… right now. As we reflect on the transformative journey of education at The Knox School, we are reminded of the profound words of Ron Berger, a luminary in the field of project-based learning. In a poignant interview in 2019, Berger encapsulated the essence of our approach: “Providing students with meaningful and challenging problems, supporting them to create beautiful work to contribute to the world—could there be a more inspiring approach to education?” (Larmer, 2019).

Larmer, John (March 28, 2019) Ron Berger: Our 2019 PBL Champion and Keynote Speaker at PBL World, Ron Berger: Our 2019 PBL Champion and Keynote Speaker at PBL World | PBLWorks



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