The Coolest Thing I Have Ever Done in School (Humble beginnings of PSII production team)


I had absolutely no idea that I would be doing this this year.  None whatsoever.  It was sparked from a bunch of wooden theatre swords that the students were just messing around with which drove me nuts.  “If we are going to play with swords, we are going to do it right darn it!” I I bellowed.

So, I called a meeting to see who would be interested in choreographing some stage combat.  I did not realize that it would turn into what you just watched above.  But holy cow, I am sure happy it did.  This is what emergent curriculum looks like.

We went through a 4 month rehearsal and production process.

In terms of thinking in old school courses, the students covered: English, Digital Media, Film, Info Tech, PE and Dance Choreography.  Pretty good interdisciplinary inquiry.  However, at PSII, we are trying so hard to get away from organizing things in courses.  We would rather like to organize around competencies.  The students hit these making this film: Media and Info Literacy, Collaboration and Leadership, Critical and Creative Thinking, Cultural Awareness and Understanding, Personal Responsibility and Planning.  We believe these are greater forms for assessment.

Adding on to all of that is the unparalelled experience of seeing a labour intensive, lengthy process through to an end.  It is not about handing in assignments that only a teacher will see.  It is about making valuable work to share with the world.

But even beyond all of  that, the most important aspect of education is to light the fire.  I mean, isn’t that what it is all about?  These learners are fully engaged, doing deep research and experimenting with numerous creative avenues.  These are the skills that every innovative organization wants to see.


  1. I agree completely. The film was an amazing experience that I had the good fortune to be able to work on with Jake and many PSII students. I look forward to making another film that will be even more exciting with better effects, lighting and cinematography. This one was a great learning experience and a step in the door and the next one is going to be super awesome!

    • Thanks for the comment Teaganator. You bet – this was a great learning experience and I am incredibly excited to see how the next one evolves.

  2. Hi Jake,

    I really found your movies well done. By the way can we start on the fight scene you promised this year?


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