Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School logo

Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School

Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School

Imagine Endeavour Achieve

Telephone02 9630 4116

Project Based Learning

What is PBL?

a lightbulb

It is no secret that the world we live in today is rapidly changing. Increasingly we see a highly interconnected society that revolves around challenges, is driven by technology, where information is readily available in a few clicks and advocates the increasing expectation that problems should be solved quickly and efficiently with minimal errors.  We as teachers recognize this dynamic global landscape, the ‘real world’ for which we are are ultimately preparing our learners.


Thus, as the world and its issues continue to develop and evolve, it is important for educators to ensure that students have the capability to thrive in the future. This is done through Project Based Learning (PBL).

PBL is a student-centred interdisciplinary educational approach that encourages students to understand content through investigating and responding to an authentic, engaging and complex question or problem. PBL provides opportunities for deeper learning and for the development and application of crucial skills, such as inquiry, creativity, collaboration, communication, resilience and critical thinking which are tied to further education and career readiness.


Essentially, PBL challenges students to learn to learn. It is a task that gives students the opportunity to work relatively autonomously over extended periods of time; and culminates in realistic products or presentations.

Why choose PBL?


Research suggests that students who experience traditional forms of learning and assessment to build their understanding of curriculum, complain that the acquired knowledge was useless in the real world, whereas students who were taught in a more project based setting claim that the skills, understanding and knowledge gained would be applicable in a range of settings (Boaler, 1998).


If we, as educators are serious about ensuring the future success of our students, then every effort in and out of the classroom must be made to prioritise the teaching and practise of: resilience, decision making, critical thinking, communication skills, self-reflection, collaborative skills and creativity. These skills, so desired by prospective employers are not gained by rote learning, but rather are learned by creatively and actively engaging in real life like kinds of problem solving and by working with peers collaboratively on important projects.


Project Based Learning is the vehicle for this investigative learning. It is the opportunity to move from curriculum-centred learning to student-centred learning where the responsibility of learning is in the student’s own hands.


PBL not only allows students to learn and retain more information by working collaboratively with others, but also gain positive social skills and qualities. Students tend to grow emotionally and psychologically stronger because they take responsibility for their work and struggle together to overcome challenges. Resilience improves as students learn to accept that an error is not a failure, but in fact an opportunity to persevere, improve and overcome the challenge presented. The students begin to display flexibility, adaptability and the ability to cope with adversity. Students develop grit and resilience in classrooms where they are required to work with peers to regularly solve authentic problems, learn from their failures, and who are encouraged to follow their passions.

PBL showcase 2021

Northmead CAPA High School's second PBL showcase will be held towards the end of Term 3 in the library from 5-7pm. This will be a fantastic opportunity to view the variety of student submissions for Semester 1 and part of Semester 2 from Years 7-10.

The exact date is currently pending COVID19 and DoE restrictions - but keep checking back for any updates.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Year 10 projects   

Lifting our Voices

This project is due in Term 1, Week 9 Monday March 22 by 8am. Presentations to occur Monday-Wednesday March 22-24 2021.

2021 Notification

2021 Information Slides

Is crash survival a matter of luck?

This project is due in Term 3, Week 5 Friday 13th August 2021

Students will be removed from regular classes for the entire week to attend workshops and create their final product. Wednesday Sport will run as normal.

2021 Official notification - In progess


Year 9 projects

Healing our humanity

This project is due in Term 1, Week 10 Mon 29, Tues 30 or Wed 31 March 2021

2021 notification

2021 information slides

Energy efficiency

This project is due in Term 2, Week 10: Tuesday June 22nd 8:00am 2021. 

Presentations will occur Term 2 Week 10, Tuesday June 22, Wednesday June 23 and Thursday June 24 2021

Year 8 projects

Water in the world/Vikings 

This project in Term 2, Week 2 Monday April 26th 

Water notification

Water information powerpoint

Vikings notification  classes C,O,E

Viking notification class 8R

Viking information powerpoint

Reflecting culture

This project is due September 1st, Week 8 Term 3 2021.

Students will be removed from regular classes (Monday-Wednesday Week 7, T3 and Monday-Wednesday Week 8, T3) to attend workshops and create their final product.

Wednesday Sport will run as normal.

2021 Official notification - In progess

Year 7 projects


This project is due Term 1, Week 9 Wednesday March 24th.

2021 notification

Australian identity

This project is due Term 3, Week 7, August 23rd and 24th

2021 Official notification - In progess