The Big Picture Learning design is a dynamic approach to learning, doing, and thinking that has been changing the lives of students, educators, and entire communities since 1995. The design components are based on three foundation principles: first, learning must be based on the interests and goals of each student; second, student’s curriculum must be relevant to the people and places that exist in the real world; and finally, a student’s abilities must be authentically measured by the quality of her or his work.

How Big Picture Works

  • The Advisor works with a small group of students to find what motivates and interests each student.
  • The Mentor, a lawyer, engineer, merchant, etc., guides each student’s internship.
  • The Parent is actively enrolled as a resource to the BP community.
  • The Student (and peers) interact to reinforce each other’s passion for real work in the real world. The result is a self-teaching community of learners where no one feels left out, and each helps motivate the other.

Graduation Requirements

Students must fulfill Bellevue School District Graduation Requirements to graduate.

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Curriculum

The curriculum at Bellevue Big Picture is organized around five learning outcomes:

  • Empirical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Social Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Personal Qualities.

To satisfy goals in these areas, students learn content in humanities (language arts and social studies), math, science, Spanish, health and fitness, and art/digital media.

Curriculum is project-based, aligned with state and national standards, and centered on contemporary issues that relate to students’ interests and activities. All middle school students have an advisory class that focuses on community building, college/career exploration, leadership, goal-setting, and academic and study skills. This course is a cornerstone to developing the Big Picture mission.

Ninth grade students begin the year with a 10-week internship preparation course. By the end of first semester, students work at internships 1-2 days per week, earning academic credit for their internship work.