From the Junior School
This week the Year 5 (White) class began a Global Collaboration project as part of this year’s historical study of the Gold Rush. They met and collaborated with students from Echo Horizon School in southern California. The initial session was a simple sharing session around who we are and where we are from. Our students took turns to share information on personal interests, local geography and aspects of being a Waverley student. The Echo Horizon students followed with similar stories about their local area including Santa Monica, Long Beach, Disneyland and more.
The aim of the project is for the Echo Horizon students to ask our students to research particular questions that they have about our gold rush period and vice versa. In effect this means that our students will be studying the Australian gold rush but with a greater sense of purpose.
Mr Westley Field, who is working with our Junior School on best practice principles of teaching and learning, explained that this project matches our aims with the ‘Liberate’ program.
It makes our curriculum authentic and purposeful resulting in greater motivation for the students. We also get to understand ourselves better and the lives of others. Students develop ‘social capital’ which contributes to their well being. All of this helps them to relax, be less anxious in the classroom and learn more easily.
Students aided by their teacher Mr Anthony Stanton were very well organised and took control of their own learning. Mr Stanton is developing their agency (ability to take control of their own learning) by asking the students to work collaboratively – all aspects of best practice encouraged in the school’s Liberate model.
In coming weeks both groups will check in on each other’s progress, completing research and presenting findings across the Pacific. They are using technologies such as Skype and FaceTime to connect in real time. Just experiencing this type of connection builds skills much needed in a world that is more and more connected.
We look forward to learning more about our curriculum, about our friends from California and about ourselves as we share experiences globally.