Preparing our children for the future
In order for our children to be successfully prepared for their future they will need to be adaptable, meeting the employer’s need for young people who are creative, critical thinkers and are good communicators working in a collaborative environment or finding and solving real world issues, thereby creating their own jobs.
One approach to develop these skills is providing greater student agency; students co-designing their own learning and driving change. This has been an ongoing focus at SPW.
Student Service Leadership Council (SSLC)
At SPW, all students are considered leaders and are given opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Students are happier and participate in their education more effectively when their ideas are listened to and their opinions valued.
The Student Service Leadership Council (SSLC) is a formal group of students, from Year 5-7, elected by their peers to represent them and their views. The SSLC facilitates leadership and decision-making by all students in the school, through the running of class meetings. This is providing meaningful leadership opportunities for students.
The main focus for the SSLC this term has been training to conduct effective class meetings and identifying a project for the school community to invest time, effort and financial assistance – their decision being to support HYPA (Helping Young People Achieve).
Our involvement with Dr Yong Zhao, a global educator, has entered its third year and we have continued to review and refine the projects on which we embarked.
The ‘Fitness Games Around the World’ App is continuing, now in Year 5, with the help of one of our parents, Amin Naserpour, who works in this industry. To allow greater agency for students, project teams are being created as needed and students are deciding their own level of involvement. Students were offered a place on the Programming Team with no limitations. The responsibility was given to each student to determine their interest, skills and commitment to this part of the project. In this instance it was very much about children making the right choice for themselves and not having to qualify through a selection process. As a team we are learning the fundamentals of coding and programming language in preparation to build our App.
The groundwork for this year’s Year 6-7 Project is also underway and is very much about student agency. The students have spent time identifying their strengths, interests/passions and empathy triggers to allow them to design their own project. Teachers will act as mentors to question, challenge and encourage students but not provide content or solutions; a real challenge for most of us! This means mistakes and failures are likely but this is where real learning and resilience can occur. There will be a showcase of this learning late Term 3.
At home, continue to encourage your child to wonder and be curious; provide opportunities to be creators and problem solvers. Allow your child to develop empathy and discover their own interests – who knows where it might lead them in the future.