This term we have been exploring the concept of ‘Community’ with the students.
We have been using our Investigations learning time to develop the students understandings, guiding them with planned stimulus but allowing them to use their own independent skills of investigation to take forward and find out more about the community aspects they are most interested in. By regularly sharing with each other the different aspects of learning in the room, we are confident that all the students have furthered their understanding of what it means to be part of a ‘community’ and more specifically the communities of Grovedale and Grovedale West Primary school.
As our learning has progressed children have had the chance to build on their own individual understandings and importantly by working collaboratively for much of our learning they have actually experienced and ‘enacted’ what ‘community’ feels like and what is important about any community they might encounter. We have discovered that community starts with our families and builds out to our school, local organisations, our local area and eventually the world community we are all part of. We have also discovered that just like our classroom and school, good communites need respect at their centre and good communication and rules to help everyone get along.
The students have enjoyed finding out about people who help us in our community, such as vets, doctors, firemen etc. They have also loved finding where they live using maps and Google Earth and comparing this to other friends and to the school.
Our learning led us to organise a community walk so the students could find out about the community directly around the school. We gave our exploring of Google Earth and maps a ‘real life’ focus by asking students to find their homes and to convince us that their house was close enough to walk past on our community walk. We then planned our walk using our visualiser camera to take into account the route that the students wanted to take.
Many students are now researching areas of interest to them, making models and using their writing and drawing skills to present posters about their learning. To add further real life aspect to their learning the students are now hosting an exhibition to share what we have learnt about our community with the school community!
On Thursday in preparation for our prep/1/2 assembly we filmed (without any prompting) the learning that was going on in the room and interviewed many students about what they were doing and what they had learnt through our community project. The video was played in assembly and a group of very confident students also presented the invitation that they had been working on for the exhibition. Some of the quotes in the video (particularly the final words) certainly confirmed our thoughts that ‘enacting’ the curriculum with the students had helped build the understandings we had hoped for at the start of the term.
It is wonderful to hear the students reflecting on the ‘special’ community that they belong to.
We hope as many of our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters might be able to come and share in the students learning during our classroom exibition on Friday 22nd November, you are welcome anytime between 9 – 10.30 am.