The Seniors’ Exhibition has come and gone and for the students involved in the inquiry it was successful in so many brilliant ways! as Elaine has outlined above!
The success of the Exhibition is not only limited to the Senior School Staff and Students however…………staff from all year levels walked around in awe at the level of engagement, learning, development and pride our students displayed- this is the best Professional learning our staff could ever get!!!
At the end of their class session in the Exhibition some quotes made by Prep, Junior and Middle School staff included:
‘I can clearly see what I need to do to prepare students for this quality learning…..’
‘What can we do to make our Units of Inquiry even better?’
‘It’s clear that it is so important to develop skills as well as knowledge and understanding’
These are questions and understandings that will drive our future planning of Units of Inquiry across the school- that is very cool!
50 Toorak College Year 6 students attended our Exhibition and I have included an email we received from their students on their return to school! It was lovely to see our students so proud to share their learning and the Toorak students asked some fabulous questions and were so engaged in what our students were talking about.
Dear Mrs Jackson
Thank you for inviting Toorak College to Kunyung Primary School to see the PYP Exhibition. It gave us a great view of what we have to look forward to next term. We now have a greater understanding of what is expected of us. We all had a great time exploring all of the different and diverse displays. The main skill that everyone said was important was time management and organisation, which we will definitely take into consideration in our Exhibition process.
We look forward to inviting Kunyung Primary School to our Exhibition in November.
Thank you from Lili and Lucy on behalf of the Year 6 cohort of Toorak College
For those who would like a taster of what the Exhibition was about, please click on the very short clip below!
Happy Days @ Kunyung!
The Central Idea for the Exhibition this year is ‘People use creativity and innovation to solve global issues and support the sharing of the planet’.
So far in the Exhibition the Seniors have been focusing on one of the four lines of inquiry. These are:
1. The rights and responsibilities to share finite resources with all living things.
2. Communities and the relationships within and between them.
3. Access to equal opportunities.
4. Peace and conflict resolution.
First we brainstormed what we already knew about the lines of inquiry so we could choose the ones we wanted to focus on a bit more.
We generated questions to guide us through the Exhibition and our research. We have been researching these questions in our reading sessions and responding to them in our writing sessions.
In Maths sessions we have been looking into Data Representation so we can interpret information related to our inquiries and represent data that we have found in a more organised way. To help us understand our inquiry more we have been searching up data related to our problem and then analysing it, or we can also research our own information and make our own graph from the information we have found.
Members of the school community have been holding workshops for things we need to focus on more.
Workshops are when a group of students go to another area and meet a teacher to work on their point of needs throughout the Exhibition. These workshops are based on different things such as How to create a prototype, research skills, the end presentation, solutions people have already come up with to help our problems, time management skills, book covers etc.
Before the workshops the students came up with ideas for what they would like to see the workshops focus on.
The feedback so far has been that the workshops have been very helpful.
At this point of the Exhibition we are learning about how to design prototypes that can help to solve our issues.
We are researching the design process and what goes into designing prototypes.
We are looking forward to what’s to come and showing you our final presentation!
Our Prep students came to school this morning ready for their bus trip to Scienceworks! Well…….you would have thought they were about to go to Disneyland!!! The excitement was infectious and the smiling faces, giggling voices and energetic skipping, jogging and running into school was gorgeous!
Parents reported that their children were awake as early as 5.30 to be ready to leave school at 8.30 on the dot!
Their faces were just a joy to see and, it was a reminder, that little things can mean so much to these little people!
It can also be quite overwhelming when you think about the fact that, as educators, we are responsible for maintaining this excitement and eagerness to learn new things, go on new adventures and develop and grow these small children into responsible, articulate and energised teenagers (if energised and teenagers can actually go in the same sentence!!)
WOW……what an awesome reminder to all of us about the beauty and excitement of innocence and the responsibility we have to ensure it stays like this for as long as possible!
Good Day Kunyung Families
Just to get people thinking this week I am asking you to consider the following questions………..do classrooms look and sound different to years gone by? Has the role of the teacher, student and the nature of the task changed? Has learning changed to meet the needs of our future learners?
It’s a huge YES to all of these things……..
I’m going to use an idea called ‘The Golden Circle’ by Simon Sinek to explain our developing curriculum and why it is important to change and adjust the way we teach and the way students learn?!
Why..…….because people require more than just knowledge to survive in the world as we know it and in a world that is ever evolving…….our students require so many skills, attitudes and learner attributes to live in a world that requires problem solving, innovation, creativity, curious and collaboration to be the successful global citizens they will be.
Why.…….because we want our students to ‘know how to learn’ and not just what they are learning!
Why.……we want our school to be providing the best education possible for our students!
The following is our WHAT and our HOW!!
WHAT.….We now use the Victorian Curriculum and PYP Essential Elements as our ‘What do we want to learn’.
This is what we want to achieve at the end of our journey- it is the result of our why- our proof!
HOW.…….’We learn best through’: INQUIRY LEARNING, PERSONALISED LEARNING, LEARNER AGENCY and we have a variety of ways to ‘now what we have learned’.
Not only are teachers aware of this but so are our students and, more importantly, they are involved in many of these choices and decisions.
By the sheer nature of this thinking, the role of the teacher is vastly different to what it used to be, the students have so much buy in, and engagement, in the learning that involvement and role is no where near what it used to look like when students were ’empty vessels that needed filling’. The task can no longer be the same as it was years ago purely because worksheets and repetitive activities just don’t make the grade if students are to have Learner Agency and tasks don’t work if they are aimed at ‘one size fits all’ learning.
Do we still teach Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Personal development……absolutely…….it’s the how that has moved into the 21st Century!
PYP Coordinators Day- The Buzz……
Melanie Woodland and myself shared an exciting experience at the PYP Victorian Coordinators Day spent with ‘Tracey Ezard’- author of the book ‘The Buzz’. Tracey was inspirational and gave us time to reflect on the learning environment we have created at Kunyung for staff! We were able to identify what we need to do to support staff and inspire them to want to be the best they can be…………we shared our thinking with many other PYP schools and were so happy with the learning environment we currently have at Kunyung. We are certainly not a compliant staff- we disagree on occasions and have stimulating and engaging discussions. We push ourselves out of our comfort zone- always looking to improve ourselves. Many other schools sit nicely in the comfortable zone and maintain the status quo………we are always questioning and dipping into the confused state of thinking, just so we can discuss, share and move back into the transformative zone!
We took a lot out of the day that has since been shared with staff but one thing we really thought was worth sharing with the whole school community was:
‘Emotions are contagious………what infection are you spreading?’
What an incredibly exciting time to be in teaching and to be at Kunyung!
I hope your week is travelling well!
This week is Education Week and, at Kunyung, we celebrate by inviting our families into school to participate in Student Led Tours……..the tours take place over a two week period and give our students the opportunity to share their learning and growth with their families.
Other events happening around the school over the past week include the Preps participating in PMP and beginning their new unit of work on ‘Who we are’, Middle School students enjoying 2 hours of Artistic Expression to provoke thinking for their ‘How we express ourselves’ unit of inquiry, Senior School Interschool sport, Senior School Parliamentary Election, Junior students sharing their learning with buddy classes, Lunchtime Star Search auditions (with over 200 students attending as an audience) and the initial planting of our Kitchen Garden!! Education is alive and well @ Kunyung!
Last week Elaine and I spent time at Mount View PS and one of the IB Educators gave us a 20 second explanation of why children are better off in an IB school! So….if any of your friends ask you ‘Why an IB school’…….here is a 20 second grab………..
‘IB students are creative, innovative and collaborative
IB students are good communicators
IB students are well rounded’
The clip below will also give you a good explanation of what makes the PYP curriculum so good!!
Have a lovely end to the week!
What excited children, enthusiastic teachers and beautiful weather to come back to!
With so many things happening, there has never been a better time to highlight the collaborative nature of schools! Do we always get everything right? No we do not…..but as a school we own our errors just as much as we celebrate our successes. We are able to do this because we work in teams, with students and staff always given opportunities to contribute and add their thoughts, ideas and suggestions to what we do.
Learner Agency is a HUGE part of what we do, and how we do things, at Kunyung………student and teacher ownership and responsibility of their learning and growth of themselves and the school is KEY to keeping all members of our community engaged and feeling a sense of school pride!
Some examples of collaboration and LEARNER AGENCY in just two weeks back at school!!
Caspar van der Meer, Stu Andersen and their families have spent much time putting into ACTION the plans and ideas of our Eco Team (led by Lucy Kyriaciou). Our students have been meeting with Lucy all year to design and cost our very own Kitchen Garden. We are now ready to start planting the garden and putting together the final touches….stay tuned to hear more about this collaborative project!
Each team of teachers meet for 2 hours every week to plan out what our students will be learning, how best they might learn it and how they will know if they have learnt it! Add to the conversation- how the students might add or drive the planning, how teachers might give them ownership of this learning through things like setting their own goals, choosing best ways to learn and writing their own questions and you have Learner Agency being promoted at the coal face of our classrooms on a daily basis!
Senior Students Unit of Inquiry
Our Senior Students have been learning all about politics and the influence that decision making has on others. How better to do this than by creating their own political parties who will going to an election at the start of May! Classes have had to work as a collaborative team to work out Leaders, Ministers, policies, media campaigns and strategy!! Working closely with the Governor General (me) who is representing the Queen (Elaine) the winning party will have the opportunity to act on their policies!
Local PYP Network Meeting
Our staff went in teams to all 5 Local PYP Network Schools- Kunyung, Mt Eliza North, Benton, Mornington and Toorak College. Staff went to share examples of how they promote Learner Agency in their classrooms. All specialist teachers attended Kunyung from the 5 schools and shared innovative and exciting practice! Our staff ROCK!!
Walking past Elaine’s office today I saw a group of Year 4 students discussing with her what they think of Kunyung. Preparing to conduct School Tours in the absence of Year 6 students, as a team they developed common understandings of what our strengths are and how to articulate them to others! Our students are a very impressive bunch!
EXTRA EXAMPLES: School Council Meeting consisting of staff and parents, School Council Sub Committees, The PYP Victorian Network Meeting held at Kunyung, School Captains preparing weekly for Assemblies as a team, Senior School Leadership Teams, our office staff working together on a daily basis, School banking team…….the list could keep going on………
Collaboration is a key to 21st Century employment, learning how to effectively communicate with others, listen to, and respect, their thinking and ideas, the ability to make group decisions and adopt a variety of roles are all skills that are required to be able to function effectively in many fields of employment- those we know about now and those we don’t even understand yet!!
We try at Kunyung to, not only teach and support the development of these skills, but to also model them to show what they look like if they are done well!
Dear Kunyung Families!
This week has been all about Team Kunyung…………..
Not only has it been a build up to our Kunyung Fair (A massive community team effort, but also planning week for each Level Teaching Team.
Each Teaching Team has spent the day together, working through our focus areas for Term 2 whilst each class of students has worked together as a team in each specialist class for the day!
Teachers have started each day by discussing how we promote Learner Agency in our classrooms- the little and big things that we do. We have kept Learner Agency in the back of our minds as we have gone through the day.
We have rigorously discussed our next Units of Inquiry and what we can do to improve from Term 1. Our central ideas, concepts and skills were agreed upon and excursions and incursions planned to support the learning. Many teachers asked their students for feedback from Term 1 and brought this feedback to our planning session.
We then moved onto planning, discussing and organising our Reading, Writing and Numeracy for Term 2. This involved breaking down maths and literacy outcomes, preparing pre assessments and discussing our Term 1 data. Finishing with Blog development, excursion planning and general business.
The days are full of thinking, discussion, debating and reaching consensus on many ideas……..all to reach the best possible outcomes for our students- we wouldn’t want it any other way!
Our staff are so incredible professional in their approach to everything they do………we provide them with many professional readings that are discussed and ideas implemented almost immediately……their effort to be on top of world’s best practice amazes me……….we finished our planning days with a recent TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson and even now I am receiving emails from staff who watched it again and just wanted to comment on it straight away!
One staff member commented ‘I think you guys have mastered the art of treading softly on our (teaching) dreams. Sometimes we might not be right, in fact we (I mean me) may definitely be wrong, but you never make it feel like that. I will head Sir Ken’s words and tread more softly on my students’ dreams…’
What a powerful reflection of our teaching staff! Your beautiful children are in good hands!
Go TEAM Kunyung!!
Dear Kunyung Families!
What a wonderful community spirit we are lucky to have!
Just to name a couple of highlights……..Fair organisation, Family Picnic, Open Classrooms, Lucy K driving the Eco Schools Program with our Eco Monitors, including the Kitchen Garden design which is nearing completion, Fiona M working quietly and regularly in our Resource Rooms, Mr Jepson and the Year 6 ‘I See I Care’ Leaders swimming with the dolphins, hosting the Dolphin Research Institute student/teacher meeting, Bronwyn B meeting with all of our enthusiastic Contact Parents……the list just goes on…….
Whilst all of these supporting acts are going on………our students are learning, learning, learning!!!
Last week we looked at one of our BIG curriculum ideas- ‘Learners Teaching Learners’…..
This week we move onto INQUIRY!
“Inquiry based Learning” (The process initiated by the students or the teacher that moves the students from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding.)
At Kunyung it can mean students:
• exploring, wondering and questioning
• experimenting and playing with possibilities
• making connections between previous learning and current learning
• making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens
• collecting data and reporting findings
• clarifying existing ideas and reappraising perceptions of events
• deepening understanding through the application of a concept
• making and testing theories
• researching and seeking information
• taking and defending a position
• solving problems in a variety of ways.
It can also look like students working through the stages of an Inquiry Cycle as they explore their Unit of Inquiry! The Kunyung Inquiry Cycle looks like this…….
Our teachers and students will spend this year deciding as a class what we might ‘think’ and ‘say’ at each stage of the inquiry cycle, what they might do at each stage and what it might look like if they were successful at each stage of the cycle!
Inquiries can be personal, teacher driven, student driven or collaborative………throughout the year our students will have the chance to experience all of these different types of inquiry!
Inquiry isn’t the only way to best learn but it is our lead way @ Kunyung….
To finish with a lovely experience, I met with the Preps last week! When I asked them what they thought my job or responsibility was in the school, these were some of their responses…..
‘You use a computer’
‘You walk around the school’
‘You check to see if we are learning’
‘You make sure we are happy’
After our conversation they left my office with the understanding that ‘I am a teacher and that I teach the teachers!’
They thought this was very funny but seemed to be impressed at the same time!
Ahhhh…….working with Preps……gotta love what they think and say!
Have a lovely week everyone!