Working across campuses important for development

Wednesday 10th May, 2017

Getting the different campuses together for activities is something that is important in the development of both students and the schools throughout OneSchool Australia.

Christina Frith is a teacher at Tasmania’s Oakwood and says there are plenty of times where the schools come together for common activities.

“Student activities across the Tasmanian primary campuses include the Heart Foundation's Jump Rope for Heart fundraising program and Jump Off Day, the Read More in May Challenge, the Book Week Celebrations and Parade, the Premier's Reading Challenge, and combined excursions such as our Challenge Day at Camp Clayton,” says Christina. “We have also had shared assemblies with Glenvale.”

Then there are the combined primary and high school activities that include athletics days, fundraising efforts, Profile of the Arts Day, photo days, the Lightning Carnival, as well as student-led assemblies.

“Our student representatives often fundraise across campuses as well. We also have our French lessons as a whole school (Oakwood) across video conferencing (VC),” says Christina. “Our professional activities together and via VC and email involve P.D. days, moderation, shared planning of events and lots of ideas-sharing.”

From a teacher’s perspective, it is important that the campuses work together so there is correlation.

“It’s great to collaboratively share ideas, planning for work and responsibility for events with teachers from other campuses,” says Christina. “I really value having the support of Devonport and Hobart Primary staff, and feel that we all work really well together. For the students, it is great for them to have the chance to interact with a wider pool of students in activities. It can be limiting, for them, to always work and play within a small group.

“One of the challenges we face is that we don't have the 'coincidental' conversations about day-to-day events and work that affect us in the Primary, although I'm lucky in Launceston as I'm one of two Primary teachers. Instead we have a lot of email communication, some VC meetings and occasional face-to-face meetings. As a Primary team, we have a lot of work to share and show – planning documents, text books, and student work that is not easily shared via V.C or email, and is best accomplished with face to face communication. I really appreciate it when we can get together to do this.”

And it just doesn’t stop within the state. Christina sees good things happening among the different schools within Australia.

“Some of the national strategies that I've seen include the certificate and award system for students, the sport houses, and points program, as well as the student leadership program,” she says. “I feel these are a positive step for the school, but perhaps needs feedback from students and teachers for further improvement.”