Written by Dr Jill Margerison
Making a difference in people’s lives is incredible, isn’t it? After all, what is life about if it is not about giving, sharing and inspiring others, as well as ourselves, to be the best person that we can be. That is success. The amazing poet Maya Angelou once said that “success is loving life and daring to live it.”
Amazing People Schools is honoured to work with schools from around the globe. We especially love to hear stories from our partner schools where our learning platform and resources are being fully integrated into school life and making a real impact on children’s learning.
We were so delighted to see the students from Central Tilba Public School, located in New South Wales, Australia using the APS resources to contribute to their program of success. They have adopted the whole school program to suit the K-6 teaching and learning curriculum they deliver to the students.
Central Tilba Public School approached integrating character into the teaching and learning by creating an authentic environment for their students. They call themselves a small school doing big things!! And, they most certainly are making a HUGE difference in supporting their students to thrive, build character and bolster wellbeing.
Through daily activities, character and amazing role models have been integrated into the children’s everyday learning. Students created fairness certificates when they studied the life of Gandhi, they made Frida Kahlo headbands when they designed their lessons around creativity and pupils engaged in each of the online life story videos to understand the character arcs of each of the historic role models they were studying.
Students were kept engaged and on task with ‘Frida Friday’ where they made tortillas in the kitchen. Their conversations moved from food to Mexico to artwork and back to the struggle Frida faced in her life, observing the strength and resilience Kahlo showed throughout her life. Frida Friday was not only fun, it was experiential and collaborative. Central Tilba Public School staff have demonstrated that by extending the resources to match the needs of their community, they are making a huge difference to their pupils learning opportunities.
The lead teacher, Kara Munn, reported that the children are fascinated by the stories of so many leading figures. How did they live? How did they die? What legacy did they leave and most of all what character strengths did they build along the way? It is wonderful to hear that our stories and artwork, our resources and videos can have such an impact on learners when utilised as a whole school.
Ms Munn explained further that other activities they took part in have included think/pair/share and circle time discussion. They also created a world map to represent where the historical people are born or lived. A favourite was Mākareti Papakura because she was close to home. It is great to see that there is a feeling of belonging and even ownership over the stories of these amazing people in geographical jurisdictions. More and more amazing role models from history are getting added to the site, and feedback from our learners is valuable to take on board. We are always interested to hear, who would you like to see added to APS? What amazing people have influenced your life?
Being the best version of ourselves is about designing our life carefully. We don’t always imagine that this is possible. But it is. And how we can begin to do this is through learning about the inspirational stories of others to help spark our own imagination. Let’s all be our best selves and succeed in making a difference in other people’s lives, just as our amazing role models have done before us.
Thank you, Central Tilba Public School, for your inspirational pedagogical journey using APS in your school. If you have been inspired by the students at Central Tilba and would like to embed character across your school, our friendly education team are here to help you start your journey. Every school is welcome to a free trial, sign your school up here.