Neville Public School

Kids Teaching Kids - 'An amazing learning opportunity from start to finish'

estimated 7 minute read

Summary of Kids Teaching Kids experience

‘Creating leaders of the future through Kids Teaching Kids’

Neville Public School has been involved with Kids teaching Kids for three years now. With the incredible support of the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority and Kids teaching Kids we have been fortunate enough to participate in 7 conferences including two international conferences in Adelaide and Melbourne. Not bad for a small, rural school in NSW. We love participating in Kids teaching Kids however our highlight would have to be presenting at the Adelaide conference. We got to showcase the Lachlan Catchment and teach other students about the importance of looking after our waterways. We love that the students are involved in every decision from selecting the topic, to researching and planning the presentation.  

Project Aims

• Through Kids teaching Kids we aim to create confident, independent learners that display a keen interest in environmental issues.

• We aim to raise the awareness of both local and global environmental issues within our school and local community.

• We hope to show children that they can make a difference and influence other to do something positive for the environment.

How we implemented Kids Teaching Kids

Neville Public School volunteered to host the very first Kids teaching Kids in the Lachlan Catchment without really knowing what we were getting ourselves in for. We worked very closely with the LCMA to make sure the day would run smoothly and that we had everything well planned. The day included presentations from 6 local schools, a visit from the zoomobile, an Aboriginal cultural experience and a field trip down to the Neville state forest.

We are a small PP6 with under 20 students so during the research stage of the project we work with all of our student from Kindergarten to year 6. The students in years 5 – 6 take on the leadership roles and work with the younger students to select topics and share ideas for the performance. It is then up to the students in years 4-6 to finalise the performance and ideas.

We have been very fortunate over the years to work with some amazing mentors from our local area. The mentors play a very important role in Kids teaching kids as they help the children to fully understand the chosen topic and are there to answer any questions that the children might have.

During our Kids teaching Kids experience we have covered many topics from scats and tracks in our local state forest to the declining Koala population in NSW. We have looked at the importance of paddock trees and have taken people on a journey of the Lachlan river. Our most recent topic being endangered species and the impact humans have on their environments.

Before every conference we try to have at least two dress rehearsals. One for the other small schools in our area and one for the parents and the local community. These are the perfect opportunity to fix up any issues that we might be having, make sure our timing is OK and to get constructive feedback from other students.

The international river conference in Adelaide was an amazing opportunity for our students. It was the first time most of them had been on an airplane and for some it was their first trip to a big city. The children were so excited and still talk about the official dinner, the beautiful botanical gardens, the hands-on workshops and getting to meet Arron Wood.

Outcomes and achievements

• I believe that through Kids teaching Kids all of our students have a better understanding of issues that are effecting the environment. They have a deeper understanding of endangered species, paddock trees and how one mistake at the top of a catchment can impact people and animals kilometres away in other towns and even states.

• Through our involvement in Kids teaching kids and a presentation our children saw in Adelaide on palm oil, our students have now adopted a baby orangutan called Carlos.

• We have confident students who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and to make a difference.

Reflections

It was a little overwhelming when we first signed up for Kids teaching Kids however with the ongoing support from the staff at Kids teaching Kids, our local Catchment Authority and our mentors it would have to be the best experience we could offer our students. It caters for all learning styles and provides opportunities for every student.
I was worried how I was going to fit it in to an already packed curriculum but it does not need to be a stand alone project. With careful planning we were able to integrate our outcomes to fit in with Kids teaching Kids.
It was difficult at first to hand over the control of the project to the children and to take on the role as a facilitator. We now just work as 1 team with a common goal. The room is very busy and the level of discussion between the students is wonderful.

Learning and advice

• My advice would be to just get involved in a local event. Take students as an audience first to see how it all runs and to get ideas and then next time be a presenting school. You never know you might even like to host an event!

• It has changed the way I teach – I allow the children more responsibility for their learning and they are confident to support each other and work together on set tasks.