It started with a persuasive writing task and ended with a distinctive pass mark that could sit on Stockton’s foreshore for decades.
Year 3 and 4 students at St Peter’s Stockton were tasked with writing persuasive letters on a topic that invoked a passion for them. Naturally, the nine- and 10-year-olds chose a playground.
The letters were fired off to Newcastle City Council in a bid to get a playground added to Stockton foreshore.
And they worked. Arguments spanning fitness, business activity and public benefit impressed council’s acting co-ordinator of asset planning, Heidi Kolatchew.
“Your letters were very persuasive,” she wrote.
The students will be invited to take part in community consultation for the playground, originally earmarked in a 2012 plan.
Teacher Lisa York said her students were now interviewing residents and putting together designs. She said the council’s response left her students empowered.
St Peter’s principal Michael Punch said the project gave real-world value to the students’ classroom work.
“They feel like they can really make a positive change and difference,” Ms York said. “It’s just given them confidence that if you do feel strongly about something you can speak up and be heard if you have good ideas.”
Mr Punch added: “Knowing their ideas have been heard has really motivated the students to think carefully about the future of their local area.
“Our city can only benefit from encouraging our youngest citizens to be a part of the decision-making process.”
Story originally published by The Newcastle Herald and can be read here