Learning beyond the classroom

Have you ever explored the Great Wall of China? Attended the ballet in Hong Kong? Studied the full scope of what NASA has to offer or visited zoos around the globe?

Students at St Joseph's Primary School, Wingham, have been supported to do all this and more as part of their involvement in the Children's University Newcastle 2020 program. 

School Principal, Melissa Hunt, says St Joseph's Primary School keenly embraces opportunities for students to extend their learning in areas of interest to them.

"We celebrate each student's strengths by encouraging them to explore concepts in a learning style that suits them."

Accordingly, the school was keen to take up an invitation to be involved in the Children's University program, which engages children in learning in its broadest sense.

Students involved in the program are inspired to be curious about their world by using their 'passport' to log 30 hours of learning outside of the classroom.

The school's Teacher Librarian, Kate Monkley, has been supporting students in reaching this goal and guides their participation in the breadth of activities on offer. To date activities have included; the NSW Paper Plane Challenge; a variety of online learning programs which explore places such as the Great Wall of China, NASA and the British Museum; home learning activities such as sculpture creation, baking and Lego challenges; and, visits to local learning destinations such as the Manning Regional Art Gallery, the Wingham Brush and the Wingham Museum. 

Students' participation in the Children's University Newcastle program is voluntary and includes 'study', both during and outside school hours. Mrs Hunt says that it complements other programs underway at the school, such as Successful Foundations, which encourages learning through inquisitive play.

"We’re passionate about offering programs that reinforce students' understanding that learning happens everywhere and doesn't have to be constrained by a curriculum.”

She said that involvement in the Children’s University program aids the school's mission to support students to be engaged and confident learners, who make a positive impact on others.

"Students involved in the program have taken great pride in sharing their learning journey with their peers and we're incredibly proud that they took up the opportunity to be involved in this extended learning program with gusto."

With many of the school's students now having logged 30 hours of additional learning on their passport, they are in the midst of designing their caps to wear as part of the virtual graduation ceremony.

To find out more about St Joseph's, Wingham or to enrol your child, please click here. 

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.