Lumineers spend the majority of their learning time designing within multidisciplinary frameworks to work through open-ended questions and real world issues, putting their STEM, Humanities, Social-Emotional, and core skills in literacy and numeracy into action to create real impact for real human beings. Lumineers learn to translate ideas into outcomes, and develop as resilient, self motivated doers.

Here's a glance at a few of our Learning Explorations.

Healthy in Body, Mind, and Heart

Even at the earliest ages, students start to learn about themselves as human systems, and each of us has numerous categories of inputs and outputs that influence our health and well being, including nutrition, weather, environment, relationships, music, even our thoughts themselves. Students dive deep into understanding how food and nutrition greatly impact their bodies, influence their moods, and contribute to their behaviours, and they hypothesize and test new recipes that can help them become healthier physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The students worked with a budget for acquiring ingredients and supplies, and they made cost-benefit tradeoff decisions in negotiating budget allocations. They enjoy developing and trying out their new creations, not all of which worked on the first try.  And, their research and development isn’t solely for their own enjoyment – they work closely with EatUp, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all children from all income levels can equitably enjoy healthy school lunches, to develop a recipe book that contains healthy, affordable, and delicious recipes that can be made by kids.

In addition to publishing and distributing the book to EatUp communities, they also sold the recipe book in their local neighborhoods, and contributed the sales proceeds back into reinvestment in EatUp programs.

Ages: 4-6
How can a human being be healthy physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually? What are the differing inputs that a person needs to be healthy? How many categories of inputs are there? How do different categories of inputs generate different possible outputs?…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • How can a human being be healthy physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually?
  • What are the differing inputs that a person needs to be healthy? How many categories of inputs are there?
  • How do different categories of inputs generate different possible outputs?
  • What are the impacts on and benefits for society of being healthy?
Building on from the base of the human being as a system, students then study how human beings are a system moving in and out of other systems, like family systems, school systems and city systems. Students examine numerous inputs…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • Building on from the base of the human being as a system, students then study how human beings are a system moving in and out of other systems, like family systems, school systems and city systems.
  • Students examine numerous inputs and outputs, and via pattern recognition and systems mapping, they can make choices about inputs with a goal towards specific outputs.
  • They dive deep into an awareness of their bodies, and how many categories of inputs, such as nutrition, weather, social dynamics, can influence their mood, which is then linked to behaviour.
  • They begin to learn that they can make choices about the inputs they’re exposed to, how to perceive and deal with these inputs, and as a result, make more informed choices about their decisions and behaviours.
  • They learn how to create recipes that are both healthy for their bodies as well as their minds and hearts.
Students engage in a rigorous scientific testing process, where they formulate hypotheses about recipes that could be both delicious and also healthy for your mind, body, and heart. Most of the first recipes failed, which helped our children develop important…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • Students engage in a rigorous scientific testing process, where they formulate hypotheses about recipes that could be both delicious and also healthy for your mind, body, and heart.
  • Most of the first recipes failed, which helped our children develop important character development capabilities in resilience and recovering from failure.
  • They also learned to work in groups and collaborate on designing the recipe book together, which required a lot of cooperative dialogue, negotiating, and navigating solutions in a constructive way.
  • These young learners start developing engaged empathy early, by working with EatUp, gaining awareness of the challenges that others face in our community regarding healthy eating and then being able to put that empathy into action through product creation and positive impact investing.
  • Cognitive development is fostered alongside SEL skills, because students were required to work with fixed budget in a grocery store, and they had to learn how to make decisions through cost/benefit and resource allocation analysis.
  • Scientific skills are fostered through hypothesis formulation and testing, and using data to inform decision making, ideation and reflection on why healthy eating matters for themselves as human systems and others as a social system.
Our students engage in an engineering process, as they put their literacy and numeracy skills in action by producing a recipe book. The design goal of the recipe book was to produce a real product that could be used by…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Our students engage in an engineering process, as they put their literacy and numeracy skills in action by producing a recipe book.
  • The design goal of the recipe book was to produce a real product that could be used by other kids, full of delicious, healthy, and affordable recipes.
  • They tested numerous recipes in our kitchen, and figured out which ones led to successful (delicious and healthy) results, and which ones didn’t.
  • Numeracy core skills are consolidated through practical, hands on experience, because students were required to use their math skills to manage real money and adhere to a real budget.
The students designed and created a recipe book for a real world audience – themselves, their classmates, and also for children in our community who have limited access to healthy food or limited knowledge of healthy eating. By working closely…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • The students designed and created a recipe book for a real world audience – themselves, their classmates, and also for children in our community who have limited access to healthy food or limited knowledge of healthy eating.
  • By working closely in collaboration with EatUp, a community nonprofit focused on providing food programs to neighborhood children who can’t afford healthy meals, our students learned a lot about other childrens’ real needs, and they devised a solution to produce a recipe book full of healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes.
  • The recipe book was designed by kids, to be used by other kids. Students published and sold the recipe book, created a book that EatUp could distribute to all their school aged children, and reinvested the profits as an investment into EatUp’s healthy food programs.

Mobile Libraries: Engineering Human Solutions

If human rights are so fundamental to a thriving, democratic society, then we should have a deep intrinsic awareness of how they permeate our everyday lives.  Our students understand how they are active, contributing citizens from day one, with all of the attendant benefits and responsibilities. Not when they graduate and enter the “real world,” but today.

Rather than teach human rights abstractly by using far-away examples or within a simulation like Model UN, our students explore the concept in a way that is more relatable, hands-on, and community-oriented. We help them  make the learning process a little more human and help them develop an authentic understanding of the meaning and purpose underlying human rights systems.

Our students explore how they experience human rights within the context of their families, classrooms, and school, and then use the pattern recognition based on their lived experiences to learn about national and international human rights systems. They then examine how even within Australia, different communities experience varying levels of rights as described within the UN Declaration of Human Rights. They work with local organisations to help refugee, immigrant, and homeless populations have better access to information.

Using a synthesis of their social, emotional, and STEM skills, they work with local nonprofits to design, build, and equip mobile libraries for community groups.

Ages: 10-12
First, we ask students to build awareness of human rights from first principles and lived experiences. What types of rights do you observe as a student in this class? Which ones do you wish you had, but don’t? Why don’t…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • First, we ask students to build awareness of human rights from first principles and lived experiences.
  • What types of rights do you observe as a student in this class? Which ones do you wish you had, but don’t? Why don’t you have those? What about in your family? What rights do you have or don’t have in your family environment? Why not?
  • How do these rights expand or contract within larger and varied social groups such as classrooms, schools, neighborhoods, cities?
  • Is it worthwhile to ensure that there are common standards for global human rights? Why or why not? If there were a global standard for human rights, what might this look like? How might it be implemented and guaranteed?
We always work to recognize big-picture patterns, so that students understand how they as human beings are systems operating within the context of other systems. Students build on their lived experiences to understand common and differing patterns between the rights…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • We always work to recognize big-picture patterns, so that students understand how they as human beings are systems operating within the context of other systems.
  • Students build on their lived experiences to understand common and differing patterns between the rights available to them within their family, classroom, and schools to larger systems, such as Australia, the United Nations, and Planet Earth.
  • The students then investigate the UN Declaration of Human Rights, backed by foundational knowledge of how it sits alongside other systems.
  • How do larger and larger groups of people need to collaborate or come to agreements in order to maintain peace and civility?  Is the UN DHR effective? Why or why not? What are key insights we’ve learned from our classroom dynamics that might mirror patterns with international cooperation? How does diversity in country governance impact the development of international standards? What tools do both students and countries have to negotiate and resolve conflict? How do these tools change as social group sizes increase?
We scaffold from lived experiences to build critical analysis of larger patterns and systems. After reflecting upon the UN Declaration of Human Rights, students bring the questions back to the local community, and ask “are all of the UN Declaration’s…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • We scaffold from lived experiences to build critical analysis of larger patterns and systems. After reflecting upon the UN Declaration of Human Rights, students bring the questions back to the local community, and ask “are all of the UN Declaration’s stated human rights equally enjoyed by everyone in Australia?
  • Through investigation and inquiry, students discover that not everyone in their local neighborhoods have equal access to information, which is outlined as a key right within Article 19 within the UN Declaration of Human Rights. For example, people seeking asylum, people without homes, or immigrants who do not have fixed addresses or documentation are unable to easily access library membership, thereby making it more difficult to access Internet and information services.
  • Through this inquiry, students develop social, emotional, and cognitive awareness, and synthesize this action through engaged empathy, by formulating possible solutions that could help local refugee and homeless populations get access to information services.
Students brainstorm many different possible solutions to providing refugee and homeless populations with information services. They used their persuasive communications skills to reach out to local councils and nonprofit organisations who work with these groups. They received positive responses from…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Students brainstorm many different possible solutions to providing refugee and homeless populations with information services. They used their persuasive communications skills to reach out to local councils and nonprofit organisations who work with these groups. They received positive responses from over 80% of these organisations, and intiated collaborative dialogue to identify actionable solutions.
  • Students worked jointly with nonprofits to decide to create mobile library solutions that could serve as points of presence for books, informational materials, and data that local groups might want access to.
  • Through a hands-on maker experience, students work in project teams of 4 to deploy their design thinking and STEM skills to draft blueprints of these mobile libraries. They work with a design brief, submitting initial designs to their clients and receive feedback as part of an iteration process, refining their designs as they go.
  • Building emotional resilience in the face of failure, they go back to the drawing board and iterate on their designs until they finally settle on something their clients want and need.
  • They use their building and woodworking skills to construct mobile libraries, and use their persuasive written and oral communication skills to solicit donations for materials with which to populate the mobile libaries.
The students work in project teams of 4-5 members and identify local organisations such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Center to help work towards a solution for the members within their local communities who can’t access library services. Through working…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • The students work in project teams of 4-5 members and identify local organisations such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Center to help work towards a solution for the members within their local communities who can’t access library services.
  • Through working with real people for a real purpose, students build empathy and develop an understanding of the customers’ needs.
  • Students build mobile libraries, based on a client brief, and deliver them to their clients’ satisfied community members. They better understand why more equitable distribution of human rights provide real benefits to real human beings.
  • In going through this process and evaluating how this sits alongside their personal lived experiences, they are able to internalize the meaning and structures underlying human rights – personally, locally, and globally.

Designing Clean Water Infrastructure

Water is critically important to the survival of human societies, and we explore the numerous ways in which water is collected, sanitized, stored, and distributed in local and global communities. Both human behaviors and climate change can have drastic impact on water availability. Water is an important social, economic, and environmental issue today and for our future world. Our students partner with the Kiriwina community of Papua New Guinea to understand the interlinking relationship between climate change and drought, and to build water irrigation and filtering systems that can be used in an everyday context by Kiriwina families.

Ages: 8-10
What is the role of water in human societies? What are the different ways in which water is collected and distributed? Does everyone have equal access to clean water? How much time and what types of resources are required to…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • What is the role of water in human societies? What are the different ways in which water is collected and distributed? Does everyone have equal access to clean water? How much time and what types of resources are required to procure clean water?
  • Starting with lived experience, students consider what is the impact on peoples’ lives when they do not have access to clean, abundant water.
Students develop an understanding of interlinking systems: environmental, social and economic. Students investigate how resource-rich cities such as Melbourne procure access to clean water, and what systems are in place to distribute water to different populations. Students then analyse other…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • Students develop an understanding of interlinking systems: environmental, social and economic. Students investigate how resource-rich cities such as Melbourne procure access to clean water, and what systems are in place to distribute water to different populations.
  • Students then analyse other communities that might not have as robust infrastructure for collecting, filtering, and distributing water. Students investigate technological and social innovations other communities have pioneered to help solve water infrastructure issues.
  • Students also explore the impact of adverse human action in creating water shortages, and evaluate incentive methods for changing human behaviors. Students also analyse data and statistical models to understand the changing water landscape, and how things like climate change may dramatically impact water access around the world.
Students synthesize all of their knowledge about water systems and infrastructure by working with a Papua New Guinea community based on Kiriwina Island. Students investigate root causes and the possible solutions to a drought that has been impacting Kiriwina Island.…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • Students synthesize all of their knowledge about water systems and infrastructure by working with a Papua New Guinea community based on Kiriwina Island.
  • Students investigate root causes and the possible solutions to a drought that has been impacting Kiriwina Island. Students work collaboratively to understand the needs of the Kiriwina Islanders, assess how these needs and thus the necessary solutions are different than what they’re familiar with, and understand the scientific differences between water sources and water technology to make water safe for humans.
  • Students develop resilience and humility in working through various proposals and iterations in building water irrigation and filtration systems that can be used by each family in a particular community.
  • Emotional intelligence is developed through working with a community whose cultural values are very different to their own and working under deadlines that foster grit in the face of multiple iterations.
  • Cognitive skills are developed through the application of scientific thinking to practical production through the design of the low-maintenance water tanks and creating an instructional text that is accessible for an audience whose native language is different than their own.
Working in their project teams of 4-5 students, each group applies core skills in literacy and communications in developing an instruction manual for use and maintenance of the water irrigation and filtration systems for an audience whose first language is…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Working in their project teams of 4-5 students, each group applies core skills in literacy and communications in developing an instruction manual for use and maintenance of the water irrigation and filtration systems for an audience whose first language is different than their own.
  • Students both learn the science behind water collection, filtration, irrigation, and storage, and then apply this knowledge by doing. Students put the theory of science and maths into practice through the construction of functional water irrigation and filtration systems, that have been designed to be useful by families in an everyday context.
The students work with school children and community elders in Kiriwina Village to learn first-hand of the importance of water infrastructure and systems in human and societal flourishing, and to understand how climate change catalyzes drought conditions that impact peoples’…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • The students work with school children and community elders in Kiriwina Village to learn first-hand of the importance of water infrastructure and systems in human and societal flourishing, and to understand how climate change catalyzes drought conditions that impact peoples’ everyday lives.
  • In collaboration with the people of Kiriwina village and a non-profit organisation, the students develop water irrigation and filitration systems that can be used by families in an everyday context, and in particular, to allow the local villagers to store fresh water for their vegetable crops during times of drought.
  • Students wrote pitch decks to raise funding for the construction and deployment of the water systems from the Rotary Club, and recruited on-ground expertise from local leaders in Kiriwina.

Patterns in Human and Ant Habitat Systems

Students learn that each human being is its own individual system, with numerous inputs, outputs, and interdependencies with the ecosystem around them.  They investigate the many diverse categories of relationships that form between living creatures in the natural world, and dive deep into an extensive analysis of social, symbiotic, and collective systems.

They build from an understanding of their own lived experiences to developing awareness of how they fit into larger social systems like families and schools. Then, they identify and analyze patterns of survival and interaction found in the natural world, and they dive deep into an analysis of ant social systems. They design and build ant colonies, and form and test hypotheses about what happens when ant systems are disrupted or when roles within an ant colony are modified.

They then integrate all of these learnings into designing and developing a set of social blueprints and policies to improve the cooperative and supportive dynamic within their own classrooms.

Ages: 7-8
What are all the different types of relationships that exist in the world? How do organisms interact with each other to survive? Why are there many diverse categories of relationships, including Symbiotic, Parasitic, Collective, Mutualistic, Predatory, etc.? How do human…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • What are all the different types of relationships that exist in the world? How do organisms interact with each other to survive?
  • Why are there many diverse categories of relationships, including Symbiotic, Parasitic, Collective, Mutualistic, Predatory, etc.?
  • How do human beings exist in the world? What defines the formation and survival of human collectives?
  • Within the context of symbiotic relationships, how do living things interact with and depend on each other?  How and why do some organisms form social systems? When social systems are disrupted, what are the different methods to repair them? How do we apply this knowledge to our own classrooms?
Students first learn that each of us human being is its own system, then they learn how they as individual human systems start to interconnect with and overlap other individual and social systems around them: family, classroom, school, neighborhood, etc.…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • Students first learn that each of us human being is its own system, then they learn how they as individual human systems start to interconnect with and overlap other individual and social systems around them: family, classroom, school, neighborhood, etc.
  • Exploring interlinking systems, students learn how groups of people form collectives that are a system, like all other living systems.
  • How do living things interact with and depend on each other? How do human interact with other systems? What tools do humans use to form cooperative groups? Communications, Coordination, what else?
  • We scaffold from individual lived experiences, to exploring the dynamics of family and neighborhood groups. We then look to the natural world to explore analogous patterns of social, cooperative systems, such as ant colonies, then we apply these patterns of knowledge to redesign the blueprint underlying our social dynamics as a group of learners within a classroom.
Students develop emotional, social, and cognitive skills through understanding themselves as a human being system, with various inputs and outputs (physiological, emotional, social) that they can observe and make decisions about. They also develop critical analysis and pattern matching skills…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • Students develop emotional, social, and cognitive skills through understanding themselves as a human being system, with various inputs and outputs (physiological, emotional, social) that they can observe and make decisions about.
  • They also develop critical analysis and pattern matching skills in observing how an individual human system interacts with collective human groups, and then building comparisons with other animal and insect systems. They apply their scientific observation skills to building and testing different scenarios with ant colonies.
  • They learn resilience through the excitement and frustration of experimenting with ant colonies, and seeing which ones thrive and which ones don’t.
  • Emotional intelligence is developed through a study of different kinds of social groups. Students learn about the essentials for effective social groups and how to rebuild social systems when they have been disrupted.
  • Finally, students apply all of their learning to developing social policies and systems to help their own classroom group cooperate more harmoniously, and learn how to balance individual needs with collective outcomes in their immediate, daily environment.
Students begin by making direct observations about how they as individuals function within the classroom. They experiment with questions like “When do we observe conflict or cooperation in the classroom? Why do some relationships in the classroom break down? How…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Students begin by making direct observations about how they as individuals function within the classroom. They experiment with questions like “When do we observe conflict or cooperation in the classroom? Why do some relationships in the classroom break down? How might we fix these?”
  • Students then create ant colonies and observe how ants build a social system via a network of tunnels and chambers, shaped by interdependencies.
  • They observe how different ants in the colony have specific roles and how important it is for each group to perform their role if they whole team is to thrive.
  • Students experiment with different methods of modifying the ant colony, and observe the impact of their decisions.
  • The students are able to make clear observations about the qualities that make for a successful colony. And these qualities are entirely relatable: for an ant colony to thrive, the ants need to cooperate and remain focused on their tasks that benefit the group outcome. When their colony is disrupted, ants immediately set about to rebuild it.
  • With this knowledge in mind, students are then focused on the task of rebuilding their own classroom social policies and dynamics.
  • The final deliverable is a set of social policies and processes, developed by students for students. They test out these new social policies, and refine them through iteration and observation in the classroom.
All learning is scaffolded from our students’ individual lived experiences, so context is internalized and emotional. In this case, we ask our students to reflect upon what it takes for them to be successful learners in a classroom context. We…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • All learning is scaffolded from our students’ individual lived experiences, so context is internalized and emotional. In this case, we ask our students to reflect upon what it takes for them to be successful learners in a classroom context.
  • We ask them to examine and investigate their own social relationships and to devise methods for maintaining and developing better classroom culture.
  • They actively explore issues and build hypotheses: What can humans learn from other social systems? What happens when social systems in collectives are disrupted? How can human social systems be rebuilt or created a new? Learning from scientific observation and experimentation, this project develops the capacity on students to teach others about the human social systems, how to nourish them and how to rebuild or create new ones when they are disrupted. This is real world learning at its most personal, most relevant.
  • They learn that social systems are created constructs, and so they learn that these constructs can be re-created in better ways, by making adjustments and improvements.

Human and Animal Coexistence

We investigate what it means to be a living organism, and analyse the differences between humans and animals. We then examine the numerous ways that humans and animals coexist globally on Planet Earth, and then within our local communities. Students learn that there many categories of relationships that humans have with animals, including pets, farm animals, large scale agriculture, wildlife, etc.

Students then apply their knowledge to explore two specific types of human and animal relationships: first, pet ownership and caretaking, and second, wildlife rescue and preservation. Most pet ownership booklets are written by adults for children, or by adults for other adults. Our students design, author, and publish booklets intended for children pet owners.

In a second project, students work with kangaroo wildlife rescuers to design, sew, and construct pouches that can be used to keep orphaned joeys safe and nurtured.

Ages: 4-6
What does it mean to be a living organism? What might all living organisms share in common, and how might they vary? What are animals and what are human beings? Are human beings animals?  If so, why? If not, what…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • What does it mean to be a living organism? What might all living organisms share in common, and how might they vary?
  • What are animals and what are human beings? Are human beings animals?  If so, why? If not, what do you think makes us different?
  • What kinds of relationships do human beings have with animals? What are all the different ways in which human lives overlap with animal lives?
  • After considering these questions, our students explore the implications for our behaviour, our society, our ethics when it comes to human and animal relationships.
Students consider the characteristics of living and non-living things and compare/contrast different categories of organisms, as they examine interlinking systems. Students learn how there are many different patterns of human and animal relationships. We scaffold from lived experiences, by first…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • Students consider the characteristics of living and non-living things and compare/contrast different categories of organisms, as they examine interlinking systems.
  • Students learn how there are many different patterns of human and animal relationships. We scaffold from lived experiences, by first asking students to make observations about pets, and then to build upon that pattern by asking them to make observations of a range of different types of animals.
  • Students learn to identify things human beings need to survive , and also explore how they contribute to planet earth’s ecosystems by investigating their impact on animals and plants in their environment. They then explore different models of relationships with pets, wildlife, farm animals, plants, and agriculture.
Students develop a range of social skills, as they interact with community organisations including Wildlife Victoria, Green Cross Vets Williamstown and Dog Town Pet Store Williamstown. Synthesised across skills but also within skills, students develop cognitive scientific skills: learning how…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • Students develop a range of social skills, as they interact with community organisations including Wildlife Victoria, Green Cross Vets Williamstown and Dog Town Pet Store Williamstown.
  • Synthesised across skills but also within skills, students develop cognitive scientific skills: learning how to write informational texts, analyse how environmental changes can affect animal habitats, develop scientific thinking skills of guided investigations, making observations and analyse data to inform decision making, ideation and reflection.
  • Literacy skills are developed through the use of specific words and images of meaning as they create not only informative texts, but texts that are capable of engaging the intended audience.
  • Students develop their emotional intelligence by working collaboratively in project teams towards two deliverables: to plan and create information booklets about caretaking for animals and to design and construct pouches for orphaned kangaroo joeys.
  • Engaged empathy is developed through a deep understanding of the many different types of ways in which all living creatures, our pets, our wildlife, and our communities are interdependent.
Project work allows students the opportunity to develop their creative and artistic talents, as students work towards concrete design goals to put their ideas into action. The students work towards two specific design projects, the first is to create and…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Project work allows students the opportunity to develop their creative and artistic talents, as students work towards concrete design goals to put their ideas into action. The students work towards two specific design projects, the first is to create and publish booklets to inform local children about how to be responsible pet owners.
  • Data gathering, statistics, and data analysis skills are developed via an A/B testing process for various booklet concepts, to better understand how to make design choices that deliver the best outcomes.
  • In the second deliverable, engineering skills are developed through the sewing and construction of pouches that could serve as nurturing environments for orphaned Kangaroo joeys. Students use direct and indirect comparisons to decide which pouch is longer, heavier or holds more, and explain their reasoning in everyday language. Students test these pouches with real joeys, and observe which design hypotheses are the most valid. Successful designs are then deployed in the wild.
  • An imaginative component of the project sees students ideating invention for the protection of wildlife and the prevention of orphaned joeys, inventing products like a stoplight for kangaroos to prevent road deaths, care robots and rescue drones.
Students worked directly with two primary community collaborators, in investigating and constructing solutons that could improve human and animal relationships in our local community. Students first worked with local veterinarians, Greencross Vets Williamstown and the Responsible Pet Ownership Program, to…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • Students worked directly with two primary community collaborators, in investigating and constructing solutons that could improve human and animal relationships in our local community.
  • Students first worked with local veterinarians, Greencross Vets Williamstown and the Responsible Pet Ownership Program, to better understand what other children need to learn when they become pet caretakers. Our students then brainstormed developing a brochure – written by children, delivered to children, that would help other children learn how to be fantastic and responsible pet caretakers.
  • Students then explored wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in our local communities, and worked with Wildlife Victoria, Bundoora Park rangers and Bundoora Kangaroo Farm, to design products for the injured or orphaned joeys cared for by Wildlife Victoria. They then had the joy of testing and seeing their products used in the wild.

Change is Constant

One of our most fundamental building blocks is introducing the concept of change to our youngest learners. By making direct observations about change across a number of different contexts – physical, chemical, emotional, social, personal – they start to develop self awareness and scientific observation skills about the constancy and nuance of change that serve as the foundation for all future learning explorations. They develop an authentic understanding of themselves as constantly being in a change process, begin to understand how they can design for and catalyze positive change, and develop empathy for new incoming children who may not yet understand the change process they’re about to go through as students.

Ages: 4-7
What is change? Is all change inevitable? Is change reversible? The lens shifts to a focus on the personal, as students ask, how do people change? How might I change during this school year? Should I change? What are the…

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Building knowledge from first principles

  • What is change? Is all change inevitable? Is change reversible?
  • The lens shifts to a focus on the personal, as students ask, how do people change? How might I change during this school year? Should I change? What are the benefits and drawbacks of change? How do I feel about change?
  • Students then learn how to deal with and influence change. When should we counteract change and when should we adjust? Can I influence change? What are ways in which I can grapple and use change in constructive ways?
We teach change as a system of its own, that change is ever present, both in a physical and chemical sense, as well as within an emotional and social context. Studying interlinking systems of physical, chemical, environmental, emotional, and social…

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Teaching systems orientation

  • We teach change as a system of its own, that change is ever present, both in a physical and chemical sense, as well as within an emotional and social context.
  • Studying interlinking systems of physical, chemical, environmental, emotional, and social change, the students examine what causes change, defining and measuring change as they connect with these systems. How do non-living things change? How do living things change? What are some patterns we can extract from each? How might the measurements for each category differ?
  • Studying how they can interact with and contribute to these systems, students examine how change occurs in the natural world vs how change is instigated by human intervention.
  • Throughout the Learning Exploration, students track their own growth across various measures, and they reflect on who they are and how they have changed, as part of an overall systems analysis of change.
  • As part of a final reflection, each student is connected with a new incoming student, and they become mentors to new students about to undergo their own change process of starting primary school.
Character development occurs as students reflect on their year of social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. Reflecting on how they can influence change, students develop emotional intelligence around self-regulation, interpersonal skills and empathy. Students learn about scientific observation and hypothesis…

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A holistic synthesis and balance of character development, emotional intelligence and cognitive development.

  • Character development occurs as students reflect on their year of social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth.
  • Reflecting on how they can influence change, students develop emotional intelligence around self-regulation, interpersonal skills and empathy.
  • Students learn about scientific observation and hypothesis testing across a range of medium: chemical through heat state changes, physical through stages of plant growth, environmental through seasonal variations, social through changing relationships within the classroom, and emotional through their own narrative and illustrated journals.
Students develop a very hands on relationship with change – they both plant the seeds to catalyze change, make direct scientific observations, and then intervene through hypothesis testing. Using the sun as the ‘narrative’ for an important source of heat…

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Delivering over 70% of our learning in hands on maker projects

  • Students develop a very hands on relationship with change – they both plant the seeds to catalyze change, make direct scientific observations, and then intervene through hypothesis testing.
  • Using the sun as the ‘narrative’ for an important source of heat that generates change, students employ the scientific method of observation to analyse melting, evaporation, cooking, growing processes. Throughout the year, they make observations and gather data about the impact of the sun on seasons, on flower beds, on the length of shadows, on the environment, on the clothing choices that students make, and much more.
  • Students action their observational learning to make a pot and plant a sunflower as a symbol of growth and change, that they then gift and pass on to a new incoming student for cultivation.
  • They also develop a narrative story about personal growth and change, using photos and words, adorned with an individually designed and crafted photo frame, to symbolise change, and to create a nurturing relationship with their new student mentee.
One audience for this learning exploration is the students themselves, as they analyse and reflect on their own year of change. Through direct analysis of their own lived experience, they start to become much more aware of themselves as human…

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Imbuing all learning with an authentic real world purpose and meaning

  • One audience for this learning exploration is the students themselves, as they analyse and reflect on their own year of change. Through direct analysis of their own lived experience, they start to become much more aware of themselves as human systems, and identify with how much potential they have for future change.
  • They use this insight to craft a mentoring program for next year’s new incoming students, developing empathy for others and creating products to assist others through their own process of change.