Making a Difference

We ARE capable of taking charge of our learning

South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs planting natives in the Secret Garden

The Planning

We created Project Reimaginate because our playground was falling apart and had little risk, especially for older kids. So, our class decided to do something about it. We spent two entire terms planning and designing. We worked through data, wrote arguments, audited playgrounds and much more. This wasn’t like normal school, our learning had a purpose. Our arguments weren’t about whether cats or dogs are better, we were arguing for a reason. What we did involved real money, real spaces and real people.

The Build

The build stage took forever to get to, but once we were there, our play spaces shot up quickly. We only had $1,500 but we still managed to do a lot. We had people doing many jobs in many different places. Students were weeding, concreting, sanding, digging and sawing, wherever you went, there were kids doing jobs. Some of us barely saw the inside of the classroom for four weeks.

The Forest Path: Before and After.

The “Day Of Play”

By the time The Day Of Play arrived, we were all exhausted, while all the other classes were excited. Our class were really hoping that the kids would enjoy the spaces that we had created for them. For the first hour or two, kids were drawn to active spaces like the Scooter Track and the blind-fold ropes course in The Forest space. But, as the day wore on, they were attracted to quieter, relaxing spaces like the Secret Garden and the fire pit. The event was smooth and had no injuries, no arguments and nobody got bored. Seeing the kids have so much fun made the whole project worthwhile.

The Conclusion

Some teachers and adults think that 11, 12 and 13-year-olds can’t be responsible for their own learning. They believe that students should sit inside and do the same work at the same time. I also used to think that too, but now I see it differently. My class has proven that we are capable of taking charge of our learning, being trustworthy and are capable of using real tools responsibly and safely.

Feedback from reception/year one students about the impact of Project Reimaginate and the Day of Play.

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Abe Moore

Education blog. "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say" - Flannery O'Connor