From the outback to the big city
|St Therese's students particpated in a game of t-ball with Mary MacKillop student representatives from Kindergarten to Year 6|
|Students joined the Year 2 class for an arts and crafts lesson and a viewing of The Very Cranky Bear via YouTube |
Mary MacKillop Primary, Penrith South hosted a visiting group of Year 1 and 2 students from St Therese’s Primary, Wilcannia on Friday 25 May to share their experience of learning in the city.
St Therese’s is a small school of just 35 students from Kindergarten to Year 2 with a 100% Aboriginal student population. Fifteen students travelled to Sydney with their principal and teachers for a week of city life visiting Taroonga Zoo, Sydney Aquarium and Bondi Beach as well visits to St Lucy’s Wahroonga, Holy Cross Woollahra in addition to Mary MacKillop Primary.
At Mary MacKillop, St Therese’s students experienced the contemporary learning in the Year 2 classrooms, joining students in their arts and crafts class and viewing a reading of The Very Cranky Bear via YouTube.
Students also participated in a game of t-ball with Mary MacKillop student representatives from Kindergarten to Year 6 before enjoying a sausage sizzle BBQ for lunch.
St Therese’s principal and former teacher at Mary MacKillop, Patrick Ellis, said the trip provided a range of opportunities for the students and teachers.
'For many of these students, the furthest they have travelled is Dubbo and they were amazed by salt in the water at the beach,’ said Patrick. ‘It has been a great experience for them to see these bigger schools and to mingle with students and get involved in the learning.’
‘I hope to build further relationships with Sydney schools and formalise teacher exchange opportunities, as well as get involved in skyping lessons between the schools.’
Year 1 teacher, Leonie Mitchell from Mary MacKillop, has already experienced the difference between her school and St Therese’s, travelling to Wilcannia on Monday 28 May for a week of professional learning in the rural education community. Leonie was part of the pilot program for the East Timor project in 2005 and said teacher exchange experiences help her to improve her teaching practice.
‘It is about collaborating and passing on your own expertise while learning a lot at the same time,’ said Leonie. ‘It has been a very interesting and personally fulfilling to experience the different learning communities.’
‘It was remarkable to witness the young, enthusiastic and committed staff working so beautifully with the students in their care in such a unique environment,’ she said.
‘One of the greatest insights I gained from the week was just how many similarities there were between what I encounter in my classroom on a day to day basis and what they encounter in their classrooms.’
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