Growing our Contemporary Competencies through Action Activities
An important part of our leadership development program for our Year 6 students at Living Faith is being allocated to one of our 11 different Leadership Teams. In 2023 the following Leadership Teams have been established based on the current needs of our community: Art & Design, HOP, Library, Life Skills, Prayer Spaces, Production, Service, Sports, Sustainability, Tuckshop and Wellbeing. It is important to note that each of these leadership teams has a teacher/s as a mentor and both the students and the teacher mentor give up time each week to plan service to the community and action that is relevant to their chosen team’s vision. Each of these teams had its first meeting this past week and the Year 6 students are very keen to roll up their sleeves and get started.
Action at Living Faith is what students do to connect and extend their learning and understandings in the form of service – in the classroom, playground, at home, or community – locally or globally. All Prep to Year 6 students will have numerous opportunities to participate in planned action activities during the year.
Action can be a very powerful learning experience for students. When involved in action projects, students can grow personally and socially. Action activities are a wonderful platform to develop our Contemporary Competencies with skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation, creative and critical thinking and problem-solving regularly becoming part of action activities.
Jim Kwik is a renowned brain coach and educator who is best known as ‘the boy with the broken brain’ after a childhood head injury left him struggling to learn at school. When talking about the benefits of students learning through action in school activities he writes:
‘Knowledge is power: You hear it all the time but knowledge is not power. It’s only potential power. It only becomes power when we apply it and use it.
Somebody who reads a book and doesn’t apply it, they’re at no advantage over someone who’s illiterate.
None of it works unless YOU work. We have to do our part. If knowing is half the battle, action is the second half of the battle.’
- Jim Kwik Wednesday, 5 December 2018 | Issue 20/18
Action projects are voluntary, student-initiated and stem from a genuine concern and a desire to make a positive difference in the community and world around them. Action can take the form of sharing new knowledge with others to increase others’ awareness of important issues, or it may be a project in response to the needs of a particular community – locally or globally.
Action can come in many different forms, having diversity in how we take action allows us to cater for different learning styles. Types of action include:
- Doing - taking action to make the world a better place, what can we do, what can others do?
- Thinking - becoming more open-minded to changing one's thinking; sharing your thinking as well as finding new ways of looking at problems.
- Feeling - being more aware of and responsive to your feelings and the feelings of others, considering how to resolve conflict.
- Being - aligning your actions with your beliefs and values, how we live out the Living Faith school values each and every day.
- Saying - having the words and skills to express your thoughts and feelings, having a voice to help others.
- Knowing - having a better understanding of the world around you, connecting your learning to other disciplines.
There are many examples of students taking action at Living Faith each and every day. Action doesn’t need to be on a grand scale to have an impact and build awareness in others, after all through small actions everyone can have an impact.
Our teachers at Living Faith will plan for action to authentically take place in student learning, but often in schools, it is the students who are the ones who initiate and lead the action that occurs making it authentic and bringing genuine passion to each project or activity.
The Contemporary Competencies of conflict resolution, cooperation, creative and critical thinking and problem-solving are all part of the learning experience that happens frequently when students take action and we can feel blessed that our Prep to Year 6 students will have ample opportunities to grow these skills during their time at Living Faith.
- Andrew Kelly Principal