Ben believes in a school where students are excited to engage with programs that they build themselves, however in many education contexts, student voice suggestions are not always acted upon or taken seriously by the adults in charge.
Ben was moved by the Learning Frontiers data, which reports that 38% of students say they are ‘usually bored’ in class, and that 26% of students don’t see their learning as being relevant for their lives beyond the school gates.
Ben recognised their school Bike Program as a brilliant opportunity for students to engage meaningfully in learning outside the classroom. He’s focussed this year on strengthening and then scaling the Bike Program so that students in other schools can benefit from a similar approach.
Choosing to focus his energies on the learning and engagement side of things, Ben employed an external company to provide risk assessments, maintenance schedules and compliance around their school bike track.
After running a series of surveys, Ben formed a small team with other interested staff members to develop the Bike Program curriculum and strategies for community engagement.
He nominated the Bike Program for an Education award to gain exposure and to promote the program, and has also applied for a $50,000 Specialist Program grant so that the Bike Program can be scaled up in 2018 and to support community engagement.
In addition to working with the kids at his school, Ben has shared the Bike Program with other schools in his area and ran a trial session with a local primary school. He’s also beginning to make connections with a group in New Zealand who run a similar program.
So far, Ben has worked with 35 students from his school and a further 12 from the local primary school.
“One child, who is under the guardianship of the Minister, hasn’t attended school regularly for over 5 years. He’s now become a daily school attender and has told us that he comes to school because he loves the Bike Program and he wants to continue to develop the school’s bike track.”
You can check out a video about the Bike Program by clicking here!
Like the idea?
Ben would love your support for the Bike Program, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and he’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where he can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Ben and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer him on in the comments below as well.
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