Margaret thinks it is unacceptable that some students are disengaged and lack ownership over their learning. She believes in a school where students are self motivated to achieve their goals, but for some students there is a low level of motivation, attendance is poor and is below the school’s target, and students are not reaching expected standards in their achievement. The root cause Margaret decided to tackle was boosting student ownership of learning.
In collaboration with others, Margaret developed a real-life learning project to promote student-led learning engagement and build community connections.
She worked with the local council, Progress Association and her school through a Sustainable Communities Project grant. The aim of the grant was to develop project management skills. Margaret was involved in an initial meeting with her principal and District Council Governance Officer regarding the possible school involvement to construct an outdoor gym for the community. She pitched the idea to a group of interested students; 14 students attended and all became involved in the project.
Along with the principal and Margaret, students met with the Council Governance Office about the project. The group set up an action plan, calling the initiative ‘Active Ardrossan’, and they met on a weekly basis. The group constructed a survey which was sent to Ardrossan residents about the site and equipment selection. From this survey, the details about the type of outdoor gym and its location were selected.
Part way into the project, the students presented to local council for more funding and were successful! So the outdoor gym was built and Margaret and her team of students were involved in an official opening ceremony, celebrating their achievements.
Margaret has had a positive impact on the 14 students directly involved in the project, not to mention all of the community members who now have access to an epic outdoor gym!
“Prior to the project, one student had really low self esteem and was disengaged in school. She attended all project meetings, but most importantly pitched at the council meeting requesting further funding. She is displaying greater confidence and her attitude and engagement with her learning has improved markedly.
Overall, the school has received very positive feedback from the council and Progress Association about the students’ engagement with the idea. Their contributions have been invaluable. The president of the Progress Association was stopped in the street by students talking about the project. The initiative has definitely promoted the school’s links with community.”
Like the idea?
Margaret would love your support for Active Ardrossan, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Margaret and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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