With the support and enthusiasm of our Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator, Sandy Skehan and the other Grade 5 teacher, Sarah Brown, we were able to embark on an Activity Based Inquiry that gave me, as an educator more of an insight to Ron Ritchart's 7 R's. The learning was relevant to the Indigenous community of Airport West and rich in content enabling students to make connections and develop a better understanding of the land. As we wanted to create a garden reflecting the Indigenous culture and meaning, we needed to involve members of the community and ask for their support and generosity. This resulting in us developing a working relationship with a local plumbing supplies company, PPS McCracken and the Moonee Valley Council. Action committees were also set up, such as a Landscaping Committee, The Arts Committee.
When analysing the unit we discovered that our project based inquiry covered a number of areas associated with VELS. To record our journey, Contemporary ICT was explicitly planned. Students learnt how to download and resize images, podcast reflections of their learning journey and upload them to their Digital Portfolios.
One of the hardest challenges that this project presented was my ability to be flexible and seize opportunities that presented itself and to campaign for funds to enable us to take action. TIME was also a factor as we needed to prepare the fence before we could paint the indigenous images chosen by the students, prepare the ground ready for the delivery of soil and compost etc. We also needed to co-ordinate the organizations, that contributed their time and resources in order for our garden to take place.
This was truly a very rewarding unit not only for the students, the staff involved in the implementation of the garden but also the wider school community.