The students and teaching staff at the first-ever CurioUS Community of Practice in August 2018 shared that belonging to them means “having a place and a role”, being “happy to be yourself”, “being part of something” and “feeling in a group and like you are welcome”.
“CMY's CurioUS school project is an opportunity for teachers, parents, students and school leaders to strengthen their school, as a place where everyone belongs,” said Angela Walsh, Project Manager for CMY’s CurioUS project which has been developed to combat racism in schools.
The CurioUS project will support the development of skills, capacity and resources of the school community to value the diversity within it. Each school will develop its own CurioUS Action Plan that will include student-led projects, professional learning, and enhancement of curriculum and pedagogy to increase the intercultural capability across the whole school system. The project will also develop the leadership capacity of students to challenge racism, racial discrimination and bullying when it occurs.
Each Community of Practice (CoP) involves three partner schools coming together to share experiences and insights on engaging the community and developing relevant capacity and resources.
“There are six schools altogether. Each CoP, consisting of three schools each, meets three times individually and then they all meet in a big group,” explains Angela.
Teachers and students from partner schools Laverton College, Lyndhurst Secondary College and Mt Alexander College, who participated in the first CoP, were excited to share the strengths of their schools in creating cultures of belonging.
But it was the activity exploring individual values that created the most buzz in the room. Students and teachers from the different schools bonded over values and thinking about the behaviours needed to enact these values.
CMY’s CurioUS team came away from the day with our heads full of wisdom from the group and hearts full of the passion and energy of everyone there.
What did you enjoy the most about the day?
Learning about implementation. Opportunities. Values and empathy scenario activity. Well-spoken young people. Hope in future. All schools are in same boat and we're all here for some reasons. Young people using their voices.
Food. Meeting new people. Learning. Games. Activities that swap around and ‘say something’ schools. Learning about other schools. Making posters. Coming up with ideas. Being ‘CEO’ in the empathy scenario activity. Learning from other schools. Everyone being open. Energy in the room.
The CurioUS project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training.