Students at Newman Catholic College, Smithfield have shared their love of reading with the next generation as part of a heartfelt group project with purpose.
Year 7 students at Cairns’ newest Catholic college have been collaborating for a cause in a project-based group learning program with the shared theme of ‘caring for our common home’.
One of the latest projects, led by Newman Catholic College Teacher Ian Shotton, had students authoring their own children’s stories that highlighted concerns about the environment.
“The focus of the project-based learning program for this semester has been the Laudato Si and the UN sustainability goals,” explains Ian.
“One of the students mentioned wanting to write stories and read to young kids for their project. They felt very strongly about educating the younger kids about the issues facing the environment as they are the ones who will have to come up with the solutions.”
Ian approached neighbouring childcare centre, Smithfield Village Early Learning, that jumped at the chance to have the secondary students share their stories.
The students set to work: writing, printing, binding and even hand illustrating some of their work, before heading to the childcare centre to share their stories of sustainability.
The project not only fostered essential reading skills for the Smithfield students, but it was an opportunity to connect and share their love of reading and their important message to the discerning daycare crowd.
“For all of the students it was a completely different audience to who they are used to speaking in front of. It was also a boost to confidence when the younger kids enjoyed the stories so much,” said Ian.
“The way all of the girls conducted themselves and interacted with the younger children was a credit to the college and themselves. The students also mentioned how much they enjoyed seeing the smiles and excitement of the kids when they arrived.”
At least two of the Newman College students are considering a career as an author, and the project served to encourage them to continue considering this career path.
“The focus on project-based learning at Newman Catholic College has allowed students to pursue their interests and passions in a way that they generally wouldn’t. This has been great for the engagement of the students and the outcomes so far have been really encouraging,” adds Ian.
To find out more about Newman Catholic College, head to Newman Catholic College, Smithfield.