Older students work collaboratively with younger students in our gardening program developing their skills to work together as a team as well as their problem solving skills. The benefits for the younger students include having the opportunities to learn from the older students as role models, learning how to care for the garden and “what this looks like”. The older students develop their confidence and leadership skills and well as their ability to show patience and nurturing towards the younger students. The experience creates a sense of belonging within the school community.
- I learnt how to be a leader and how to teach others safely, how to use the items in a safe manner, how to plant, harvest and water (some places need watering and some places didn’t)
- As a leader I learnt a lot of things that I didn’t know about myself or what I didn’t know about gardening and working with other people. I learnt that I could learn from others and I didn’t know that I was teaching until someone came up to me and said that I did this thing very well and he would like to learn from me
- Working with people is important because sometimes you need more than one person to finish something. I couldn’t make new bamboo fences by myself so I asked three other class members to help me in finishing the bamboo fences around the school gardens. That made us finish the job quicker and they were stronger fences than if I had built them by myself.
Students are engaged in a variety of opportunities to develop their leadership skills. The SLT (School Leadership Team) consists of two representatives from each class who meet each fortnight to discuss whole school successes and issues and develop plans of actions for addressing these. The Year 7 sustainability group work together, exploring and managing ways to reduce waste as a whole school and community. The Mini Vinnies group have worked together to implement outreach initiatives in their quest to care for others.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED
- Adapting to a new system might take a while, so it is best to start off with something simple
- Expect to solve lots of problems and be challenged
- It takes time for some people to become more comfortable with voicing their ideas instead of following along without a say
- We made progress when we worked as a team
- The biggest thing I learnt was that we could do it — we took our ideas, made a big plan, experienced lots of challenges but we persisted and we did it !!
Learning about Growth Mindset is a regular feature of classroom programs. Current research shows that students who have a growth mindset believe that they can grow their intelligence and are successful learners. A growth mindset where the student thinks “I can’t do this task now, but with persistence and support I will be able to understand more” as opposed to a fixed mindset of “I can’t do this” where the student believes it is not possible to change allows the students to become more positive about their ability to learn, as they become lifelong learners with limitless potential. A fixed or a growth mindset has enormous implications when it comes to motivation. Students need to learn that their intelligence is changeable and with the right effort and support they can achieve and experience success. If they develop a growth mindset it fosters a love of learning and resilience that is imperative to setting and achieving goals.
- In class we have learnt about how growth mindset works and fixed mindset works and I have learned that growth mindset always helps you when you have a problem. We have also looked at the Habits of Mind and how these can help us when we are stuck or have a problem we need to fix.
- This has helped me whenever I am stuck at something, by having a growth mindset I know I can't give up and I will be successful eventually. Before when I knew nothing about growth mindset, I was getting stuck and giving up a lot as I didn’t know what to do. Now I have a lot of strategies I can use when I am stuck.
- A growth mindset is when you have positive thoughts. For example, when you find your work hard and you say to your mind "I won't give up!" Or “I can do this!".
- It is really important to have a growth mindset because whenever your work is hard, you won't give up and you will be persistent. When you believe this, it makes your work easier.
- You can learn from your mistakes
- Having a fixed mindset isn’t very healthy for your learning