Our Newmarket School’s historic school moto is ‘Not Self But Service.‘ Citizenship taught as a value empowers our learners for life. With two of our student leaders we have been curating evidence of our Travelwise activities. Last year I found the group particularly interesting because our group consisted of mostly year five students. We meet every Friday for 30 minutes and basically reflect on our progress of where we are up to with our student projects. Each term we back map what we do using Google Docs.
From a piece of writing around Citizenship I decided that last year I would focus on students as participatory oriented citizens as framed by Westheimer and Kahne’s (2004) conceptions of citizenship. The Newmarket School Travelwise student leaders would unpack what this meant by identifying responsibilities such as:
- taking skilled and active role in groups that work for the common good
- knowing effective strategies for collaborative action
The students have worked tirelessly with several events. Some of them can be tedious such as the Back to School Campaign but diligently the children would turn up each morning on the first week of each term and hold placards and wave to the traffic.
Last year we claimed Gold for our school and I felt excited because as a student leader group we grew in understanding of our contributions and meaning of service.
This year most of the group is year 6 and again plans need to be in place to second the next generation of student leaders as this group move off to intermediate.
This year the students have continued to take a skilled and active role with their group projects that work for the common good and again what I really like seeing is when they plan using effective strategies for collaborative action for the whole school.
This years examples included Wheels day in term 1, Brake week in term 2. and in term 3 it is encouraging healthy children by walking to and from school.
We work closely with our Auckland Community Transport Coordinator and our local community officer. I have seen the students grow in confidence from public speaking, organising school events, to writing and tracking our narrative.
This year our Travelwise group featured in ‘Nurturing citizenship: road safety as a rich context for learning’ written by Rosemary Hipkins. I felt really proud because the children do work really hard for the school.
I was nominated for a Megastar Award and attended the recent celebration evening. I did not win as I know that our major next step is the walking school bus. However this year I have Hannah working with me so maybe this year we can begin to implement effective strategies to shift thinking towards healthy students rather than just being safe road users.
The children with Delia Walking School Bus Coordinator and Robyn our AT Community Transport Coordinator