Video transcript – Making Learning Meaningful

Principal, Betty Harper:
Bankstown Girls' High School is a public school in southwest Sydney. It's situated in Bankstown Centre which is a very comprehensive, I suppose a diverse community made up of many different nationalities. We conducted a needs analysis and what it identified was our students, in their learning, didn't have an understanding of the relevance of the work that they were doing, in the context of the world in which they we’re living in. And they had difficulty transferring their learning from one curriculum area to another.

[Global issues]

So that was the, I suppose, springboard for our research into what could we do to connect that and into this project that is now called Making Learning Meaningful (MLM).

[Learning coaches engage student teams]

We've worked around a lot of professional learning for our staff to be able to, not only teach the girls how to be resourceful and reciprocal themselves, building their learning power, but also the teacher's to build their own learning power. And also then, to build into their lessons opportunities for the girls to practise those learning habits.

What we're seeing now is how they are using those skills and that knowledge and that confidence after year nine in their lessons across the board and also carrying it into year 10, 11, and 12.

MLM Co-ordinator Enzo Nadile:
At Bankstown Girls' High School, we believe we give achieve our strategic long direction. Of students being successful learners, leaders, and active, global citizens.

Enrichment Leader, Nita Barnes:
One of the things that really come out of the project is that they really start to understand themselves as learners, and understand the processes that they use to most effectively learn.

Enzo:
They're displaying growth and engagement throughout the entire period of the project.

Nita:
They're required to

Enzo:
To lobby for a change. Yeah. To make a difference in the world we live in.

Nita:
And to really create that campaign to make that difference.

Enzo:
The process was on how, not so much what students were learning, but on the sort of questions that they were asking about what they were learning.

Nita:
And learning to ask the right questions, the right essential questions and to be reflective about their learning processes. Well, we've worked very hard this year to really modify the library and turn it into a much more 21st Century learning space. We developed a shark tank corner that enables the teams to test their ideas out to a panel and really puts the pressure on them to justify their global issue with their research.

Enzo:
Yeah, yeah, certainly have.

And they’ve liked that challenge and I think it's opened up their minds to a lot of great ideas that they haven't.

Nita:
They utilise the skills of each other, their peers, but also of specific staff members too to.

Enzo:
Experts.

Nita:
Yeah, experts in the field.

Enzo:
Not necessarily experts but teachers who are willing to take risks.

[Community partners: ABC TV & Bankstown Local Council Guests assist students with authentic advice.]

Nita:
Absolutely. Presenting to not just their peers, but teachers, but also to parents

Enzo:
Parents.

Nita:
and the broader community.

Enzo:
Absolutely.

[Community Partners Impressed with – 'Building a grass roots campaign', 'Teams presented sounded augments for change', 'Highly sophisticated – activated with letters to local agencies and local MPs', 'Bringing together different subjects in Year 9 curriculum', 'Illuminated the girls' critical thinking and creativity' and 'Practical, real-life application'.]

Nita:
And that really develops girls' confidence and the understanding that they have a voice and that their voice is important.

I think one of the greatest impacts on student learning is that they really make connections between all the key learning areas and they’re understanding the skills that are relevant to all facets of their education.

Enzo:
Yeah.

Vice Caption reflections, three years later, Noura Hijazi:
I think Making Learning Meaningful (MLM) was a great experience for me as it provided me with an opportunity to explore what I'm passionate about and kind of fight for it.

[Post project reflections.]

Year 9 student, Khadija Salim:
Noticed that after the MLM a lot of our high school projects involved creating websites, so the fact that we'd already made one it was very good and we were able to apply those skills into our other projects and I also noticed that I was able to synthesise information more easily because for the Dark Web there was so much information we have to summarise. So for future projects it was easier to narrow down information.

[Change for me – Student team 'Gender Equality' website homepage. What is obesity? – Student team 'Obesity' website Homepage. 'Dark web' team constructing their global issues investigation.Student team ‘body image’ website Homepage.]

Year 9 student, Nithya Lyengar:
And also that it incorporated a lot of other subjects in one project, so you kind of learn how to use different skills but for one project only.

[Year 10 student reflections – a year later]

Year 10 student, Thuy Mai Vu:
Learned a lot of different skills from the team, especially us three alike. I'm more of the research kind of person. She's more the talkative and she's just a communicator. She's a good communicator. So, yeah, we gained a lot of different skills and putting that together is like three brains instead of one. It's like way better.

Year 10 student Sabrina Sadek:
I'm used to being in a class, listening to the teacher, getting the worksheets, but I feel like this program we can get the information we like, what we're interested in.

Year 10 student, Shaza Ayoubi:
We could focus on something that we wanted to know more about and express what we wanted to tell the world about and it was, I think it was amazing, yeah.

Thuy Mai Vu:
Yeah.

Sabrina Sadek:
Yeah.

[Making Learning Meaningful Project]

End of transcript

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