Compass Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Stage 3 coordinator, Y6-7 transition coordinator, ICT coordinator and 5/6 class teacher at Kogarah Public School.
I didn't quite understand initially why we were targeting young students in terms of the program, but I can now see the value of allowing students of this age an opportunity to visit a university and watching them react to experiences they have been able to have due to the programs offered. It has been delightful to discuss these experiences with the students back at school and to realise that an initial flame has been lit in their minds about what may be possible for them to achieve in the future.
As a result of our involvement with Compass, I believe more students are aspiring to attend university to continue their studies from discussions after excursions. Compass also provides professional learning opportunities for staff, which are shared amongst the whole staff – the most significant opportunities for our school have been Occupational Therapy and Film Production and Editing. MULTILIT is also an integral part of school planning because of the way it assists students experiencing difficulty in reading. We have found that parents of students involved in programs associated with the project are increasing their awareness of Compass.
The opportunities for our students to be involved in activities at the university, such as the Year 3 taster days, visits to the Nicholson Museum, as well as involvement with Occupational Therapy, have been invaluable for students and staff. Speech Therapy provided an insight for staff and parents who attended the meeting; MULTILIT – our Support Teaching Learning Assistance adores the program! It’s great 1:1 for students and teachers can see the gain students make throughout the program. It’s also lovely to have wonderful volunteers working with the students! The Film Production and Editing program provided a fabulous connected learning opportunity for a 5/6 class which easily allowed for KLA curriculum integration and enhanced learning concepts associated with the chosen topic. The Compass Showcase allowed invited families an opportunity to visit the university and share experiences with their children.
Compass has greatly supported our school with the programs it has offered and has been very flexible in accommodating our needs so that experiences provided for the students are relevant and connected to current learning. It has also developed our awareness of the need to think beyond K-6 and have discussions with students about career aspirations, which also promote discussions about self-belief and goal setting to achieve these goals. It has broadened the ideas we use for teaching and assisted me in demonstrating how to successfully integrate a range of learning experiences into one unit (using Film Production and Editing) which has been shared through the viewing of our movie and discussions in the staff room.
I was the first person in my family to attend university. I have learnt that anyone can visit Sydney University and have taken my own kids there to experience the museums, which has raised their aspirations about attending university – my eldest now talks about studying at Sydney Uni when he finishes his HSC …and he is only in Y6!