Compass volunteers deliver lessons to 800 primary school students

27 June 2012

Each year, students from Compass partner primary schools have the opportunity to visit the University of Sydney and take part in the Compass '3-Phase Program', a structured program that extends and develops students' experience at the university.

The 3-Phase Program enriches students' learning in specific subject areas and comprises:
Phase 1: Teacher-delivered pre-lesson to provide context for the activity
Phase 2: Visit to the University of Sydney
Phase 3: Compass volunteer-delivered post-lesson to make positive connections between the activity and higher education

This term has seen further expansion of the 3-Phase Programs through the delivery of the Introduction to University program in all 13 partner primary schools and the piloting of a Performance Studies-based program.

Introduction to University

This program builds upon the Year 3 Introduction to University Day visit early in the term. Students discuss what their favourite activities were from the day while recalling what a university is and the range of subjects available. The engaging post-lesson activities culminate in a graduation ceremony for all students, in which they wear the traditional graduation gown and mortarboard, and receive a Certificate of Attendance to recognise their visit to the University.

We were delighted that all Year 3 students from our 13 partner primary schools were able to participate this year, including our two newest partner schools - Fairfield Public School and Villawood East Public School.

Performance Studies

Developed in conjunction with the Department of Performance Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, this 3-phase program teaches students about the collaborative work involved in a successful theatre production, asks them to reflect on their response to a particular play, and shows how higher education can lead to careers in the theatre.

After students attended a performance of one of Bubblewrap and Boxes or Bindjareb Pinjarra at the University's Seymour Centre, Compass volunteers visited the students to deliver post-lessons, focussing on creating a promotional poster for the play. The students' ability to analyse example posters, and then create their own in small groups, was very impressive!

We thank Janice Hinckfuss and Daniel Johnston from the Department of Performance Studies for their work in developing the program, and also the staff of Condell Park Public School, Yagoona Public School and Wattawa Heights Public School for their support in piloting the Performance Studies 3 Phase Program.

The Compass Volunteers

A total of 800 primary school students took part in a 3 Phase Program this term - a Compass record! This would not have been possible without the dedicated Compass Classroom Activity Facilitators volunteers. As one teacher said, the volunteers were "very motivating, informative and had the undivided attention of all the students". Volunteers enjoyed answering the students' many questions throughout the sessions, and found theirs to be a learning experience as well.

There will be further 3 Phase Program activities in Term 3, focusing on Science and Ancient History. Are you a student or staff member interested in volunteering? Please see the Classroom Activity Facilitators page for further information.