Magill Junior Primary School: CCE for Junior Primary

The school and its community

Magill Junior Primary School is part of the Magill School Campus and is situated in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. The Junior Primary School caters for children, 5 to 8 years, in Reception to Year 2. During the school year the enrolment will increase to more than 300 students. Many of the students come from diverse cultural backgrounds. The school has identified six core values: Caring, Cooperation, Diversity, Respect, Achievement and Self-Worth. Program Achieve is also being incorporated into the learning environment. The core values and Program Achieve are integral to providing a learning environment that is child-centred and success-oriented and which purposefully engages young students in meaningful activities. Civics and Citizenship Education (CCE) plays a key role across the curriculum enabling students to be active citizens, developing skills in lifelong learning.

Program Outline 1: A Whole-School Approach
Program Outline 2: Student Voice
Program Outline 3: Using the Discovering Democracy Materials

Program Outline 1: A Whole-School Approach

Values and beliefs
Core values: Caring, Cooperation, Respect, Self-Worth, Diversity, Achievement
School policies and programs
Values Education, Essential Learnings/SACSA, Student Voice, Program Achieve, Literacy, Learning Technologies, Active for Life
Continue whole-school approach to enable all students to be active citizens
Classroom teaching and learningSchool organisation, ethos and environmentPartnership and community links
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Class meetings
  • Fun Day, casual days, World Environment Day, Children's Week celebrations, disco
  • Using Discovering Democracy materials
  • Cross-curriculum links
  • SRC, peer mediation, library monitors, sport monitors, litter teams, planning groups
  • Whole school involved
  • Students planning whole-school assemblies, celebrations and casual days
  • Students reporting to staff and senior management
  • Students learning skills for lifelong learning
  • Students informing and inviting parents
  • Link with primary school for special events and activities
  • Developing links with community groups and global organisations
  • Students reporting to School Council and Parent Communication Group
Integrate Program Achieve and Values Education
Classroom teaching and learningSchool organisation, ethos and environmentPartnership and community links
  • Empowering students – thinking, feeling, doing
  • Students using language in everyday situations
  • Students developing social skills
  • Students working together with common goals
  • Cross-curriculum links
  • Whole-school focus with core values and Program Achieve
  • Students and staff using consistent language
  • Students empowered to support each other
  • Whole school developing a strong sense of community
  • Students developing skills for lifelong learning
  • Students talking to parents
  • Students showing work samples, reflections to parents
  • Workshops for parents
  • Developing signage to publicise the documented school values
Developing links between student voice, school values and literacy
Classroom teaching and learningSchool organisation, ethos and environmentPartnership and community links
  • Encouraging student responses, suggestions, ideas, feedback on topics, activities, events, programs and solving problems
  • Engaging students in critical literacies
  • Incorporating the Discovering Democracy materials
  • Cross-curriculum links
  • Students contributing to decision making
  • Students seeing outcomes of decisions
  • Student decision making achieves change
  • Students working together
  • Staff sharing ideas to develop links with student voice, school values and literacy
  • Junior Primary SRC meeting with Primary SRC
  • Students reporting at whole-school assemblies
  • Students informing parents
  • Students communicating and interacting with community groups
Building whole-school and community links by buddy classes, Student Representative Council and sharing resources
Classroom teaching and learningSchool organisation, ethos and environmentPartnership and community links
  • Encouraging buddy classes linking junior primary and primary classes
  • SRC reps reporting at class meetings
  • Using the Discovering Democracy materials
  • Cross-curriculum links
  • Students planning activities together
  • Junior Primary SRC and Primary SRC to meet once per term
  • Sharing resources R–7
  • Incorporating International Baccalaureate and Year 7 community service
  • Reporting to Council, Parent Communication Group and school newsletter
  • Using school's intranet site and Internet to develop global links
Planning 150 celebration
Classroom teaching and learningSchool organisation, ethos and environmentPartnership and community links
  • Students suggesting, voting and planning events and activities to celebrate 150th Anniversary of Magill School
  • Research – intranet, Internet, books, people
  • Using Discovering Democracy materials
  • Cross-curriculum links
  • SRC and all classes R–2 participating in discussions and activities
  • Interaction with buddy classes and SRC in the Primary School
  • Parents, old scholars, past staff, historical societies, visit local area
  • Visual display for community
  • Whole-school celebrations

Program Outline 2: Student Voice

At Magill Junior Primary School the learning environment enables young students to develop skills in lifelong learning through active participation in decision making, negotiation, planning and taking on special roles and responsibilities. Students have opportunities to engage in a wide range of groups, activities and events which enable them to develop an understanding of democracy and government in a community.

Clean up at Magill Junior Primary School
Clean-up

Sports monitors at Magill Junior Primary School
Sports monitors

For information on programs run under the Student Voice see the school website:
http://www.magillps.sa.edu.au/.
(Under Foci, look at Student Voice.)

Learning outcomes addressed through Student Voice

Young students:

  • are active citizens in the day-to-day life of the school
  • participate in decision making, negotiation and planning
  • develop an understanding of government and democracy in Australia.

Program Outline 3: Using the Discovering Democracy Materials

The Discovering Democracy materials were used to plan a unit of work on 'Volunteers'.

Materials included:

  • Australians All! including the Teachers' Guide
  • CD-ROM – One Destiny! The Federation Story
  • Discovering Democracy Australian Readers Middle Primary Collection.

We used Australians All! as a literacy focus with emphasis on the story of Bindi Gully.

Students:

  • viewed the text
  • discussed the content of the story
  • analysed the setting, theme, characters, language and expression
  • discussed the problems and conflict resolution strategies used in the story
  • related the problem-solving aspects of the story to class meetings and the SRC.

Australians All! was also used as a focus to explore the reasons why volunteers are needed and what kinds of volunteers there are.

Students:

  • identified volunteers in the family, school and community
  • researched a range of volunteers and presented projects to class
  • discussed planning special activities at school to entertain others (eg Talent Show)
  • identified skills and talents so that they could participate in the Talent Show
  • developed collaborative skills by working together to plan, organise, promote and present the Talent Show
  • worked with Year 7 students who volunteered to provide lunchtime activities so that younger students could learn new skills and activities.

The Discovering Democracy materials were also used to plan a unit of work on 'Celebrations' and 'working together' leading up to a whole-school celebration. This incorporated International Children's Week and the Centenary of Federation.

Using the 'The Bindi Gully Band' story from the big book Australians All!

Students:

  • explored and researched types of celebrations
  • looked at why people celebrate
  • discussed the events and issues in the story
  • identified how the people from Bindi Gully solved problems and worked together to plan a celebration
  • suggested, discussed and agreed on developing a whole-school celebration for International Children's Day and the Centenary of Federation working through the SRC and class meetings.

From this, students across the school:

  • developed an understanding of Australian heritage, culture and diversity
  • participated in decision making through class meetings and the SRC
  • worked together with another class to learn dances
  • celebrated cultural background through dress and food
  • organised and planned a whole-school celebration
  • promoted the celebration within the school and invited parents to the Children's Day celebration
  • discussed rights and responsibilities and world peace
  • supported children in Afghanistan by donating money to UNICEF.

Evaluation and assessment

  • Students used De Bono's Thinking Hats to evaluate the Children's Day celebration.
  • Students discussed and recorded what they learned, enjoyed and had problems with in the planning and organisation of the celebration.
Other resources used
  • For Every Child – Hutchison UNICEF
  • It's One World – Geoff Hocking

Other activities based on Australians All!  

Through the poem 'My Country' students:

  • identified characteristics of the Australian landscape
  • created pictures of the Australian landscape using oil pastels and paint wash
  • researched the author on the Internet.

'I am Australian' and 'My Island Home' were used for:

  • class and choir singing
  • discussions on setting and themes.

Using 'Australia Becomes a Nation' students:

  • viewed and discussed the text
  • noted facts
  • sequenced events.

The One Destiny! CD-ROM was used to:

  • inform students of events and people relating to Federation
  • explore the history of Federation
  • experiment with the flag activity.

Acknowledgements

Principal Wilma Sullivan, staff and students at Magill Junior Primary for their commitment and support of the programs and activities

Discovering Democracy Project Officers, SA:
Mary Hudson and Leanne Carr

The Civics Team for commitment to developing programs across the school:
Jill Dodd
Anne Gilligan
Dee Cooper
Sue Rogers
Patricia Lutz

For using Discovering Democracy materials and developing units of work 'Volunteers' and 'Celebrations':
Dee Cooper
Patricia Lutz