Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Authentic Learning Journeys

Today the Westpac Helicopter came to visit our school. There was a lovely moment when I got to watch 800+ jaws dropping as the beautiful sight of the chopper arriving caused true awe to register on every face.

Most of them have seen a helicopter in real life. Most of them have seen this one on TV. But NONE of them have ever stood 20m away from the Westpac as it hovers above their school field and then 'drops in' for a visit!

Our senior school are looking at how we can make a difference in the lives of other New Zealanders in a real, measurable way. One of our staff members was rushed to hospital 2 years ago by this very helicopter and a great team of medical experts who assessed him, kept him calm and delivered him safely to hospital quickly. He, fortunately, made a full recovery and his suspected broken spine turned out to be a major concussion with no further side-effects.

So the senior children have context. Real life in their backyard. They are learning about the costs and complications associated with running a rescue helicopter team. They are learning about the different times that the team have saved lives, when the simple act of waiting an extra half an hour for the ambulance could mean the difference between life and death - and often it has. They are learning about what the word 'charity' LOOKS like - not just what it means by definition, but how it really looks in a real-life context.


They are also working all year to raise funds which can go towards a new winch for the helicopter. They decided that they wanted their fundraising to go towards an object that was essential to the chopper and also something that they could look at and say, "Hey, we raised money to buy that winch!" every time they saw the chopper.



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