A Postcard from Radford College: A Deep Dive Into Canberra’s Culture; Adventure
Posted: 29 March 2021
We hosted a Postcard event for students aged 10 – 12 that would focus on Adventure and Creativity as well as give the participants a little understanding of what life is like in Canberra, Australia.
The call brought together more than 100 participants, connecting students and teachers from 14 RS schools in Australia, Germany, India, Rwanda, the USA, South Africa and China. Students were asked to bring along to the call a souvenir or memento of their biggest or most recent adventure to use for a show-and-tell about their adventure experience. They split into eight baraza breakouts for three separate sessions, first to introduce themselves, next to share their show-and-tell items, and finally to talk about adventure and creativity.
We planned for this event in small groups of students and held four or five meetings over the course of the three weeks before the call. Meetings typically lasted one hour and covered:
- Student attendance and permissions – lots of interest from Radford Junior School students
- Information and images for the postcard
- Preparation of PowerPoint images and videos to accompany the event
- Creation the different prompt questions to be used for the Baraza groups.
- Planning how the event would run and drafting the script for the hosts to use.
- Venue location confirmation as we needed to spread out the Baraza group leaders into different locations so we didn’t have feedback during the call.
- Staff support e.g. IT and supporting the hosts to move through the content at an appropriate pace.
- Collation of the different images and items submitted by participating students from Podio.
- Students from each of the Junior School cohorts (11-13 years old) were involved in hosting the Postcard.
- Student devices were all checked to ensure no potential WIFI blocking issues and all audio/visual elements working
- Spread out the student to various locations throughout one building.
- Rehearsed how to run the Baraza Groups and encourage as much participation as possible
- Round Square Rep monitoring all of the different Baraza leaders and participants to trouble shoot any issues.
- Student leaders introduced the event and explained a little about life in Canberra.
- We then shared the Powerpoint collating the different student contributions
- We then broke into the first Baraza Group – “Getting to know you” Participants were asked to introduce themselves and stay what school they were from.
- We returned to the group and shared what life is like in Canberra
- We then broke into the second Baraza Group – “Adventure focus” Participants were asked to describe an adventure that had made an impact on them.
- We then returned to the group and did a final intro to the last breakout
- We then broke into the final Baraza Group – “Creativity / Life in Covid and final sharing” where participants spoke about what new activities they had explored during the pandemic.
- Student leaders then completed the call with a final farewell.
- Debrief leaders and all hosts.
Ensuring appropriate locations for all of the different Baraza leaders, in close proximity, was a challenge to ensure that we didn’t have feedback as the students were sharing machines.
Zoom was blocked at our College and there were some IT issues with getting this fixed in the lead up to the Zoom Postcard. Ensuring we had an IT staff member available during the call was helpful.
Managing the enthusiasm of the students to ensure that everyone got an opportunity to be part of the event and that they didn’t become nervous during the call when hosting the Baraza Groups.
The items submitted by the participants continued to come in right until the day of the call so the collation of this happened quite late. Trying to ensure that we included each participants submission meant ensuring that we continued to update this document.
This event was an excellent way to promote Round Square throughout our Junior School community. A range of staff came and viewed the event whilst it was underway and the students were extremely keen to share their experiences after the event. Comments on the “Chat” from participants indicated that they had really enjoyed the topic and getting to know students from different backgrounds and learning about their different experiences.
Long Term Outcomes
This event has enabled us to enhance our international engagement and cultural understanding. We are hoping to continue with Zoom Postcards for students in this age group. We hope that participants got a better idea of what life is like in our part of Australia and that some of the misconceptions have been dispelled.
- Ensure that you spend time planning the structure of the event and have a series of questions for Baraza Leaders will ensure that the event is able to run (relatively) smoothly.
- It is a really worthwhile activity for Junior School students and it is impressive to see what the students are capable of doing.
Author: Kath Notley, RS Rep Radford College