While not new to using videos for learning and communications, St Paul’s Primary School in Karratha introduced a new project at the start of Term Two that is connecting the community and giving student voices priority.
The school’s two Year 6 teachers, Ms Smith and Ms Johnston, have been selecting students each day to participate in news updates, which are student-created and published to the school Facebook page to inform and entertain students, parents, families and friends.
Ms Smith and Ms Johnston said that they wanted to lift spirits and give Year 6 students opportunities to participate in an optimistic and engaging initiative, after a period of time dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
“Public speaking is such a vital skill for all students, and with the opportunity to post via our School’s Facebook page the students are improving their communication and leadership skills as they create the scripts and deliver the news,” they said.
“It has been great to see our students who are working remotely from home connect via Teams to give us an update on how they are going, so they feel connected to the school no matter where they are.”
Students write the script for the updates, with an introduction by anchors, a class focus with a roving reporter, a skill focus (for example hand washing or making paper airplanes) and a conclusion; updates also include a flipgrid video segment from a student or staff member at home.
Students organise and facilitate the filming, with help from staff and student volunteers.
The footage is edited on a tablet, a process that has been guided by teachers, however the aim is to prepare students to take full responsibility for all components of production in the future.
The videos are then uploaded to the school’s Facebook page after proofing.
“We’ve been updating everyone at home and school so they know what is happening,” said Peter, St Paul’s Head Boy.
“Our news makes people laugh, feel less anxious about school and allows them to engage with school life,
“I love how it brings everyone together and it’s been a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.”
School Principal, Gina Burns, said the initiative had been positive for students and staff alike.
“Our students wanted to do something to help themselves, others and the entire community during the pandemic – this has really empowered them and has played an important role in supporting their well-being,” she said.
“This week would have been our Year 6 Leadership Camp to Broome, and whilst very disappointing for them, they have displayed exemplary leadership across the school in all areas,
“We are very proud of our Year 6 students, and the staff and I have had a lot of fun being involved in the filming.”