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Issue 721 - 6-may-2018

School’s speech giving brought to life

What happens to the speeches students prepare as projects at your school? Imagine if your speech givers dressed up as the character they were researching, stood frozen in place like a wax model, and then when a coin was placed in a tin they came to life and gave their one minute speech. Each time another student or visitor adds a coin their speech is repeated.

This novel educational approach has been used by St. Pius X / St. Leo School for 10 years as part of their Famous Scientists Wax Museum. Fifth grade give the speeches and Kindergarten to eighth grade tour the ‘museum’ with their coins. The money raised is then donated.

Source: Wax Museum Helps Those in Need

Issue 722 - 13-may-2018

For the love of your child

The Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia have launched a video “For the love of your child” to promote Christian education and their group of schools.

Some of the ideas, or beliefs, the video raises are:
  • Education is never neutral
  • The goal is not just Christian education in the classroom but in the office, the hallway and on the bus
  • What children learn and experience at school should “spice” dinnertime conversations
  • Schools can celebrate what individuals are not good at so students realise they need others
  • Students are not to just “watch the movie” but to engage with and even argue against what is being presented to them
  • We are not to simply study but participate
If you are involved in a Christian school take a look. It may help you craft your own promotional video script. In a modern culture of “You can be anything you want to be” I found it refreshing to hear the idea of helping students understand what they are not good at so they discover they do need others around them.

Issue 723 - 20-nay-2018

No School on Fridays

When you are willing to do things differently as a school it is worth highlighting those differences. CREo School is a small school located in a rural area of Mississippi. The school doesn’t plan classwork on Fridays so students can spend time with family members or take extra lessons in a field they are interested in. 

The school is very deliberate in promoting the idea their staff are role models and not simply educators. They thoughtfully craft “an atmosphere in which proven Christian role models not only teach students but model life for them as they eat together in the community cafeteria, clean up alongside one another and, because of the small class sizes, engage in meaningful conversations throughout each day.”

They train students in archery believing it helps teach perseverance. I imagine as a small school they may not be able to offer a wide range of sports so celebrating what they do offer and why is important. 

This is a great testimonial about the school’s teachers. It is one which most schools may not choose to, or be able to, display… 
What makes me happiest at the end of every day, however, is that my children LAUGH at school – a lot. Besides being dedicated, compassionate and qualified, the leaders at CREō are just really, really funny and full of joy and wit. Every single day, my children reap the benefits of such abundant joy, and as a parent, I cannot be more thankful.

Issue 721 - 6-may-2018

Would your local community miss you if your school closed?

Many years ago I was at a presentation that challenged the teachers and staff with the question. “Would your local community miss you if your school closed?” Naturally the parents, students and staff would miss you but would those beyond your immediate community.

I was encouraged this week to see Chairo Christian School Leongatha share photos of students who have volunteered to work on the garden at the local hospital. As a school in rural Victoria they already have their own vegetable garden and a strong interest in agriculture. This hospital garden is a project for the Secondary students. Rather they being a one off tidy up of the garden “they are also looking forward to maintaining the garden for both the patients and staff.”

How is your school serving your local community?

Issue 722 - 13-may-2018

Students cross the road for lessons of life and death

When a fifth grade class learnt a neighbour across the road from Central Wisconsin Christian School had cancer it started an important lesson. 

At first the students started putting signs up in their classroom window of support and encouragement. Then small groups would cross the road each day to sing to her and pray. Later the whole class would cross the road to sing and pray.

After six months of this developing relationship the 32 year old lady passed away 20 minutes after the group had sung to her.
The mother said “These kids have touched me, and this has touched the kids. Six months ago, it was just me and the family that knew about this; now most of the town does. So many people mention it where ever I go.”

Finding meaningful opportunities to connect with your local community is not a school marketing strategy. It is about real life lessons. Teaching life lessons can however generate conversations and positive word of mouth about your school.

Source: Central Wisconsin Christian School students comfort terminally ill woman with songs

Issue 723 - 20-may-2018

A Home at School – promoting boarding with a story

David Hayes, Media Communications Manager at Knox Grammar School shared with me their latest promotional video designed especially for boarders. 

He explained “we filmed a Knox Year 8 boarder, Mac, at his family property in western NSW and at school, telling his story of coming to Knox. This 90 sec version is accompanied by a 30 sec TV commercial on TV in rural NSW in the lead up to the Boarding Schools Expos in Dubbo, Wagga, Griffith and Narrabri.”

It is a clever video addressing common questions, anxieties and is told as a personal story rather than a promotional piece other than the “a home at school” tagline and branding at the end.

Dave worked with two former Knox students (Grainger Films) to film and produce the video.

Issue 722 - 13-may-2018

Do we teach the BIGGEST subjects at school?

As part of a combined promotion for Catholic schools The Archdiocese of Omaha Schools created a “Love My School” website and campaign. They also appear to have registered the phrase “We teach the biggest subjects”

The website states “we teach the biggest subjects in our K-12 classrooms. Subjects like Faith, Character, Discipline, Kindness, Values, Honesty and Confidence, to name a few. These are enduring lessons that last a lifetime.”

Rather than talking about grades in Science, Mathematics, English or other usual subjects the campaign highlights the BIG subjects of life lessons which most parents really hope their children graduate with.