Spirit in action

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The students of St Mark’s School, Fawkner at their epxo.5 September 2019

The students at St Mark’s School, Fawkner, have brought a solution-focus to some of our community’s biggest challenges.

The Year 5 & 6 students have been investigating an issue, working out a way to solve a problem, and then presenting it at an expo for other students and the school community. With topics including caring for the environment, helping sick children, supporting refugees and caring for the homeless, it was an opportunity to not only think about the problem but to work through a solution.

For one group, the solution was to repurpose waste plastic bottles and turn them into planters. For another, the solution was to create a product for sale and use the proceeds to fund their cause. Regardless of the issue, the students chose something they felt a significant connection with.

‘The students were responding to an issue on their doorstep or something they’d seen in the media’, said Year 5 & 6 teacher Madeleine Wright. ‘It’s been a good way for them to learn about compassion and how building your knowledge about someone helps to build your understanding too. The students have all worked hard to produce something that they’re proud of, and the expo gives them a chance to share it with the rest of the school and our families.’

For the students, the benefits were clear. ‘By making and selling stress balls to pay for toys for sick children, it gives you a sense of empathy for what they might be feeling’, said one of the students. ‘It was a really positive experience. We got to have fun, and the toys will mean that sick kids in hospital get to have fun too.’