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Kidsmatter

Alawa Primary School

Alawa Primary School promotes the ‘KidsMatter Primary’ program. KidsMatter is a national ,mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiative.KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children.

KidsMatter Primary provides the proven methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids.

Our school-based interventions provide students with experiences to strengthen their ability to cope with environmental stresses they may be growing up with and help them feel supported.

By implementing KidsMatter initiatives, students’ learning and emotional well-being can be improved.

For further information, visit the Kids Matter website.

Social and Emotional Learning

Early years: Preschool, Transition and Year 1 & 2. This program recognises that young children come to us with varied but rich family experiences. Our strong emphasis on the development of the whole child builds upon the child's existing skills with play-based learning. In their classrooms, the children enjoy learning. Working independently in small groups and using the interactive whiteboards and portable devices such as iPads, the children solve the challenges given to them. As the children move from Transition to Year 1 the more formal learning commences.

Outdoor bean bags

Sport in Schools

For 2017 students at Alawa Primary School are very lucky in that we are part of a pilot program funded by the NT Department of Education and facilitated through School Sport NT [SSNT]


School Sport Intraschool and Interschool Pilot Program 2017

School Sport NT is re-establishing a weekly school sport program during school time. The goal is to provide a strong foundation for students to build a full and active life.

“Hubs” of schools will compete in an inter-school sport competition for years 5-6 with intra-school sport for years 3-6 happening within the school. Administration, organisational and financial support will be provided to each school/hub.

Semester 1 Sports will be aligned with the School Sport NT Pathways as best as possible.


Aims:

  • Ensure an increase in the participation rate of young people in physical activity

  • Raise young people’s level of physical competency


Breakdown of weekly sport per year group

Year Group

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Year 3 and 4

Skill Development

Modified Games

Skill Development

Modified Games

Skill Development

Modified Games

Celebration of the Sport.

Games

Year 5 and 6

Skill Focus

Games

Skill Focus

Games

Skill Focus

Games

Gala Day

Round Robin

Year 3 and 4

Students in these year groups will participate in their 1 x hour per week of their chosen sport at a time organised by the teachers/school. This will be at a time that has minimal impact on other areas of learning. Teachers will deliver the 1 x hour per week and have access to weekly resources per sport to assist in the delivery of the program. Week 4 will be a celebration of the sport with modified games to suit the year group and the space/facilities (at teacher’s discretion).

Year 5 and 6

Students in these year groups have the opportunity to participate in 2 x formats of the program.

Interschool Sport

2 x teams per sport are selected each week to compete in a weekly round robin against other schools in their hub. The students involved can change each week over the course of the 3 weeks. This is at the schools discretion. On the 4th week (Gala Day) the school sends their best students in that sport to compete.

Intraschool Sport

When the teams selected above go out, the students who remain participate in their chosen sport at an intraschool level (same as the Year 3 and 4 students). Programs are available for teachers to deliver to the students to aid in skill development. Teachers may also decide to play modified games of the sport as well to enhance participation and development.

View more by visiting the School Sport NT website

Alawa Farm and Kitchen Garden

The farm program provides hands-on, real life experiences for our students. Science, Health, Arts and Indonesian are integrated curriculum areas that are taught at the farm.

Background

The farm was initially set up in 2004 by Danial Kelly, the first farm teacher and Sharon Reeves, the Principal, leading the school community to solve problems and situations as they went along. The farm has been a major focus for the community involving parents, students and teachers. In 2005, Marg Ross became the Farm teacher and continued to teach about the animals, their needs and specialised care, environmental education, design, technology and construction. In 2006 a major focus was on the Sustainable Schools Project and this influenced the program in semester one 2006. Students were encouraged to use lateral thinking to problem solve.

Alawa Kitchen Garden Program

In 2008 we applied to be the NT demonstration school, for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and were granted the initial funding to set up our program. Our kitchen was installed in July 2009. A herb garden was established outside of the kitchen to support this program. In Term 3 of 2009 we commenced Kitchen and Garden Lessons which continue for students Years 3-6 weekly. In 2013, with new staff in the garden and a chef in the kitchen, the garden was revitalised and stronger links with the Science curriculum and Café established. All classes were now attending a farm garden lesson each week. The mature fruit tree orchard provided plenty of fresh produce and an established chicken flock, a consistent egg supply. A strong focus on links with community helped to bring in new volunteers and create connections with Nemarluk Special School. Since then we have had a partnership with the US Marines(volunteer support), working bees with school families, SEDA student volunteers, links with local small businesses and our local member. In 2017 we became a Bunnings supported school to help reduce costs and bring in more expertise with construction projects on the farm. Produce from the farm garden is harvested for the kitchen classes, the school Café and any extra produce sold to our school community.

The philosophy of the program

“The aim of the Kitchen Garden Program is pleasurable food education for young children. The underlying belief is that by introducing this holistic approach we have a chance to positively influence children’s food choices in ways that have not been tried before.” ”A kitchen garden is created to provide edible, aromatic and beautiful resources for a kitchen. The creation and care of a kitchen garden teaches children about the natural world, about its beauty and how to care for it, how best to use the resources we have, and an appreciation for how easy it is to bring joy and wellbeing into one’s life through growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal produce.”

How the program operates

Children in years 3-6 have an hour garden lesson and a 1 ½ hour kitchen lesson every week. We have excellent multi-skilled staff involved. All other classes have an hour in the farm each week. Our garden specialist teachers have the students intrigued and busy within our fantastic tropical garden. Our kitchen specialist works with a kitchen assistant to set up the kitchen with stores and equipment and create delicious seasonal recipes to go into interesting and creative menus for the students to cook every lesson.

Farm classes begin with a short discussion on specific topics. Subjects have included:
 

  • Seeds, what they are and how to sow them
  • Harvesting-how do we know when produce is ready to be harvested, how do we pick/collect it and what is needed to be harvested for the kitchen and Café
  • Composting-how and why we compost in the garden

These talks give students theoretical knowledge of plants and their needs, benefits and uses etc. The class is divided into either three or four groups, depending on the number of helpers in the garden. Each group will work with either the garden specialist teacher, Farm manager, parent volunteer or class assistant. The groups will always do some animal care, gardening, science or art/craft based activity and for years 1-2, an Indonesian activity. Garden activities follow the Stephanie Alexander resources where applicable and whatever needs to be done in the farm at that time, such as mulching, weeding, planting out, planting seeds, fertilizing, harvesting etc. The children enjoy being outside and many are happy to do physical work. They especially like to watch plants that they have put in mature and fruit. All enjoy harvesting and like to sample the produce whilst they work, eg. rosella leaves and sweet leaf. It is our hope that they will have a better understanding of where their food comes from and feel confident to produce their own at home in the future. Happily many are already keen to take home cuttings and seeds to grow.

Our animal numbers have increased over the past 3 years to include goats, chickens, ducks, finches, lizards, guinea pigs and rabbits. We have also had calves and turtles over this time. The students are responsible for the ongoing care and feeding of all of the animals with the help of students from Nemarluk School. This is a very popular aspect of our program.

Some special projects in the garden have included the set-up of a working aquaponics system-with a view to harvesting fresh water fish, recycling of school waste and weed management.

Lessons in the kitchen

A short introduction occurs and students are then put into groups (usually 4). Each group then puts on an apron, washes their hands and reads the recipe with the adult helping them. This adult is either a volunteer, classroom support assistant, kitchen assistant or a teacher. Ingredients and equipment is collected and together the groups prepare their different recipes. At the end of this, the first group finished starts to lay the tables while others clear up. Each group then serves their dish on an appropriate platter in a presentable way, maybe with a garnish. The children sit at a long table together and share the food, telling the others how they made the dish and hopefully discussing the flavours and textures of each dish and why they do or don’t like it. Usually all is really enjoyed and very often the meals cooked are new to many students.

Menus and Recipes

These are very much based on what is in season and growing in our garden. If ingredients have to come from elsewhere it is always chosen because it could potentially be grown in our garden, or locally (with the exception of onions and garlic). Some recipes are repeated with varying ingredients and some ingredients are used again and again in a variety of recipes. By using the same ingredients in a variety of interesting and delicious ways, it is hoped those involved will be able to come up with many imaginative ways of cooking our local produce, based on ideas given to them at school. By repeating recipes (sporadically throughout the term) it is hoped the techniques will be learned, so they can be replicated at home with a variety of available ingredients!!

Refer to the Skoolbag App for recipes 

Rewards and Recognition
  • In 2014, we were an NT Finalist at the Chief Ministers Awards.
  • In 2015, we won the NT Junior Landcare Award and several students travelled to Melbourne to represent our school at the National Landcare Awards.
  • In 2015, we won many awards at the Royal Darwin Show, with our fresh produce, chickens, eggs and goats.
     

We have hosted the Stephanie Alexander training program several times at our school, for schools throughout the NT.

View more on the Kitchen Garden Foundation website

 

School Sports Program

Alawa Primary School is registered to participate in Sporting Schools, a new Australian Government Program starting from July 1 2015. Sporting Schools provides our students access to sports based activities before, during and after school hours.

The program is aimed to engage children in sport and other structured physical activities, and through a positive and fun experience, develop a love of sport that inspires them to join a local sporting club. The variety of dynamic sports and physical activities available range from table tennis, athletics, baseball, hockey, cricket, soccer and many more. The Alawa Primary School Sports Program is run each term from weeks 3-9.

As the program is Government funded there is no additional costs to families! Please contact the school for further information on the current Sporting Schools Program

Sporting Schools Program
Alawa Football
Hockey