This week at The Huddle I hosted a group of students from an English Language Centre for newly arrived young people in Melbourne. We worked on language describing objects and memories and each student made a poster on the computer about something they remember from their own country or their past.
To get the ball rolling, I made a set of props available – beads, rocks, leaves, shells and other natural objects. We described these – colour, shape, feel, weight, use, smell, sound – and then explored the memories that came up for everyone around their chosen object.
The students had precious memories of playing with rocks on the dusty ground or finding them in rivers; of their grandmothers or elders who wear or count beads; of the scarves and cloth worn by men and women in their home countries; of the smell of gum leaves and the fact that they are used as a whistle where they used to live. These memories seemed to make them feel happy, included and build a connection and sense of belonging at The Huddle. They went on to make posters reflecting their memories using Comic Life software. The computer is a medium they were clearly not experienced in but they were so eager to make the posters that the technology didn’t pose any barriers!
I found this a useful way of creating a safe space for personal stories, promoting student voice, building language around memory and integrating technology into learning in context – in a meaningful way where students led the process working individually and with each other.
I hope link to some samples in due course.
Finally, The Huddle won a national award this week for Sports Leadership as part of the Migration and Settlement Awards 2013. The work we do at The Huddle includes building belonging and identity through sport, innovation, education and storytelling. This is one example of the many things we do at The Huddle with recently arrived migrants.
Students who choose to study at The Huddle are fortunate to have support from tertiary students from the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) at the University of Melbourne. This photo was taken in July last year when the Maths Clinic began. FBE students made learning lively with their enthusiasm, ideas and passion for the all things relating to number, as well as their genuine interest in helping others with their learning.
The FBE made a fabulous video about Maths Clinic and have sent new FBE students to us – they start this week and I look forward to meeting them and seeing how they inspire and encourage our current student group. There’s nothing better than learning from someone who is passionate about the topic!
The Huddle’s study support program for 15-25 year olds increases learning opportunities for young people by providing subject specific tutoring, access to internet and learning technologies, and language support for students for whom English is an additional language.
Students self refer to the program and are paired with a mentor once their educational needs and aspirations have been determined. The program allows for differentiated learning, group work and 1:1 and is responsive to individual learning styles. The bilingual skills of students are used a resource to enhance global online learning opportunities and build a community of learning for the 21st century.
The model supporting 15-25 year olds is unique as similar programs are generally aimed at primary and middle years learners where subject specific support is less pivotal to academic success.
The Program in 2012
It was wonderful to watch the Study Support Program’s communicative two way learning environment unfold!
The Maths Clinic with University of Melbourne‘s Faculty of Business and Economics students was also a hit. The tutors brought energy and enthusiasm to physical space. We trialled Writing Clinic by sourcing tutors from the Arts and education faculties enrolled in the breadth subject Understanding Knowing and Learning at the University of Melbourne.
For more on this- watch this fabulous video: http://benews.unimelb.edu.au/2012/bcom-students-north-melbourne-give-back/
Students in the Study Support Program also took up opportunities to be involved in Shaping Futures, careers advice, and Words Beyond Rhythm as well as sports and match day activities. Words Beyond Rhythm was a project developed and delivered by a Master in Music Therapy student who worked with young women to develop poetry and writing skills with impressive educational and personal outcomes for participants.
At The Huddle we actively promote social cohesion through our IT-based education programs. Middle years students from local schools come to The Huddle to learn about place by exploring images of the locality and how it has changed over time. They also learn about community through the guests to the classroom, many of whom are elite sportsmen playing Australian Rules Football for North Melbourne Football Club. An underlying aim of all our programs is to develop oral language and IT skills and to empower students by giving them the camera. We cater for students with diverse language backgrounds learning in mainstream classrooms and in programs for newly arrived migrants.
Using video and stills, they make their own digital stories to build community through sharing stories. In the photo above, you can see posters some students have made that reflect on their experiences of migration.
The oval at Arden St, where we are based, was once a swamp with a seasonal lake known as the Blue Lagoon. Gil Freeman created this beautiful watercolour to re-imagine the swampy environment that is now the football oval.
I will link to a 3 minute video about Arden St that some students from North Melbourne Primary School made at The Huddle. They now attend University High School.
Here’s my first blog. I plan to post about community participation, the arts , innovation, education, multiculturalism, music and community projects that integrate these.
I work at The Huddle – the community arm of the North Melbourne Football Club. The Huddle specializes in innovation in education and community development with an overall aim of promoting social cohesion. We have a state of the art computer-based classroom which engages young people in digital storytelling about place, self and others.
My role at The Huddle involves creating, developing and delivering educational programs for 8-16 year olds that cater for English language learners in mainstream classrooms and establishing a Study Support program for 15-25 year olds to support their learning.
I am also a musician and composer. I play with strings and vocal trio Euphonia with my sister Dee Hannan and dear friend Alice Garner. I composed for the film One Night the Moon, with Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly and directed by Rachel Perkins. I also composed for the theatrical version of One Night the Moon directed by Wesley Enoch at Malthouse Theatre. I currently compose pieces for Xylouris Ensemble and Euphonia.
I like a balance between being a practitioner, creating new work, developing ideas and reflecting on and analyzing these to give new perspectives and approaches to what I do.