Matthew Flinders Anglican College was invited to present to schools across South East Asia and Australasia as part of an online Round Square regional conference, held last week.
Flinders Primary staff presented on the topic ‘Authentic Impact’ to share the innovative design thinking curriculum our students from Prep to Year 6 are engaged in to solve real-world problems with curiosity, creativity and empathy.
Flinders joined Round Square in 2020 to be a part of the internationally diverse network of 200 like-minded schools in 50 countries on six continents. Partner schools connect and collaborate to offer world-class programs and experiences for students to develop global competence, character and confidence.
The aim was for Flinders students to experience cultural exchanges with partner schools, however, the pandemic pressed ‘pause’ on travel. Nevertheless, the College has still encouraged students to discover and embrace other cultures through numerous Round Square projects and curriculum programs.
Flinders presents on 'Authentic Impact' in the Flinders curriculum
For Round Square’s recent regional conference, Flinders Primary staff Mrs Debbie Planck, Head of Learning and Teaching and Mrs Judy Parker, Admissions Assistant, shared insights into how the College curriculum celebrates the six Round Square IDEALS: Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
Judy highlighted the College’s November 2021 Round Square project which saw the Flinders Primary host a wildly successful wheels-a-thon fundraiser that raised more than $12,000.
All funds went to World Bicycle Relief which donates bicycles to help children in developing countries overcome transport as one of the biggest barriers to education, such as in sub-Saharan Africa where 34 million children are out of school.
Judy said, “The project was an opportunity for our students to experience first-hand the Round Square IDEALS of Internationalism, Leadership, Service and Adventure.
“It was powerful for our students to realise how this project made an authentic impact on the people in need who are living in Africa,” she said.
“It was also exciting for students to see how they could positively impact our Flinders community – students, families and staff – by bringing us all together to raise money, be healthy and have fun, riding our bikes and scooters.”
Debbie also shared how the Flinders i-Impact and I-care Design Thinking curriculum addresses Round Square’s ‘Discovery Framework’.
Debbie said, “Schools were interested to learn how we use the Design Thinking process to focus on solutions to questions posed on a bigger scale.
“We shared examples such as our Year 6’s Unit focus on refugees and asylum seekers as they journey to safety, and the connections our Year 2s are making with a school in Okinawa, Japan, sharing cultural knowledge and building friendships,” she said.
“We also shared the highlights from our two-day immersive Design Thinking Summits, held over the past two years for our Senior Primary students where they are challenged to design a smarter, more sustainable, happier and healthier Maroochydore City for 2050.
“The schools were interested to learn how we teach our students to be problem seekers and solvers who are able to turn their interests and concerns into actions.
“We want our students to feel able to develop innovative solutions that contribute positively to society in an ever-changing world.”
Round Square’s 12 ‘Discoveries’ are the skills students learn when they are engaged through character education.
The Round Square ‘Discoveries’ are: inquisitiveness, tenacity, courage, compassion, inventiveness, ability to solve problems, self-awareness, sense of responsibility, appreciation for diversity, commitment to sustainability, communication and team-working skills.
The Flinders Secondary School is also planning an exciting year of Round Square projects in 2022 and beyond, and preparing for student exchange opportunities in 2023 with partner schools internationally and within Australia.