2009 Junior Landcare Victorian Youth Environment Conference

Lorne students

Ten Year 7 students are very excited to be participating in the Junior Landcare Conference in Lorne next week. These students have beeen preparing a presentation for six weeks about the effects of global warming. They have created a 40 minute news, quiz and current affairs program, 50 years into the future, when fresh water is scarce, sea levels are rising, temperatures are increasing, biodiversity is at risk and humans are threatened by their own toxic wastes. The multimedia program includes student-produced advertisements and ‘info-mercials’ as well as a “Who wants to be a millionaire?”-style quiz to test how much the audience have learnt.

Peer to Peer Mentoring


Teaching blogging - one to one

Teaching blogging - one to one

On Friday June 5th, 23 year 7 students travelled to Portland, as the result of a grant to take part in peer to peer mentoring. The students who have been with us in primary school at Hawkesdale P12 College have been blogging on their individual student blogs, for nearly 16 months now. As such, they were amongst the first students to blog, as individuals in the state of Victoria.

Here is the wonderful presentation that the year 7 students put together independently and without any advice from any teachers.


Each student from Hawkesdale was paired with a grade 5 or 6 student from Portland.  Three lessons were spent with them. Some students did not have an email address, so that was the first task to be undertaken. Next they applied for a globalstudent blog, a campus of edublogs, run by DEECD. All went smoothly and only two students did not get their activation email for registration before lunch.

Portland North Primary school treated the students, by giving them morning tea and a drink. Another 30 minute break was taken to share class blogs between the two schools – grade 6 Portland North and grade 6 Hawkesdale P12 and to demonstrate some Hawkesdale p12 student blogs. Otherwise all students worked conscientiously, effectively and efficiently together. By the end of the three sessions, the Portland students had some great looking blogs.

Some feedback

  • “I learnt a lot today”  (from a Hawkesdale P12 College student)
  • All students said that they enjoyed the day
  • My students said “It was much better than expected”

Students as mentors is a very effective mechanism as

  • students tutor and  explain in their own language,
  • having one on one was an extremely effective learning activity – a rare luxury in the normal classroom
  • students know what they like to have on their blogs
  • it gives increased confidence and a maturity for those mentoring
  • it gives a chance to share knowledge
  • enables higher order thinking skills when working in small groups.

From Tammy’s and my point of view, the students of all ability levels, worked together intently to achieve outcomes far beyond what we expected them to achieve. They far exceeded our expectations. and we were so proud of the way that they all worked together.

Next week we go to Camperdown to repeat the exercise with their grades 5 and 6 students. A big, big thankyou to Britt Gow for organizing these activities.

Peer to peer mentoring

Peer to peer mentoring


Working intently on blogging

Working intently on blogging