The students thought it was strange being allowed to play games during school time because “school is for learning”. It’s probably not surprising to learn that there are many benefits to playing games. However, they were surprised that through the games they learnt an array of skills and concepts such as teamwork, communication, careful listening, coming up with winning strategies, how to work advantageously within set parameters, how to distribute resources, how to build societies, complete quests and dominate their teachers!
Between recess and lunch, students broke up into their Houses to complete rotations of simulation games and challenges. One of the rotations was the Lolly Game with Mrs Stewart in which students were confronted with how global wealth was distributed, the prevalence of poverty and inequality, and challenged with finding a fairer way to redistribute resources. In another rotation with Mr Peletier, students were given the challenge of prioritising what they would need to take with them to set up a human civilisation on Mars and distinguished between needs and wants. In the last rotation, Mr Eikelboom challenged groups of students to construct a pod that would protect an egg being dropped from a ladder outside the Year 7 classrooms. There were three surviving eggs!
When we reconvened after lunch, students agreed that teamwork seemed to be a common thread of the day, as well as building civilisations and making good choices with beneficial consequences. What an encouraging day! Students broke up into the groups they’ll be working on their integrated project with and came up with team names and symbols that would represent them.
We were so excited and encouraged to see students engaged both by participating in activities, and also thinking and articulating their ideas and connecting it back to our responsibilities as Christians and what the Bible says. The thread of building community came through on many levels and will be built upon as students come together to create an exciting exhibit at the end of Term 2.