Excerpts below -the full article can be read from the link above
“XBOX is the new hopscotch at Silverton Primary School. Set into the outside wall of the toilet block, along with a Wii, it signals a new approach not just to lunchtimes, but to learning. Uproarious laughter, I just fell off my chair.
Nor is Xbox the only lunchtime play option for Generation Z (Generation What???, You’re making that up!, or regurgitating someone else’s limited creativity. Also I think the authors trying a bit to hard to sell data masquerading as a story). Silverton Primary also has a television studio and radio station and students are welcome to do some music editing or recording when the suites are free.
Radio station 87.5FM broadcasts within a two-kilometre radius of the school and attracts a fiercely loyal following. Its listeners, aka proud parents, tune in their car radios at the school pick-up. They might end up the talent; interviewed by their children in a ”live cross” at 3pm. The students have carte blanche to broadcast whatever and whenever they like, although they are taught safety guidelines, such as not to use surnames on air. They chat about life and the future.
Principal Tony Bryant can recall only one hiccup, years ago, when a student jumped into the studio fired up after a defeat on the soccer pitch and went crook about a teacher from the opposing school he reckoned had cheated. ”We trust our kids a lot,” Bryant says.
If Silverton Primary has a mantra, it’s that the curriculum needs to be authentic. ”That’s why there is a TV studio, sound recording studios, a big instrumental music program,” he says. ”Our main aim is to have an actual environment, rather than kids sitting at a desk.”
In 2009, Silverton Primary was one of only 12 schools in the world to be named a ”mentor school” by Microsoft (that explains A LOT). The computer giant’s Innovative Schools program selects schools that are ground-breaking in their use of technology to mentor other schools around the globe. Former British minister of state for schools and learners Jim Knight has described Silverton Primary as ”unbelievably inspirational”. (I would have stuck with unbelievable)”I only hope that we can replicate what you are doing here back in the UK.”
In many ways, Silverton Primary School is an improbable global role model. For one, it is in Noble Park North, a low-socio-economic suburb in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. The government school has children from 38 cultures, 68 per cent from a non-English-speaking background. It used to struggle to get kids to show up at school, and when they did they were disengaged and performed poorly academically. But today, Silverton Primary is being used as an international template (why did the word honeypot spring to mind?) of how schools can provide the sort of 21st century skills employers are demanding. A paraphrasing of grist for the mill……..