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Kincumber Chronicle Project
At the start of Term 3 I began working with a group of Year 9 students on an engagement project. My data gathering in Term 2 led me to certain students who indicated they were struggling with their interest in topics at school and I invited about a dozen of them to work on a student newspaper.
While not all the students stayed in the group, and were subsequently replaced by other Year 9s along the way who had heard what we were doing and wanted to be involved, the group remained at about 12 students.
We booked laptops and met once each week in the Staff Common Room on a Thursday.
Most lessons began with a mindfulness activity from the Smiling Mind website. The students really got into these meditation sessions and see the value of mindfulness activities in supporting transition from the playground into a learning environment or just to help them let go of nerves and anxiety before getting on with the set task.
I also introduced growth mindset as a concept to the group. Many had done this as part of Year 9 PDHPE lessons, but accepted that a growth mindset was necessary for our project. Especially when we were about to use G-Suite in ways they never had before.
Only after commencing the Kincumber Chronicle project did I learn from Mr Fortey that the same name had been used previously for a student newspaper at our school, back in 2000 and 2001. We enjoyed looking over some of those editions that Mr Fortey dug out for me.
I chose to use Google Sites as the publishing tool for our project. It is available in G-Suite that all students have access to through their portals. We also used Google Drive, Docs, Forms and Sheets to bring our work to life.
Students were allowed to write about anything they liked and we spent some time looking at other online magazines to see what sections we might include in our publication.
One of the key inclusions that I insisted upon in each article was the use of Google Forms to incorporate a one question survey or reader's poll with a live results chart beneath it. The students needed to ask the reader a single question related to their writing. The idea was that we were using a website tool, so why not make the most of its interactive qualities. Why do a newsletter, when we could publish a website?
What we came up with was a student-driven, vibrant and connected first edition of our student "newspaper" that we are really proud of. We hope that future groups of students will pick up the torch and publish more articles about topics they are interested in, in a future Kincumber Chronicle group.
The Year 9 students involved were:
Tom Deakin, Jamie Langston, Elle Mitchell, Ewan Forsaith, Jhett Pulbrook, Olivia Scollon, Olivia Felicio, Tom Groom, Luke Heather, Darci Berry, Jye Scott, Sasha Vrenegoor, Holly Fall and Sophie McMillan.
We invite the school community to read our articles and answer our poll questions.
The website link is:
We hope you enjoy our website.
Matt Riley - Deputy Principal