Revisiting the Reflection on NOW Events
This post was originally written on Sunday, March 30, 2014 6:10pm.
I revisited this post after our incredibly successful NOW event that was Make Learning Better Conference for 2014. It was an event that bought international and national visitors to our school to learn from each other how we could improve our work and hence improve the experiences for our students. The buzz was amazing and continued for the weeks after. This is the lead in event to so many more NOW events that complete the school year- Yea 12 graduation Evening, MOC on the Green to name but two. Clearly the sentiments I wrote in March still apply!
Yesterday on Saturday 29 March I was fortunate enough to be one of the 50,000 people who attended the opening of the Adelaide Oval and the AFL football match there – the Showdown. It was wonderful, from walking en-masse over the new bridge, lining up in our 1000s, then gaping mouths wide open as we entered the arena that so few of us had seen before- then the noise and spectacle as the match started and how that all continued throughout and even after!
It was an event I will always remember and was so pleased I was able to be there. It is that amazing part of being something larger than ourselves and “sharing” that experience. It is scary as you really don’t know what to expect then exhilriating when you get caught up in the atmosphere. These events can be sporting, music concerts, attendance at parades etc.
In paraphrasing the words of Stephen Heppell these events create a wonderful sense of “NOWNESS- the Now moment- you just had to be there mate- video does not do it justice”.
At MOC we often talked that our Opening Ceremony in 2012 was one such event- everyone out on the Village Green – you just had to be there. It caused such comment from all involved and sparked many conversations about how many positive NOW community moments our children and young people might have.
Thus the Exhibitions and Presentations of Learning , MOC on the Green have become significant events on our educational calendar where we showcase our learning with real product and audience- large audience. As they have grown they have become NOW events in themselves. Comments like “do you remember when there were so many of us in building 6 we could not move” or “what about those performances and all the kids dancing on the green- fabulous” or Children’s University Graduation ” we were just so proud and pleased to be there to see…. graduate” etc.
So to our Guinness World Record Attempt. Every MOC event up until then has been either focussed on a sub-school or particular focus, for example Performing Arts. Our GWR attempt enabled every member of our student body to have a go – over 630 did- a fantastic number for a first up – and many of those who did not expressed afterwards they wish they had.
It was exceptionally painful in the paperwork and organisational details but those five minutes were priceless! The learning and sense of community that occurred is best summarised in the EY newsletter article written by Kim Cooper, Head of Early Years
“Congratulations! Most of you are living with a World Record holder!
On Monday, 259 Early Years students participated in MOC’s attempt to break the World Record for the largest number of people participating in a traditional clapping game in one place. All of our data indicates that we smashed the previously held record.
Many children have expressed pride at being part of this: some have been jubilant, some have been bashful, but every child understood that they had been part of a community effort.
The Early Years Learning Framework describes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming. Children feel that they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place. Being is about living in the here and now – having time to play, try new things and have fun. Becoming is about the learning and development that young children experience, shaping the adults they become.
The MOC World Record Attempt provided a here-and-now experience which created a sense of belonging in our school community and the wider world. Learning opportunities include: mathematical concepts (such as double), clapping out syllables, gross motor skills development, working with a partner, and hearing and expressing the rhythm of language”
We learnt lot about how to do it- what we should do to make such events better with even more learning and sense of NOWNESS – but for me those 5 minutes of MOC community and that NOW moment for our children was very similar to how I felt walking into the Adelaide Oval arena yesterday.
Videos of the GWR event can be found on the MOCB12 You Tube channel