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Warren 2004

At Warren Central School the primary and secondary teachers involved had worked together on other activities due to the nature of the school structure. The schools also had an Aboriginal Education Resource Teacher (AERT) who provided great support throughout the project. Warren also had two AEAs who were new to their positions. Changes to the executive over the life of the project caused some initial communication difficulties, however the relieving principal was very supportive and welcoming of the project.

The teachers evaluated the BST/SNAP results and targeted measurement for the project activities. The school had previously had an annual excursion to the Beemunnel site as part of their Aboriginal perspectives in the school’s curriculum. The team believed it was necessary to re-establish ties the school had with the Aboriginal community and their local traditional Beemunnel site. The AEAs and AERT undertook the necessary negotiations with the community to use The Beemunnel.

Rationale

  • Develop a multi-stage unit of work that reflects the needs of Indigenous students after evaluating the BST and SNAP results. The unit will refect and demonstrate a range of teaching and learning strategies and assessment practices, which will assist all students with a focus on Indigenous students to demonstrate their numeracy and measurement understanding.
  • Develop a working relationship with Warren’s Aboriginal community.
  • Develop an understanding and recognition of the culture and history of the local Indigenous community.
  • Make mathematics enjoyable and interesting by developing a practical outdoor unit of work.

In-school activities at Warren

Planning

In the planning stage, the Mathematics in Indigenous Context team:
  • used the evaluated BST and SNAP results to target the measurement strand
  • acknowledged that previously an annual excursion has been organised to this site as part of the Aboriginal perspective in our K–12 curriculum
  • considered the necessity to re-establish ties Warren Central School had with the Aboriginal community and their local traditional Beemunnel site.

Big Day Out at The Beemunnel

Beemunnel

The Beemunnel was chosen as the site for the excursion to re-establish links between the local Aboriginal community and the school. It had been 10 years since the previous visit to the Beemunnel site, which has a large cultural significance to the local community. Having the local Indigenous community speaking to the new generation of students would teach the history of the site and many of the Aboriginal students would discover where their parents and grandparents had lived.

The Beemunnel activities were designed to follow on from the school-based activities using measurement and social skills around an Indigenous theme. Two Aboriginal games previously researched by the AEAs were included. These games added a different perspective to the mathematical concepts being studied. It was hoped that students would apply their mathematical knowledge when playing these games. The games also gave students an insight into Aboriginal culture.

The majority of the activities were practical to ensure that the students could participate and enjoy the day.

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