Kalamunda Senior High School's stories

Sarah Adams

Encouraging Students to Walk

This story is related to Promote active travel

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We have been reflecting on different ways that our school encourages active transport, starting with promoting walking.

Our HOPE Department (Health, Outdoor and Physical Education) offers students some wonderful opportunities to be active and effectively promote student use of active transport. In Term 3 the annual Cross Country event was held which promotes students getting outdoors and to either walk or run the course. Our whole Year 7 cohort participate along with competitors from Year 8 through to 12. At our end of Term 3 assembly the students who have excelled are celebrated with our whole school community. Of course this is complemented by our separate House Athletics Carnival each year. By offering the opportunities such as the Cross Country event each year, our HOPE Team is giving students a great opportunity to be outdoors and promotes them viewing themselves as their own vehicle!

Not all of our walking events are competitive, though. We’re very lucky at Kalamunda Senior High School to be located near some amazing walking tracks, none as well-known perhaps as the Bibbulmun Track. The Northern Terminus is just a few kilometres from our campus in the Kalamunda Town Centre. There is a long-established tradition at KSHS that when you’re in Year 8, you take on the Bibbulmun Challenge. This is a student-focused adaptation of the Bibbumun (it’s over 1000km long!) and a valuable team-building exercise experienced with your mentor class. All students, along with their new mentor teachers assigned at the beginning of Year 8, take part in the challenge which is approximately 10km long. They tackle kilometre after kilometre through the beautiful bushland reserve and undertake some small team focused activities along the way. The Bibbulmun Challenge presents a really wonderful opportunity to improve student wellbeing, enjoy the fresh air and build relationships. It also allows us to promote active travel, demonstrating to students just how enjoyable and achievable walking is as their preferred method of travel from A to B. Around our local area there are a number of routes available to students walking to school such as the Kalamunda Heritage Trail. Our local council also provides a great list of bush walks that are nearby which we are planning to include in a planned information pack for students about active transport.

Below are some photos from students enjoying the Bibbulmun Challenge, an accomplishment celebrated with the whole school community annually on our Kalamunda Day.
When on the track, students take photos in teams (with the ethos of take only memories, leave only footprints), images not showing student faces have been selected.

In 2020 we are planning to celebrate ‘Walk Safely to School Day’ in May and will run a campaign via our daily notices in the lead up to the event to encourage students to find a friend and walk together to school.

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Sarah Adams

Keeping our Community Informed

This story is related to Write your first article in your School newsletter

When we embarked on our Your Move adventure it was clear from the beginning that communication was going to be key for success. Not just at a committee level but with staff school-wide, our students, and of course our broader community. We want our focus on sustainability to be known so that we can build a foundation of support at home and of course this includes our progress with the Your Move program.

At school level we have been regularly using our daily notices via our school Intranet to keep in contact with our student body and staff, supported by posters around the school and staff emails as appropriate. We used this predominantly in the lead up to our Kalamunda Day celebrations to ensure our students knew of the incentives on offer.

Reaching the homes of students is equally as important to us so we have also been regularly using our school newsletter which gets emailed to all families. It has proven a great way to include information about things like our Hands Up Travel Survey results and reaching new levels of accreditation with the program. We were able to share the exciting news of becoming 'Bronze' level members with Your Move and this gave us a wonderful opportunity thank the staff and students who have been supporting our initiatives. We also shared photos, and details of the winners, for our SmartRider Raffle and Scavenger Hunt. This was a really great way to not only keep parents and carers informed but to celebrate the success of students who participated in these initiatives.

Our next job will be to announce our move up to 'Silver' level!

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Sarah Adams

Active Transport | 20 Minute Poster Challenge

Over the course of Term 3, our whole Year 8 cohort have been studying Sustainability during their English classes. To support student reflection at the end of term, students in 8.01 were set a series of challenges that encouraged them to stop and think about what they had learned during the unit regarding sustainability in every day life. The focus was to make students think about applying their knowledge to the world they live in and how they personally could take simple steps to improve their local community.

As part of this activity, students were asked to work in pairs to create a 20 minute poster. Students were encouraged to consider aspects such as visual representation, colour and composition, and slogans that would engage their audience.
They were also asked to have a focus on three key elements; audience, purpose and context.

Audience: Teenagers/High School Students
Context: Suited to KSHS and the surrounding Hills community
Purpose: To promote active transport.

With only 20 minutes on the clock, students had to identify appropriate methods of transport that would be recognised as "active", brainstorm ideas, search for images that conveyed their central message, create their poster and submit it online. Not an easy task! This only allowed them 5 minutes to plan, 10 minutes to create and a few minutes to edit, save and submit before moving on to their next activity.

This proved to be a really fun and effective task with students openly discussing how best to promote the message of active transport to their peers. It was also really interesting to see that riding and walking to school (along with roller-skating and dancing) were favoured in posters while most students are currently travelling to school by bus.

Here are a handful of their creations!

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Sarah Adams

How To: Designing a Scavenger Hunt

This story is related to Classroom Activity: Scavenger Hunt

Following up on our recent SmartRider Raffle and Scavenger Hunt post, we wanted to share more detail about how we navigated this process. We hadn't attempted this before but would highly recommend it as a highly engaging method of promoting sustainable practice!

How we designed our Scavenger Hunt:

1. Decide the scope.
How much time is there? How large will your teams be? What age are the students? How much help will be available? What are the rules? Who will run it?

We wanted to be able to manage multiple teams so this meant having a very specific time restriction. We chose for 30 minutes with a points penalty to ensure students returned on time. We let students know they could ask for help throughout the Scavenger Hunt and also provided a map and listed a firm set of rules on their sheets. We had students and staff teams to help run the activity.

2. Decide the method of collection.

Will they take photos? On whose camera? Do they need to collect tokens for finding particular locations?

We wanted photographic evidence of what students had found and had a set of school cameras available. It would be an option for students to use their own devices depending on their age and ability, but restricting this to one device per group would be ideal or it could get difficult collecting their final entry. Alternatively if cameras are difficult and you have a larger number of staff you could have students collect a token from a designated staff member after answering a question or finding a particular location.

3. Decide the focus.
What will they need to find? Will it be a list of items/objects/places? or clues they need to decipher?

We were working with high school students with teams from Year 7-12 eligible to enter. We limited their search to 30 minutes so didn't give too many items. However we chose to provide a list of clue rather than specific items. This allowed for interpretation which meant some groups didn't accurately identify all of the items and we had a way to decide a winner. We tackled sustainability on a broader level and integrated our active transport focus in to the activity. Depending on your school's context you could look at different modes of active transport. One idea we didn't do this year was to order Your Move temporary transport tattoos from the rewards store and ask different staff to wear them. Students could have searched for these staff members with clues and had their photo with them.

4. Decide how many points will be available.
Will there be bonus points? penalties? Are these capped?

We initially awarded points for identifying the correct item(s) or providing accurate information.
We gave bonus points for images that involved group members and had a list of extra challenges for teams to tackle. This included things like miming an active method of travel but could also be unscrambling key words related to the Your Move program. We deducted points for groups that took too long and could have awarded a time-bonus for groups that returned more quickly.

5. Decide how you will collect team entries.

We used cameras with SD cards and were prepared with a laptop to copy files. As each team registered and was given their 30 minute window we created a folder ready for their images upon their return. The last photos in each group were their finished entry forms with any written responses - just in case they got lost!

6. Decide how long you will need to decide the winner.

You might think you can decide this after you finish receiving entries but every single team wants to know when winners will be announced! We were able to tell students to wait for the daily notices and published our winners there the very next day.

7. Create your forms.

We made one page, double sided, entry forms. A copy of our 2019 scavenger hunt is attached for you to see how we delivered information to students. It's not perfect and there are changes we would definitely make! But it was an effective starting point and competition was fierce! Students were provided this on a clipboard along with a school camera and pen.

We hope this is helpful if any other schools want to give this activity a go!


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Sarah Adams

SmartRiders and Scavenger Hunts

This story is related to Promote active travel

It's been a very busy term with so much happening around our school! Late in Term 2 our student sustainability committee decided that Kalamunda Day, celebrated every August, would provide an excellent opportunity for us to engage with the student population and promote sustainability. We organised two activities, a Sustainability Scavenger Hunt and a SmartRider Raffle for students to enjoy and we ensured they were published in our Daily Notices in the lead up to the big day.

The SmartRider Raffle was designed to promote student understanding of active transport options. Earlier this year we completed a Hands Up Travel Survey which shows travel by bus is the main method of travel to our school. Approximately 60% of our students travel by bus, so it's important that their SmartRider is carried on a daily basis. We used our points from the Your Move program to purchase prizes and created a stall for students to visit. If students could produce their SmartRider then they were granted entry to the raffle (we did not collect SmartRiders!). Each entrant completed a quick and easy form that asked them to view the data from our Hands Up Travel Survey and correctly identify the most commonly used mode of active travel. We had dozens of students queuing up to enter the raffle and many more who were disappointed to not have their SmartRider with them! This provided a great opportunity to discuss the benefits of SmartRider travel and encourage individuals to keep it with them on a daily basis. Our winner walked away with a $50 Rebel Sports voucher and a runner up won a Your Move drink bottle prize pack.

In addition to our raffle, we also organised a Sustainability Scavenger Hunt. Our student committee has a broad focus, looking after sustainability across the school, so our scavenger hunt considered water, power, waste, ecosystems and travel methods. Students formed teams of up to five students, were armed with cameras and given a set of cryptic clues. They explored the grounds looking for evidence of sustainable practice at our school. Aligning with our commitment to the Your Move program, we asked students to locate and count the school's bike racks and offered them bonus points if they could mime active methods of travel in some of their photographs. This allowed us to encourage more students to reflect on our Hands Up Travel Survey data and of course suggest they enter our SmartRider Raffle. We had two teams of Year 8 students tie for first place with winners receiving prize packs that included a Your Move drink bottle.

Both these activities were successful, particularly given it is the first time we have attempted anything like it. Next year we would like to organise 'sign ups' for the scavenger hunt before the day of the event so we can assign timeslots and create signage around the school to help guide teams. With some further planning we could increase the number of students entering the raffle by putting up posters in addition to our use of the Daily Notices. The feedback from students was really positive and students were excited to participate! It proved a very valuable exercise which can grow with time.

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Sarah Adams

Establishing our Student Committee

This story is related to Start a Student Team and have your first meeting

I'm happy to report that our Student Committee has officially been established and met in the last week of Term 2. We are lucky to have a large student council at our school and decided to align our sustainability committee with these students. Each cohort has several Student Councillors and we have now established 'Sustainability Representatives' for Year 8 through 12. Our Year 7s have decided to rotate this role so that all Councillors can have the opportunity to participate.

To add to this, we are also thrilled to have our Kalamunda Education Support Center peers on board. As we share a campus we have representatives from both schools on our Student Committee so that we can work collaboratively on new initiatives.
Our next meeting will be held in Week 2, so that we can finalise all our activities planned for the annual 'Kalamunda Day' held this August. Students are planning to run a sustainability scavenger hunt to encourage students to consider ways we can be environmentally responsible including active methods of transport to and from school. We will also be nominating students to become 'Your Move' representatives so that students can share their perspectives about changes occurring at the school.

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Sarah Adams

Responding to our first Hands Up Survey

This story is related to Hands up survey

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We have officially undertaken our first survey as part of our involvement in the Your Move program and the results are in.
We chose to create a survey link for all our Mentor Teachers across the school. Through a combination of whole school emails and use of our 'daily notices' we ensured all staff were aware of the survey day. We had 42 Mentor groups respond which represents 75% of our school community.

The Results
Overwhelmingly, our students are taking public transport to school with 60% arriving by bus. We have no train services locally and our enrollment catchment is spread over a large area so it isn't surprising that most students are choosing this option. Many students travel more than 10km to school and the 'up hill' journey make walking and bike rides more difficult.

Our second largest travel demographic is those arriving by car. Our survey showed that almost 30% of students arrived by car on the day of the survey. In a High School this includes some students who drive themselves and their friends, but predominantly this was shown in our middle school population. The students arriving by bike and scooters are certainly in the minority, representing just 1% of those surveyed. It is possible that the weather in Term 2 makes these transport methods less desirable so it will be interesting to compare with our end of year results.

Our survey shows that we have a large group of students who could be selecting more active transport options.
It also shows that we are very reliant on buses. Feedback from some students is that these can be packed and make public transport less attractive.

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So where to from here?
1. We need to identify the reasons why so few students are choosing bikes.
Is it awareness of where to store their bikes? Is it a visibility or access issue? Is it a perceived safety issue? Do we need maps or education sessions?

2. We need to encourage students to select active transport options.
Our student committee will be guiding our effort to increase awareness of these options and will be having their first official meeting shortly!

3. We need to establish a conversation about sustainable travel within the broader school community. We have a range of avenues to reach the school population such as our daily notices and newsletters. We can explore ways to use these to our advantage.

4. We need to support students arriving by bus to make sure they don't opt out for less sustainable methods. Are we encouraging and rewarding this option? Do we have enough buses, or buses with sufficient capacity, to service this number of students?

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Sarah Adams

Our First Move

This story is related to Write your first story


Sustainability is a growing focus at our school in 2019 and we're looking forward to getting things moving!

In late Term One, our Sustainability Committee met and discussed being involved in the Your Move program. We know that our school is unique in that we have two separate high schools operating from our one shared campus. We also have a large enrollment catchment where distance and geography makes traveling to school a complex process for some pupils. As we're on the outskirts of the metropolitan area, public transport is relied on by many students... exactly how many we're yet to confirm.

Being a large high school, simple things like a survey take a little bit of juggling in order to find a day when 'most' students will be in class. After officially registering for Your Move at the beginning of the term, we have now made some excellent progress!

Our Leadership team has approved our next steps.
Our Student Council is engaged and ready to start.
Our 'Hands Up' survey is on the calendar.

Over the next few weeks we're looking forward to gathering the responses from across the school and getting a better understanding of how students are choosing to travel.

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Current accreditation

Silver
Points earned this year 436
Organisation start date 18/04/19
Points earned last month: 126 Lifetime points total: 432
Silver
Highest accreditation achieved: 2019 Silver
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