Home' Capricornus Quarterly : March 2013 Contents 9
What happens when you get a class of
determined young eight and nine year olds
and involve them in the process of decision
making? Well, for members of RGS’s Year 3
class with Mrs Cheryl Moodie (2012, pictured
below) the answer is quite a lot. During
Term 4, 3M students asked the question,
“It is possible to help the environment
with some help from my classmates?”
Their teacher, Mrs Moodie, worked
through the critical reasoning process of
decision making with them. The first aspect
of making any decision is to consider the
choices available to you. 3M came up with
five different things they could do to help
the environment within the Primary School:
• Turning off lights and air conditioners
• Using less water
• Walking or riding a bike to school
• No waste Wednesday
A crucial aspect of decision making is to
consider the conditions your choice must
meet in order to qualify as the best decision.
3M worked through these conditions rating
them from very important to less important.
Important conditions for the class to consider
were that their choice must be able to be
done now, not cost any (much) money, be
something that they could do and be a
help to the environment. A vigorous debate
followed as the students worked through the
different choices and how they met the key
conditions. In the end the class decided that
focusing on recycling paper at RGS Primary
was the best decision they could make.
Once 3M had made their decision the
focus moved to collecting more information
to help guide their actions. They created
a staff survey and visited each Primary
staff member to collect responses. This
gave the students information that all of
the Primary staff were keen to increase
their paper recycling and would be happy to
have easier access to recycling bins. Kirby
Richardson wrote a letter to the Rockhampton
Regional Council to explain about their
decision and to ask them about providing
more recycling bins. This letter resulted in
The Rockhampton City Council visiting the
school and completing a waste assessment
report. 3M is waiting for the result of that
report which will hopefully mean that more
recycling pickups can occur by the Council
and the School can become part of the
CQLGA EarthSmart Schools program.
Students wrote letters and talked
to members of the Maintenance staff
at RGS to find out the challenges and
possibilities involved with recycling at RGS.
The challenges involved with recycling at
a school the size of RGS are numerous.
However, Lee Donovan and Graeme
Thompson from our support staff were
quick to respond with answers and help.
Students also visited the “MRF”
(Material Recovery Facility) at Parkhurst
to see how Rockhampton’s paper
waste is handled and disposed of.
These investigations helped inform the
student’s actions and increase their sense of
purpose regarding their decision. Students
agreed that they would continue to be
involved in paper recycling at RGS in 2013
through the formation of a recycling club.
Blue recycle bins have appeared throughout
Primary and the Maintenance and Cleaning
staff at RGS are working hard to help the
students of 3M make their decision a reality.
Empowering our students by guiding
them through critical reasoning processes
like Decision Making is not only powerful
in the academic classroom but in the
life classroom. The ownership and
responsibility that the students of 3M feel
regarding recycling is clearer and more
tangible because they worked through the
thinking involved in making the decision.
3M’s understanding of how to make a
decision through fully exploring the crucial
conditions will benefit RGS environmentally
and holistically for many years to come.
Home’s different now
Blake Johnston, from “Creekview”
east of Monto, was ready to School for
his second year of boarding when the
floods tipped his plans upside down.
“We needed the rain so bad and
we were rejoicing when it star ted,
but then it wouldn’t stop.’’
Instead of joining his Year 9 mates, he
was battling raging flood waters, rescuing
cat tle with his father Boyd and cleaning-
up massive amounts of debris. Brand
new fencing completely vanished.
“School wasn’t really on my mind and
we tried to deal with the mess... It was
tough for mum and dad dropping me back
to School, but it’s what we have to do.’’
400mm of rain fell on the Johnson’s
propert y, taking out their entire cropping
production and damaging their pecan
nut plantation infrastructure. They
lost about 20 head of cattle.
“For two days it bucketed down and
didn’t stop. The creek’s never been up that
high. It ’s the biggest flood I’ve ever seen.
The roar of the creek was amazing.’ ’
The Johnston’s house only sits about
200m from the creek, but high up on
the bank looking down onto the flats.
“It ’s hard to see that sort of thing happen.
Our place even looks different.’’
BlazeAid volunteers from all over
Australia came to Monto to lend a hand.
“ They help[ed] us put the sprays back in our
irrigation pipes... [and] saved us a month of
our own labour. It makes you realise there
are some really good people in this world.’’
Blake said they won’t recover for several
years. He’ll be home for the holidays.
“I’ll be happy not to see
another flood for a while.’’
Children and parents said farewells, some more easily than others, when RGS welcomed 2013 boarders writes Rachael McDonald
– some odd bits are thesame, but
a lot of things weren’t here when I
was at the School,’’ Greg said.
Marlborough’s Cody Hill of “Clement s
Creek”, a day student in Year 6 la st year,
comes to School as a Year 7 boarder.
“I’m looking for ward to it, especially doing
all the sport in the afternoons,’’ Cody said.
His sister, Jordana, is a Year 10 boarder.
Middlemount’s Teoni McLean, of
“Gundabah”, who felt entering Year
8 would be daunting, was grateful to
have good friends here at RGS.
“I’m best friends with Chloe McLucas
(“Roper Valley”, Middlemount), who’s also
starting in Year 8 this year, and another
friend Erin McFarlane (“Yan Yan Station”,
Capella) is also in my year – but she started
boarding in Year 7 last year,’’ Teoni said.
“It’s a bit scary and I’ll miss playing
with all the animals at home.’’
Fellow Year 8 boarder Meghan Wilson,
of Midge Point, was eager to get started.
“I’m looking for ward to ever ything
and meeting all the people here – I love
school,’’ s aid Meghan, previously school
captain at Bloomsbury State School.
RGS Dimensions of Learning with Dr Michelle Waller
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