Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Event...

Annually my school runs a Games Day.  I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the various game related programs we run, and that we were gearing up for our games day.  I'm very happy to declare that The Event has come and more sadly that it has passed.

Rock the Beat.

As exhausting and demanding as our Games Day can be it is also a wonderful experience.  Over the course of the day we have some 400 or so kids come through the hall - all engaged in the act of playing games.  The kids range in age from 4 to 12-13, and we also had young adult refugees from the Shepparton English Language Centre come across to join in.  A huge range of ages, needs, prior experiences and abilities.


Facilitating the day is a cadre of students we call the Games Ambassadors - mostly from my class of grade 3-4 students (ages roughly 7-9), they have the unenviable job of teaching and managing the games at the tables.  My personal feeling is that such a mentoring opportunity is great for leadership, empathy and a range of other skills - and wow was I impressed.  The Games Ambassadors rose to the challenge, managing to teach games to players with such a massive range of abilities is a daunting task for the average 7-9 year old, but what a job they did.

Kids of Carcassonne.

Some of the players had no English skills, many couldn't count, or spell, and yet all were engaged magnificently - a real tribute to the Ambassadors, a shining example of what anyone can achieve.  I was really taken with the way the Ambassadors slipped naturally into the role of mentors and teachers, these kids, on the fly and with prompting from me, were modifying game rules and in some cases making up wholly new games to suit the kids at their table (as well of course as teaching the games as they were meant to be played).

The Amazing Labyrinth.

Seeing older kids explaining patiently a game to a group of fidgety 4 year olds, seeing younger kids explain a game to a group of 18-25 year olds with very limited English, seeing everyone engaged and playing, laughing and having fun was surely one of the standout highlights of my year so far.  I cannot speak highly enough, or be more proud of my class and the other kids who volunteered to take on the role of Games Ambassadors.

Double Shutter.

I can't wait till our next Games Day!

CooCoo the Clown.

Jungle Speed.


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