Add Maths, Science and pumpkins and you get? Classes as well as a facet of dessert

Ms Lee Hui Ting, Year Head at Canberra Primary College and a Arithmetic and Science educator, styles faculty activities all over serious-lifestyle activities and her students’ interests, for the reason that it grows their assurance and motivates them for school.

Schoolbag speaks with the Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) 2023 finalist about her training inspirations and a pumpkin-growing undertaking that has sweet rewards.

What inspires you to instruct?

I typically commit time for the duration of recess and soon after university to get to know my college students much better as individuals. I also use a mailbox for pupils to leave me notes to share their joy or considerations with me at any time.

A person of my students, Peter*, was usually seen staring out of the class window, or doodling on his worksheets during lesson time. What he did have a deep enthusiasm for was sporting activities. So, I encouraged him to sign up for a Athletics CCA and the school’s sporting activities programme. As I retained up make contact with to encourage him, I was seriously heartened when he stepped up to lead his team in unique routines. 

To encourage him in his classes, I made use of sports activities analogies to reveal selected tricky Maths and Science principles, and invited him to share his thoughts and opinions in class. He began to present curiosity, even building PowerPoint shows to aid class conversations. Overjoyed, I shared Peter’s development with his mother. In transform, she shared how she noticed Peter researching and preparing the displays all by himself, performing the full evening to get it just right. He also available to be component of the course organising committee for the Teacher’s Day concert, and place up a superb performance.

I am incredibly proud to see how a lot he has developed in excess of the 12 months, into someone who is more confident of his capabilities, who normally takes ownership of his discovering, even volunteering to aid his good friends in their operate. Ultimately, he was nominated captain of his CCA.

My practical experience with this child has reinforced my perception that every youngster is unique and capable of achievements. And by developing a optimistic, nurturing and inclusive atmosphere for our pupils to thrive in, we can assist them get there.

*Not his authentic name

Describe a instructing strategy you have found successful.

I normally share stories to give my college students a context they can relate to, to encourage them to believe that in their very own skill to mature and triumph. If they can see illustrations of resilience and a development mindset in motion, they can build a increased feeling of self-assurance and inspiration to deal with worries and failures.

When it was nearing the students’ NAPFA conditioning test, I been given letters in my mailbox from those who had been worried about their very first 1.6km extensive-length operate in their primary school many years. Some were being going to pretend to be unwell so that they could skip the run.

So, I shared with them the story The Lady Who In no way Designed Problems. It opened up conversations about the strain of perfection. My learners shared how they understood that the protagonist was content and appreciated understanding after she embraced failure. I also shared how I overcame my individual troubles for the NAPFA exam with them. Through part modelling, storytelling, and using questions to deepen learning, the college students learnt how to hold matters in perspective – to take pleasure in the approach of performing what we do, to be resilient, and not be overly occupied with benefits and outcomes.

 “Each and every baby is unique and able of accomplishment. And by generating a beneficial, nurturing and inclusive ecosystem for our college students to prosper in, we can support them get there.”


To even more encourage them, I joined them in the discipline all through a single of their Actual physical Education classes. I ran together with the pupils, cheered them on and accompanied the past scholar throughout the finishing line. In spite of experience exhausted, all the pupils tried using their finest to finish the run. This scene was memorable, in particular when they cheered one yet another on until the finish. “Start out Youthful, Start off Right” is the name of our school’s Used Discovering Programme but also a statement I consider in, which is to nurture the appropriate values in pupils from youthful. Stories are a fantastic way to inculcate this.

Which faculty initiative are you particularly happy of?

As the Calendar year Head for the center main stages, I maintain the function of producing holistic and purposeful university student ordeals close to my heart.

A person such example is the pumpkin patch infused Curriculum Integration understanding deal which I lead in collaboration with the Science office.

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In Main 3, each and every course has its personal plot of pumpkin plants. The pupils sow their own pumpkin seeds throughout Science lessons, and the lecturers generate conversations on germination and pollination in the existence cycle of the pumpkin plant. “Look, Ms Lee, there are female bouquets. And appear, there are male flowers about there too! Can cross pollination take place now?” I get pleasure from listening to their chatter about the pumpkin patch, such as “Ms Lee, search at how big our class pumpkin has grown. I cannot wait around to eat it!”

As section of their interdisciplinary learning, the college students measure advancement by plotting bar graphs applying the Chartistics Application for Maths classes. They also perform analysis about the pumpkin as a sustainable food in the course of English lessons.

Thereafter, the learners doc their knowledge on their particular mastering devices by vlogging. When some crops fall short, students attempt to expand a further batch of seeds – an event to focus on values this kind of as making an attempt challenging and attempting once again in their day by day life.

To celebrate their studying and achievements, we harvest the pumpkins proudly collectively. A different emphasize is when our canteen distributors cook dinner the pumpkins in an improvised ‘bubur cha cha’ dessert! This dessert is then liked by the complete cohort of P3 college students and team. It’s inter-disciplinary and authentic discovering at its greatest – and most delectable – to me.

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