Learning Through Play
For the special needs school of Kintore St in Katherine NT, access to sporting equipment was difficult to find as the size of the school meant they were often overlooked when funding opportunities arose. This harsh fact meant the kids, who were already living in remote areas away from additional care options, also had fewer opportunities to develop and play at school.
To combat this the Confident Girls Foundation provided portable netball hoops, uniforms and balls for the kids. The hoops are now used for learning games, such as counting shots at goal. It means they get to play outside, work on motor skills and develop social skills. “It is amazing how counting the number of hoops thrown can benefit our students” says teacher Jodie Locke.
In Australia, 7.3% children are living with a disability (ABS 2012) and sport is important to living a healthy life. We need to be creative with our engagement but the outcome is the same; sport is good for your mental and physical wellbeing. It also helps to facilitate a sense of community, something the assistant teachers at Kintore St have found, who often hold lunch time competitions to engage with the students.
“We had difficulty getting students to the school and having the new netball hoops has allowed us to utilise more play based learning outside,” says teacher Jodie Locke. “Students are coming to school more because they are engaged. Attendance for female students has jumped from 50% to 70% since the posts were delivered. A fantastic outcome for everyone involved”.