The 2019 Teaching Initiatives Program has ended

We are pleased to have supported 22 schools and preschools with their innovative teaching ideas this year and look forward to the 2020 Teaching Initiatives Program.

Stay tuned for details in early 2020!

2018 People’s Choice Winner

Take a look at one of the winners from the 2018 Teaching Initiatives Program (and our People’s Choice Award winner), Swan Hill Specialist School and their initiative ‘Creating Playground Equipment from  Recycled materials’.

 
Bank First Teaching Initiative Programs: People's Choice Winner

 

  • 2019 Grant Recipients

    Acacia Avenue Preschool

    Cultivating culture; a garden to explore Indigenous wisdom

    The purpose of our initiative is to set up an area within our gardens that introduces children to First Nations culture and sustainable living practices. We would love to set up a fully functioning bush tucker garden, equipped with worm farm and compost bins.  We would invite local First Nations gardeners and artists to assist in the set up of this exciting initiative and surround the garden with painted artwork, ideally transforming fixed poles into didgeridoo-like pieces.  At Acacia Avenue Preschool respect and empathy is highly valued, as is the importance of a healthy mind, body and world.  With this initiative we hope to better strengthen the links between these themes whilst exploring and embracing our local First Nations people and culture, not only for the children but their families and broader community.

    Ascot Vale West Primary School

    How Quickly Time Goes By!

    The initiative focusses on time and understanding the concept of time.   We want our students to be able to read and compare analogue and digital time, comprehend duration, independently read and access timetables, understand calendars and how they work. Being a multicultural school, our students come from all over the world, they bring with them an deep understanding of global time zones, we want to enhance this understanding and encourage them to explore the world around them. We want our students to develop a curiosity and seek a deeper understanding of the elements that make up time. This includes understanding the connection of the world around us and how the moon affects the oceans that in turn affect the tides all over the world.  How the moon affects night and day, weeks and months, years and centuries. With the initial focus being on reading, understanding and using clocks in their everyday life, we hope to instil a curiosity of the concept of time. 

    Bendigo Special Developmental School

    Development of Multi-Disciplinary Skills in Students with Neurodiversity Through Minecraft Ed.

    This is an exciting innovative initiative that will engage and motivate learners at Bendigo Special Developmental School in rich on-line game-based activities through Minecraft Ed. to develop their personal and inter-personal skills and further their academic learning. Minecraft Ed is an on-line platform that presents a way to reach many of our students in a way classroom activities may never reach them. Our students, like many others are drawn to anything interactive on a screen and this initiative will harness that engagement and direct it to real learning. Our students are all capable of learning and need to be provided access to the curriculum just as all students are and Minecraft Ed Edition is an exciting way for our school to achieve this. This initiative has the power to develop vital communication and social and thinking skills. This will provide students with more of the skills they need to enter the community as valued participants and contributors. 

    Broadmeadows Special Developmental School

    From Little Things

    Our From Little Things project is a pivotal catering and hospitality based program that promotes the skills and abilities of our students, regardless of disability, to the wider community and provides crucial support towards training for future prospects post school.  Our From Little Things...project will see student engage in a range of within-school catering programs including running a cake catering program and onsite catering programs in our school cafe. Extended opportunities for targeted catering and hospitality programs and more formal training will be explored and offered to students, including Kitchen Operations training at CERES and onsite and offsite cake baking and decorating training. Barista training will be offered as part of this special program, with students undertaking the training becoming the school barista team, who will then assume the responsibilities of running the espresso machine for programs in the From Little Things...cafe or for internal catering events.  

    Canterbury Norwood Baptist Kindergarten

    Language Development

    Canterbury Norwood Baptist Kindergarten are exposing their 3 year old and 4 year old children to a new language through a language application on iPads which they can engage and interact with.  Exposure to a second language from a young age can assist in learning other languages when they reach school. 

    Croydon Special Developmental School

    Robotics Program

    Croydon Special Developmental School are excited by the prospect of developing and implementing a robotics program. Based on the STEM framework, we hope to deliver a new range of learning opportunities to our students, who present with moderate to severe intellectual disability, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or physical disabilities.  The Bank First Teaching Initiatives Program will provide our students the opportunity to explore a brand new range of modern and advanced equipment, and allow our staff to develop a refreshed and engaged curriculum in science, technology, mathematics and the arts. These learning opportunities will be age and culturally appropriate, current and relevant to the fast pace of the 21st century and most importantly, provide a fun and engaging educational experience for a range of students who may have not had any experience in robotics before!  

    Essex Heights Primary School

    Mathematics Garden

    We will include a variety of different types of mathematical play areas, from interactive panels which create challenge and expand play, to painted surfaces on asphalt which encourage games of symmetry and mathematical wonder. There are small tables for chess and other games of logic as well as pictures which celebrate mathematical patterns in nature. In the shady trees, students have to hunt for mathematical signs and they can sit and relax under the ‘prime’ tree. The students can measure their height vertically or horizontally. They can use the street signs to locate the distance and direction of the state capitals. A Bulls Eye Panel is where students can handball and add their score. Students can play many counting games and times tables challenges as well as set up shop and café where money transactions occur. In the nearby sandpit, measuring is incorporated. The Mathematics Garden exists to not only assist student learning but also to make it fun. 

    Frankston Special Developmental School

    Literacy Chatter Boards

    At Frankston SDS, Learning to Read is an essential skill for every student. Phonics is a school-wide Reading and Writing program for all FSDS students. This includes verbal and non-verbal students. Non-verbal students require technology to further support their Reading and Writing learning. Chatter Boards enable this participation in learning to Read curriculum activities by providing a systematic approach to learning phonics, providing a hands-on, manipulative tool to understand how sounds work for students who are non-verbal. Providing auditory feedback the Chatter board is a form of Augmentative Alternative Communication where students learn to recognise the letter/ sound to 'speak out' for them as they acquire an increased ability to read and write.  Individual Chatter Boards have the capacity to provide non-verbal student access to all of the General Curriculum learning programs in their classroom (concurrently), as well as the Phonics (Literacy) program initiative. 

    Hamlyn Views School

    Laundry Program

    A Laundry Program provides our students with authentic and practical learning opportunities, which develops their academic, social and living skills. These skills in invaluable to giving our students the best possibility of living an independent life, becoming functioning community members and developing skills that could assist them in potentially gaining supported employment in the future.

    Maldon Primary School

    Maldon Maker Space

    STEM learning is a critical area of education to ensure all students have the knowledge and skills that will equip all learners to engage in dynamic modern workplaces and society. Maldon’s Maker Space will be a place where innovation, engagement and curiosity is at the centre of all learning. Students will develop the 21st century skills of creative and critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration using new technologies as tools. They will be self directed learners who persist and challenge themselves in all areas of learning. Through an exciting and engaging STEM education, learners of all grades will acquire skills that will give them an edge – so they can be smarter and more innovative, and use new and emerging technologies to solve problems and extend their knowledge and understanding.

    Melton Specialist School

    Armchair Travel Program with the use of Virtual Reality

    The Armchair Travel Program with Virtual Reality, will revolutionize MSS school curriculum through a multimodal, accessible learning platform. It will allow students to travel to places they have never been and experience different environments through the use of VR. The multisensory learning program can embed a range of different skills, such as communication, social and pragmatic skills, executive functioning, motor skills, imaginative play and life skills. It is a highly interactive platform aimed at better engaging our students with learning difficulties.  VR will allow students to have a fully immersive experience and would enhance the learning for our students with complex disabilities in a way that our school community has yet to access. It allows students to overcome the significant barriers they face in accessing the world around them. We envision an environment where all students have opportunities to engage in meaningful and rich experiences that we often take for granted.

    Montmorency South Primary School

    Rubbish Seats

    Montmorency South Primary school highly values the natural environment and is committed to finding ways to protect and manage our small bush reserve whilst still enabling students to visit it regularly.  Students decided that the solution to this problem is to build a permanent seating circle in the centre of our reserve so classes can still operate whilst the rest of the reserve is left undisturbed to regenerate. Students calculated that by building the seats out of ‘bottle bricks’ (PVC bottles stuffed with non-biodegradable rubbish) they can prevent the equivalent of 76 800 chip packets worth of soft plastic from going to landfill whilst simultaneously educating our extended community about the problems associated with single-use plastic. 

    Mullauna College 

    Peace Project

    Using reasonably sized rocks (flattish, bigger than a hand but not too big as they can then become too heavy to handle), using reference material that focuses on cultural patterns and symbolism, create a ‘path to peace and harmony’ - perhaps form an eternal circle or the universal ‘peace’ sign or simply placed in a garden location to create a path within the school grounds. The rocks will be carefully painted using Viponds paints (exterior mural paint for longevity) and sealed to protect them further.   The final installation will reflect the numerous cultures that we have in our college and the harmony with which we all come and ‘live’ together every day. It will symbolise the unity we have, the acceptance we have of one another and the way in which we support each other as a community.  

    Padua College

    Digital literacy, digital divide, digital solution

    How do students develop their digital literacy skills if they have slow, limited or no internet access at home?   This project addresses the digital divide that Australian students face by bridging not only the digital literacy knowledge gap with a custom interactive course, but also the gap of a physically digital connection.  The interactive online course can also be accessed via thumbdrive. The course's content, the underpinning technology and support materials are to be released as an open source project, meaning that any school can use/modify the program for free. 

    Sassafras Primary School

    MakerSpace Imagine, Invent, Inspire

    Sassafras Primary School would like to create a MakerSpace for our students and the local Preschool students to use. We would like to update our current science laboratory so that our students have a special space to explore a range of innovative science and  technology. The space will be used for our environmental science program, robotics and physical science programs.  The MakerSpace project will be an important strategy to better educate all off our students in a hands on education that gives them an understanding of the powerful role of technology in learning and life. It will promote exploration of hydraulics, motion, conductivity, electronic, coding and robotics.The MakerSpace will encourage our students to think and learn with the view to develop skills such as curiosity, creativity and collaboration.

    St Peter Julian Eymard Primary School

    SPJ 'Bee'

    The SPJ 'Bee' project aims to educate our students about living sustainably and encouraging biodiversity in our school grounds. From pollination to the bee waggle, kids will be immersed into the amazing world of bees. Being responsible for a hive will teach students the importance of maintaining and encouraging a healthy ecosystem within our school environment. We hope that these understanding are then taken home and our message of 'Save the Bees' is heard well beyond our classroom walls.   We look forward to including our entire school community in our project from the start and sharing our learning online for all to follow. We plan to connect with other beekeepers and bee enthusiasts from the local area and from around the world so we can continue to learn and grow our love for bees.

    Strathewen Primary School

    Maths in Action - Mega Maths Family Event

    Strathewen Primary is a very small, rural school, with a total student enrolment of 47. Our Maths in Action- Mega Maths Family Event will bring families and the wider school community into the classroom, encouraging engagement in school programs and strengthening the understanding of the changing curriculum. The event will promote student interest and curiosity as they explore the exciting opportunities available in the wonderful world of Maths. Our students will play a major role in planning our event, to showcase their projects, their plans and the many learning possibilities in Maths across all school levels. Building connections with the wider school and local community, students will take on the role of sharing their knowledge with a host of visitors and with one another. Students will investigate their chosen topics and plan their demonstrations. The evening event will benefit all learners, whilst building learning confidence and promoting the study of Maths for all.

    South Gippsland Specialist School

    Mapbooks

    The South Gippsland Specialist School want to create a Mapbook system for every student in our school. A Mapbook System is an individual structured work system designed to differentiate curriculum targeting individual Student Numeracy and Literacy Goals, Executive Functioning and Fine Motor Skills. The system is a combination of the TEACCH Task Box System, Visual Activity Scheduling, components of the Montessori Method Presentations and Lapbooking.  The Mapbook has 6 parts: a visual to do list, specially designed Mapbook folder, labelled activity pockets, a finished box, a list of student goals and activity cards.  The activities provided in the pockets are: achievable, work on ‘consolidation’, are repetitious, clear, simple and age appropriate, aim to be completed independently by the student, contain only work for one session and are ‘hands on’/‘real life’ materials. It aims to maximise success for all. 

    Sovereign Hill School

    Bound For The Colonies

    The initiative aims to digitize the picture storybook “Bound For The Colonies” by Colleen Fawkes Ryan. The book currently has very limited availability. By digitizing the book, students and teachers would have easy access to age appropriate and historically accurate information about the sea journey to the colonies and the conditions experienced by first class and steerage passengers. Digitizing allows for increased explanations; by hovering over objects in the illustrations that would then pop up with descriptions and elaborations and would give educators worldwide access to this valuable resource. Increased knowledge and understanding of the sea journey would allow the students to step seamlessly into the immersive experience of a child in the 1850s who has just arrived on the Victorian Goldfields after the arduous journey and ready to start school. This is where the Sovereign Hill School Costumed Schools program begins.  

    The Patch Primary School

    Forest Classroom

    The Patch Primary School and Kinder are introducing the Forest Classroom program to enrich children’s learning through an experiential, authentic, hands-on immersion in nature. Children in Year 5 will assist the 3 and 4 year old kinder children as they explore, investigate, and engage in activities under the careful guidance of their Environmental Educator and kinder teachers. The Patch School and Kinder will utilise their multi-award winning landscapes, many designed and built by students at the school, to provide ecological settings for students to discover the joy and connectedness that comes from a better understanding of the world around you. Together the students will embrace the outdoors in all kinds of weather, made possible by the provision of outdoor wear and protective clothing. We are committed to providing an education that comes from a place of discovery, and leads to a place of knowing and valuing.  

    Wangaratta District Specialist School

    SS Recording Studio

    Wangaratta District Specialist School (WDSS) is a multi-modal specialist school which is home to around 165 students from Benalla, Myrtleford, Ovens and King Valleys, Rutherglen, Wahgunyah, and Wangaratta districts.  In 2019 WDSS implemented a 1:1 iPad program in 9 of its 18 classes.  To compliment this while linking into it's existing programs the school is setting up it's very own recording studio. The SS Recording Studio will be a place where a fortnightly news program (SS News) is planned, filmed and edited for viewing each fortnight and junior and senior assembly.  

    Westgrove Primary School

    Frog pond rejuvenation

    The frog pond rejuvenation project will benefit students of Westgrove Primary school, giving them a niche learning experience to transform the school frog pond from a dried up wasteland to a sustainable frog pond oasis. This initiative will raise awareness of environmental issues such as sustainability and conservation of frog species in the Western region of Melbourne. Through the STEM program, students, particularly those with an EAL background, will have a hands on opportunity to understand the impact that they can have on their environment.