Canterbury Primary School

Students leading learning

For Canterbury Primary School, stepping back and teaching students how to learn, not what to learn, is key. It's something the school explored during this year's Education Week, which focused on how schools can use technology to enhance learning.

On Friday 13th May 2016 Canterbury Primary School held an immersive 'maker' event for their students and those from neighbouring schools. Students from all ages and abilities came along to the event to examine technology and science from different perspectives. When brought together, everyone from preps to Year 6, were able to teach their peers across year levels all that they had been learning.


Watch the video to see what an amazing day was had by all at the Canterbury Primary School Maker Event.

Principal David Wells said STEM education was important because it equipped students with the skills they need for the future. 'The new STEM curriculum engages students in things they can relate to, which is so different from our standard abstract learning', David said. 'These projects teach our students problem solving, collaboration and important skills they're going to need in the future.'

With one corner devoted to building incredible light displays, coding games and musical instruments to integrating technology into real-world applications, the maker event saw students enter as experts in their own field and leave having learned from other students. 'To build this kind of genuine collaboration, we needed to get out of the way. And may be that's the evolution of the role of the teacher, teaching students how to learn, not what to learn.’ Teacher Carly Pluck, who organised the event, invited neighbouring schools to bring students along on the day. ‘So often we’re isolated as schools and collaborating like this is so important to build and learn from each other,’ Carly said. ‘It’s about stage, not age, at school, and giving our students the freedom and the trust to use technology to learn. Teachers will always help drive and frame learning but technology can absolutely enhance their experience.’

International education technology expert Gary Stager has helped schools across Australia bring out the very best of their STEM education, and was in absolute awe of the day at Canterbury Primary. 'I've been working with Australian schools for 26 years trying to show them the wondrous possibilities of technology in the classroom,’ Gary said. 'You can't teach 21st century learners if you haven't learned anything this century. By teaching STEM in schools, teachers experience the same kind of learning their students do.'

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