OJC expo delivers innovation

Snehal Sharma and Wesley Meredith with their real estate website. Photo supplied

As the first term concludes at Ormiston Junior College (OJC), students and staff have been busy putting the finishing touches on their first ever expo of learning.

The school covers the New Zealand curriculum using inquiry, meaning students investigate a driving question over the course of a term.  The results are staggering.

Year 9 and 10 learners at the school investigated ‘How to Create a Growth Solution’.  This took the students in any number of different directions.

Wesley and Snehal created a website to counter the Auckland housing crisis.  The website was designed to help new immigrants to the Ormiston region understand some of the issues and pitfalls in the local housing market.

The girls also translated the website into eight different languages that they thought may be of interest to the new immigrant community.

Dashiell Poh with her signs for Murphy’s Bush. Photo supplied

Wesley and Snehal explain “We really wanted to do the housing crisis so that we could help people know what to do so they don’t get caught up in the process of buying a house even if they don’t speak English.”

Julius, Adam, Liam and Jordan decided that young people in Ormiston were constantly battling boredom and therefore created a service for young people – after school games called Funday Monday.

For a gold coin donation to go to the Cancer Society, the boys held sports and games events for local young people after school on Mondays.

They would routinely have between 30 and 50 young people from the area attending. “Funday Monday was a big success for the kids,” says Julius

Jordan added:  “I’m really pleased that we did this. It helped us develop communication skills and leadership skills.”

For some of the learners at OJC, growth had a strong focus on te tiriti Waitaingi and the bicultural partnership in Aotearoa.

Paris, Rachelle and Exzyn created a piece of political art to highlight the need for an ongoing dialogue between Maori and non-Maori and the inequalities that exist in educational opportunities for Maori in particular.  The girls were inspired by the conversation started in Parliament around making te reo compulsory in schools.

April Ram with the ‘Leave No Buddy Behind’ campaign talking with members of the community. Photo supplied

Fatima, Avril, April and Akriti wanted to make certain that as OJC grows, all new learners feel welcome and can integrate so that their learning is successful and they can flourish as young people.  The girls started the ‘Leave no Buddy Behind’ programme to make certain that everyone feels safe and happy as they start their new school.

There were some outstanding exhibits by OJC learners at the first expo, but it is difficult to look past the exceptional work of young Dashiell Poh.  Dashiell and her family arrived to New Zealand in November, and Dashiell has been enjoying her new school immensely.

For her inquiry project, Dashiell wanted to address the lack of signage at Murphy’s Bush Reserve.  As a new immigrant to the Ormiston area, Dashiell noticed the unique trees in the area have no information about them for those who enjoy the bush reserve.

Dashiell researched to understand the local flora more clearly and designed signs for the area, even managing to impress the Auckland City Council with her ideas.  As a result, Dashiell has permission from the council to erect the signs and it is expected that the signs will go up around the Murphy’s Bush reserve early next term.

By Kelly Price, Learning Designer at Ormiston Junior College