2017 World School Australia - Blog Two
World School 2017 – Noosa
On Monday, we were met bright and early at Brisbane Airport, by the welcoming committee of St Paul’s School. After a quick snack and a tour of the airport shops, we met the other delegates who had just arrived from the USA, Italy, Germany, Japan, Thailand, India, Hong Kong and Romania.
After a short stop at St Paul’s we jumped on a coach to Noosa North Shore, where we spent the next 5 nights. Our accommodation at Noosa Eco retreat was just 100m from Lake Cooroibah and at the gateway to the Great Sandy National Park.
It has been a very busy week - Miss Laming started her days at 5.30 by running to the beach with staff from Finland and Australia, while Ellie, Asha and Holly were kept busy from 6am until 11pm every day! However, it has been an unforgettable experience and, as you can see from the photos, it was a stunning place to be staying in. We are feeling incredibly lucky to have worked here for a few days!
World School Forum 2017 officially opened On Tuesday, with speeches from Dr Paul Browning, Head of St Paul’s School, Daryoosh Matsudaira, World School Director, James Harman, the Principle of Kanto International High School and Jon Andrews, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at St Paul’s School. We also received a fantastic welcome from an Aboriginal elder, who also talked to us about the surrounding area, played the digeridoo (which was very impressive!) and led us in our cultural activity; painting our own boomerangs!
Following this, Ellie, Asha and Holly gave their country presentation. They presented with great professionalism, as well as with humour, and were very well received by all of the delegates. This year, each country was given two ‘Global Design Challenges’ to present on, revolving around the theme, ‘The Future of Food and Water’. These challenges included: the amount of water accessed for agriculture; dealing with the world’s waste; the impact of commercialisation on food supplies, the reliance on convenience food; and sustainable access to clean water. It was fascinating to find out different perspectives on global challenges and was also a brilliant opportunity to learn more about each country.
On Wednesday, the delegates started their task preparation. Tim Osborne, Head of Learning – Design at St Paul’s School, introduced the Design Led Innovation process the students are using to solve the problems associated with this year’s theme. In groups of six (with a selection of students from each country), the delegates were all given one of the Global Design Challenges. Firstly, they studied and annotated their problem, establishing definitions of each word and what themes the challenges encompassed. Secondly, they brainstormed ideas as to who the challenge applied to and who they needed to make the solutions accessible to.
Over the next few days they came up with 'How Might We' statements, which proposed initial ideas regarding solutions. They were then given 100 squares of paper and 15 minutes to come up with 100 possible or impossible solutions to the problem. The groups then categorised these solutions under headings, such as ‘Domestic Politics’ and ‘Technology’. They will use all of this information next week when they begin to establish feasible solutions.
Thursday was performance day - it was finally the time to put all of their hard work and practice into the real performance! With the help of Katie Mason (one of the 2016 World School delegates) as their choreographer, Ellie, Asha and Holly were able to celebrate great British music with the enthusiastic audience, who sang along to every song that came on, from Queen, to the Spice Girls, to One Direction.
Their nerves were high as they were selected as the first to perform, but everyone was excited as the night got underway. The girls decked out the tables, where the audience sat, with Union Jack flags so that everybody could join in and get involved, especially during the final song: ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles. The girls did a fantastic job of keeping everyone entertained, and were a perfect opening number!
Every delegation performed incredibly well, displaying pride and passion for their culture and heritage. Some delegates danced, some sang, some acted, and some did a mix of all three! All in all, it was a wonderful way to share and immerse ourselves in the cultures of others, and each and everyone's warm reception to every performance made the experience enormously enjoyable!
We also received many opportunities to participate in activities during our time in Noosa, such as mountain biking, paddle boarding, rock climbing and raft building. Ellie and Asha went mountain biking (which turned out to be very, very wet and muddy!), Holly had a great time rock climbing and Miss Laming had a brilliant time paddle boarding!
We also spent a day at the beach, where the delegates were kept busy, practicing life-saving techniques shown by the team at Noosa Surf Club, playing games, swimming through the surf and exploring the shopping street! Meanwhile, the staff spent several hours playing in the waves – Miss Laming particularly enjoyed how warm the water was, compared to the sea at home!
The week was rounded off with a party on Friday evening, where the delegates could all relax and get their dancing shoes on! While sad to be saying goodbye to Noosa, we are very much looking forward to meeting our host families and spending the next week in Brisbane.