Step on to the Mundaring Christian College Primary campus on the first day of any new term and you will be astounded by the fun and joy you’ll see. You see, the first day of the new year and every new term is called ‘WOW day’ and is purposefully designed to set the scene for school life.
Mrs. Antoinette Wilson, Primary Coordinator, shares excitedly about the College’s unique approach:
Why WOW days
We know that many students can’t wait to see their friends after a holiday break. However, we also know that some students don’t look forward to the start of a term and that these days might even cause anxiety. This could be for a variety of reasons ranging from the unknown of the New Year, a new teacher, and even a new environment to worrying about coping with new learning and new and higher expectations.
Upon hearing such stories, our Principal, Mr. Rod McNeill, challenged each teacher to present the classroom as a fun environment, in keeping with our curriculum themes for the upcoming term.
The excitement builds…
The students receive a personal letter from their teacher a week or two before the term starts. The letter might reveal the theme, or just have instructions about what to dress up in or what to bring, to create an element of surprise.
In addition to dressing-up (to set the scene and create expectations), our students spend the day collaborating, experimenting, sharing, researching, partnering, exploring and investigating. WOW activities include lots of exciting things such as science experiments (with amazing results), treasure hunting, solving a pretend crime, Kahoot quizzes, bush walks and construction challenges.
Past WOW day themes have included; mad scientists, pirates, Inventors, bush rangers, explorers, under the sea, movie magic, a party, a formal dinner and a ‘who-dunnit’ theme, based on a murder mystery.
Learning through fun
The idea behind WOW days is that they absolutely still present as a learning environment. We believe in a cross-curricular integration approach. The themes present learning areas as opportunities for authentic investigation, problem solving and learning for a purpose. The WOW-days open up possible lines for investigation, research and development.
Our students arrive with enthusiasm and leave with a smile. Parents and students alike agree that these days make for a wonderful start to the new year or term, making our College a good place to be!