State Winner of the 2017 Australian Government Anzac Day Secondary Schools Award

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan, announced St Catherine’s School, Toorak as State Winners of the 2017 Australian Government Anzac Day Secondary Schools Award.

The national awards are organised by the Department of Veterans Affairs to encourage initiative and creativity in the way schools commemorate Anzac Day.

Of the 79 schools nationwide to enter the Anzac Day School Awards, St Catherine’s submission stood out for the innovative teaching methods facilitated by Year 10 teachers, Mr Alex Borlenghi, Mrs Katrina Davey and Mr Tim Hay.

Principal, Mrs Michelle Carroll said, “St Catherine’s is proud to be honoured and even more so, of our dedicated teachers, Alex, Katrina and Tim for their commitment to continuously present subjects in new and interesting ways.”

Our students are being taken beyond the textbook through state-of-the-art technology to learn complex and unforgettable lessons firsthand,” Mrs Carroll continued. “Activities provide ‘hands-on and minds-on’ lessons for our students as well as making the learning entertaining and highly engaging.”

As part of the submission, St Catherine’s students paid respect to the service of Australians on Anzac Day through a student-led Anazac Day service and undertook a group research project on Australia’s involvement in World War II.

St Catherine’s Year 10 history students had the remarkable opportunity to undergo the process of digital storytelling, creating a short-filmed presentation displayed in augmented reality. Such technology, allowed each student to then scan a target poster with their smart device which would ‘come to life’ summarising a key battle of World War II.

St Catherine’s Head of Humanities, Mrs Katrina Davey, says, “The opportunity for students to produce their own documentary and share it using augmented reality fostered a rewarding team effort, while also stimulating discussion of Australia’s significant contributions during the War.”

Augmented Reality provided a tangible way in which St Catherine’s students could really engage and imagine what it was “like as a World War II soldier”.

Judges were particularly impressed with how students demonstrated their knowledge through the use of innovative technologies and that students obviously enjoyed and learnt from working on the project.

They felt the entry demonstrated a great blend of traditional and innovative approaches to learning.

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