The last three weeks we had the schools on the move project. So, a lot of our time went to this project. For this project, we were divided in two groups. One group had to organise two activity days for twelve years old children from the school Maaniitu. The second group had to organise two activity days for the sixteenth years old ‘teenagers’, they were from another school, called Kuoppanummi. The goal of this project was to organise activity days, were we can exercise our leadership skills, how to make games, how to make a project plan and how to work in a group. Every group had to organise one day activities on their school and one day in Kiljava. In this blog message, we will tell you more about this project. We will first talk about the schools in the move project in Kuoppanummi. After that we will talk about the other school, Maaniitu.
For the schools on the move project in Kuoppanummi, we were with eight in a group, namely, Sjeel, Lieke, Meike, Azzurra, Paulina, Chris, Ruben and Laura. Sjeel was the coordinator of the group. We divided our group in two work groups, the activity group and the organisation group. Which person in which group was depended on our strengths. So, everyone had to put their strengths on a paper and after this we made the two groups. Meike, Sjeel and Laura were members of the organisation group. They did mostly the project plan, script, timetables and safety plan. Lieke, Azzurra, Paulina, Chris and Ruben were members of the activity group. They thought about activities, made the lesson plans and made a background story for the day. We had a lot of meetings, some of them were in the whole group and others were in the smaller groups (activity and organisation) and some of them went really good and others took a little bit more time. After the first meetings and a lot of preparations, we had a good idea about how the first day would look like.
Our first activity day was the first of November. The idea was about the different cultures of everyone in our group. The children had to earn there ticket so that they could go to Kiljava next week. They could do this by earning puzzle pieces with every game. In the end of the day they had to make the puzzle, which formed a ticket. During the day, we divided the children in four groups. Each group had their own group leader. The group leader was the whole day with that group. Each group did four games before lunch and two games after lunch. Before lunch we had a ball game, a traditional Italian game, two is too less, three is too many and the trust game. After lunch, there was a special basketball game and the low ropes. Each game was standing for a different country. So, the instructor of each game, started every game with a short story about the country and the game. This was our first activity day. In my opinion, it went really well. Sometimes, there were some difficulties with the time management, some games were too short, but with some improvisation we found some extra games.
During the preparation, we did some things a little bit different for the second activity day. We had not so much time for the preparations, so we decided that we have no background story this time because it is not really important for children of this age. The school had already asked for activities like an escape room and box climbing. This made the planning a little bit easier. They also wanted to have a lunch outside with the campfires. During the preparations, we had to think about how we can do all this. We searched for two other activities. This time, we were really good prepared and also really motivated so there was a better vibe in the group. On the seventh of November, the second activity day, the children arrived in the morning in Kiljava. We divided them again in four groups and every group had again a group leader. We had five activities during the day, included lunch because not everyone had lunch at the same time. This was for the simple reason that the lunch was at the campfire and there is not so much place over there. The other activities were archery, an escape room, a guardian game and box climbing. The children were really enthusiastic during the day because we did some activities that a lot of them had never done before. We can say that the day went really well. There were some little problems but we could always find a solution for it. I think that I can speak for the whole group, when I say that we really liked this project, and especially the second activity day.
As far as concerning the Maaniittu school, the target group was the 6th grade kids (11,12 years old). We had activity in November the 6th and the 13th. We had 2 weeks of planning and meetings. Our group was made by 9 people, 2 democratic leaders and 3 smalls groups. The leaders were Roel and Isa, Caymen worked with the leaders, and the others groups were: Paulien and Sara, Noor worked with Marc and Nomedia with Sanne. We have chosen together the main theme on the two days: Three Crazy Professors (Isa Roel and Caymen) built a time machine and they travelled in time; in fact the first day theme was the Past and the kids needed to help them to go to their present again because something went wrong during the time travelling and the second day they “Travel back to the Future”. Each executive group had their independent meetings with the task to decided their games and activities and try to fit them in the main story. Each small group had also the task to made a proper and detailed project plan and think about the risk analysis during their activity and how to prevent injuries. The leaders had the task to think about and lead the intro warm up games and the final game. The “Professor” group had also the supervisor task during the days. We were in touch with our teacher Sini only through our leaders, they had meetings with her and she gave feedback in that way. The leaders had also an e-mail conversation with the teachers of the school, and the responsibility to create a timetables for both days. We try to put it into practice what we learned about play and games during the first day in Maaniittu school and used adventure and outdoor activities during the second day here in Kiljarva Campus.
For the first day we had an introduction video that told the kids the story about the Crazy Professors and super funny warm up games; after that the 46 kids were divided in 3 groups, using another game in order to mix them. Each team had one hour of activity, and at the end of the activity the kids received a “triangle” and they had to put all of them together in the “Time Machine” at the end of the day. Sara and Paulien have chosen the Ancient Rome theme for the first day, they thought more about problem solving and cooperation game, both outdoor and indoor, Marc and Noor were the Vikings, active and fun games, and Nomedia and Sanne used trust and communications games. All groups thought a lot about decorations, costumes and make up, in order to let feel the kids more involved in the story. The first day was a success, teachers, us and the kids were satisfied and happy!!
The preparation for the second day included the same team, timetable and agenda used for the preparation of the first day but we had some difficulties. Some of us unfortunately got sick and some of us went away for the weekend and other felt a bit the time pressure. We felt a bit stressed and we didn’t practice much our games.. but at the end, at the 13th, everything was ready: Sara’s and Paulien’s “Spaceship Escape Room”, Marc and Noor prepared active games about Aliens and Robots and Sanne and Nomedia a survial treasure hunt.We didn’t had time for a intro video but we went to the bus stop to welcome the kids with a march and we prepare some warm up and divided games.We tried to keep a good atmosphere even if there were some conflicts in the group. At the end of the day everybody was again relaxed and proud about our hard work, and we succeeded in our goals!!
On these two days of sport the teachers believed in us, in our abilities and they left us complete autonomy. They showed us in advance the rooms usable for the project, they gave us explanations on the number of students and they were always available in case of problems … There was a lot of collaboration. We were divided into two groups. We have collaborated within our group but we had moments in which we have been called to collaborate together (As for example in the day in Kiljava Opisto in which only one group of 8 people would not have been able without the indispensable help of the whole other group). We, students-instructors, even if we were divided into two teams, we worked and collaborated with the common purpose of concluding in the best way these 4 days of “school on the move”. In this project we had the opportunity to personally test the results of our work. After the first project, we did not waste time in starting the second which was very much better thanks to the previous experience. On the second day of activity the kids were happy to see each other again and excited to start the day. This was very satisfying for us! We worked hard and everything went well but we are aware we have much to improve, especially in the organizational question.
Our main goals: stay together, get involved, fun, movement and… improvement!
Written by: Sara Cignetti, Azzurra Einaudi and Laura Verstraete