Positive Impact on Learning and Classroom Management
A University of Sydney evaluation of our pilot with the New South Wales Ministry of Health, reported that teachers indicated students were more engaged in learning during the Challenge as the increased physical activities addressed fatigue and helped students re-engage with classroom learning. This has been supported in feedback from teachers in all subsequent events.
Learning opportunities in relation to healthy lifestyles were identified by some teachers. One teacher noted that students were more interested in eating fruit during the Challenge and suggested that there was an increase in students bringing fruit to school.
“I saw the potential in it for other lessons as well like particularly maths. So I could utilise the challenge in a lot of our maths lessons as well ... It was good ... Just from the very basic reading four and five digit numbers and comparing, like doing averages. The kids have learnt how to calculate averages just through looking at the steps from the challenge. There’s so many opportunities. The addition and subtractions to see who had the most, what the class average was, what the personal average was, we looked at the little pedometers that we use, converted the steps to kilometres as well ... So lots and lots of opportunities to incorporate maths into it.”
"Well, each time we went to different countries we would just then do like an explicit lesson on teaching what that country is because a lot of these kids haven't even been on an aeroplane, let alone, you know, anywhere, so it was good. We located on the world map and then we did sort of just a basic thing on each country that we went to and where it was and what their food is, what the culture is, what the language is, all that sort of stuff.”
“The online avatars and video clips got kids really engaged. Loved the way it opened discussion and curiosity about places around the world.”
“We used the Challenge everyday in every curriculum area to enrich our teaching experience. I cannot thank you enough”
Improved Attendance, Behaviour, Social Interaction and Teamwork
Teachers indicated that the Challenge had a positive impact on students who were known to misbehave in the playground as they were more focused on organising activities to increase their steps.
“I have a group of boys that are troubled and normally cause trouble in the playground and the Challenge motivated them to play differently and to organise activities in the playground to increase their steps ... They knew they had to keep moving and playing the games to be able to keep up with the others in the class.” Moree School, NSW
Several teachers reported that the Activity Challenge motivated attendance at school and had had an impact on attendance among some students who had not been attending school regularly.
“Socially, yeah, because kids are forming little groups - ‘Oh let’s go off and do this to get our steps at lunchtime’. So socially it was good. Especially girls, there’s quite a few girls that got together in groups – ‘What can we do to get our steps? Oh we’ll go and walk on a basketball court or something’. So yeah, there were groups of girls that wouldn’t normally hang out together that were making little groups to get their steps up. So that was good.”
“Definitely social, too, working with part of the team and encouraging communication."
It Aligns to the Curriculum
The Zespri Young and Active Virtual Adventure has been used by teachers in all sorts of class lessons. It aligns with the NZ education curriculum in the following ways:
It brings an experiential element to learning that fosters the key competencies of the NZC outlined below.
The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure has relevance to the following learning areas; Health and Physical Education, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Literacy, Science and Geography learning areas
The Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure aligns with the principles of Te Whare Tapa Wha, hauora (holistic wellbeing).