ELECTION TIME AT BRISBANE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL
As Brisbane residents have being called to the booths for the second time this year in April, BIS students are also preparing to vote.
Students will be electing their government as part of BIStopia, a yearly event at BIS that sees the school transform itself into a town, with its own government, currency, businesses, a newspaper and services like a hospital or the police. “BIStopia enables us to cover a whole range of subjects in a really fun and exciting integrated way” explains Jennifer Haynes, the school’s principal. “The kids are doing maths when they are buying and selling in the marketplace or counting up their earnings, they are doing literacy when they are writing up reports for the newspaper, business plans or writing persuasive text for political speeches, not to mention all the science and art learning opportunities that arise with all the cooking, designing, inventing and manufacturing going on”.
But although BIStopia provides many fabulous teaching opportunities in terms of National Curriculum requirements, it really comes into its own in terms of the BIS specific aspects of the school’s curriculum, that focus on learning about the self and the world around us. “Kids are given an opportunity to focus on their personal passions when choosing what to sell at their shop and to reflect on their feelings about those cultural exchanges of money, ideas, products and materials” says Jennifer. These feelings can be intense as conflicts can arise between competing businesses and even between business partners but at BIS this just means opportunities for discussion and reflection. “For our children,” explains Jennifer “BIStopia is a real life opportunity to see how agreeing on a set of values is the glue that holds the community together, plus it is just so much fun!.”