Resources for Educators
The Things that Matter to Children
Through the Commissioner’s Student Voice Postcard initiative South Australian primary school aged children have consistently said that there are four things that worry them most. Not surprisingly, one of these is the environment, another is school and homework, a third is needing assistance navigating relationships with family and friends, and the fourth is not being listened to by adults.
Listening to the views, perspectives and experiences of primary school-aged children is relevant to all levels of government, but it also applies to local businesses and community organisations, as well as to schools and families. Not listening to what children tell us at this age means we risk alienating them at a time in their lives when they’re looking for reassurance that trusting the adults in their lives is worthwhile.
The following snapshots provide insights into what primary school aged children think about school, job skills and the future, and what worries them most.
What SA Kids Have Told Us About…
Since 2017, SA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly has spoken with thousands of South Australian kids to find out what they think are the most important issues of our time. The following fact sheets present their views and ideas in relation to a range of topics including Climate Change, Homelessness, Civics & Leadership, Learning, Play, Diversity and Inclusion, Environment, and Work with additional topics in the series being added over time.
Designed to inform leaders, decision-makers, researchers, policymakers, educators and parents and guardians, the resources offer insight into what matters most to young South Australians. They make clear what young people believe our priorities should be, highlighting what they would like adults to focus on fixing now for the benefit of future generations, as well as themselves.
View the accompanying short videos for each topic on the CCYP Youtube Channel
Being Child and Youth Focused in an Emergency
Our planning for emergencies, disasters and recovery, must address the unique needs of children and young people across our metropolitan and regional communities. It must also include an understanding of the specific community infrastructure they require to build their resilience and reduce their vulnerability during and following an emergency or disaster.
Adults who are responsible for emergency management must commit to the view that children and young people are critical stakeholders. This means in practice they must ensure their operations reflect this view. This guide provides some practical ideas for ways in which this can be achieved. Some of the ideas have come from children and young people themselves. They include ideas on ways their competencies can be best utilised during an emergency as will as enabling them to contribute ideas and actions to the recovery process. This will also ensure that their interests, ideas and expectations can be considered and factored in while their emerging capacity for leadership is simultaneously nurtured.
Supporting Student Voice, Agency and Wellbeing in Schools
No young person should be launched into adulthood without the support of a good education, which is why access to education is enshrined within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as a fundamental human right. But a good education must be a balance between academic achievement and student wellbeing. Students want to go to a school that knows how to achieve this balance across sectors and ages. They want schools to be places where they are known and valued, where they have a voice and where they see the value in what they are learning.
This guide is designed for educators and teachers who are interested in creating more participatory and inclusive classrooms, more kind and welcoming environments, more engagement and meaningful lessons, and more trusting and respectful relationships between students and teachers. By adopting small-scale practices at the school level, we will be supporting children and young people to feel positive about their future and better prepared for life beyond school.
How to be more child friendly and child safe
The Commissioner asked children what they thought would make the places they go to more child friendly and child safe. They came up with ten easy to understand suggestions for adults whether they’re parents, guardians, educators, service providers or community volunteers. Their ideas have been captured on this handy fact sheet poster, which can be downloaded for display in your child-care centre, classroom, service centre or community venue or other place that children and young people go. This poster complements the content that is published in the Trust is a Must report outlining the importance of cultivating trust between children and adults to ensure services are delivering what children say they need and not what adults think they need.
Conversations with children and young people living with a disability
It’s clear that given the opportunity, children and young people living with a disability are keen to express their views about what matters to them most. They also wish to express their hopes for the future and where they think change could happen. This collection of comments made by children and young people living with a disability in conversations they have had with the Commissioner includes their views on subjects ranging from community inclusion to accessing independent transport, from having study options to securing future work opportunities.
Children and young people have lots of ideas on how to prevent bullying. They would like to get involved in anti-bullying programs and learn skills to build friendships. This collection of fact sheets contains information that children and young people want their parents, teachers and coaches to know about how they believe bullying can be prevented, as well as ways in which they think anti-bullying strategies would be best implemented at home, school, sport and other recreational environments.
Some people love them. Some people hate them. Their desirability has been discussed at length with cost, practicality, and their ability to influence academic performance, traditionally at the centre of these debates.