Resources for Educators
Below is a set of guidelines, fact sheets and reports that have been specially produced to support teachers and educators in their work. The information has been drawn from consultations undertaken by the Commissioner with children and young people throughout South Australia. Schools and other organisations involved in supporting children and young people to complete school, can be confident these materials contain information about what they have said matters most and includes their ideas for how their lives can be improved from their point of view.
Civics in the City – Civics Educational Grant
The Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Parliament of South Australia are offering South Australian schools financial assistance for a student civics visit to Adelaide.
All students should have the opportunity to visit the South Australian Parliament no matter where they live. Visiting Parliament and other civic institutions helps bring to life learning about South Australia’s history and democracy so young people can better understand how they can play an active part in their community.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Parliament of South Australia are offering a financial grant to five low-SES schools that are sited 20km or more from Parliament House. Selected schools will be given a financial grant to support a class trip to visit Parliament House.
We encourage all schools to visit the CBD and Parliament. The Parliamentary Education Office can tailor your visit to meet your curricular needs, offering visits to the chambers, talks on relevant topics, and even parliamentary style debates.
Apply for the Grant (applications close Friday 27 May 2022)
How to build an LGBTQIA+ Inclusive School Environment
The time spent at school and in school-based activities means it is one of the most critical environments in young people’s lives. When we make a commitment to providing child-friendly and child safe environments for children and young people we must follow through in all environments, including schools. There are no exceptions. This is both a requirement under international conventions and under National and State Legislation. Under the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, schools must take action in both policy and practice to actively celebrate and provide inclusive and affirming support for diversity.
Educators play important roles in the lives of students and what they say and do matters. Beyond supporting academic learning, educators, must provide emotional and physical safety for all students, including cultivation of their identity in nurturing environments.
This guide provides key insights from children and young people on what is needed to build inclusive school environments that ensure LGBTQIA+ students feel known, valued, included and heard at school without fear of being ridiculed, bullied or ignored by students or teachers because of their sexual identity.
Teachers Seminars: Civics and Citizenship
The Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Parliament of South Australia and the Department for Education invite all teachers and pre-service teachers to a series of Civics and Citizenship themed professional learning sessions in Term 2.
We’ll be joined by the Governor, academics, and other guest speakers to help you to make your Civics and Citizenship programs engaging.
All sessions are free and online, including a special NAIDOC Week session with Jack Buckskin.
Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/e5sggmBqQa
Kids have ideas on how to help prevent bullying at school
Children know that quality friendships are a key to preventing bullying at school and that forming friendships can help to build resilience and confidence, particularly among younger school children. They want schools to play more of a role in guiding them on how to make friends.
They also want teachers to teach them how to be a good friend and how to maintain good friendships, including providing opportunities to develop broad friendship networks while they’re at school.They want to make friends across different year levels too. This enables them to explore new ways of relating to and getting to know the people around them. Then if issues occur with the friends they have in their year level they can find an ‘older’ friend from whom they can seek some advice.
According to children and young people, encouraging development of social skills that include having confidence to connect with others, can be a very effective anti-bullying strategy. This fact sheets contains some of their other ideas for helping to prevent bullying through supporting them to build friendships in different ways including Circles of Friendship, Gaming Clubs, Lunchtime Clubs and Conversation Clubs.
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 while they’re at school. This fact sheet contains information that children and young people have said would be helpful for their teachers to know about how they believe bullying can help be prevented. They includes ways in which they think anti-bullying strategies would be best implemented at school through Circles of Friendship, Lunchtime Clubs, Gaming Clubs in the School Library and Conversation Clubs for children and young people where students come together to talk about subjects that interest them.
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.