Transforming a school to transform a community

Meningie, SA, Australia, 2016-17

NoTosh Team

Chantelle Love

Educational Programme Redesign

Meningie Area School's Design Thinking for Learning

The small town of Meningie, in South Australia, suffered so badly from the 2007 drought that it saw a mass exodus of its population and an economy in tatters. Meningie Area School felt the impact hard, with a dramatic drop in student numbers. With NoTosh as its partner, the school soon repositioned itself as the rejuvenated heart of this community.

The NoTosh team helped leadership design ways to open up the school to the community, and provide just the right amount of structure and direction to enable the local community to help shape teaching and learning in a meaningful way.

We co-designed a Community Engagement Day, and engaged staff and students together with an intense immersion into the NoTosh Design Thinking process. The school asked the wider community to develop a number of critical questions for the town’s future, and then teachers took those questions, considered how they might be tackled in a classroom environment, and carefully adapted them to fit within the curriculum so students could work towards answering them, while fulfilling learning goals at the same time.

Taking the process one step further, the school considered how they could create local opportunities for students, which would, in turn, help reinvigorate the town and encourage young people to stay on after they finished school and make a life for themselves in Meningie.

"The confidence of students, their ability to articulate ideas and prototypes, their behaviour and attitude to working in groups, and their ability and willingness to tackle issues showed the whole local community, not just the school, the potential, focus and grit of the students"

Iain Love, Principal, Meningie Area School
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