Global Students, International Mindedness, What the ‘ning’ is that?

Today reaffirmed why I love teaching and why this generation of children are special.

My preps (1st year of school in Australia- 5 year olds) joined a year 5/6 grade (11-12 year old students) to look at the ‘ning’, Working Together 2 Make A Difference. They are now familiar with ‘nings’ and their relationships with older students is developing. I must also say it was a pleasure to watch these older students pair up with a younger student and help them to understand. They’re already making a difference! We are a learning community.

Why are we involved? Last year Jenny Luca sent information to me about a ‘ning’, Working Together 2 Make A Difference and I sent the link to my colleagues. At that stage, I didn’t even know what a ‘ning’ was! This year, I started becoming active in the ‘ning’ and to my surprise I found another staff member from my school had joined. We didn’t really get to know each other last year, different areas of the school and teaching very different year levels. Well, now we’ve connected through the ‘ning’ and are collaborating on a joint project.  

We’re supporting the Daraja Academy, which is a new school in Kenya for girls who wouldn’t have secondary education without this school. We showed the ‘ning’ and explained what it was about to our students. Africa was introduced through the ‘real life’ experience of my colleague growing up in and going to school in Africa. Her treasures were shown and explained to the children. The students were silent and totally engaged! Then we showed a video about the school. You could have heard a pin drop.

Back in our classroom my students talked about their discoveries. As part of our Inquiry we have been inquiring into, what is a school? , what is a class? what is the same and different about students in our class? and how does a school work? This project is about taking their thinking about these questions further and developing their sense of being a ‘global student’.


Their discoveries are listed below as said by my students: They may be 5 years old but they connected and ‘got it’!



-care for people

-our school and the Africa school, not the same

-different schools

-different people

-talk differently

-nice people from a different country

-different chairs- we have chairs and they have stools

-some houses are made of wood and some are made of brick

-mud bricks

-we all live in different countries

-beds-they live at school like Madeleine

-wasn’t much trees –not like here

-not a lot of money

-our buildings are nicer-African school didn’t have carpet-it has concrete

-no play area

-speak differently

-different colour skin

-no cars

-different hair and eyes

-be nice to people

-different food

-we’re all different but go to school

-schools look different in the world


Our next step is to Skype- conference, Mark Lukach a teacher in America involved in this project into our classroom to talk to our students about the school and their needs. Once the children know the needs of the Daraja Academy we can brainstorm ideas about how we can show support. It will be up to our students to decide how we help, as this project is teacher introduced but student driven. One thing I know for sure is our students want to make a difference!

Please watch the video below and visit Working Together 2 Make A Difference.



Cheers Nina


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4 responses to “Global Students, International Mindedness, What the ‘ning’ is that?

  1. Nina, what a great way to collaborate with different year levels. Your 5 year olds are getting a good grounding in thinking skills and seeing the world from different perspectives. I am so impressed.

  2. It is so exciting to watch you take this project and give it life. Can’t wait to see where this goes. I am headed back to Daraja on April 10th so let me know if there are any messages you want me to relay to the girls at Daraja!

  3. Nina

    Thanks for the comment Jenny. Inspired I am! My students connected in a way I didn’t think possible. Just goes to show you can’t underestimate the young mind. And as you already know KPS students are great thinkers and fantastic young people. I’m sure it’s the wonderful learning community and culture KPS has!

  4. jennylu

    Sounds like a wonderful day Nina. You and Jo are enabling great learning opportunities for your students; you can see this already from the insights gleaned by your wonderful 5 yr olds. So happy that you are actice in Working together 2 make a difference. I’d say KPS is on its way!

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