What's the Plan, Stan? has suggestions for teaching and learning programmes for students in New Zealand primary schools. It focuses on emergency events and the effects they could have on your community.
Below are some suggestions for effective ways to engage your students when learning about emergency preparedness.
Link new information to prior knowledge and learning. Understanding how the science of natural events links to the social impacts in your local area creates many opportunities to create learning pathways.
Current events help students make connections to their learning, enhance the relevance of new learning and tap into what students already know.
As part of your school’s emergency procedures, drills will take place at regular intervals. Use these to grab a teachable moment, pulling information from the resource to understand and reinforce why drills are important.
Carefully plan for the needs of all students in an emergency. Take a team approach and consult and plan with teacher aides and parents, as well as the children themselves and their peers.
Every community has experts who can inspire your students’ thinking, provide information and add emotional impact to local events. You can choose to invite experts to the classroom or visit them at a geological site so that students are able to relate events to where they took place.
Images, video and audio are a good way to introduce new topics and add to students’ knowledge about other people and places. They provide a prompt for students to share, discuss and question their ideas.
As a conclusion to this knowledge gathering, students can take part in social action to show that they too can be prepared. This gives a greater depth and purpose to their learning and allows them to use new knowledge and skills and to explore these within a relevant context. Social action could include the following.
Discussing feelings and incorporating a mental health component in the school’s emergency plan can lessen potential trauma. After fire and earthquake drills, when some students may feel uncertain or scared about what has happened, is an ideal time to discuss feelings of anxiety.
The Ministry of Education has advice for schools and early childhood education centres on preparing for and dealing with emergencies
The New Zealand Curriculum sets the direction for teaching and learning in schools, outlining the values, key competencies, and outcomes that your school must take into account when designing your curriculum and the principles on which you will base your decisions.
What’s the Plan Stan? aligns with the vision, values and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Emergency event education grows resilience and awareness and helps students connect to and participate with their community. In taking a localised approach, schools can focus on the emergency events that are most likely to happen in their area and spread the message of preparedness across the community.
Emergency event education fits well with the learning areas of health and physical education, and social studies.
What’s the Plan, Stan? has been aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum as follows:
What's the Plan, Stan? aligns with The New Zealand Curriculum’s vision for what young people should be.
What's the Plan, Stan? encourages community and participation for the common good. It also promotes innovation, inquiry and curiosity by encouraging critical, creative and reflective thinking.
What's the Plan, Stan? is consistent with The New Zealand Curriculum’s principles.
Links can be made between emergency preparedness education and all five of the key competencies. In particular, there is a strong link to managing self. What’s the Plan, Stan? provides authentic, wide ranging and increasingly complex contexts that students need in order to be challenged.
What's the Plan, Stan? can be taught in the context of a number of learning areas.
Health and Physical Education: Safety management. In particular the emphasis on healthy communities and environments.
Social Studies: Conceptual strands — identity, culture and organisation; continuity and change. Especially with reference to belonging to groups and taking on roles and responsibilities:
Science: Nature of science; planet Earth and beyond. Especially the strand planet Earth and beyond, which has a natural fit with modules on disaster identification, preparedness and recovery, specifically at Levels 1 and 2.
English: Listening, reading and viewing; speaking, writing and presenting
Emergency preparedness education provides a context for an integrated learning approach across learning areas (mathematics and statistics, technology, the arts and learning languages) and is suitable for use in Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC).
Visit the New Zealand Curriculum website for more information on the New Zealand Curriculum.
What's the Plan, Stan? encourages community and participation to support better preparedness for emergencies. Schools are at the heart of the community and in some cases, they are Civil Defence Centres or Sector Posts. Focus your emergency preparedness and awareness on your school whānau and wider community.
Encourage students and whānau to have conversations.
As a school, you are in a good position to help facilitate community conversations about emergency events, preparedness and impacts.
Learning is real for students when they can make connections to their own lives and experiences.
These events may be pertinent to your area because they have happened there before, or because the geological features of your local area make it possible that such an event could occur. This gives students a greater connection to local landmarks and encourages communities to prepare for the types of emergency events they are more likely to encounter.
Explore local volcanoes or rivers and use maps and photographs to identify the best places to go. You can draw on local knowledge and visit areas of interest with experts who know about them.
Students will be able to explore contexts that are relevant to their wider community. Your students can take on the task of helping to inform, advise and prepare the community outside their classroom door.
What's the Plan, Stan? has suggestions for teaching and learning programmes for students in years 1–3, focusing on emergency events and the impacts they could have on your community.
These learning experiences are designed to be adapted to your local area and school curriculum. Although you can follow them in a sequential order, the aim is for the learning to be student led, so the resource is designed to allow flexibility.
Find times for practising drills relevant to your emergency focus. Before the drills, explain why they are necessary and why each drill is different depending on the emergency. The time and frequency of these drills will follow school policies and procedures.
What's the Plan, Stan? has suggestions for teaching and learning programmes for students in years 4–8, focusing on emergency events and the impacts they could have on your community.
Students in years 4–8 explore emergency events in a local context, covering the local and historical impact, the science behind the phenomenon, and preparation strategies and tips. At this level, students will have progressed from the understandings in the years 1–3 resource and will be able to look at emergency preparedness in more depth.
While the content of this resource is more advanced, the anxiety that students feel about the subject matter could well be the same. Advice on ways to help students overcome this anxiety can be found in the effective pedagogy section of this resource.