5 May 2020

Celebrities kick-start students' days

| Edwina Mason
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Celebrity chefs Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) cooking in kitchen.

Celebrity chefs Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) are participating in Education LIVE, a NSW Department of Education’s initiative during COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: NSW Department of Education.

Students from Young North Public School were treated to a cooking class from celebrity chefs Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel last week.

They also heard from former Canberra Raiders NRL player Alan Tongue, and next week will listen to artist Ben Quilty and environmental educator Costa Georgiadis, among others.

The online initiative from the NSW Department of Education is called NSW Education LIVE and involves prominent Australians donating their time to help students kick-start their day while learning at home or in the classroom during COVID-19 restrictions.

Young North Public School principal Ange Gay is beyond thrilled with the initiative. “We think it’s awesome,” she said.

Last Friday, Mr Tongue addressed students about the success of professional rugby league players and other top sports people thanks to values taught in schools every day.

“He discussed the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion, and the motto that ‘rugby league inspires respect’,” said Ms Gay.

Diagram of positive message from presentation by Alan Tongue to students from Young.

Former NRL player Alan Tongue address students via video link at Young North Public School. The presentation was part of the NSW Education LIVE initiative. Photo: Young North Public School.

The NSW Education LIVE series commenced last week and features 15-minute wellbeing classes live streamed at the start of each school day. They will continue until May 8.

NSW Department of Education secretary Mark Scott said the live streams were a unique and exciting way to support parents, students and teachers with additional resources to help with learning from home.

Amid relaxation of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, NSW Term 2 schooling resumed last on Wednesday, April 29, but with a staged return in place, many students will continue their learning from home for the next few weeks.

Mr Scott said this allowed schools to manage face-to-face teaching with appropriate safeguards.

“During this time of unprecedented change, it is important our children still have the routine of schoolwork and learning from home to maintain a sense of normalcy,” he said.

Ms Gay said students and staff have loved the opportunity to kick-start their day with a positive message from a variety of popular Australian celebrities.

“It is giving them a feeling of connectivity with a common platform for some great messages to be delivered to all students learning online,” she said.

Here are a few positive words about the initiative from students :

Charlie: “I liked the message on how to treat others how you want to be treated; pass the ball the way you want to receive it.”

Gus: “The messages we are getting from these live streams is great, like the importance of teamwork and goal setting in relation to respecting both myself and my teammates.”

Hollie: “The live streams are really good because they encourage me to be myself and know that mistakes are OK.”

NSW Education LIVE is being streamed directly to more than 2200 public school websites, and more than 1400 school Facebook pages for students to access at home.

Students can also watch a broadcast on-demand after each episode streams.

You can follow the NSW Education LIVE conversation on social media using the hashtags #EducationLIVE and #learnfromhome or through the NSW Department of Education website.

NSW Education LIVE schedule:

  • Wednesday 29 April – Guy Sebastian (musician)
  • Thursday 30 April – Matt Preston, Manu Feildel and Gary Mehigan (chefs)
  • Friday 1 May – Ollie Florent (AFL player, Sydney Swans)
  • Monday 4 May – Eddie Woo (mathematics teacher)
  • Tuesday 5 May – Costa Georgiadis (environmental educator)
  • Wednesday 6 May – Mel Silva (managing director, Google Australia)
  • Thursday 7 May – Ben Quilty (artist)
  • Friday 8 May – Alan Tongue (NRL community program)

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