A look back at the making of PeaceWiseKids
Lights, camera, action!
Our final PeaceWiseYouth Course, for Year 11 & 12 (Course 7) is well and truly taking shape! This final course in the whole PeaceWiseKids project integrates:
- the application of biblical peacemaking
- thinking through the lens of a Christian worldview; and
- engaging with some of the really big issues confronting young people today.
Recently, Chris Parker, well-known author of The Frog and the Fish, Rob Harding from Good Monsters and Angie our PeaceWiseKids Content and Curriculum Manager were joined by Camera Man John in Ballina to film the feature videos of Course 7!
Leah Walker, our Course 7 Writer and Curriculum Adviser, also spent time in WA filming young people about their understanding of conflict and peacemaking.
Please pray as we continue with the development of Course 7, particularly as we prepare for the major shoot in WA later in April. We’re hoping COVID remains under control in all states so the shoot can go ahead seamlessly.
We have also acquired our first ever PeaceWise pet, Fishy the fish! He will feature throughout Course 7 to remind us to be aware of the cultural water in which we swim!
The whole of PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth is nearly complete!
The final PeaceWiseYouth Course for Year 11 and 12 is well under way. Filming in Perth is schedule for April and we’re working on the lesson plans as we speak. Uniquely, this course combines peacemaking principles, interaction with “hot topics” and a challenge for students to connect their worldview with their real life decision-making.
We have particularly enjoyed working with our young consultants, Ariel and Jasper. They have provided a mature and relevant point of view to all of our scripts and have also recorded some of the video content. Look out for Ariel’s not-so-good apology!
Another mature and relevant voice adding to the course is that of Chris Parker, author ofThe Frog & The Fish. Which, if you haven’t read already, should be next on your list.
Chris will explain how our culture and upbringing affect us, specifically in relation to conflict, identity, justice and technology.
The final piece of the puzzle – Year 11 & 12 Course is underway!
The PeaceWiseKids team has jumped straight into Course 7 (Year 11 & 12) development. Leah is busy completing scripts ahead of the film shoots in Perth and Byron Bay during February. We are planning to have this course ready for use by Term 3 this year.
Organising participants from three different states in a COVID world is challenging but nothing is too hard for God! Please pray that as we plan and make contingencies, we remember to commit everything to he who is in control, and that by his will our Plan A might go ahead.
Because no one leaves PeaceWise for long, Sal Pilgrim has also reappeared and working alongside Deb Bensted and Angie Conroy, is refreshing our Year 9 & 10 Course (Course 6).
As the beginning of the school term begins, we’re looking forward to continuing to send PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth into the wild and watching as more and more young people all over the country become peacemakers for life
Another farewell and welcome
We have another fond farewell to give, this time to our PeaceWiseKids Content and Curriculum Manager Steve Wickham.
Steve took over from Viv Batt in March 2019 and has helped oversee curriculum development and maintenance for PeaceWiseKids/Youth over that time. We will miss Steve, his spark and enthusiasm and thank him greatly for the tremendous contribution he has made to this project!
With Steve’s departure we welcome back Angie Conroy who will take up the role of Content and Curriculum Manager for PeaceWiseYouth Course 7. Angie was one of the brilliant writers for Courses 1-3 and we are so thrilled that she can take on this role. Welcome back Angie 🙂
PeaceWiseKids team – farwell and welcome
With all our primary school courses now completed, our fabulous writers Angie and Sal have finished up their time with the PeaceWiseKids Project.
The PeaceWise family celebrated Zoom style with an hour of highlights, tributes, praise points, tears, laughter, reminiscing, reflecting on Kingdom building. We are so incredibly grateful to both Angie and Sal for their amazing contribution to this project!
With courses now completed from Years K -10, the team has started work on the last course for Year 11 and 12.
We are so excited to welcome Leah Walker who will be taking on the course writing role for this course. Leah has 7 years of experience working with young people in her previous roles as a youth leader, youth pastor and school chaplain. She is passionate about seeing young people reach their full potential in Christ. Welcome Leah!
Our youngest course for PeaceWiseKids is now LIVE!
As you read this, PeaceWiseKids Course 1 for children in their first year of school is LIVE! Featuring Aussie bush animals discovering how to be peacemakers together, in beautifully illustrated e-books for easy sharing with the kids! We’re ecstatic about how Course 1 has turned out.
Another big shout out to Angie, Sal, Tim, Rob, Manu, Siri, Scott and Mariah for what they have created for you! A superb effort. With six different age-appropriate courses comprising the full K-10 suite now, we have curriculum to support basically a whole-of-school approach, and we’re now seeing schools taking the whole suite of courses – awesome! To check out more of the courses visit peacewisekids.org and start your free trial!
With this youngest course completed, it’s straight on to the final course – for the last two years of school. We have a brand new team of passionate and experienced peacemakers. This course will engage with world view, peacemaking and critical issues young people are facing (sex, technology, stuff – and we’re thrilled to have Chris Parker, author of The Frog and the Fish as part of the project team. Please pray for the team as we work to aim to get this final course completed by Term 3 2021.
PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth – the journey from 2008
Six courses completed, covering ages 4-16 so far
Well, as it currently stands the PeaceWiseKids team have completed all the development of courses for K-10! That’s six full age-appropriate course adaptations of the adult peacemaking principles to ‘grow peacemakers for life’, developed over four years (the project commenced in October 2016), covering ages 4 through to 16. This is the realisation of a dream that prevailed upon the hearts of early PeaceWise pioneers twelve years ago, when the vision of teaching peacemaking to children in schools was first documented on 19 May 2008. All that time ago, God was already active building a passion for the work that is now nearing completion. Although we still have Course 7 (Years 11-12) to create, we really feel we offer a comprehensive approach for both Primary and Secondary (PeaceWiseYouth).
Our thanks go out to you!
The fact is, we could not have done this without you, without your prayers and support and backing and so much more! THANK YOU!
Teach peacemaking to children in their very first year of school – what better time to learn?!
Course 1 for the First Year of School is now complete and ready for rollout, going live on 30 September. This course features the adventures of Frilly the frill-necked lizard with her larger-than-life friends, Krash the koala, Ella the rosella, Wally the wallaby, and Tass the Tasmanian Devil, as Frilly and her friends learn how to become a peacemaker from their teacher, Mr (Kooka) Burra. These characters encounter the kinds of conflicts children encounter in their first year of school.
The course features six full colour beautifully illustrated books with engaging creative rhyming verse, all deliverable on Smartboard/TV/device technology, backed with our comprehensive Lesson Plans, suite of support documents, including Scope and Sequence for effective deployment in your school.
The team are so excited about this course. Many thanks to Tim Merks (illustrations), Rob Harding (voices), Scott Collins (sound effects) and Mariah Reilly (graphic design) for their creative skills in helping us develop PeaceWiseKids’ curriculum. Tim, Rob and Mariah journeyed with us through several courses, and we’re grateful for their faithfulness to us and the work.
A wrap for the current creative team
(Bruce Burgess, Sally Pilgrim, Angie Conroy & Steve Wickham)
The present team, assembled to take over from Viv Batt in March 2019, are now celebrating a successful project completed.
The team of Steve Wickham (Project Manager – Content and Curriculum), Angie Conroy and Sally Pilgrim (Writers and Curriculum Advisers), with the help of Deborah Bensted (Technology and Systems Support) and Bruce Burgess (Project Head) have now successfully created Course 3 (Years 3-4), Course 2 (Years 1-2), and Course 1 (First Year of School).
As a team, we’ve encountered significant challenges. These have included:
- working hard to keep the content fresh and consistent across all courses, and trying to avoid “Christian cringe” (you know what we mean…)
- massive technological challenges, including running a robust online learning management system which can be accessed by thousands of users
- people working across 5 locations in 3 States
- a big vision and a relatively small budget (given the crazy scale and scope of what we’ve been working to do!).
We have ALL grown as a result of working together on this project. We’re all very thankful to God for his guiding hand in everything.
PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth has now been used by dozens of schools across every State and Territory in Australia, plus countless homes, churches and Scripture classes. and thousands of children. And its reach continues to grow – it’s even begun to be used internationally too.
Please continue to spread the word and pray for the ongoing growth of the use of these materials, and for the new team needed to create the final course for Years 11-12, as we push on to grow…
peacemakers for life!
The PeaceWiseKids team
Our youngest ever PeaceWiseKids course nears completion!
Well, our course for the First Year of School (Kinder/Prep) is only weeks away from completion. It will be LIVE from 30 September for schools to run in Term 4. Then, can you believe it, we will have almost all our curriculum developed (K-10), with only the Year 11-12 Course to create, during 2021!
Getting back to our newest course, we know Frilly the frill-necked lizard, Krash the koala, Ella the rosella, Wally the wallaby, Taz the Tasmanian devil, and their friends, along with Mr (kooka) Burra the teacher cannot wait to make their PeaceWiseKids debuts in the series of six full-colour illustrated, fully-narrated books that are central to teaching the course. These books will be taught over our existing 15-Topic structure and will help consolidate the curriculum well.
Four and five year olds will love the rhyming stories that involve real-life conflict scenarios typical for their age that also have a twist of humour that always makes teaching and learning more fun. Schools may well find a school-wide deployment of peacemaking curriculum will deliver much in terms of cultures of peace in classrooms and playgrounds.
The PeaceWiseKids team has also been busy streamlining our processes internally and strengthening our approach in delivering quality and timely support to schools and other users. We continue to identify improvements to make to our existing courses, and a good example of this is our standardisation of Lesson Plans across the entire curriculum range.
One thing that may not be widely known is how well our courses match up to the Australian Curriculum, which gives schools enormous flexibility, meaning our courses can be taught in the normal scope and sequence enhancing academic outcomes for students of all ages. Quick shout out this month to Writer and Curriculum Advisor, Sally Pilgrim, who does a lot of our curriculum alignment work.
We’ve also prepared a brand new one-stop course info page on our website to answer heaps of your questions about content, structure, curriculum links, scope and sequence etc etc.
Course 1 is steaming ahead!!
Hello all from the PeaceWiseKids team! What a strange year it has been. What isn’t strange is our team continues to work diligently in creating fantastic biblical content to teach children to become peacemakers for life. So much has been happening behind the scenes to improve upon our already very sound service delivery on top of the development of Course 1 for Kinder/Prep – the very first foundation year of schooling.
Imagine four and five-year-olds learning about our Ultimate Peacemaker, Jesus! These super young children will soon learn from Frilly the frill neck lizard, her friends, and Mr (Kooka) Burra about how God made peace with us so they can make peace with each other.
A quick shout out, again, to Rob Harding of Good Monsters, who, with his children, and our Angie Conroy, are the narrators of the beautifully illustrated story books that will be the central teaching tool for our Kinder peacemakers. The six books in the course will be supported by our extensive Lesson Plans giving teachers a wealth of resources as they teach vital curriculum. Course 1 will be launched on 30 September, ready for Term 4.
Frilly’s on her way by 30 September! (PeaceWiseKids for first year of school)
Our final primary school course is well into development and will be ready for Term 4, 2020.
The course will be delivered via a set of six beautifully narrated and illustrated stories created for interactive whiteboards and screens. This course features some of Australia’s most precious animals as key characters.
So, watch out for Frilly the frill-neck lizard (stage left), Wally the wallaby, Krash the koala, Ella the rosella, Taz the tassie devil, and of course, their teacher Mr Burra, as they make their PeaceWiseKids’ debuts!
Children from as young as 4-6 years of age will love these characters, as they learn to be peacemakers for life. And some adults might just love them too!
Completion of this course will mean courses are available covering from first year of school right through to Year 10.
PeaceWiseKids Course 1 production is charging ahead
The PeaceWiseKids team are presently writing Course 1 (Kindy), having established the crucial Learning Goals for the course.
Look forward to seeing the central characters, Frilly the frill-necked lizard and Mr (Kooka) Burra who teaches Frilly and the gang at Spotted Gums Primary School how 4-5 year olds can be peacemakers for life. Course 1 will be live by September 30.
PeaceWiseKids is also working in the remote/distance learning space for COVID-19 in case you weren’t aware. We hope to serve all schools, families and churches well during this incredibly challenging time. For more information about this, please contact Steve on [email protected]
PeaceWiseKids for Years 1 & 2 goes LIVE!
The PeaceWiseKids team are elated to have finished Course 2 – for Years 1 & 2 – featuring Quiz Worx. For a sneak preview of the course check out this video.
We now move straight into development of Course 1 (Kindergarten/first year of school) despite COVID-19. We are trusting God that we will be able to progress this last course for Primary to completion for launch in Term 4, 2020. Please, very earnestly, could you please be praying for us?
We are also thrilled to announce that remote use guides have been developed to assist schools in using PeaceWiseKids (Primary) and PeaceWiseYouth (Secondary) content and curriculum resources for online learning at home.
Our remote use guides are intended to help teaching staff communicate PDHPE/Health lessons using PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth remotely. Our hope is that they make a difficult task much easier to accomplish. If you have any questions or would like to enquire further please contact the office on 02 8839 5860
PeaceWiseKids for Years 1 & 2 launches next month!
Well, this month we complete filming of PeaceWiseKids Course 2, which will then be ready for use from the beginning of April! We could not be more proud of this course for Years 1-2. Our team have been so blessed to collaborate with our good friends at Quiz Worx, and so, for the first time, we have the highly engaging Scruff the Dog helping six and seven-year-olds discover peacemaking.
We are positively elated with the teaching videos, the Lesson Plans, posters and Workbook. Course 2 will be the first course we’ve developed without online activities, so a more comprehensive Workbook is provided, which ensures teaching and learning is a concrete experience for students of this age. At this point, we want to especially thank Rob Harding of Good Monsters, our Course 2 videographer. We love our creative partnership with Rob.
And yes, NOW we see it! Course 1 (Kindergarten/Pre-primary) is on the horizon! Watch this space as we create our final course for Primary, that will launch in time for Term 4, 2020. We always value your prayers. Please praise God with us that we get the privilege of developing this life-changing curriculum, and please pray that many will use PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth courses to change the lives of thousands of lives!
PeaceWiseKids for Years 1 & 2 well underway!
Quiz Worx collaboration course ready by April!
PeaceWiseKids is celebrating the enormous blessing it is to work collaboratively with puppet ministry Quiz Worx for our newest course, for Years 1 and 2. Scruff and Michael will soon make their PeaceWiseKids screen debuts! You can see our Scruff illustrations and our Course 2 illustrated Jesus in the images to the right.
The new Course 2 (Years 1 & 2) will be completed for April 2020 and then we move onto Course 1 (Kindy/Pre-primary) which will be completed by October 2020.
Great enhancements to existing PeaceWiseKids courses
Over the Summer break we’ve made many significant enhancements to some of our existing courses, especially in terms of Lesson Plans standardisation, and the format and delivery of some of our online activities. This has involved an incredible amount of work over the summer holiday period. We are so grateful that these plans (and more) came together!
We still very much desire you to pray for us, our work and our team. We often discern God’s presence with us as we do our work. We are thankful for the iron-sharpens-iron fellowship we enjoy as we depend on and help each other. But we also know we cannot achieve what we know God wants us to do unless everything we do is bathed in prayer. So, thank you for your prayers of supplication and intercession in advance
PeaceWiseKids is partnering with Scruff and Quiz Worx!!
We are THRILLED to announce that Quiz Worx and PeaceWiseKids are teaming up for a puppet show format for Years 1-2.
Scruff (Quiz Worx’s first puppet, shown in the image above) and his human buddy Michael will be filmed in January 2020 and we expect that schools will be able to access this new course from May 2020.
In other news… Our team have collaborated together intensively to work on the Learning Goals for the new course to get just the right result in terms of learning outcomes, biblical content and how we pitch the language for a younger age group – and so that the course can withstand all foreseeable rigours of scrutiny.
Our team is now very busy writing the 15 Topic scripts and 30 Lesson Plans which support the learning. Additionally, we will create illustrations and develop our posters this month too. Please pray for us as this huge volume of work takes place to give the next age group a course that will teach them to be peacemakers for life!
PeaceWiseKids – next course underway
As you know, we now have courses spanning Years 3 to 10 – which is incredible.
Our PeaceWiseKids team have been hard at work in the past month. Planning and initial writing has commenced for Course 2 (Years 1 & 2), and this course will be finished before mid-2020.
This involves an important and blessed collaboration with another ministry for this course, which we will announce next month!
We’ve also done substantial work on all our Primary School courses to:
- strengthen links to Australian Curriculum outcomes
- provide greater Scope and Sequence guidance for schools;
provide full lesson plans for a Foundation (first) year PLUS a Consolidation (second year) for each course – which gives greater depth and flexibility in teaching
Lastly, we cannot do this work or complete it without you… your prayers, your support, your encouragement, and where you’re led, your resources. People have helped us in all kinds of ways, and sometimes it’s just a nudge from the Holy Spirit that compels people to make a call… if you feel a nudge, please call our PeaceWiseKids Content and Curriculum Manager, Steve. He would be delighted and encouraged to receive your call.
If you feel led to give to support the completion of the remaining courses, so that young lives can learn God’s ways of bringing peace to relationships, we’d also greatly appreciate this financial support as well. To give to PeaceWiseKids please use this link.
Our next course for Years 3-4 is now LIVE!!
So now PeaceWiseKids is a peacemaking and healthy relationships curriculum resource spanning from Years 3-10! (PeaceWiseKids is the name for primary and PeaceWiseYouth for senior school). It can be taught in schools, churches, scripture, youth groups and by parents with their kids. The latest course features beautiful graphics with compelling characters – Aah, Eee and Mee – plus heaps of online and in class activities!
Be sure to check out the awesome new resources that accompany the program such as desktop reminder cards, A2 posters and the Course 3 workbooks!
Our team could not be more thrilled!
BUT… we aren’t resting on our laurels. We’re so passionate about peacemaking for those as young as four years of age that we will continue to break new ground with the development of Course 2 (Years 1-2) commencing straight away. Our goal is to complete this next course by middle of next year.
PeaceWiseKids Course 3 gets ready to launch!
August was another busy month for the PeaceWiseKids team, writing the online activities and lesson plans, as well as creating and testing the online environment for Course 3 (Years 3-4). Last month we featured our three special animated characters, Aah (the “attacker”), Eee (the “escaper”), and Mee (our “peacemaker”!). We’re so excited to launch Course 3 this month. It will be ready for Term 4!
So that means our team have already been working on the theme and planning for Course 2 (Years 1-2). We hope to have some great news about an important collaboration for this course. Watch this space!
We also want to introduce you to some of the faces within Course 3. These are students from Regent College in Perth. The image above is of our drama actors. Course 3 features three dramas (14 scenes) and this content is available for Premium Online users, as part of the online activities. Also featured above are our Course 3 presenters, Isabelle and Lucas. We had such fun working with these Year 6 students in creating this content.
We are delighted that by the end of September we will have curriculum for Years 3-10! And we’re aiming on having K-10 by the end of 2020. Please keep our work and our team in your prayers.
PeaceWiseKids next stage nearly – and travelling all over Australia!
PeaceWiseKids has been steaming along in the development of content for Years 3-4 since we last updated you. The infographic stimulus videos and online activities have all been produced and written, and our writers are now hard at work doing lesson plans for all three modules and fifteen topics. We are on track, and the launch of the Course for Years 3 and 4 will occur in time for Term 4, 2019!
Did you also hear that PeaceWise has conducted presentations and workshops at various CSA and CEN Christian schooling conferences spanning across QLD, SA, NSW, VIC and WA? The images above show the team presenting in Perth and Brisbane. This means that over 3,000 Christian School delegates have received something of the vision of PeaceWiseKids to grow peacemakers for life. We are so thankful for these opportunities! This month, our National Director Bruce Burgess will launch PeaceWiseKids nationally within the CSA schools network at the National Leaders Forum in Perth!
Meet our new animated friends!
The PeaceWiseKids team have been hard at work during June working on the many aspects of PeaceWiseKids Course 3.
For Course 3 (Years 3-4, ages 8-9), which is currently in development, we have new animated content including three characters, Eee, Aah, and Mee, which depict the three responses to conflict, and a new animated Jesus (shown in the adjacent image). We also have brand new dramas, and a ‘games’ theme. There is a perfect storm of content coming together at the same time just at the minute, which is very exciting!
So stay tuned for more exciting developments from Course 3!
PeaceWiseKids Course 3 (Years 3-4) is well underway
With Course 4 (Years 5-6 curriculum) live and available for use by schools as of March 29, our PeaceWiseKids team have been hard at work brainstorming themes and modes for Course 3 (Years 3-4) and creating content.
Dramas have been shot at Regent College in Perth, and three brand new animated characterswill soon make their PeaceWiseKids debuts!
Our team consists of:
- Steve Wickham, our Content and Curriculum Manager
- Sally Pilgrim and Angie Conroy, our Writer and Curriculum Advisors and
- Bruce Burgess, the National Director of PeaceWise.
The team met at Mascot Library in Sydney recently for a retreat (shown in the photo above) which was not only a lot of fun, but it produced several significant creative decisions!
The target date of 30 September for project completion of Course 3 means several project steps are taking place simultaneously. So please pray for the new team as they strive to put together an excellent Course 3. Course 2 (Year 1-2) will commence its development phase from October 2019.
PeaceWiseKids Course 4 is here!
It’s here! Our first PeaceWiseKids course for primary aged children in Years 5 and 6 is ready and online!
Just like our existing PeaceWiseYouth courses, this program is designed for both home schools and Christian schools and can also be used as a group presentation package for Church and holiday camps.
Be sure to check out the awesome new resources such as desktop reminder cards,A2 posters and the Course 4 workbooks!
For more information about this or any of our other PeaceWiseKids or PeaceWiseYouth courses contact us.
Welcome to our new PeaceWiseKids team!
It is with great excitement and thanks to God that we welcome Steve Wickham, Angie Conroy and Sally Pilgrim to the PeaceWise family. Steve will be taking over from Viv Batt to continue in the development of the PeaceWiseKids project, starting work on Course 3 for Years 3 and 4. Angie and Sally are also coming on board one day a week, both in a writing capacity role. We can’t wait to see how God uses Steve, Angie and Sally.
Steve is a school chaplain, counsellor, and former pastor. He loves Jesus, people and peacemaking! He is married to Sarah and has three great young adult daughters and one energetic primary aged son. Steve enjoys coffee, writing, and spending time with friends and family.
Angie is a mum to two great kids, a wife to an equally great husband and adored by her devoted dog Hazel. Amongst this she squeezes in primary teaching and writing curriculum.
Sally has been a primary teacher for 15 years. She loves being a mum to three wonderful young people. Sally enjoys chatting with friends over a good coffee and going to bootcamp in the early hours to watch the sun rise. (Hence the need for good coffee!).
At the end of March, we will farewell our current PeaceWiseKids Content and Curriculum Manager, Viv Batt. Viv started with us back in 2016 when the
kids project was only in its infancy. Since coming on board, Viv has played an integral part in getting PeaceWiseKids to where it is today!
Before Viv passes on the baton to the new team (who we’ll introduce next month), we want to take the opportunity to thank and honour her.
We deeply value the person Viv is, as well as her many gifts and talents. We are so grateful for the dedication, passion, and creativity that she has brought to the role. The amazing PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth courses and content bear the hallmarks of her love, professionalism and passion and are her rich gift to all who use them.
We wish Viv all the very best and pray God’s abundant blessing upon her and her family as she steps into the next chapter of what God has in store for her life.
Shout Out to all the kids who have helped develop PeaceWiseKids!
We have been developing PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth for the last 3 years. So far, each course has involved different groups of talented teens and children from various states of Australia and in various capacities.
So this is a big shout out to all the kids who have helped make these courses real and relevant.
Covenant Christian School
Students from Covie were involved in these various ways!
- Students chosen for the first promo video in 2016 – our first movie stars!
- Scriptwriters and actors from the 2016 Year 9 English class
- Year 7 & 8 students who provided feedback in 2016
- 2017 students of all ages chosen who participated in a photo shoot
- 2018 year 9, 10 & 11 drama students – scriptwriters, actors
Kings Christian College
Kings’ Kids helped us out in these wonderful ways!
- 2018 scriptwriters, brainstormers and actors from Year 10 and 11
- 2018 Year 6 brainstormers
- 2019 course presenters – Erin (Year 7) and Anson (Year 6)
Gold Coast Kids
And a host of wonderful young people who live in the Gold Coast in Queensland lent us a hand!
- Kristen (Yr 9) photographer and videographer in 2018
- 2018 Actors (Jaxon, Joseph, Flynn, Isabelle, Leila, Rebecca, Talitha, Anja, Olivia, Alicia, Matilda, Russell)
Course 4, for upper primary children is due to be released ready for Term 2 this year. It will be a fantastic resource for Christian Primary schools and kids’ church programs.
The development of PeaceWiseKids into an awesome program for school-aged kids continues to go from strength, with lots of support from talented people and from generous donors. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Watch this space as PeaceWiseKids moves into a next exciting phase – the early childhood space, in the next few years.
Meet the faces behind our PeaceWiseKids graphics
It’s a new year, and the vital work of developing materials for kids to learn to become better Biblical peacemakers continues. As you might have picked up, our PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth materials rely significantly on great visuals – videos, animations, infographics as well as posters, worksheets and now workbooks.
We want to introduce to you two of the graphic designers who have contributed considerably across all the courses to date.
Mariah Reilly, of ‘Mariah Reilly Design’ lives in the South of Sydney, with her husband Warren and their pet cavoodle.
She has a deep passion for great design and loves bringing creativity to life across both print and digital media. Her specialties include comprehensive branding and logo creation; print designs for brochures, books and packaging; motion design and website design. Mariah has been creating graphic designs for PeaceWise for some time, and so it was natural that she took on a significant role in the design for PeaceWiseKids.
Jeremy Bryce, of ‘JayPeaBee Creative’ is a designer, also from Sydney, who enjoys illustration, branding and photography. He’s recently designed his own website jaypeabee.wordpress.com showcasing some of his creative photography and distinctive artwork.
Jeremy has been contracted to design cute cartoon characters, and has worked on Course 5, 6, and now 4. His most current (hot off the press) designs are for Course 4.
You might have noticed that Mariah’s and Jeremy’s designs, plus the early design (‘The Peacemaking Pizza’) of another talented graphic designer – Anthony from ‘Elevate Creative’ – have all been used together to produce an outstanding poster.
You’ll also notice plenty of great graphic images in the online learning section of the PeaceWiseKids website, if you buy any licences for your school students, kids or grandkids!
We are constantly awed by the talent and skill of these lovely people and are hugely privileged to be working with them. We are grateful to them for their service to us and thank God for their unique contribution to PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth!
Our PeaceWiseKids Writers – the backbone
In this last article for 2018, I want to introduce you to the backbone of PeaceWiseKids.
Over the 3 years we have been developing this project to take peacemaking strategies to children, we have had the wonderful privilege of working with 11 teachers of varying ages from different schools and workplaces.
The writers for the Year 7 & 8 Course included Chriss Halyburton from Newcastle, Bob Pickworth from Penrith, Tim Stanwell from Belrose in Sydney and Allie Oweis from Seven Hills in Sydney.
The writers for the Year 9 & 10 Course included Chriss and Allie again, plus Richard Grey from Belrose and Jess Mason from the Gold Coast.
For the current Course (Year 5 and 6) I am currently working with Tim again, plus Sam Orridge, Ashlee Davey and Peter Fossey from the Gold Coast, Nicky Winter from Nowra and Rebecca Monin from Belrose in Sydney. Allie also gave a day a week last year to support the writing process with her educational expertise.
For each Course, the writing process starts with a retreat to brainstorm key ideas. Then the hard work begins, where we need to take the ideas gathered and produce creative live tasks for students at school, home school and youth group settings, and then online activities for the website learning. This work is all done from our homes online from different places around Australia. For busy teachers this commitment they have made to PeaceWiseKids is inspiring.
We are also grateful to the schools that some of our writers come from – Covenant Christian School, Hunter Christian School, Penrith Christian School, Kings Christian College and Nowra Anglican College.
I must say that since working for PeaceWise, I have been astounded by the amount of goodwill and generosity amongst our community. Many amazing people give time, talents, money, prayer, passion and encouragement all for the vision of reaching young people with Biblical life-transforming peacemaking skills.
As we prepare for the next phase of PeaceWiseKids – the 5 to 9 year olds, if you are interested in this aspect of PeaceWiseKids development, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Have a peaceful Christmas! Viv Batt – Content and Curriculum Manager
Course 4 = Engaging online activities
In this world of rapidly advancing technology, our aim with the PeaceWiseKids programs is to provide engaging, visually attractive, age-appropriate fun activities on the website.
Due to financial restraints we are not able to contract Sam to design the games we were hoping to put into Course 4, at this time. However, we have found some alternative programs that are enabling our team to design many cutting-edge interactive activities that the kids will love. We have found more talented contractors to help us with this, so watch this space for further exciting developments!
Introducing another expert on the PeaceWiseKids project
This month we’d like you to get to know a bit more about the amazingly talented and all round nice guy, Rob Harding.
Rob produced the first PeaceWiseKids Promo video as well as the second video that promotes the content of PeaceWiseKids.
Rob lives on the NSW North Coast with his wife and children, and spends time each week working in Sydney – the best of both worlds!
Rob is a talented video producer, working with such people as Colin Buchanan, through his company Good Monsters. Spot the references to PeaceWieKids in his showreel video!
He is also one of Australia’s finest voiceover artists. You can find out more about Rob by visiting his website. We are sure you will be able to recognise his voice and maybe even his face.
If you purchase Course 6 (for Year 9 & 10) or Course 4 (for Year 5 & 6), (and maybe later Courses not yet developed), you will hear his voice on the motion infographic videos and may even see more of his video production.
Rob’s voice is described as ‘warm and natural’ on his presenter showreel. That pretty much describes the rest of him as well. His faith in Christ is warm and natural and so is his personality.
We are truly blessed to work with him. Apart from Rob’s crazy humour, the best thing about working with Rob is that he is, like us, is passionate about the vision of PeaceWiseKids, and wants to see it reaching many, many kids.We honour Rob and the quality he brings to the PeaceWiseKids programs.
To keep in the loop with the progress of the PeaceWiseKids project, make sure you read our regular blogs.
Course 4 is racing ahead
The development of Course 4 is racing ahead! Thanks to a number of generous donors we have been able to move ahead with Course 4 which is our first Primary School course designed for Grades Year 5 & 6.
Our 7 writers are at present very busy people. In between their teaching commitments, family and church responsibilities they are finding time to write some amazingly creative lessons to supplement the online learning. Please keep Sam, Ashlee, Peter, Nicky, Beck and Tim in your prayers.
Steve is moving full steam ahead, designing motion infographics, and Rob, with the help of a talented 13 year old are recording the voiceovers for the infographics. Very soon the writers will start on the second phase of their writing responsibilities, which is to think up online quizzes to go with the infographics.
We aim to have Course 4 ready for you in about March next year. We’ll keep you posted about its progress.
meet one of PeaceWisekid’s technical gurus
Since the vision of PeaceWiseKids has started to become a reality we have engaged the expertise of various IT specialists to deliver the online content. This has involved complex website, database and Learning Management System (LMS) planning and programming.
We want to acknowledge and honour the work of Peter Kent from the Northern Territory, Wisdmlabs from India, Eric Koelma from NSW, Brown Box from Sydney, and most recently Mark Parnell from Spark Web Solutions and I-van Leong from Sydney.
We would like you to meet another one of our technical support team. Deb Bensted lives in Perth at the moment with her husband Mark, while her adult daughters live on the other side of the country. Deb has been helping and supporting PeaceWise in various capacities for more than two years now.
The longer she has been with PeaceWise, the more we have discovered about her array of skills – technical and otherwise. She has helped with programming, website troubleshooting, design and layout of the LMS, uploading of videos, creating engaging online learning activities, giving feedback on Biblical content, and so much more.
We are deeply grateful to God for Deb’s skills, and the gracious, servant-hearted and very hard-working way she goes about the support she gives. She is a most valued team member.
If you have the opportunity to purchase any of our PeaceWiseKids Courses, you will see some of her handiwork. However, much of her ‘backend’ work is not obvious to the average website user.
Deb of course hated this post being done about her – but then again, sometimes you can’t always have what you want
Thanks for your generous support!
Thank you for responding to the vision of PeaceWiseKids!
As a result of your generous support we have been able to pay for the work of our talented writers from the Gold Coast, from Sydney and from Nowra – Ashlee Davey, Peter Fossey, Samantha Orridge, Nicky Winter, Rebecca Monin and Tim Stanwell (pictured with the blog post of 15/8). They are using their spare time, in amongst the busy life of a teacher to write up lesson plans. Some will even be using their holidays to learn more about our online learning management system!
We have also been able to secure the talents of Rob Harding, a professional voiceover artist and a capable 13 year old boy to record the audio scripts for the motion infographics that Steve is designing. All this work has been able to now start because of the generous gifts of some wonderful supporters. If you are still wondering whether to give, please seriously consider it as we still have on hold our plans to add some online games to Course 4.
Meet our talented PeaceWiseKids infographic artist!
We have been so blessed to find some awesome, talented people to work with who have a heart for the gospel and a passion to reach children with biblical peacemaking skills.
One of these special people is our motion infographic specialist Steve Unicomb. Steve does our PeaceWiseKids infographic teaching videos. He has two other jobs – he’s a state school Chaplain and the Children’s and Families Ministry Coordinator at his church north of Brisbane. He is also husband to Emma and father of two children. What’s really awesome is that Steve loves making infographics, he’s great to work with and he ‘gets’ kids. Check out his promo video here which displays the kinds of work he can do.
Steve created the motion infographics for Course 6 (Years 9 & 10), bringing our ideas to life. Next up, he’ll create 15 motion infographics for Course 4 (Years 5 & 6).
We thank God for Steve and for all our creative team who have helped make PeaceWiseKids a reality! Over the next six months we’ll introduce you to more of the team through our regular PeaceWiseKids blog post and here in Peace it Together. So make sure you keep following our blog posts here.
What is an animated infographic video?
Used extensively in PeaceWiseKids for the Year 9/10 Course, it is a relatively new form of visual technology that communicates a message with words, graphics, animations, photos and gifs in a moving video style. It is a really engaging way to communicate our peacemaking message with young people.
Let me introduce to you our video infographic specialist. His name is Steve Unicomb. Steve does our PeaceWise videos ‘on the side’. He has two other jobs – he’s a state school Chaplain and a Children’s worker in a church. What’s really awesome is that Steve loves making infographics, and he’s great to work with. He brings my ideas to life!
His work is helped by our amazing Voiceover specialist, Rob Harding. He’s a professional who’s voice you would recognise from some TV ads!
Steve and Rob did the infographic videos for Course 6, and now they are ready to work on the infographics for Course 4. We just need some more donations to make this happen.
Do you have children or grandchildren who are teenagers? Then why not buy a few licenses and go through Course 6 online with them. Then you’ll see what I am raving about! There’s other good stuff there as well, which I will tell you about in the next blog!..
Upper Primary Course on the way!
Last week 7 talented teachers got together to start the writing process for Course 4, which is for Year 5 & 6 kids. It was a crazy time of creative brainstorming – pumping out heaps of ideas for each of the 15 topics of the Course.
We hope to have 15 amazing infographics, engaging child presenters, creative lesson ideas plus 2 interactive games the kids will love. There’ll be an online product with a workbook and fun group tasks for kids with their own devices – at Christian schools and at home, and a group presentation product for SRE and Kids Churches.
Course 6 – nearly ready
We have been working hard to get Course 6, for Years 9 & 10 ready and on the website for the start of Term 3.
Kings Christian College and Covenant Christian School have partnered with us to produce this Course. The videos are amazing – written and acted by teachers and students & produced by Wes Tolhurst. The online activities are engaging and the live lesson tasks challenge students to think outside the box.
Its such a privilege to provide contemporary materials to communicate to our young people the importance of developing peacemaking skills.
If you want to be kept in the loop with latest PeaceWiseKids developments, then come here, or to our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
Course 5 for year 7 & 8 is up and running!
If you’ve been waiting for the Course for Year 7 & 8, then wait no longer … it’s up and ready for you!
Are you a teacher? Do all your students have their own device? Then the premium online course is for you. Students can access all the features of online learning – videos, quizzes, interactive games, plus lesson plans and worksheets for the teacher to download.
If you are a Youth leader or teach SRE, then you’ll be wanting the Group Presentation program, where a video, lesson plan and worksheet is provided for all 15 Topics.
Go to www.peacewisekids.org and check out the free trial, or go straight to the online store to purchase your program, along with some awesome posters as well.
Course 6, for Years 9 & 10 will be up on the website in early July, ready for Term 3.
PeaceWiseKids store goes live!!
We are so excited to announce the launch of the PeaceWiseKids online store! This has been an ongoing project, passionately driven by the time and efforts of many people. So, we really want to thank everyone who has contributed to making this project a reality.
The Year 7 and 8 course (course 5) is now available for purchase through the online shop on the PeaceWiseKids website. This course is web based and includes interactive activities, accessible on any device or browser. The course also includes age-appropriate videos, animations, quizzes, live tasks for the classroom and more! You can check out this course and all the other wonderful resources at our store.
We are continuing to develop the Year 9 and 10 course and hope to make this available by Term 3 of this year. We also have our sights set on developing a course for Years 5 and 6 which will happen later in the year. This is really something to look forward to!
Please join with us in prayer over the coming months as we lift up all those involved with the development of the courses.
PeaceWiseYouth – for highschoolers
We listened to your feedback and made some changes. One of the biggest changes we made was to call our three Courses for highschoolers, ‘PeaceWiseYouth’. So Course 5, for Year 7 & 8, Course 6 for Year 9 & 10 and Course 7 for Year 11 & 12 are now all called ‘PeaceWiseYouth’.
Here’s the new logo for Course 5
Burleigh Heads – a great fundraiser
Burleigh Heads is more than just a holiday destination!
The local surf club was the venue for a great evening of food, fun, friendship and inspiration. Bruce presented the PeaceWiseKids vision so well. Heather and Mitch, some of our longest standing supporters, also added their personal stories of encouragement. Thanks to the generosity of the guests on the night, our financial goal is getting ever closer. If you would like to organise a fundraiser in your local area, school or church, contact Viv for help and support.
Welcome to Allie!
We are so excited to be able to introduce to you our new staff member, who has joined the team. Allie Oweis is coming to us with a wealth of experience as a mother of teenagers, a teacher, uni lecturer and educational PD presenter with a load of passion for the Kids Project. She is working closely with Viv as we develop the content for each Course.
Its a big job creating and refining online and live activities for 15 topics for each age group, along with video content, games, worksheets and more. We are on the hunt for passionate, creative teachers and youth/children’s leaders who are keen to help us write the content. Do you have experience with a particular age group? We are keen to hear from you. Email me at [email protected]
Our first (and urgent) need is help with writing for Year 9 & 10. So contact me asap if this is your area of expertise.
Second Promo Video is ready to view
In more news, we have also just released the second promotional video, produced by our our good friend and supporter, Rob Harding, of Good Monsters. This video tells you more about what’s in PeaceWiseKids.
You can access the video at this link. Please feel free to share it: https://vimeo.com/peacewise/peacewisekidscontentpromo
Pilot Test is out!
There has been so much happening, but I’ve neglected to keep the blogs coming. So sorry.
You’ll be excited to know that we have released the new website with the Pilot Course on it to a few schools and home-schools. They are starting now to test it with real students! There are some glitches to iron out (as always), but we are quite proud of what has been achieved so far.
Here’s an image of the home page on our new website.
New website under construction
After months of searching, interviewing and negotiating we have found our new Web Developers! Eric and the Roarify team are website designers, digital marketers and copywriters and are designing the website it represent the vision and values of PeaceWiseKids with respect, humility and fun. The course design is primarily focused on creating the most intuitive user experience possible so that teachers, leaders and students can get the most out of the activities as they learn what it takes to be peacemakers for life. So, at the moment Roarify is adding content and design features to the new PeaceWiseKids website and by the end of March, we will be ready for some volunteer schools, churches and families to road-test the website and the Pilot Module. If you have any 12-14 year olds (Yr 7 & 8) at home, at school or at youth group, contact me and see if there are any places left to become a Tester of the Pilot Module.
a Sneak Peek at PeaceWiseKids’ first animation
Production of the PeaceWiseKids program is in full swing as we work on various aspects to bring it all together. One key aspect has been to develop engaging teaching animations for the first module of topics for our middle schoolers. Let me give you a sneak peak at characters our young people will get to know through the animated videos…
Covenant Hub sets an awesome example
Last week the Covenant Hub celebrated a year of friendship, fun and peacemaking with their annual Christmas dinner. Many members invited friends resulting in an attendance of 28. This year the Hub were inspired to provide an opportunity for people to give towards the PeaceWiseKids project. David played the promotional video (shown above), and added some creativity by putting together a musical slideshow of photos from the film shoot with the Year 9 group and Harri Gilbert the filmmaker. All up $780 was raised! What an inspiring bunch of people. Thank you to the Covenant Hub for putting your heart behind the Kids project.
How much fun can Year 9’s have?
This term, a class of Year 9 students from Covenant Christian School have had a heap of fun while making a huge contribution towards the PeaceWiseKids project. After 3 days of filming, a few weeks ago, I decided to thank them with a pizza party. This photo shows them thanking them me for the surprise pizza that turned up to their classroom last week! I must say it was a blast working with this creative, intelligent, fun-loving bunch!
Year 9 filming project a big success
Over three days, a group of Year 9 English students took part in filming for the Pilot Module being created by PeaceWiseKids. The students have been writing scripts to present a stimulating introduction to the first 5 topics of the Program for the Year 7 and 8 target age group. What a buzz it was to work with such interesting and talented kids! The young film-maker, Harri Gilbert proved to be an outstanding professional, relating well with the students and getting the best out of them. Thanks goes to the support of the staff and students at Covenant Christian School. The Pilot module is coming together well and will be tested in the first few months of 2017.
introducing our new young filmmaker
Just recently our group of Year 9 script writers from Covenant Christian School were privileged to meet their ‘famous’ film-maker. Their faces registered pleasant surprise when Harri Gilbert walked into the classroom with me, to lead a session on tips for filmmaking. An ex-student of the school and a Junior Tropfest winner a few years ago, Harri had a natural rapport with the students. I can’t wait to see what the students can produce for the Pilot Module, with Harri as their filmmaker!
Check out Harri Gilbert on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.
Hands-On Experience of PeaceWiseKids!
Hub members get a hands-on experience of PeaceWiseKids at a recent hub night…
Please keep praying for PeaceWiseKids. Thank you!
our first fundraiser!
Our first fundraiser – last week we had the opportunity to share the vision of PeaceWiseKids with a group 60 interested family and friends in Sydney at our very first fundraising event. It was a night of tasty Greek food, (provided by Sophie’s Restaurant in Balmain), wonderful company and inspiring messages from Boyd Allen of Hunter Christian School and from Bruce Burgess, our National Director. We were blown away by the generous financial response and positive comments, confirming this as a God-inspired initiative. Two nights later Bruce was in Perth for a fundraiser sharing the same vision with a bunch of Christian business people. Once again the affirming response has encouraged us to continue to work towards the fulfilment of this project. If you would like to partner with us by organising a fundraising event in your part of Australia or New Zealand, please contact Viv, who can offer you ideas and support.
Awesome writing retreat
Work on the Pilot Module has ramped up with our recent writing retreat. Four of us escaped our busy lives for 2 days to focus on generating ideas for our first batch of content. The Pilot contains the first 5 topics ( Module 1) and is being designed for 12 -14 year olds (Yr 7 & 8). In beautiful bush surroundings (thanks to Ava and John) we listened to God and to each other as we brainstormed and created activities for this energetic and challenging age group. This work continues as we stay in contact to refine the work. Thanks to , Bob and Tim and the schools who released them. I also want to acknowledge the great group of teachers from Melton in Victoria who started the brainstorming process with me in July, and also the email group from around the country who make up the ‘Think Tank’, providing their feedback at crucial times during the development process. Viv
Year 9 join the team
Tying shoelaces is easy once you know how. But could you do it with another person and only use one hand each? This was one of many activities presented to a group of Year 9 students.
Staff from Covenant Christian School have offered the creative skills of one of their Year 9 English classes to help develop video content for the Pilot Module. These students will work in groups to write scripts for 5 engaging videos, then will help to produce them. You will be bale to see their handiwork once the Module is live on the new PeaceWiseKids website that is in development phase at the moment. This will be ready for release by Term 1 next year.
The challenge of doing a simple task like trying a shoelace, one handed with another person, presented opportunities for conflict, communication and planning. It also highlighted there are different ways to tie shoelaces so understanding those differences was important.
The PeaceWiseKids project is all about working together, utilising the skills and passion of many PeaceWise supporters, so getting teens involved is an awesome gift.
how can I help?
There are 3 ways you can help:
- Donate – make a personal donation, either as a once-off or as a regular monthly donation. If you are parents or grandparents, share this vision with your kids and ask for their help.
- Group Fundraising – get together with a group and fundraise together. Maybe your school or church community could pledge to raising money to fund a Module for one age group. This would be a pledge of $5000. Then you can devise creative ways to raise the money. You can even create your own dedicated fundraising webpage, and your group can see the gauge increase with each donation made.
- Offer your skills and time – we are looking for a whole bunch of creative people to contribute lesson ideas, write up lessons, proof-read, design graphics, illustrate, write a children’s story, write a theme song, videography, Pilot Module testing groups, etc.
the video production miracle!
PeaceWise is a small Christian organisation, but with a big vision and a big God who is bringing all the parts of the jigsaw together! Take the production of the video you have just watched above. The way all the parts of this video jigsaw came together could only be described as a work of God. We have been blessed to work with our Christian video producer, Rob Harding of Good Monsters and his small team of media technicians. We secured the services of Karen Pang, a beautiful Christian woman of Play School fame, who was so professional and such a pleasure to work with. Then, to top it all off, Covenant Christian School organised 17 amazing kids of all ages and cultural backgrounds to be our ‘representative kids’.
Thanks go to Frenchs Forest Anglican, who donated their church as the venue. The actual day of the video shoot was great fun and all went smoothly. Check out our Facebook page to see more photos. Since the Kids project was just a dream (which goes all the way back to 2007) we have seen God working to achieve His purposes. This is just one example. There is so much to be done, but we are confident that God – our ultimate project Manager – will guide our steps and put us in contact with the people he has planned to help in some way. Although PeaceWise is small, the supporters of this vision are many, and spread all over Australia and beyond. If PeaceWiseKids excites you, please contact me! Viv.