Graphic: RFDS Education Program
For many households, the role of ‘parent’ has been expanded in recent months to include such descriptions as ‘English teacher’, ‘mathematics tutor’ and ‘IT trouble-shooter’. It has been a challenge for parents, teachers and children alike, and all involved should be commended for pushing through to ensure education remains a focal point for every child.
Joining the list of those who are missing traditional school is RFDS Victoria Education Manager, Tom Ryan, who would otherwise be out and about with his simulator plane in tow, delivering his Education Program Look! Up in the Sky to eager children across the state.
The good news, however, is that elements of his program are available for students to access at home. The program has taught thousands of Australian children about the history of the Flying Doctor across its more than 10-year history, and Tom hopes it can continue in this interim home school period and beyond.
Like its real-world counterpart, Look! Up in the Sky’s online offering caters for students at a foundation to year two level, a grade three to four level, and a five to six level. The resources are all based on Australian curriculum materials and cover topics spanning history, geography and health education.
In its “virtual classroom” students can watch engaging videos, have a virtual look through an RFDS plane, submit photos to the online community noticeboard and play games – all while learning about the Flying Doctor.
The program also has a postal component called Kids’ Club. Membership of Kids’ Club is free, with members receiving a regular newsletter, birthday card greetings and activities through the mail.
To find out more about Look! Up in the Sky’s online resources and our Kids’ Club program, please see https://www.flyingdoctor4education.org.au/
Captain Tom Ryan is not a pilot but he navigates an RFDS plane around Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania to visit schools of all sizes. Listen to this story about his unique role at the RFDS and how he is the recipient of a good story from the very kids he visits.