Hillside kids learning skills for life

By Sumeyya Ilanbey

For at least a few hours a week, these Hillside children drop the devices and get out the tools.

More than 50 pupils from Sydenham-Hillside Primary School’s Hillside campus have joined a lunchtime woodworking program, creating old-school games, such as noughts and crosses and dominoes.

School chaplain Rob Nansen, who started the initiative, says he wanted to offer pupils an opportunity to step away from the technology, support their creativity and improve their hands-on skills.

The pupils get a chance to play with the games they’ve built and donate it to others in the community.

The most recent donation was to a local kindergarten last Wednesday.

“We use old hand tools … hammers, hand drills, so the kids are learning some great skills along the way,” Mr Nansen says.

“The students love it … they hear about it and ask if they can join [the woodworks program].

“The non-academic kids they thrive on this opportunity.”