Cultivating Connections that Matter
Cultivating Connections that Matter work with students, teachers, schools, parents and anyone else interested in making learning relevant to students and connected to the real world.
What We Do
We know there is value in pushing students outside a protective academic bubble to participate in real world learning and service, but teachers and schools struggle to find time, resources, and assessable outcomes. We aim to work with all community members to challenges students to develop their own meaningful answers to real world questions.
Educational solutions tailored to your learning goals
Who We Are
Teachers, Trainers, Researchers, Builders, Designers
Ellen is a teacher, educational researcher, trainer, peace educator, instructional coach and curriculum development consultant. She is from sunny Melbourne, Australia but grew up in the international schools system and has taught in Melbourne, Beijing, Singapore and Helsinki. Her classroom experience has led her to specialise in embedding community connections and service learning into middle years classrooms as well as incorporating the IBDP CAS programme in the older years. She is currently working on her PhD which focuses on using psychological belonging as a tool to increase the academic success of students from non-elite backgrounds who are attending elite educational institutions. As a member of IBEN and with a background in psychology, Ellen knows the power of personalised and relevant experiences and loves co-teaching, facilitating, writing and planning. She loves everything about learning and believes that education can be a force to unite people for peace and a sustainable future!
Rachael Thrash is a master teacher who has spent her career supporting students and teachers facing questions that matter. Rachael believes that student learning is a process that begins with each individual’s perspective. Inciting students to question initial understandings encourages them to broaden their awareness and develop a commitment to thoughtful action.With a Masters from Brown University, Rachael has taught Humanities and English in independent US schools, public community colleges, and international IB schools. She launched a school-wide enrichment department providing co-curricular learning for preK-12 students while developing a mentor program for early career educators.Currently, Rachael teaches MYP English and leads the growing Service as Action program at the International School of Helsinki. In this role, Rachael supports faculty to initiate student-inspired thoughtful action grounded in curricular inquiry.
Recent Publications and Presentations
We'd love to talk to you about how we could work with you or members of your community about cultivating connections that matter in your students. Please get in touch!