This is Lights On®

Stories from our Lights On® Changemaker families.

Disengaged Teen to Young Entrepreneur.

Meet Lisa, one tired, frustrated mum who transformed into an inspiring parent educator and empowered her bored, disengaged teenager into a young entrepreneur with a passion for business at the age of 14.


“My son was at rock bottom with mental health issues. To see him now confident, comfortable in his skin, loving life and running his stall at a local hospital raising awareness of children’s mental health is amazing.”


James was struggling in school and Lisa felt desperate. As a single working parent she felt she had no choice but to leave him in school. However, our children’s mental wellbeing must come first. With the support of Julia Black, founder of the Lights On® Academy, Lisa summoned the courage to have a meeting with the school about her son’s mental health, which she knew was suffering. Lisa could see they were not listening. In that moment, she realized they were never going to meet his needs. They couldn’t see James...

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Lights On® Family Culture

At the end of another Lights On® JAM, let’s look at how creative, collaborative learning enables us to shape family culture, empowering parents to change the way we think about ourselves and our children as we learn alongside one another.

Sixty families from around the world gathered online this week, kickstarting our JAM with fabulous learning carousels, laying out a feast of activities to entice our families to dig in and get creative.

Where do our children naturally turn, what grabs and sustains their interest, what lights them up?

As parents, we want our children to be happy, engaged learners, but what about us, the adults in the mix? Often, we forget our own creative genius, what lights us up. As important as our children’s choices, what catches our attention on the learning carousel? Where do we find our interest piqued, our engagement sustained? 

There is abundant creative storytelling emerging in our community as well as young engineers designing,...

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We're Jamming!

We're Jamming! 

Getting hands-on and creative, Lights On® style...

by one of our Lights On® Mums, Alice Khimasia

This morning, my 8-year-old woke me up to tell me he needed to film a ‘how-to’ video for his friends on the JAM.

The 3-day JAM is over, but the learning continues. He makes the instructional video and I am amazed. This is not something I have shown him, not even something I know anything about. But he is an expert. He has learned from his brothers and peers, and by playing around on his iPad.

His knowledge and abilities surprise me. I wonder what other talents lie undiscovered within him. He sits entirely absorbed as he continues to work on a couple of the movies he created during the event. When a child’s lights are on, the depth of their understanding, the level of their skills, will surprise us.

I like to be surprised as a parent. I confess I was skeptical about joining the JAM. I was anxious I wouldn’t have the capacity to show...

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Big Top Circus

When speaking to members of the audience after each show, typical comments I heard were “Inspirational”, “Fantastic”, “Unbelievable”,  “Hugely Impressive” and even “In Awe”.

The Great Justinino – Ringmaster (Volunteer Parent)


Seeing the impact our combined creative efforts had on the children was the first major source of inspiration behind Explorium.

Julia Black

In 2009 a group of volunteer parents combined their skills, talents and time and gave all 104 pupils at Butleigh Primary school the chance of a lifetime – to run away with the circus. This was a hugely ambitious project, which mobilized ordinary parents to stage an extraordinary experience for their children and have a direct impact on their education. 

A core team of parents worked with the children for six months training them in juggling, unicycling, clowning and performance poetry, among other skills. Then a dedicated Circus...

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Tree Play - Search for the illusive Great Breach Creature

When “Mad Pete”, a local Natural History obsessive, sent out the call for help to search for the illusive Great Breach Creature (GBC) he was soon joined by 40 intrepid and aspiring film-makers, aged 6-9 years old.

Accompanied by three Natural History filmmakers, who having heard a sighting could be imminent had come to capture this creature on film for the first time. Their wild adventure took them deep into the Somerset woods following a trail of feathers, scat and odd-looking tracks.

When they came across a huge nest with three giant eggs they knew they were close.

Now they faced the long wait! Cameras ready. Sound ready. But where was the GBC? 

Check out their film to find out whether they did spot the illusive beast.


Our intrepid explorers came from Rode Methodist First School and this is what Carolyn Tommey, Head Adventurer, had to say about Tree Play:

  • Excellent educational value – definitely the best educational visit I have ever been...
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