A NEW Lavers Hill program aims to develop student leadership and build ties between country and city schools.
Lavers Hill K-12 College Year 11 student Jasmine Steen has been involved in shaping a pilot program bringing students from Melbourne to her Otways school.
Jasmine said the Lavers Hill program took inspiration from a popular residential Alpine School for Student Leadership where Year Nine students from Victorian schools attend for five to nine weeks, and which she attended in 2012.
“Students gained confidence and knowledge from going to the Alpine School,” Jasmine said.
“The aim is for more students to access these types of programs,” she said.
Jasmine said her school’s leadership and outdoors program would include “a day in the life” experience of a rural school for city students, and a follow-up element.
“We want a group to come for a week and then have a reunion, we want to make them feel like they are sort of getting something ongoing and developing their connections,” she said.
Jasmine said Lavers Hill students would benefit from interaction with students from other schools, and her school aimed to host students for a week each term.
“It’s the chance to get to meet new people, in a small school, diversity can be a problem,” Jasmine said.
“We’re thinking of a week, maybe two weeks a semester, we don’t want to interrupt too much the schooling time,” she said.
“We want to be as flexible as much as possible, a week would be a good time to get into a routine.”
Jasmine said a “taster” this month with Melbourne Girls College students was a success and helped with planning.
Lavers Hill principal Andrew Kohane said his school’s new program would help participants complete Duke of Edinburgh award requirements.
“All elements of community service and environmental learning will be included and we’ll be using the Great Ocean Walk for the expedition,” he said.
“We’ll have the pilot phase in first semester and then aim to begin.”
Mr Kohane said he wanted to build partnerships with Otways businesses, including Cape Otway outdoor education organiser Quest, to help with program provision.
“We want to build promotion for local businesses,” he said.