This year, Year 11 students have been giving back to our local community by volunteering as part of the Community Service-Based Learning program.
The students have been cleaning up Elwood beach, conducting English conversation classes with non-anglophone immigrants, working in the neighbourhood’s toy library and doing maintenance work at the Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
Students must also write a reflection on their experience that will be included in their semester report.
One of the aims of this program is to expose students to a different type of learning outside of the classroom. VCE is an intense, academically-focused period for students, but the demands of the VCE shouldn’t mean that student learning should be solely restricted to the classroom. Providing an outlet for students to engage with people outside of the school environment is a refreshing and welcome change from textbooks and assessment tasks. This program also enables students to benefit in engaging meaningfully with the local community to build a greater awareness of, and empathy for, their fellow local residents.
Year 11 student Duke Wilson says speaking with elderly community members was “a great experience because I got to understand life from the perspective of someone who has lived many more years than me, other than my own grandparents.
“The conversations I had affected me positively by giving me a newfound insight on just how lucky I am to be living in this particular time period. “I was also given tips on life and told to ‘follow [my] bliss’.”
The feedback from our community has been overwhelmingly positive. Simone Jamieson, manager of the ESNLC, said that “another delightful bunch” of Elwood students “rose to the occasion” when tasked with teaching English at the community centre. “One of our students said the Year 11 Elwood College student teaches much better than our teacher!" The Seniors were so excited to congratulate the school kids and teacher on their contribution and highlight the fact that Elwood College was listed as one of the top most improved schools which is fabulous.
“It was great to have them again here understanding more about what we do here at our Centre and how important Community Services are for the disadvantaged.”
We’re so proud of our students for being such wonderful representatives of our school and leaders in our community.