Developed by the Rural Youth Ambassadors in 2015, the Rural and Urban Partnerships initiative is designed for Years 5-8 students and their teachers, to foster a meaningful rural/metropolitan school partnership based on shared experiences.
The overall aim of the program is to help further broaden the educational opportunities students and teachers have and provide exposure to both rural or metropolitan education communities, thus enhancing the education opportunities and outcomes of those young people involved.
It is designed to give students and teachers the opportunity to experience, and be exposed to, both rural and metropolitan/major regional education lifestyles and cultures as well as provide a great way for students to have access to a broader range of learning experiences and programs facilitated through the partnership. The partnership will also provide the opportunity for teachers to form networks and relationships with other teachers across the partnership to share knowledge, skills and programs.
‘Rural and Urban Partnerships’ is initially designed to focus on Year 5-8 students and their teachers.
It is expected that these partnerships will provide students and teachers with a range of education opportunities and experiences, some of which could include:
- Students will be placed in a classroom according to age level
- Teachers will work together to provide an engaging education program for students
- Collaborate with staff and be an active staff member of the school
- Students will be provided with experiences in both the school and communities
The partnership will allow access to each other’s schools, and their communities, with the specific details of the partnership being negotiated within each partnership. A clear focus of this initiative is on students and teachers visiting their partner schools as well as developing ongoing communication through the use of technology and the like. Each partnership will have the freedom to determine what age level and teacher/s become involved. For example: a rural school may choose a selection of year 5 students and teachers who will partner with a metropolitan/major regional centre and visit them for a week or so, with the metropolitan/major regional school returning the visit on a similar basis. The schools may also develop links through technology to further enhance the partnership learning. It is hoped that the visit experiences will occur more then once within the partnership and continue throughout the year.
A small number of rural education communities have been supported to develop a partnership with a metropolitan/regional education community. Beginning in 2015/2016, the initial pilot project supported a number of potential partnerships to establish themselves. These included partnerships between:
1. Apollo Bay P-12 College, Bright P-12 College and Macleod College.
2. The Ovens Cluster of Schools and Port Melbourne Primary School.