New Beginnings in Western Victoria
A fresh partnership is brewing in the western districts and it’s drawing plenty of enthusiasm.
Involving three schools — Balmoral K-12, Goroke P-12 and Edenhope P-12 — the new alliance is still in its infancy, with each school determining their preferences for the establishment of a formal cluster.
To date, the schools’ principals have met twice to outline their anticipated involvement, with each expressing a desire to foster improved leadership development, wellbeing activities, combined camps and enhanced sporting occasions.
Balmoral Principal Jo Amott said she “jumped at the chance” to be involved.
“It all started when Kate Roache (CEP) called-in to visit and she suggested forming a rural cluster with Goroke and Edenhope,” she said.
“From a wellbeing perspective I jumped at it, but since then we have got together and discussed how our cluster could also work in terms of providing academic and leadership opportunities for our students.
“Personally, since I started here as principal, I have noticed a gap in the area of wellbeing, particularly for our secondary students.
“But, equally, I’ve noticed the gap in education opportunities that are afforded to students in metro areas that simply aren’t available here, particularly because they’re too costly to run with such a small number of students.
“I think by forming this cluster we can certainly help address these gaps.”
Lee McKenzie, who is Acting Principal at Goroke, said the aim was to “start small” and then build collaboratively.
“We each asked our students from Grade 4 to Year 10 what sort of things they might like involved and from that we have established our core focuses, such as leadership and wellbeing,” he said.
“Each of our schools has a Student Representative Council (SRC) and they involve students from same year levels, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to engage them.
“The staff who lead each SRC will meet this term to arrange a leadership day, which could include leadership-focused sessions and some team-building activities, as well as allowing time for the students to brainstorm projects that they would like to work on as a cluster.”
The schools have set a team goal of establishing a joint student project, devised by the SRC, to be carried-out before the end of the year.
Jo Amott: Balmoral
Lee McKenzie – Goroke
Trevor McClure – Edenhope (Acting P)