Hands-on approach to learning

By Lachlan Durling

HIGH school students in the Campaspe area will be learning hands-on skills thanks to a Campaspe Youth Partnerships program.

The Hands On Learning program will see students getting out of the classroom and constructing projects under the watchful eye of an artisan teacher one day a week, with the aim of keeping students engaged in their work.

And with the help of the Moama Bowling Club, the program is off the ground in record time.

‘‘This means that kids who learn better by doing can do so as part of a team working together and communicating,’’ Campaspe Cohuna Local Learning and Employment Network (CCLLEN) executive officer Anne Trickey said.

‘‘Schools and service agencies coming on board enables schools to co-operate and bring programs that they couldn’t do individually.

‘‘By sharing resources it’s becoming possible, and hands-on learning has really taken that to the next level — they’re sharing a teacher and now they’ll be sharing this trailer because we’re using it and equipping it with the tools that they’ll need to do their projects.’’

The trailer and teacher will be shared between Echuca College, St Joseph’s College Echuca, Echuca Specialist School, Kyabram P-12 College and Rushworth P-12 College students.

The Hands on Learning program began in Frankston in 1999 and now operates in more than 90 schools in Victoria. Locally, it was made possible through the collaboration of local schools, the expertise of Jamie Harding and support from the Moama Bowling Club.

‘‘In the world of small and big screens it’s refreshing to have actual tools being used by young students in a project,’’ Moama Bowling Club sales and marketing manager George Santos said.

‘‘They’re learning new skills they’ll have for life and we’re very excited to be a part of this project because people like Anne and Jamie bring a lot of value to the community — not only tutoring students but giving them life skills.’’

Hands on Learning commenced in our schools at the end of last term, with student selection and planning for projects. Now the students, who are back at school after the holidays, will be able to get to work with the tools and materials supplied.

‘‘There are a lot of different activities the children will be involved in but mainly it will be building and landscaping,’’ Jamie said.

‘‘The students have been fantastic; they’ve been so involved and enthusiastic it can sometimes be difficult to get them to slow down and appreciate what they’re doing.’’