Each year students will have the opportunity to attend one or more school camps, from overnight at school to week-long adventures. Camps and excursions are to extend the students’ experiences beyond the school grounds to support the curriculum, personal development, as well as student engagement and well-being. These experiences are designed to increase confidence, persistence and resilience, improve organisational skills and build teamwork within the group and increase with complexity, as students get older.

China Trip

Secondary students at Hawkesdale P12 College have the opportunity to travel to China on a biannual basis to take part in a cultural and study tour. This program focusses on developing a greater awareness of Chinese language, culture, history and lifestyle for our students, with the tour group visiting significant sites in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an. The active relationship that has developed over the past decade with our sister-school, the Beijing Middle School Number 27, is an important aspect of this tour, with students learning about everyday life in China while being billeted with local families for several nights. Students also take part in calligraphy, Mandarin, sport and cultural classes while at Beijing Middle School Number 27, and are involved in a range of ceremonies and assemblies. Tour highlights across China include walking along the Great Wall, visiting the Forbidden City, viewing the ancient Terrracotta Warriors and cycling along Xian’s medieval walls. Students from Beijing Middle School Number 27 visit our school on alternate years, and stay with local families while attending classes and touring around the Western District. These alternating exchanges between Hawkesdale and China build cultural understanding and language proficiency for the families, students and staff involved, and remind us that we very much live in an inter-connected global community. The cultural and study tour typically runs for a fortnight during September, with local tour guides working with the group in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an. In terms of AusVELs, the learning outcomes of this trip to China connect to the Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning dimensions of the Physical, Personal and Social Learning domain, and to the Languages dimension of the Discipline-based domain. Please contact Mr Distel or Ms Vaughan for more information about this Challenge and Extension program.

School for Student Leadership

The School for Student Leadership is a Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development initiative offering a unique residential education experience for year nine students, which takes place on three campuses in iconic locations across Victoria. The Alpine School Campus is located at Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps, while the Snowy River Campus is near the mouth of the Snowy River at Marlo in east Gippsland. The third campus is adjacent to Mount Noorat, and is called Gnurad-Gundidj. The campuses of the School for Student Leadership are fully owned and operated by the DEECD, and are staffed by trained principals, teachers and instructors in the same manner as any other government school in Victoria. The program is entirely residential; students live, work and learn at one of the campuses for an entire term, with the middle weekend of the term set aside for family visitation. The School for Student Leadership curriculum focuses on personal development, resilience, teamwork, building personal capacity and problem-solving. Students do not take part in traditional english, maths or science lessons; instead, they learn about themselves, communication, leadership, relationships and overcoming personal challenge, with time set aside for individual projects, team learning projects and outdoor education experiences. Communication between home, school and the SSL campus where students are attending is strongly encouraged, particularly in regard to letters and emails; the campus principal will also send a weekly email to families about how the program is progressing. The SSL program provides a complete break from digital devices – and sugar; no mobile phones, ipods, media players or lollies are allowed for the term, although students are allocated limited time to use laptops for research and/or communication with home. Our school takes part in the School for Student Leadership program on a biannual basis; a small team of year nine students attended the Alpine School campus in term three of 2014, and other teams will attend either the Snowy River or the Alpine School campus in 2016 and 2018. Forty-four students from country and metropolitan secondary schools typically attend each of the campuses every term; these students are from a range of different backgrounds, with residential living and team building providing opportunities to develop diverse friendships away from usual peer groups. In terms of AusVELs, the teaching and learning program of the SSL connects to the Citizenship, Health, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning dimensions of the Physical, Personal and Social Learning domain, and to the Communication and Thinking Processes dimensions of the Interdisciplinary domain. Please contact Mr Ralph for more information about this Challenge and Extension program. http://www.snowyriver.vic.edu.au/ http://www.alpineschool.vic.edu.au/.

Victorian Young Leaders Program

The Victorian Young Leaders to China (VYLC) Program is a six-week in-country immersion program for Year 9 students, designed to prepare them to live and work as citizens and future leaders in an inter-connected global community. This program recognizes the trade, migration and cultural links that connect Victoria and China, and seeks to extend the Chinese language teaching and learning that occurs across secondary schools in the state. The program focuses on Chinese literacy, intercultural understanding and student leadership, and is a remarkable opportunity to experience life in China for an extended period of time. The Department of Education and Training has committed considerable funding to this program over the next years, and details about program costs can found by following the link on this page. Students are selected for the program from our school on the basis of their commitment to ongoing senior school study in Mandarin, and their capacity to engage with experiences that will involve personal challenge, public speaking and working in teams. The VYLC tour group typically consists of a group of up to twenty students from secondary schools across Victoria, and is staffed by qualified DET and participating school staff. Two students from our school attended the VYLC Program in 2014; we plan to be involved in this opportunity on a biannual basis, with our next group potentially heading to China in 2016. In terms of AusVELs, the teaching and learning program of the VYLC Program connects to the Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning dimensions of the Physical, Personal and Social Learning domain, to the Communication and Thinking Processes dimensions of the Interdisciplinary domain, and to the Languages dimension of the Discipline-based domain.. Please contact Mr Distel or Mr Ralph for more information about this Challenge and Extension program.