Community Connections is an innovative alternative education program aimed at fostering school connectedness and engagement in learning. Through hands on learning, our engaging repertoire of programs focus on developing the four key learning areas of the Personal and Social Capabilities Curriculum from the Victorian Curriculum (Levels A-10): Recognition and Expression of Emotions; Development of Resilience; Relationships and Diversity; and Collaboration.
Each week a small group of Secondary students work with a Personal Trainer at a local gym with the aim of improving physical fitness and learning to see fitness as fun. Students learn the importance of warming up and cooling down and how to correctly use a range of different exercise equipment and machines safely, building on their existing knowledge of exercise and movement. Students develop resilience through trying a range of new fitness exercises that require persistence in the face of setbacks and frustrations and develop skills in collaboration when supporting and encouraging peers to achieve their fitness goals.
Each week a group of students from our Primary, Middles or Secondary Sub-Schools participate in an Equine Therapy program at Candlebark School in Romsey. During this program, Candlebark staff and students teach our students at Hume Valley School about the horses and their needs, including how to introduce themselves to a horse, brushing, leading, and riding a horse. Working closely with these majestic animals, students develop their knowledge and skills to regulate, manage and monitor their emotions, while also developing skills in collaboration when working with students from Candlebark School and peers from across their cohort at Hume Valley School.
Individual students, small groups or whole classes of students from our Junior to Secondary Sub-Schools participate in the Friday garden program with Kieran Dickson, a talented landscape architect. Students develop their personal resilience and skills for collaborating with others when completing a range of garden tasks such as planting and harvesting, composting, worm farming, raking, weeding, fertilising, mulching, taking care of our chickens, and identifying plants and their various uses.
Classes from our Primary to Secondary Sub-Schools attend a weekly volunteer program at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Students develop their resilience and skills for working with others when completing weekly jobs such as planting vegetables, feeding the animals, shovelling animal poo, sweeping barns and stick collection for their yearly bonfire.
Classes from our Middles and Secondary Sub-Schools participate in the SYN Media Radio Program. During literacy sessions, students work together on developing their scripts before taking public transport to the city and presenting their scripts live on air for their weekly segment on SYN’s most popular education program ‘Schools on Air’.
A select group of Secondary students attend our weekly Bike Trails program where students explore off-road bike trails along Merri creek, Yuroke creek, and paths heading further west running along the Ring Road. Riding as a team is a huge part of the program with riders encouraging each other in getting up that next hill or getting through a particularly tricky section with a personal best time. In additional to exploring their local community by bike, students see increases in their fitness levels, develop a better understanding of road safety, and have a chance to develop bonds with students from across their cohort.
As part of their musical development, students from Middles and Secondary Sub-Schools have the opportunity to take part in weekly drum lessons. In small groups, the students practise beats and rhythms on professional quality drum kits while learning to play along with their favourite songs! Learning any instrument can be difficult, and playing the drums involves getting both the hands and feet working together which can be very challenging. The students work on their hand and feet rhythm exercises and are often amazed when what seemed difficult at the start of the year has now become easy by the end. In addition to this, also added to the musical program is a special drum and beat machine called a “Sampler”. With this, the students can make their own hip hop and dance beats using not only traditional musical instrument sounds but any sound that they may want to record. This is all capped off by our end of year drum concert, where their hard work and practise can be put on full display!
As a continuation of our highly successful Active Schools roll out, Hume Valley School schedules a range of structured activities during lunch times to support prosocial behaviours. Sports are selected by our students, with Basketball and Soccer as our most popular lunchtime activities.
Students from our Junior to Pathway Sub-Schools participate in Helping Hoops basketball sessions run during select lunch times. In these sessions, students work with Coach Omar to refine their ball skills in a fun and engaging environment while also building their personal and social skills in resilience and collaboration.
During select lunch times, students from our Junior, Secondary and Pathway Sub-Schools participate in weekly soccer sessions run by passionate coaches from Melbourne Victory Football Club. During these sessions, students work through a range of emotions when participating in drills and playing matches with students from across their cohort. Coaches also focus on developing students’ skills for controlling and passing the ball, finding available spaces on the field, and communicating with their teammates.
Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre
A select group of VPC students attend weekly sports sessions at Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre. During these sessions, students work with a leisure centre facilitator to develop their resilience and collaboration when participating in a team sport chosen by the cohort.