Catholic Regional College Sydenham was awarded the honour of being included as a winner in the list of the Educator's Magazine 2016 list as an innovation leader in education. Recognising the breadth of curriculum and the unique model of enterprise education offered, the College was thrilled to be included.
I was honoured as Chief Commissioner Scouts Victoria to be able to host the World Scout Foundation and the Honorary Chairman of the Foundation, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in Melbourne from 17-20 March this year. Scouting in Victoria was on show and I am very proud to say that we did not disappoint. Our youth members were the real stars though, they were the ones leading the event supported by adults. It was a magnificent 4 days that included 23 events across Victoria, a massive undertaking that saw Scouting's profile lifted once again. Thank you and well done to all involved.
We are Scouts Victoria
It was a great day and lot of work but a lot of fun as well
A great part of the school program just got better
Here is how it works
A feature video made on a new initiative and project n induction and mentoring
great recognition for all the work done to date that is really benefitting students
Scouts Victoria submission to the Royal Commission into Family and Domestic Violence received attention today. This kind of attention will hopefully make more people think and take action. The issues must be addressed so that women and children may be safe and supported by organisations that have the knowledge and training to adequately meet the Duty of Care they have.
Demos is Britain’s leading cross-party think tank and has just published a paper called “ Non-formal learning could help to build character and close the attainment gap” - LEARNING BY DOING. In the paper the researchers state that educating for the development of character is back on the agenda and is likely to define the education debate in the UK and Europe. This means Australia will follow as is usually the case.
The research into whether non-formal learning is sufficiently embedded into the British education system is revealing. This fascinating piece of work shows that large numbers of young people in the UK – particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds – do not have enough opportunity to take part in non-formal learning and are therefore at risk of not developing key skills important for success. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of teachers see non-formal learning as vital, and want to see it more strongly embedded into the education system.
Highlighting 5 different case studies, the researchers reveal the attitudes towards partnership from the perspective of non-formal learning providers, different models such partnerships can take, and some of the challenges in forging these partnerships. The insights from these are highly applicable for education policy-makers, school leaders and the wider non-formal education sector.
Page 78 shares the final case study and the only international one.
Model 5 Scouts assisting with Initial Teacher Training (Victoria, Australia)
Our final case study model comes from abroad: the State of Victoria in Australia, where Scouts are piloting volunteering as a Scout leader as a form of teacher training. As highlighted in Demos’ report Scouting for Skills – and echoed in the research we undertook for this report – many adult volunteers believe that taking part in Scouting helps to build valuable character skills. Moreover, our teacher survey showed that teachers saw a lack of training in delivery for non-formal learning as one of the biggest barriers to its integration into the education system.
In Victoria, the Quality Teacher Programme aims to address this with Scouts Victoria working with the state government and Monash University to improve teacher quality by including non-formal learning activities as part of initial teacher training.56
As part of the programme, student teachers become Scout leaders and help to deliver ‘learning by doing’ activities, including working in Scout camps and outdoor trips, as part of their training. Those working with Venture Scouts plan and deliver accredited Victorian Certificate of Education learning for at least 80 hours per year as part of the Scouting programme, in addition to their scheduled teaching rounds in schools.
Quoting Chief Commissioner Scouts Victoria, Brendan J Watson the researchers finish up this case study with-
'As we argue in the next chapter, similar partnerships should be explored in the UK between The Scout Association and teacher training colleges. The emphasis on character education – and the importance of non-formal learning pedagogies – requires significant changes to teacher training. If the Victoria Programme proves to be successful, then it will demonstrate the role that non-formal education providers could play in improving teacher training in this space.'
Scouts Victoria is leading the way worldwide with this initiative that is now gaining international attention. What is even better is that it is working and we are having success at a local level. The 'quick fix' patches to better prepare undergraduates can not make up for quality programs that very few organisations can actually deliver such as the Quality Teacher Program from Scouts Victoria.
Download the full research paper here:
The Annual Reports and Presentation evenings are held in September and October each year for every Scout District. In 2014, Chief Commissioner Scouts Victoria, Brendan Watson, attended almost 30 of these but it is almost impossible to attend them all. The video below was sent to all Districts where Brendan was unable to attend so that they knew he was thinking of them and so they could hear from the Chief Commissioner Scouts Victoria.
A VERY SPECIAL COLLABORATION FOR WHITE RIBBON DAY, MY FIRST AS A WHITE RIBBON AMBASSADOR