Remote schools grant to school yard care

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Borroloola School senior students have been out and about in their school community, mowing the overgrown lawns and keeping yards tidy to ensure students can enjoy the outdoors during their breaks.

The new garden power tools which include a push mower, ride on mower, whipper snippers and a blower, were purchased by the school using a remote schools grant they received in 2021 for the senior students.

While they’ve only had the equipment for three weeks, they’ve incorporated it into their Conservation and Land Management (CALM) course as part of Vocational Education and Training (VET) at the school.

Assistant Principal, Carla Clough, said ‘the program has already had a positive response in the community.’

“It benefits the community as it’s another life skill that students are learning at school and taking home to share with their families,” Carla said.

The school’s VET Trainer, Dan, not only teaches students how to correctly use the machines but also how to service and fix them if they are broken.

Being situated over 700 kilometers from Katherine and over 1,000 kilometers from the nearest Bunnings, students learn to fix them when they’re broken rather than get rid of them.

Carla said the students love the new equipment, especially the ride on mower.

The CALM course teaches students all about the appreciation of land, community and how it’s managed so students learn how to look after their community now and into the future, and the students’ engagement with the program has been fantastic.

”Hands on learning is the best learning for the students,” Carla said.

“When they get suited up in their trade gear they feel very proud to be out learning and caring for their school community.”

Recently, when the preschool yard was overgrown the preschool kids weren’t able to play outside so the senior students volunteered to go and tidy it up so they could play the following day.

Carla said the students ‘couldn’t wait to get there and help.’

The benefit of the remote schools grant is invaluable, allowing the school to reach out to students who may not be mainstream students, and offer different forms of learning. In the long term, the school hopes to build on their resources and experience and turn their gardening work into a local business, providing students with not only life skills, but employment experience which benefits themselves and the community.

The school always looks out for and applies for remote grants that benefit their students and school community. When asked about plans for their next opportunity, Carla said she ‘can’t tell us all of her secrets, but she can tell us she always has a plan.’

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