FINALIST – Student-Led Project Award
The Student-Led Project Award is part of the annual VicSRC Student Voice Awards which recognises and celebrates best practice initiatives, schools and people in student voice. This award recognises a group of students that have implemented a project in their school or community with the intention of a clear positive change or outcome. The three finalists each receive a cash prize for their school.
The Student-Led Project Award is sponsored by the Asia Education Foundation.
The Sports Hub was intended to provide a means for students to borrow a variety of sporting equipment during lunchtime to increase the amount of physical activity students can participate in.
At Patterson River Secondary College, the SRC consists of 3 representatives from all year levels. The SRC meet once a fortnight to discuss issues and plan events/school improvements to enhance the experience of the students within the school. Their enthusiasm to make positive change is a perfect example of student voice.
Sports Hub aims
- promote physical activity as a way to help with memory and concentration
- provide a way in which students could easily borrow sporting equipment
- provide opportunities for students to use open spaces in a positive way
In 2019, with the revamping of the student leadership structure, it was essential that the student body saw students in leadership positions working towards positive student led projects. The SRC brainstormed a variety of school improvement projects that they would like to undertake. From here they surveyed the student body to gain their opinion on what initiatives the College should focus on. The student body indicated that the Sports Hub would be a great project for the SRC to lead.
The SRC surveyed the student body to gage what equipment they would want to be able to borrow and whether the guidelines they had come up with were acceptable. From this, the SRC were able to make informed decisions and changes to their guidelines based on feedback from the student body.
The SRC were required to present this initiative to the school council to obtain funding and approval. They completed research on shipping containers (to house the Sports Hub), including cost and delivery prices along with presenting other costings required.
The SRC launched the Sports Hub in Term 2 2019 with student leaders working in shifts to run it.
The SRC reward students who borrow equipment through lucky draw prizes of small sporting equipment and drink bottles – both related to making positive choices about their health, to go with the aims of the Sports Hub.
Before the Sports Hub was introduced, there was minimal students using the oval, soccer pitch and basketball tower during lunchtime and recess due to there being limited equipment in the co-ordinators office to use. The equipment that was available was never pumped up or followed up on if it wasn’t returned. With the introduction of this student led project, this has completely changed. The SRC launched the Sports Hub in Term 2 and within the first few weeks there was an average of 225 student being active by choice during lunchtime.
Student leaders have created a roster to run the Sports Hub, with many student leaders stepping in and going above and beyond, when others cannot do their shift. This has been a positive change in terms of student leadership, where leadership positions were often just seen as a badge in the past. It has also made the student leaders running the Sports Hub feel that they are making a difference within the College and that their voice has been heard.
The SRC will need to continue to look at how to ensure all student leaders complete their allocated day at the Sports Hub. Although it is great that there are other students willing to step in, it is not fair that it is always the same students. They are thinking that term by term, the roster is placed on student Compass timetables so that they can see when they are rostered on in advance.
The PRSC SRC are also in the process of investigating an artist to paint the Sports Hub to make it more appealing rather than just looking like a shipping container.
As an SRC, they will endeavour to maintain the positive attitude towards the Sports Hub. At the start of the year they will run a training session for all student leaders who will be running the Sports Hub to ensure that everyone knows the expectations. They will also endeavour to purchase non-traditional pieces of sporting equipment or activities for students to borrow such as giant jenga, outdoor table tennis tables, gaga pit and possibly an outdoor volleyball court.
What does this mean for student voice?
This project was a great visual representation of student voice within the College. Through the College Improvement Surveys implemented by the SRC, students had reported across all year levels that they wanted improved facilities and opportunities to be active. Therefore, by analysing the data, the SRC was able to develop and problem solve this project and show that they are listening to what the student body would like in order to further enhance their time and experience at the College.
Student-Led Project Tips from Patterson River Secondary College
- write everything down so everyone can keep track of things
- make your message consistent – talk about your project at every assembly
- speak at staff meetings so staff know what support you may need
The Student-Led Project Award is part of the annual VicSRC Student Voice Awards which recognise and celebrate best practice initiatives, schools and people in student voice.Patterson River Case Study 2019 (50 downloads)