A variety of activities are undertaken across the year levels at Toorak College that support our core value of ‘Leadership through Service’. Our community service involvement occurs at a global, national and local community level.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program supports service learning under the big idea, 'From the classroom to the community'. Community service can be an effective and powerful component of a Unit of Inquiry, making learning more authentic and meaningful. Within the 'Action' phase of the inquiry cycle, students follow a five-stage process for service learning; investigating the issue, preparing for action, taking action, reflecting on what has been done and demonstrating what has been learned. This has been evident in many of our year levels, particularly in the Year 5 'How the world works' unit where students identify authentic needs in the community in order to provide goods and services to address those needs.
Our weekly Share Assemblies provide students with an opportunity to not only showcase their learning, but to also send a message to the wider school community on issues of importance. Students proactively use this forum to share their research and the implications of issues such as sustainability, global warming, safety, environmental protection, poverty, littering and education. In doing so, they also identify their responsibility as global citizens to take action to improve the planet.
In Years 5 and 6, the CRE8 program is based on educational research into motivating young adolescent learning. The fundamental element of CRE8 is to utilise the interests and passions of the students to foster authentic learning experiences. Under the theme of ‘Cre8-a-difference’, the students in Years 5 and 6 are offered a diverse range of project that connect to making a real world difference to either the environment, their community or themselves.
Our student leadership model provides opportunities for one student from each class to represent student voice on the Junior School Council (JSC). The JSC is divided into three focus groups - Local, National and Global - whose responsibilities are to support, develop awareness for and/or promote initiatives within these contexts. The Local Group has made links to the local 'I Sea, I Care' program and a variety of other services within our school and local area. The National Group supports a myriad of initiatives that connect students to challenges or initiatives at a national level. Examples of their work to date includes fundraising and action related to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Foster Care and the Cancer Council. Our Global Group's mission is to develop international-mindedness through their work with agencies, such as World Vision and Plan. The Global group supports and communicates with our two sponsor children and ensures that our school community are kept up to date.
All students throughout Wardle House are encouraged and supported to take personal action in an area in which they are passionate. Students develop an action plan and discuss this with the School leadership.
Students in Wardle House are assigned ‘buddies’ from younger year levels, and take an active role in supporting and looking out for their assigned ‘buddy’.
Our students are provided with opportunities to work with external organisations such as Ardoch and World Vision, to not only raise funds to support their incredible work, but also deepen the students' understanding of the needs of others.
The ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ and ‘Back Packs 4 Kids’ are two organisations that are the focus of fundraising for our Year 7s. Our Year 8s are involved in the Frankie Davison Friendship Program, which involves communicating with students in Sri Lanka and sending them a shoebox full of much needed items.
Toorak College has maintained a close relationship with the Alice Sloan Trust and through this, our students have been involved in a Breakfast Club at Frankston East Primary School, assisted at a camp for students from Aldercourt Primary School and engaged with students from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School and Alexandra Secondary College. Our relationship with Frankston East Primary School has also extended to our Year 10s who have been involved in the organisation of an activities day with the junior students from this school.
Year 11 students are providing support to ‘Ward 7 East’ at the Alfred Hospital, and are fundraising to contribute towards the refurbishment of two rooms to make them more homely for the young people who are receiving lifesaving treatment there.
Through our Beyond Boundaries program at Year 9, our students have the opportunity to be involved in community service projects in developing countries such as teaching English in local schools and basic construction as determined by the needs of the local villages.
Members of the Student Representative Council (SRC) are actively involved in organising activities to raise awareness and support for organisations they decide require the support of the student body.
Community service also occurs within the boundaries of our School. The Year 10 mentors work closely with our Year 7 students to assist them in making a smooth transition into the Senior School. New students to the School are assigned a mentor from within their tutorial group to assist them with settling into Toorak College.