Outdoor education, adventure and engagement with the natural world is an important part of school life at Toorak College.
Junior School Outdoor Education Program
Each year, students from Wardle House, in Years 2 to 6, participate in a dynamic, structured and challenging Outdoor Education program that takes students into environments different from their everyday life.
Programs are sequentially linked to the Primary Years Program of Inquiry (PYP) and tailored to develop the whole person, promoting self-esteem, resourcefulness, independence, resilience, tolerance and determination. Students have the opportunity to build on skills and understandings from previous years and increase awareness and understanding of the natural environment.
The Junior School Outdoor Education experience begins in Year 2 with an overnight stay and by Year 6 students progress to a week-long camp. Students benefit from the socialisation, experience and fun of being ‘on camp’, which builds confidence, communication and collegiate collaboration.
Students participate in a sleepover at the school Boarding House, Joan Ansett Hall, where activities focus on emerging independence, teamwork and play.
Students travel to the local Portsea Camp. This two-day Outdoor Education experience provides opportunities for personal growth, independence, building community spirit and immersion in the natural world.
Students participate in a three-day experience at Phillip Island, where they explore the environment, participate in team challenges and learn about the native fauna.
Linking with curriculum focus on immigration, students travel to Ballarat to the heart of the Gold Rush at Sovereign Hill. Students connect their studies with the stories of immigrant gold miners of the 1850s and explore the exhibits.
Year 5 students also participate in Urban Camp where they spend a night exploring Melbourne's CBD.
Students participate in cultural, environmental and internationally focussed activities, travelling to the Australian Capital, Canberra, as part of curriculum focus on governance, identity and heritage. At year’s end, students camp at Point Leo for a series of adventure activities, including kayaking, surfing and team challenges.
Senior School Outdoor Education Program
Our Senior School camps focus on the School's guiding values of learning, courage, integrity, excellence and leadership through service to enrich and enhance each girl's learning journey at Toorak College.
Programs are delivered sequentially, reinforcing our pastoral curriculum as the girls undertake challenges to foster new friendships and strengthen connections as they proceed through Senior School together.
Students build resilience and acquire leadership skills through a range of physical, emotional and social challenges, both locally and internationally, enabling them to develop into independent, critical thinking, globally conscious and considerate young women.
In Years 7 and 8, our tailored Outdoor Education Program aims to continue and foster a love and appreciation of the outdoors as well as providing positive social experiences. Through a range of challenging and adventurous activities students learn valuable life skills such as working in a team, independence and resilience.
In Year 9 students select an adventure that extends them beyond their boundaries. It is an opportunity to travel abroad or to remote areas of Australia, where they can have a unique experience.
Immersed in a different culture to their own, this opportunity affords time to think about not only a different way of life, but also to reflect on their own culture. Our program emphasises participation in activities that make a tangible difference in the lives of a local community. The experience allows for greater understanding that we are all global citizens and do have responsibilities to the world we live in.
There is a physical component to the tour which endeavours to challenge the girls to strengthen their skills in resilience and grit. Independence, self-leadership, working collaboratively with their peers are all attributes that students acquire from this program. After completing the adventure, students reflect on their own personal challenges, on what they have personally learnt and how this has enriched their lives.
Past journeys have included experiences in the following locations:
- Indigenous Australia
Following on from the experiences of Years 7-9, the girls have opportunities to embrace further experiences. This may involve study tours to further their language knowledge, social justice opportunities to make a difference in remote places, longer and more challenging camps and tours, including music and performing arts opportunities or science and engineering tours. Opportunities will vary from year to year based on student interests. We understand that students have varied passions and therefore the opportunities we provide for students are optional.
Our Senior camps and tours take place largely in the school holiday periods and include students from different year levels with similar interest groups. They fall under four main categories:
USA Sports and Performing Arts Tours
Language and Cultural Exchange
France, Germany and Japan
Community immersion trips to remote Australia and overseas
NASA Space camp and International University Tours.
Language study programs occur every year, while Specialist Experience, Community Service and Future Opportunity programs have a least two offerings each year that rotate over a three year period.