‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ APPROACH TO LEARNING OUTDATED & IRRELEVANT IN 2022
Regimented regimes, lack of flexibility, poor insight into individualised learning needs and a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education is creating barriers to learning in Australia. The Warrnambool WAVE School (WAVE) breaks down those barriers for young people aged 15-19 years, creating an inviting, comfortable learning environment where students are supported to access education and achieve successful outcomes in VCAL and their future goals.
The classroom at WAVE where our Reskilling the Region for the Future program day was held, at first glance, was not unlike any regular classroom. However, a closer look revealed swinging egg chairs located around the room, a flexible layout and a flexible timetable allowing an individualised approach to learning for each student.
WAVE School Coordinator and Teacher Damien Farley spoke of the WAVE’s ability to reengage disengaged students in education. Teachers at WAVE take time to get to know each student’s personal interests and support students to set goals relevant to each individual’s circumstances, interests and needs. The teachers at WAVE school advocate for their students and work to facilitate work experience, education and employment opportunities. The ultimate aim of each student at WAVE is to complete a VCAL program and find meaningful employment guided by the school’s support and flexible learning arrangements.
Students at WAVE often face significant barriers to accessing education. These barriers are different for each student and include not feeling supported at ‘mainstream’ school, financial and social barriers. Students at WAVE school are supported to feel safe, happy and cared about. The school offers flexible hours to enable students to work, gain valuable work experience as well as attending school to complete VCAL. The school also offers assistance with work experience and choosing subjects and a career pathway to suit each individual’s interests.
WAVE is unique in its approach to creating a flexible and welcoming learning environment which facilitates individualised learning programs and breaks down barriers to accessing education. WAVE school teachers are in touch with their students and well ahead in terms of enabling equitable access to education and being student focussed.
LGSC Participant 2022