At Warrnambool West Primary School we are proud to announce the introduction of our Hands On Learning (HOL) program. We are one of the very few schools to offer such a program to Primary aged students. Our Hands On Learning Program is based on the program developed and supported by Hands On Learning Australia (HOLA). HOLA is ‘committed to preventing the harm of early school leaving’. We have modified our program to suit Primary School aged students.
At Warrnambool West Primary School our Hands on Learning Program provides specific intervention for those students who are considered ‘at risk’ and provides opportunities for increased school engagement, achievement and self confidence as well as developing practical skills. Practical skills, such as painting, minor construction, gardening, general maintenance and repairs to school grounds and facilities, are taught.
“Self-esteem, friendships, and a sense of belonging grow as students become more content at school. Motivation, focus and the ability to set goals increase when they return to class – building the platform for improvements in literacy and numeracy.”
Hands on Learning sessions are conducted once a week by trained staff and with the assistance of volunteers. The sessions are not a substitute for classroom learning, but work to complement each other. “Disengaging students find it hard to concentrate and absorb what is happening in class. Most report a break from the classroom one day a week is refreshing. The opportunity to succeed in a different environment builds self-belief and confidence making their time back in the classroom more effective.”
Our Hands on Learning program (although in its infancy) currently generates both social and economic value for our students and school. For example, students have recently constructed shelving for our Nurture Room and are currently planning new garden beds and structures.