Partnerships for Real World Learning
Authentic real-world learning is brought to life when positive and mutually enriching partnerships are developed between schools and industry.
Recognising this, CCGS has recently embarked on the development of a School-Industry Partnership Program in conjunction with the Association of Independent Schools (AIS), to formalise a long-held practice already thriving at the school.
Careers Advisor, Mrs Emma Henshaw said that the program aligns with CCGS’s mission to create next generation learners and teachers and fosters an education that is guided by real world interests, exploration and curiosity.
"Our intention is to enable students and staff to access and share expertise through networking, industry connections, research and continuous learning,” Mrs Henshaw said.
How does it look in practice?
School-industry partnerships provide a range of activities for students to engage with the world of work as part of school learning.
“These positive relationships can be forged with the community, businesses or professional organisations and can be as simple as a one-off guest talk, more collaborative mentoring, or fully transformative partnerships that are deeply integrated into the fabric of both organisations,” Mrs Henshaw added.
The program is not exclusively for senior students. Activities and initiatives start in the Junior School and can be developed and enhanced through to the final years.
Not only do students benefit from dynamic experiences with a broad range of industry and professionals, but a partnerships program formalises how the school is invested in and contributes to the region’s social and economic development.
Partnerships in action
The following are just some examples of how already established partnerships are enriching CCGS students’ learning.
Sydney Science Park Project
CCGS welcomed the opportunity to work with the AIS to participate in the Sydney Science Park STEM School Challenge alongside selected schools from around the state. The year-long project, in conjunction with the CSIRO and Celestino, focuses on finding solutions to develop sustainable, resilient and liveable urban environments.
Year 9 Science students taking part are seeking to bridge the gap between schools and industry as they brainstorm how a future city, near Western Sydney airport, can become a viable, mixed-use smart city.
A collaboration with Dr Simon Toze, Principal Research Consultant with the CSIRO, saw students work through their ideas for the project, learn from his expertise and gain constructive feedback.
Cambodia Service Project
Perhaps the most long-standing partnership at CCGS, the Cambodia Service Program has been in place for over 15 years. What commenced as an adventure and cultural tour is now heavily focused on humanitarian endeavours and has become embedded within the fabric of our school.
The Year 11 students involved in the program engage in a year-long program of fundraising and global awareness with our local community before immersing themselves in international cultural experience.
CCGS furthers this partnership through the sponsorship of four students to study for a period in Australia and our teachers also exchange learning with the Cambodian teachers while on tour.
Grace Springs Farm and East Coast Juices Industry Study
An ongoing partnership with local industry growers Grace Springs Farm and East Coast Juices has seen their businesses embedded directly into the Senior Food Technology syllabus as a focused industry study.
Students visit the businesses to learn first-hand about regenerative farming through hands-on demonstrations in egg production and juice processing, with the learnings then translated into formal student assessments.
Connections in Performing Arts
In Performing Arts, a professional relationship with West End Theatre Producer, Jason Haigh Ellery has resulted in bespoke masterclasses for Drama students, giving them access to the top end of the profession should they want to consider a career in stage.
Alumni and Australian actor Sam Corlett also returned to the school to impart his wisdom on monologues to Year 12 students, sharing insights from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Sam’s relatability and industry experiences demonstrated in real terms what a pathway from school Drama through to a professional career can look like.
Trade Readiness Program
The establishment of a Trade Readiness Program gave Year 10 students insight into the workings of a carpentry trade. Students benefit from mentorship by industry professionals - such as this partnership - not only through practical life lessons, but also exposure to a myriad of different people who can inform and expand their learning journey.
Due to its success, this partnership was broadened to include the Year 8 Agriculture course where students planned, built and are maintaining an herb garden, with the produce to be used by the school canteen.
The future of partnerships
Partnerships that enhance, inform and deepen the student experience and their ability to contribute to the wider world are vital to a holistic education.
We look forward to fostering our existing partnerships through this formal framework and extending into new and more exciting ventures as CCGS continues their journey as leaders in next generation learning.