OUR WORK

REGIONAL GSC

Youth Conversations

Completed in 2021. Insights and recommendations to come, check in soon…

Positive Transitions to School

The Positive Transitions to School project commenced in 2020. The project aims to reduce barriers to school readiness for all children in the Great South Coast, thereby improving school engagement and attainment.

This project works directly with vulnerable families and model the success of Glenelg’s Stepping Stones to School pilot to increase interagency collaboration, improve relationships with families and improve access to early intervention where needed. The project also includes a campaign to disseminate key messages to inform parents / carers on factors affecting school readiness and how to help their children and seek support if concerned.

The Positive Transitions to School project’s goals are:

  1. To increase the knowledge, skills and networks of early childhood and primary school providers to respond to a child’s transition needs in the Southern Grampians, Corangamite and Moyne local government areas by the end of 2022.
  2. To increase the number of vulnerable families accessing specialist support for children transitioning from kinder to primary school
  3. To increase the understanding of families and community of the elements of school readiness in each of the AECD domains

Early Years Oracy Research

In 2020 the Early Years Working Group investigated the reported decline in oral language in the region. Research included a review of literature, quantitative data, interviews and surveys in Moyne and Corangamite; analysis did not indicate an overall decline in oral language abilities, however, there was evidence of regression in oral language skills, at times, in localised areas. 

The research emphasised the importance of the early years for oral language development. Oral language is the foundation for learning, wellbeing and success across the lifespan and thus early intervention is essential.

Beyond the Bell acknowledges the funding received from the State Trustees Australia Foundation to enable this work.

Early Years Oracy Research Report 2020
ACTION AROUND THE REGION

The Casterton community are passionate about improving the lives of their children and have formed the Hands Up Casterton approach, which is a whole of community response that considers all the factors that influence local children in reaching their full potential. The areas of focus include: education, social and emotional wellbeing, healthy eating, physical activity, social connection and access to services. 

Current work in Casterton includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children. 

> Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet

> Download the Stepping Stones to school evaluation report

Colac Otway Local Action Group along with partners Communities that Care, Barwon Adolescent Task Force, Colac Otway Shire, Colac Area Health, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and the Department of Justice and Regulation have joined together under the banner Schools and Communities Together (SACT). This collective work towards a common vision: ‘for all children, young people and their families to be safe, feel secure and have access to lifelong learning through an inclusive Colac Otway community’. 

The formation of SACT in 2017 succeeded in aligning a number of discrete entities in the Colac Otway area that were already working towards a similar vision. The consequence of this commitment to work collectively via SACT is increased advocacy, stronger partnerships and broader program reach. 

The Corangamite Local Action Group are focussed on Early Years Literacy, Disadvantaged Young People and Engagement with Learning. 

Current work in Corangamite includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children. 

Glenelg Local Action Group focus on the areas of social and emotional wellbeing, disadvantaged children and young people and engagement with learning.

Current work in Glenelg includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children.

 

> Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet
> Download the Stepping Stones to school evaluation report


Live4Life

Live4Life aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health issue before a crisis occurs. Since its 2017 inception, 496 year 8 students and 485 year 10 & 11 students have been trained in Teen Mental Health First Aid. This equates to more than two thirds of all secondary-aged young people in Glenelg. 40 year 9 & 10 students from 5 schools participated in the Youth Crew. 175 adults have also been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

 


Little Book Boxes

Funded by United Way Glenelg, the Little Book Boxes program has given children across the Shire access to free books. The program’s goal is to increase the rate of early childhood exposure to reading and consequently reduce the high rate of local children who are entering formalised education with low literacy skills. VCAL students at South West TAFE Portland campus manage the allocation of book boxes and ensure they are adequately stocked, educating further cohorts of the community on the importance of early literacy.

 

Engagement in Learning

In 2020, the Glenelg Local Action Group undertook a project to examine disengagement from school, an issue identified by the community. The project included examining current research and hearing from teachers, principals, and others working in and with the local schools, with particular emphasis on primary and early secondary school. There is work planned for 2021 to hear from families, students, children, and young people.

> Download the Engagement in Learning Report
> Download the Disengagement Issues Paper
> Download the Engagement in Learning Summary

The Moyne Local Action Group focus on social and emotional wellbeing. 

Current work in Moyne includes:


Rural School Communities of Practice Projects in Moyne

A network to support schools has been developed to increase knowledge of trauma, informed interventions, sharing of learnings and challenges in student behaviour/wellbeing issues. The network is aligned with Department of Education policy and requirements on wellbeing and inclusion in school communities. Partners in this project include Moyne schools, wellbeing staff, Department of Education, School Focus Youth Services.

The Southern Grampians community focus on the areas of  Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Disadvantaged Children and Young People. 

> Read the Southern Grampians March 2020 newsletter to read about the latest updates.

Current work in Southern Grampians includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children. 

>Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet 
>Download the Stepping Stones to School evaluation report 


Live4Life

Live4Life aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health issue before a crisis occurs. The Live4Life program will be operational in Southern Grampians in 2020. The partners in this project include Beyond the Bell, Glenelg and Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Western District Health Service, School Focus Youth Service, Youth Affairs Council Victoria, Youth Live4Life Inc and Wellways.

 


Growing Greater Readers

The concerning low rates of early years literacy and social and emotional wellbeing in the shire are being addressed by the Growing Greater Readers Program. The Southern Grampians Local Action Group aim to increase the rate of early childhood exposure to reading in the Greater Hamilton region and reduce the high rate of local children who are entering formalised education with low literacy skills and low or now exposure to books or reading. 

Outdoor Book Boxes have been installed in every outlying community of the shire – 9 in total. Additionally, the LAG has continued to deliver Reading Champions, promote reading related theme days and share the key message that ‘Reading is for Everyone’.

The Warrnambool Local Action Group is currently renewing and refreshing their focus. Look back in soon for updates.

Current work in Warrnambool includes:


Little Book Bugs

Children are encouraged to read by giving them access to free books. Book boxes have been installed in 10 key locations around Warrnambool, with the tagline ‘borrow me, read me, return me for someone else to enjoy me.’  Going forward the program will partner with the L2P program in the delivery and monitoring of the sites. 


Donate for the Kids

Donate for the Kids supports vulnerable students to access basic resources and materials they may not have. The Young parents VCAL class at SWTAFE are leading this project. Each month one school develops a list of five items for donation specific to their needs. A Donate for the Kids donations bin is placed in local partner organisations each month and staff and community members are asked to donate. Further to this, in partnership with Foodshare, the Donate for the Kids Christmas drive delivers fun and educational gifts during the festive season to families in need. 


School Food

1000s of sandwiches have been provided to students in need through the School Food program. The VCAL Young Parenting program at SWTAFE prepares and freeze sandwiches once a month. Sandwiches are delivered and supplied by wellbeing teachers in all primary secondary schools where there is need. The aim of the program is to eliminate student fatigue and food insecurity. 


Every Day Counts

The Warrnambool Local Action Group has worked both directly with schools and more broadly in the community to educate that ‘Every Day Counts’ in regards to schooling. The Every Day Counts campaign encourages families to rethink unnecessary school absences. School absences add up; if a student is away for 5 days each term they will miss more than a year of school between Foundation and Year 12. A social media campaign featuring video content reached 4227 people; items were also disseminated via school newsletter.