On May 18 and 25 of this year, the students from the Flexible Delivery class of the Northern Sydney Institute were fortunate enough to be part of the ‘real paving’ development project – a community garden in Seven Hills, NSW. Head Teacher David Cornell was asked to lead the team and was extremely happy to undertake the project offered by the council with his students, firmly believing “it gives the students the best possible learning experience when the lesson is applied in a ‘real job’ scenario.”
Over the course of the two days, the students were faced with challenges including on-site issues and decision making situations which they were able to overcome by working in a practical manner as a team. Feedback from the group was incredibly positive as students took home many valuable lessons and commented on how grateful they were to have the opportunity in the development program.
Projects such as this, which integrate students and the assisted building of community infrastructure, inspire a sense of creativity and engagement. Importantly, activities such as this increase understanding and therefore lead toward positive behaviour and attitudes both within learning environments and the community.
The Blacktown Community Gardens are an excellent way for the community to share and work together, plant and harvest produce. It provides locals with an opportunity to garden through sustainability, understand water conservation, composting and basic permaculture design principles.
The Paving Project offered the Northern Sydney Institute students valuable and useful skills to equip them as they progress personally and professionally. David Cornell says, “I believe that the more we can expose our students to this type of project as a learning experience, the better the quality of their learning becomes.”
The program encouraged students in a resourceful and practical manner to obtain real world, hands-on experience with the outcome of the project being highly successful.
For more information about the Northern Sydney Institute and their courses please visit: www.nsi.tafensw.edu.au