School for Student Leadership
The School for Student Leadership is a Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) school that specialises in leadership education, located at three campuses; Dinner Plain on Mt Hotham; Marlo in East Gippsland; and Glenormiston in Western Victoria.
Yarrawonga College P-12 applies each year to send a team of six students to one of the campuses for a nine week residential leadership experience. At present 13 of our Year 9 students are residing in China as part of this leadership experience for a total of six weeks.
One of our students has put fingers to keyboard and wrote about their initial experience.
Sunrise over China mid flight
Driving to the airport was when the nerves started to really kick in, it still didn’t feel right. Once we arrived at the airport it was amazing to see everyone all together again. Everyone was just so excited and couldn’t wait to just get on the plane. We said our last goodbyes and put our bags through and started the long process of going through customs. Once through, all we could do was wait….
When we were all boarded and seated was when it started to feel so real. For some people who had never been in a plane it was extremely scary. After the safety procedure it was time for take-off. Once in the air all we could do was wait. Most people got a little bit of sleep but some didn’t get very much. The flight was taking so long all we wanted to do was be there already.
We finally landed and as we were stepping off the plane we were hit with a massive heat wave and a dramatic change in the air. We had to go back through the Chinese customs which was a scary and intimidating experience in its self.
We all got on a bus and travelled to Utahloy, we were all so tired from travelling with not much sleep. We arrived at the beautiful school and spent most of the day just settling in.
Our week consisted of, on Monday we had our first mandarin lesson, in our morning class we had papercutting where we learnt the history behind it and had a go making some ourselves. After lunch our afternoon class, we had games which was a good opportunity to get to know everyone in the group better. After DEARR (drop everything read and reflect) we all headed into Zengcheng city to go out for dinner at Dim Sum which was an interesting experience to try new things.
On Tuesday we had a nature trail where we just got a chance to walk around and explore the campus. After lunch in our afternoon class we all got a better understanding of the globalisation and what it means. After DEARR and dinner our afternoon class we got a chance to go for a swim in the pool or play games in the gym.
On Wednesday in the morning class we learnt in depth all about the Chinese culture. After lunch we had presentation skill where we had to put together a short two minute presentation about a passion of ours. In our evening class we had a guest speaker Pedro, who is a year 12 boarder at Utahloy.
On Thursday in the morning we went on an amazing bike ride off campus to look at all the farming in the village everything we say was absolutely amazing. In the afternoon we had a catch up class, we all just spoke to Mr O’Hagan about our goals and how we will achieve them. After dinner we get to go play sport and go swimming.
Team 1A about to exit the school
Friday was amazing we got up earlier so we could go to Luofushan. We arrived there and were welcomed by an amazing temple. We walked in and the gardens on the other side were amazing. We walked stairs for about 20 minutes until we reached the chair lifts, when we got on it was SOOO scary, it just kept going up and up. When we got off we were all mesmerised by the view but we still weren’t at the top. We hiked up more stairs for about half an hour until we got to the lookout. The view was amazing. Coming back down we so much easier, apart from the chair lifts. It was so scary coming back down. In the evening we watched a movie.
The whole experience has been absolutely amazing so far. Everyone is loving it and having a ball. We are all so keen for so much more excitement to come.
Thanks Darcie for the kind words
James O’Hagan I Generalist Teacher
School for Student Leadership
Snowy River Campus
Cape Conran Road
(PO Box 85)
‘+ 61 3 5154 8552
7+ 61 3 5154 8443