The Outdoor Education programme seeks to provide knowledge, skills and understanding in outdoor, personal, environmental and leadership education, in order to prepare Melbourne Grammar School students’ for the personal and social challenges in their lives. It endeavours to foster and value discovery supported by the schools cultural values. Whilst being challenged mentally, socially and physically, students are also provided with the opportunity to further their appreciation of the natural environment; its beauty, grandeur, power and spirituality.
The Year 9 Outdoor Education programme endeavours to educate, challenge and enrich personal growth through adventure and self-discovery. The activities associated with each programme are used as a vehicle for developing personal, social and environmental competencies. The programme is fundamentally based on the school’s values. It will nurture, develop and encourage real life decision making and will act as a vehicle to help students clarify their values, promote aspects of personal growth, development and self-discovery.
Students choose from 16 different programs including bushwalking in the alpine high country, rafting down the Snowy River, rock climbing at Mt Arapiles, mountain biking at Mt Stirling and much more.
As part of the experience all students will sleep in tents or under tarps at designated campsites. Students will be heavily involved in the day to day running of their program as much as is practicable and will be provided with numerous opportunities to express leadership, personal and social values in a myriad of different ways.
Beyond the Gates is an integral part of the leadership, pastoral, personal development and ‘Values in Action’ programmes at MGS. The title ‘Beyond the Gates’ provides a metaphor for the experience being off-site, but also links it to the personal attributes and skills required of Melbourne Grammar School students well beyond their time at School.
Students journey from the Ross Gates at School to Australia’s highest mainland peak, Mt Kosciuszko. They make their way by bushwalking, white water rafting and mountain biking through Victoria’s stunning alpine environment. The six themes of journey, identity, discovery, collaboration, spirit and challenge provide a framework for students as they partake in a programme that provides an opportunity to embrace challenge and their own personal and social development as they work alongside peers on a 20 day journey through the High Country.
My vision is to create an experience which is far more than an outdoor experience; it will be an essential aspect of the co-curricular offering at MGS. I regard this programme as an integral part of the leadership, pastoral, personal development and community service programmes at this School. The title ‘Beyond the Gates’ provides a metaphor for the experience being off-site, but also links it to the personal attributes and skills required of MGS students well beyond their time at school.
I have selected the Year 10 cohort for clear reasons, both academic and social. I have long maintained that the second year of Senior School can be the most difficult of all for boys. Many lack clear goals, at a time when both positive and negative peer-related influences grow very strong in their lives. Some boys merely ‘tread water’ and become disengaged in the educative process. My hope is that the Beyond the Gates programme will positively address such issues.
This compulsory Year 10 programme is aimed to deliver a shared OE experience which builds upon each of the previous MGS camps experiences and skills to provide a journey based activity which will include leaving the gates at MGS to move to a series of locations through hiking, rafting and bike riding to the highest location in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko.
Roy Kelley Headmaster
The School’s voluntary bush walking club, the LG Robertson Society, was established in 1959. It operates in the Alpine National Park near Breakfast Creek, Licola. Leadership of hike groups on LGR camps requires students in Years 11 and 12 to take responsibility for the health and safety of not only themselves but also of those other and sometimes younger members of their hike group.
LGR develops leadership skills in students specifically relating to bushwalking/bushcraft which can then be transferred and applied more generally to leadership in many other facets of adult life. Therefore the skill set not only involves the hard skills of navigation and bushcraft but also those that encourage and develop constructive group dynamics. Participants also recognise and actively promote the respect, care and maintenance of the natural and built environment of the Breakfast Creek area. The challenges provided by the LGR experience are not always easy, hence the LGR motto: Per ardna ad amicitiam (Through hardship to friendship).
|Director of Outdoor Education||Mr Simon Finnigan|