Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Wambana experience build on what students learn at the Kent Town Campus?
Extended stay programs use experiential and interactive teaching strategies to promote learning and skill development. This practical approach to learning encourages young people to work together and communicate successfully.
Students are encouraged to learn through active involvement in ‘real' tasks that allow them to take responsibility for their own actions. Students learn how to plan their time, evaluate what they are doing, identify real and significant issues within their community, develop their ethical and moral framework, clearly articulate their learning, display leadership abilities and develop solutions and recommendations.
The philosophical orientation of an extended stay program has a distinctly different approach to learning which enhances outcomes and educational approaches otherwise difficult to achieve within a mainstream setting. The uniqueness of an extended stay program is defined by the following five characteristics:
1. Place-Based Education: This approach to education emerges from the particular attributes of a place. The content is specific to the geography, ecology, sociology, politics and other dynamics of that place. Place-based education allows an extended stay to demonstrate its distinctiveness.
2. Learning structure: A characteristic of mainstream schooling is the plethora of subjects and the rigid structure of timetable. At school, students begin their school day at 8.30am and finish at 3.30pm. Throughout this time students move between classrooms and subject areas. An extended stay program allows for flexibility and spontaneity due to the extended nature of the program.
3. Community immersion: The length of an extended stay program has the ability to build a deeper sense of community. Students are able to immerse themselves in activities that separate themselves from self-indulgence and dedicate their time and energy towards community service.
4. Applied learning: Many aspects of a school curriculum will possibly be more effectively learned in an environment other than the conventional school. The process of experiential education allows a student to construct knowledge, skill and value directly from experience.
5. Transition: An extended stay program requires a student to make a transition to a life situation that takes them away from the normal support structures of home and at school. The length of time away means that students become familiar with their new environment allowing direct experiences to become more engrained.
Why does my boy have to go?
Prince Alfred College teachers, administrators and College Council strongly support the introduction of an experiential education program for Year 9 boys. The program meets a number of important criteria in providing the very best education for your son.
- Issues relating to the development of adolescent self-esteem.
- Choices adolescent boys make about lifestyle, health and well-being.
- Relationships with the natural world.
- The contribution of character education such as compassion, group cooperation, and respect for others.
- The development of positive relationships with teachers.
- The role of group work in adolescent boys education.
- The benefits of challenge and adventure.
This program will assist your son to refine his interpersonal skills, resolve identity issues, and develop values and beliefs. As your son grows towards adulthood, he is expected to move away from adult-directed activities and towards emotional autonomy, responsibility, and self-direction. Additionally, this program is a wonderful opportunity to better prepare boys for the requirements of SACE and IB.
In broad terms, how does this program operate?
- One class of students (approx 25) will be engaged in a 26 day program.
- Wambana residential staff will oversee and deliver the program.
- Students will be housed in self contained cabins (Wardli - Aboriginal word for dwelling) at the Wambana Campus.
- Boys will be allocated to a Wardli (5-7 students)
- Each tWardli group will be allocated a budget for food purchases and general living expenses.
- Students will receive menu booklets and shopping lists. In week one a detailed menu plan will be set to ensure that students gain the necessary dietary requirements.
- Each week students will travel to the local supermarket and purchase their food for the week.
- Students will be responsible for their own laundry and given specific instructions on how to care for their personal belongings.
- In the first week of the program students will undertake an expedition that will consist of a cycle tour .Upon completion of the expedition, and then arrival into Wambana, students will be engaged in house keeping activities, learning ‘how to learn' in an extended stay environment and exploring the local area. Specifically, issues of safety, procedures, menu planning, cooking, hygiene, running a household, budgeting, shopping, learning to live with others and the ability to compromise.
- In the second and third week students move outwards and explore sites in the local and extended areas. Individual and group projects will begin to take shape, as they negotiate and take increasing responsibility for what they study.
- In the final week of the program, students will prepare for their return home and endeavor to culminate their studies with a major presentation. Time will be spent on reflection of the inner journey they have been engaged in at the extended stay.
Tell me a little about the Wambana Campus, the place where my son will be accommodated?
Wambana (meaning knowledge and wisdom in the Narrunga language) is a new facility comprising of 5 student Wardli's (cabins), environmental science centre, staff quarters, workshop and BBQ shelter.
The Wardli's are self contained with all modern facilities. Wardli's comprise of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living area and a well appointed kitchen.
What risks do they take?
To adventure in the natural environment brings with it numerous challenges. These challenges are intended to extend your son physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This journey for your son will, at times, raise feelings of uncertainty, fear, and discomfort. A key role for staff of the extended stay program will be to guide your son through these challenges so that they are offset with feelings of success, exhilaration and happiness. The program is designed to provide your son experiences beyond those common to normal routine living. Ultimately, our philosophy is about fostering growth, and to achieve this, a program with elements of perceived risk will help your son effectively navigate the transition to adulthood.
What about safety?
All activities undertaken during the extended stay experience adhere to standard professional operating procedures. Qualified and experienced staff will plan and deliver a program that is appropriate for your son and tailored to the ability of the participating groups. Student safety is of critical importance to Prince Alfred College and its staff. An effective communications system will be in place to enable staff in the field to quickly access appropriate help should any emergency arise. All students will be expected to acquire, with the assistance and guidance of staff, an awareness of personal safe practice, both on and off campus.
What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency?
The Southern Yorke Peninsula is the region in which the extended stay program will be operating. In the event of an emergency 000 is the immediate contact number. If an emergency occurs within the National Park, Marion Bay has a ‘first responder unit' (Ambulance) that will deal with such emergencies. For activities that will take place outside of the National Park, the townships of Warooka, Minlaton, Yorketown and Edithburgh all have an Ambulance station.
What form of emergency communication do you use on expeditions?
All expeditions carry some form of emergency communications. Depending on the area we are traveling in, we carry mobile telephones, or two-way radios to communicate in the event of an emergency. Whilst it is uncommon that these types of communications capabilities will not function, it is impossible to guarantee that they will always work when and where we want them to. Radios and portable phones can sometimes be unreliable depending on terrain, atmospheric conditions and other variables.
What happens if my son is feeling unwell?
The expectation is that for minor illnesses the students would take some responsibility for caring for each other under supervision and guidance from program staff. As each team will have a group leader, the care of sick students will be monitored. If students are sick for an extended period of time, we will ask that parents take students home until they are well enough to return.
What happens if my son needs to go to the doctor?
If staff feel it is advisable to take a student and seek medical attention we will, as a matter of course, inform parents. The Yorketown Medical Centre is open from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm and on Saturdays between 9.00am to 11.30am. The billing procedure by the medical clinic does not involve bulk billing. The clinic will complete a Medicare claim form and forward it to Medicare. All medical details including your son's Medicare number and Private Health details will need to be provided prior to students departing on the program. In the event of needing medical assistance outside of the Medical Centre opening hours, the Yorketown hospital has a doctor on call 24hrs day.
What about student medication procedures?
We ask that parents provide a written statement on their son's medication requirements. Some medications, at the request of parents, will be handled by their son. All other medications that require staff to administer are to be handed over upon arrival. These medications are locked in the staff quarters and given out to students as needed. Upon arrival at Wambana, we require all students to discuss with staff their medical requirements.
How will you assist my son through the feelings of homesickness?
For most boys, this experience will be the greatest challenge of their short lives. When your son begins the program, there will be significant adjustments that he will need to make. These adjustments are necessary ones, but may seem difficult at first. Living with friends under the same roof, having responsibilities for the day-to-day functioning of the residence and trying to cope with new routines and a new environment may bring out feelings of homesickness. We understand that homesickness is not unusual and we make this a focus of the program to assist all boys in making the transition from the ‘familiar and known' to the ‘new and unknown'. We will give your son the following support to manage his homesickness.
- Set your room up with something familiar from home
- Make an effort to talk to someone in your Wardli
- Talk to your roommates and leave your door open sometimes when you are sitting in your room; someone else might pass by and say ‘hello'
- Get into free time activities which build up a storehouse of good new memories for you
- Talk to someone else about how you feel – all other students will probably feel much the same as you do
- Respond to the invitations of others to participate in games or activities
- Recognise that this is a grief experience. Have a good cry; it's nothing to be ashamed of, when you're really feeling down.
- Jot down thoughts, experiences and dreams in a journal, and try to make some sense out of the experience
- Be kind to yourself – it is OK to miss home, it is perfectly normal. After all, you have spent most of your life there until now, so tears can be cleansing.
- Write a letter home.
What about Pastoral Care?
Pastoral care will be organised on a Wardli basis, and a staff member will be assigned to each Wardli. Staff accommodate in separate living quarters. There will be regular Wardli meetings. These meetings will include monitoring of rosters, and clarifying the roles and tasks of the day. It will also involve working through with students any difficulties they may be experiencing living together so those problems can be sorted out. This understanding of their interactions with others is a very important part of the program.
How does my son organize his food requirements for the entire program?
A significant component of the extended stay program is the responsible and accountable approach required by your son to plan and prepare his meals. Your son will have two major responsibilities associated with his food requirements for the program:
1. In the week leading up to the program, your son will be provided with a detailed menu booklet. Prior to departure your son and his cycle partner will need to plan and purchase their food requirements for the first 5 days of the program. The cost for this component of the program is the responsibility of the parents.
2. At the end of the cycle tour, each Wardli group will be provided with a budget for food. PAC provides the cost of food for this component of the program. Members of the Wardli will be responsible for developing a shopping list to meet their budget. After consultation with a staff member, your son (with his Wardli mates), will be taken to the nearest supermarket to purchase their food supplies. Food shopping will take place each week.
How do students shop for their food items?
Accounts have been established at various shops on the Southern Yorke Peninsula. Students will have to plan, budget and purchase all their domestic needs. This includes food, cleaning supplies and other household items.
Can my son bring his own spending money?
Students should bring no more than $80.00 with them to the program. Eftpos and Credit Cards should not be brought.
What about special dietary requirements?
If your son has a special dietary requirement, we ask that you take the time to provide a detailed description for staff leading the program. Your son's dietary requirements will be incorporated into the menu plan of the Wardli in which he resides. Staff and his wardli mates will assist in ensuring his requirements are met.
What to bring, what not to bring?
A detailed equipment and clothing list is provided in the program booklet that is sent home. Additionally, viewing the link ‘Clothing and Equipment Requirements' can access this.
What are the behavioural expectations?
The residential program will in some ways, be a less structured experience for students than they may be used to at the Kent Town Campus. None the less, the program is still a part of Prince Alfred College and appropriate behaviour will be expected always. The program will follow the guidelines and expectations already in existence at Prince Alfred College .
There are clear policies regarding behaviour which is detrimental to any individual and the greater community. Upon arrival, students are informed of the consequences if breaches of rules take place.
The behaviour management policy clearly outlines a process of management. Depending on the nature of behaviour that occurs, responses may include discussions with students and their Wardli and telephone calls to parents. Students may also be placed on behavioural contracts that clearly outline parameters of expected behaviour. As a final procedure, or in the event of behaviour that compromises the safety and welfare of others, the student may be asked to leave.
What is our Drug Education Policy?
The extended stay program will operate under the Prince Alfred College Drug Policy.
- The possession, use and or supply of illegal drugs are an offence and are against the law. The program will view such offences as a very serious matter. Students will be removed from the program immediately.
- The use of alcohol and tobacco will be subject to a range of processes including removal from the village.
What is the code of conduct for all students?
Living at Point Turton will be an entirely different living experience for your son. The success of each student's period of residence will be determined by the way each person responds and interacts with each other. Staff and students will refer to each other by first names. We expect all students in the community to behave in the same way a normal member of any family does.
What do students wear while they are on program?
The normal PAC uniform will not be required on program. A full clothing list can be obtained by viewing the link ‘clothing and equipment'.
How do I communicate with staff?
The direct contact is to the Director, Mr. Dale Hobbs. He can be contacted on (08) 71274763 or via mobile phone on 0427790300 or via email email@example.com
Can I contact my son while he is on program?
We encourage you and your son to contact each other while on program. We strongly promote personal letter writing as the preferred method of communication. We believe that correspondence via letter writing will have two significant benefits. Firstly, the ‘art of letter writing' is a skill that your son is encouraged to develop, and secondly, writing and receiving a personally written letter will become a special keepsake for you and your son for years to come. The postal address for all correspondence is PAC Point Turton Campus P.O Box 187 Warooka 5577.
What duties are expected of students?
Students will maintain their living space in exactly the same manner we do in our own family situations including washing clothes and linen! No cooks or cleaners will be employed. Students will need to look after their rooms for the duration of their stay.
What happens with washing of clothes?
It is your son's responsibility to wash, dry and put away his clothes.
Can students come home during the program?
In normal circumstances, students will not be permitted to go home during the program. However, special circumstances do arise from time to time. Parents and students are encouraged to discuss any special needs with the Headmaster.
Which program will my son attend?
The decision on which program your son will attend will be determined by a number of factors. With the greatest of considerations, we will determine which program suits best for each of the Tutor Groups. To work this out we seek information from students and families about times, which are unsuitable, and will be sending out a form seeking this information. A form will be sent home that will indicate the dates of all the school events we know of at this stage that may clash with the dates of each Extended Stay, and each student can complete and return this form to indicate any clashes.
Will my son have a choice as to who he shares a room with?
Our aim is to accommodate each boy with at least one of his friends. In assigning students to rooms, PAC employs well-established processes that takes into account the specific needs of each boy and involves extensive consultation with the Head of the Middle School, Head of Year 9 and Tutors. In the case of a student new to PAC in Year 9, we will consult both with the student himself and with his parents, to determine his individual needs and interests. This information is passed on to the Director of the Program so that the incoming student may be matched with an appropriate group. Notification of room assignment occurs during the first week of the program.
What about evaluation and reporting?
There will be two main forms of evaluation:
1. The student
2. The staff
Each student will be involved in evaluating his own journey and this will be achieved via:
- The Student Learning Journal
- Self evaluation report
- Student Blogs
Staff will evaluate student development and achievements through:
- The curriculum: set and negotiated criteria
- The Student Learning Journal
- Student Blogs
Parents will receive a formal written report at the ned of the program.
What happens to my son's school sport commitments while he is away on program?
There will be minimal impact on your son's sport commitments. Your son will miss two or three fixtures. As part of the extended stay experience, a ‘Health and Well-Being Program' will focus on the mental skills necessary for improved performance in sport. The following Mental Skills will feature as part of the ‘Health and Well-Being Program':
- Goal Setting
- Relaxation and Energising Techniques
- Imagery Skills
- Concentration and Attention Control Training.
- Stress Management