Message from Ian Poyser, Head of Middle School and Assistant Principal – Pastoral Care – November 2017

5 Years of Etgar but do you know what we do in Etgar?

For parents of students who are in K3–Year 7, you may well not have heard about this program, which runs every Friday afternoon for students in Years 8 and 9.

Our aim is to provide exciting opportunities for Year 8 and 9 students that enhance their learning, build new skills, provide part-time work opportunities and build self-respect.

The future of our young students

We are currently educating young people for jobs that do not currently exist. Research also shows that these same young people will change jobs regularly and retrain a number of times.

What should we be doing?

A broad and rigorous curriculum plus the teaching of: problem-solving skills, life skills, pro-social skills, gratitude and empathy

The History behind the Program

We surveyed students and asked them about the curriculum:
• 3 things they liked
• 3 things they disliked
• 3 things that could be improved
• 3 new things they would like to see brought in

So, how did we start?

We had at the school 6 teachers who had skills and a passion outside of their normal teaching, so we had them timetabled for Etgar and we began. Some of electives included: Build a Business, Aquatics, Extreme Sports, Photography, Masterchef, Robotics, soon followed by Barista and then the others.

What have we witnessed in the last five years?

• Students creating businesses and donating their takings to a charity of their choice
• Majority of students obtaining a Food Handling Certificate
• Increasing number of girls getting involved in Real Estate, Stockbroking and Robotics
• Students leaving the campus on a series of excursions for Aquatics, Extreme Sports, Build a Business, Stockbroking, Photography and Real Estate
• Students participating in a cafe internship giving them valuable work experience in the industry
• Donating food every Friday afternoon to charities that support families. As a result of this I firmly believe that students have become more empathetic and feel proud of making a difference.
• The growth of Tikkun Olam/community services electives particularly at Emmy Monash and Challah 4 Hunger

Where to now?

In the review of Etgar, we separated the activities into different strands; Physical, Learning for Greater Knowledge, Skills and Creativity. Students need to choose one activity from each of the strands, two activities from Tikkun Olam and two other different activities from the strands they enjoy most. Some of these strands may include the following activities: Aquatics, Urban Dance, Investing, Real-estate & Property, Robotics, Barista Course, Bialik Cafe Internships, J-Air, Photography, Ceramics, Sewing and a Trade elective.

HELP NEEDED FOR THE ETGAR PROGRAM!
Calling all Grandparents, Families and Graduates!!

Do you have an area of expertise or passion that you can share with our students?
The Bialik Etgar (Challenge) Program for all students in Years 8 and 9 gives the students the time and opportunity to further explore their interests, gain skills, or to try something new on a Friday afternoon. For each year they choose 3 different electives together with a Tikkun Olam/community service elective.

As we expand the Etgar program, we are inviting you to be part of the journey. The program runs every Friday afternoon from 1:30- 3:30 pm, providing a 2 hour block, 16 hour course. Both Tikkun Olam and each elective run for 8 weeks.

At a Conference recently, a presenter talked about different ways in which schools can get their students to interact with the wider community. In the UK there is a group called ‘The Amazings’ and they are a group of elderly citizens who come into schools to inform and teach young people skills from the past. Some of these skills were jam making, calligraphy and crocheting.

Do you or someone you know have a skill or passion that could be shared? Perhaps the elective can be done with a friend or colleague? We would really appreciate it you could give our students the opportunity to learn from you in either a 8 week course or share your expertise in an elective already running.

Electives already on offer which you could give an hour or two of your time to are:
– Stock market/Investing
– Real Estate/Property
– Build A Business/ Run your own business
Volunteers needed for:
– Floristry (Shabbat and event flower arrangements)
– Sewing
– Fashion Design
– Other activities that would interest Year 8 and 9 students

Etgar Tikkun Olam 2018 – With the expansion of the program for 2018, we were wondering if there are any organisations that you are connected with, that perhaps our students can volunteer for during the Friday afternoon sessions.

We would be grateful for any help and are looking forward to hearing from you. Please contact Ian Poyser via email or call 9822 7981.

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