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A tailored approach to adventure

PGL Adventure Camps tailors its programs to best meet the desired outcomes of each school group and its teachers, offering a memorable experience that encourages students to step out of their comfort zones.

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NT Learning Adventures, 2016

Trip report: 2016 Red Centre tour

Planning school camps and trips to remote locations can be among the most stressful tasks for educators, who must juggle logistics challenges, unfamiliar locations and the unpredictability associated with caring for young people.

That’s why familiarisation programs such as those offered by Tourism NT are so useful when it comes to making hard choices so much easier. By giving teachers the chance to experience all the things a given region has to offer, they can be confident their new school trip will be a success.

Ten teachers from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra were lucky enough to visit Central Australia in July this year, witnessing the historic and cultural delights of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park and all the iconic sights the region has to offer.

From Travancore School in Melbourne, Kate Tyndall found that her participation in each of the experiences on offer over the six-day trip gave her “a better indication of the outcomes, rather than reading about them online or in a brochure,” she said.

“Meeting the activity leaders has also given me more confidence in reaching out to them in the future to discuss potential school trips,” said Kate.

The educators were afforded a tour of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta cultural centre, and were also given a guided tour of the extremely scenic Kings Canyon rim early in the trip. However, there were also visits to Alice Springs telegraph station, Earth Sanctuary, and Alice Springs Desert Park. Potential camp locations were scouted at Ooramina station before lunch at the Royal Flying Doctors Service HQ.

“Not only was it a great professional opportunity, but I also appreciated the ability to meet other teachers in a different setting, which gave us the ability to reflect and discuss school trips and planning,” Kate explained.

For David Sherwin from Fort Street High School in Sydney, the standout highlight was a heartwarming cultural experience.

I have so many fond memories from the trip, but camping overnight with Jungala Kriss and his family just outside of Standley Chasm was a real treat,” David said.

“I think it would also be unfair not to mention our visit to see Brolga at Kangaroo Sanctuary. His passion for animal welfare and the care of injured kangaroos was inspirational.”

In his capacity as a social sciences teacher, David found the opportunities to learn more about Indigenous culture and the traditional owners of the region a core aspect to the trip, providing him with the ideas and inspiration required to help him begin planning potential learning experiences for his students.

“As a teacher who educates students who have not been outside of an urban area, I believe it would by highly beneficial for them to see the ongoing close relationship that Central Australia’s Indigenous people have with the land,” explained David.

“Many students in an urban school understand the disadvantages faced by our Indigenous people but do not get to see the spiritual connection they have to the land.”

Of course, teachers are humans as well, and the key to a truly memorable experience for most people are memorable dining experiences. To this end, the group was treated at every meal, with special mentions going to a self-cooked BBQ at Outback Pioneer on their first night in the Red Centre, and the three-course Mbantua dinner with Bob Taylor on Day Five.

“Getting to know new friends while eating great food as the sun sets on a stunning backdrop – it doesn’t get much better than this,” said Kate.

While the latest group to experience the Tourism NT’s Central Australian teachers’ famil reflect on their experience, some of those who went on the first famil in 2014 have already gone on to take students back on camping experiences. One such teacher, Lisa-Marie O’Connor from Viewbank College in Victoria, recently returned from her school’s first Central Australia camp in over 15 years, where she led a group of Year 9 students. The feedback her students gave provides a real insight into the education benefits on offer in Australia’s Red Centre.

“I really liked visiting the Lilla Aboriginal Community because I have been to some other Aboriginal Communities and I felt very privileged to get to know a central community’s culture, beliefs and way of life. It was beautiful to see Australia and the land around me in their eyes.”

“My favourite experience on camp would have to be The Valley of the Winds. After a hectic couple of days at camp, it was relaxing to sit in the middle of nature and reflect on ourselves and our experiences.”

For Lisa-Marie, the importance of the assistance offered in the famil is summarised in her message of thanks for the team at Tourism NT:
“I just wanted to express to you my gratitude. I truly believe that without this familiarisation trip it would have been very difficult to plan a camp of this magnitude and in this location (We had a total of 130 students and 15 staff attend our 2016 camp). I also believe that you have to not just speak to the people involved or read about it but really experience what the students will be experiencing and this was only possibly by being a part of this familiarisation trip.”

NT Learning Adventures are currently looking for the next round of educators to join them on next year’s famil. Find out more here.

High ropes outdoor education

Perceived risk and unstructured learning: Education in the great outdoors

Children need space to grow. It’s a fundamental concept that continues to come under threat in the contemporary world of population density, helicopter parenting and social sensibilities regarding risk and responsibility. No educator wants to deny their students’ need to explore the world around them, but there remain real issues regarding how best to allow this without putting the school or the teacher in a more vulnerable position.

Yet the benefits of facilitating unstructured, experiential learning experiences remain undeniable.

In April this year, researchers from eight different countries and a variety of academic backgrounds met in Denmark to reach an evidence-based consensus on the benefits of physical activity for children and young people between the ages of six and 18. They produced an expansive statement that notes the evidence for the positive benefit of exercise in the regions of: fitness and health; intellectual performance; engagement, motivation and wellbeing; and social inclusion.

At a similar time, research from Australian optometrists demonstrated that outdoor light plays an important role in reducing the chances of myopia, or short-sightedness, in children. Their findings show that children need at least two hours of natural light each day for optimal eye development.

Even the benefits of spending time in nature are becoming starker. Japanese researchers conducted a study where they observed the physiological impacts of people who spent 15 minutes walking in nature daily, versus those wandering around city streets. Their results found that even a brief walk amongst greenery resulted in a significant decrease of the stress-related hormone cortisol, a two per cent decrease in blood pressure, as well as a four per cent drop in heart rate.

In a bid to discover more about how modern schools are offering outdoor opportunities to their students, Education Matters’ Editor, Campbell Phillips, recently spent time chatting with Richard Thornton, Chief Executive for The Outdoor Education Group.

Campbell Phillips: Richard, what’s all the fuss about Outdoor Education as far as you’re concerned?

Richard Thornton: Well, I may be biased as it’s been my life for the past 25 years, but we believe primarily in experiential learning – that you can learn from doing things. I believe that’s important for a number of key reasons. Firstly, it’s completely meaningful. That means this form of learning is underpinned by real experiences that students take with them in life.

That’s something of a departure from the more abstract learning that occurs in the classroom, which often takes the form of watching, reading and writing. An actual experience may be successful or unsuccessful, but they’re always meaningful. That’s because adventure and challenge is important to humans. What the specifics of that adventure or challenge is can vary greatly; it could be something as simple as spending time in a different context with classmates they wouldn’t normally spend time with. If you can push the students to the point where they start to feel unsure of themselves, then you can give them the space to making meaningful achievements.

We also like to use the term memorable. I sometimes find myself discussing school camps and those kind of experiences with adults. The fact that they may not recall the specifics of what they’d been learning in class, but they did recall what they did on these camps is very telling.

The phrase is a little out of fashion, perhaps, but experiential learning can be described as ‘character building’. When I started working in this field in 1990 the term was used quite often. It’s a term that describes what parents want for their children above all else, that they can find their place within life and learn about themselves, their strengths and recognise the areas they can improve upon.

I recently met a person who had joined one of our programs some years ago. She was candid in telling me that the experience hadn’t been her cup of tea, but that she’d never forgotten it, either. Every time she needed to overcome adversity, she was able to recall her experiences with us and realise she could do whatever was needed to be done.

CP: There seems to be something of a resurgence in the population of Outdoor Education in the past five or so years. Why is that?

RT: People realise that this mode of teaching replaces something that has been lost from modern society over the past 50-plus years. It’s also about learning some of the skills we are continuing to learn as a culture and it therefore gives kids a level of self-reliance that will set them apart from their peers who never have the opportunity to have these kind of experiences.

Education is so often about achievement via tests and exams. I see Outdoor Education as an avenue for providing young people with the tools they need to find work in the real world. Skills like teamwork and leadership ability. At some point I feel parents and schools started making the mistake of spoon feeding kids to ensure they reach a certain level, to make a certain grade. Now there’s a revitalisation of the concept that people need to learn how best to help themselves in life.

CP: How are schools currently managing to offer Outdoor Education?

RT: Some still manage their own Outdoor Education programs, but in some cases there’s an argument to be made for the cost efficiencies and additional value offered by an experienced third party provider. Mostly this is because organisations dedicated to providing these experiences tend to be better equipped to offer them. They can also offer a broader range of experiences as a result, as well as enhanced flexibility should plans have to change at the last minute.

One common reason why we see schools choose not to provide their own programs is simple: risk. By comparison, we have a whole department that just looks at risk management and we’re leading the world in managing risk in perceived high-risk environments. Part of the secret to effective outdoor education is presenting perceived risk and then managing it in such a way that no real risk becomes evident. For school principals, risk and compliance are a significant part of their daily life, so being able to outsource a component that results in a minimal level of risk makes things that much simpler.

There are excellent Outdoor Education programs being delivered from within schools, and some will adopt a hybrid model where a third party like ourselves works in partnership with the school to deliver a specific part of their program. Sometimes we’ll have staff embedded within the school, sometimes they only want us to assist when out in the field. I think that any of those models are fine so long as they do have an Outdoor Education program at all age levels.

CP: Perceived risk is an interesting concept, but one that must be difficult to sell to some educators as well as parents. How do you overcome those concerns?

RT: There’s been some great research recently emerging on this very area from a partnership between the outdoor sector and the University of the Sunshine Coast and Federation University. For example, after a twelve month study of incident data, Outdoor Education has been shown to be safer than playing common sports like cricket, netball and rugby. As with anything, there will always be an element of risk, however studies like the one mentioned above demonstrate that the risks involved in Outdoor Education are very low when compared to, for example, sports played on the school oval.

For Outdoor Education to be successful it needs to be challenging, and part of that challenge is the perception of risk. Take a high ropes course as an example; you can climb and experience the perceived risk of falling, but in reality there’s a safety rope, an instructor and a system designed to secure the climber. This analogy holds pretty much across the board, with any of our offerings from K-12. There’s always a safety rope to prevent an incident occurring, yet the student still perceives enough risk for the program to be worthwhile – so they can feel like they’ve made a real achievement.

CP: What does the ideal Outdoor Education program look like?

RT: The ideal Outdoor Education program is one that’s regular and sequential. It should eventually lead up to at least one major experience each year, culminating in something very significant in secondary school. Of course, not every school has the funds or facilities available for this, but there are often ways of offering an experience at a cut-rate. For example, your typical day excursion could range from something cost-effective, like navigation exercises within a short train ride from the school, to the same exercises performed after catching a bus to a wilderness location an hour or two away.

Getting students into environments that require them to reflect and manage whole group dynamics is key to producing solid educational outcomes. Of course the longer the experience, the better. So small groups, in semi-remote destinations, with an element of a journey, is what we aim for particularly in the secondary sector. The journey can be a metaphor or tool for the social and emotional outcomes that can’t be delivered in school settings. We are asking students to be reflective and evaluative about themselves, their interaction with others and the natural world. It is about learning that has taken place and the behaviour changes the students have identified in themselves. The key to getting this right is understanding the point at which students (and school communities) are able to engage. We need to understand their journey before they can come on ours. Longer experiences can be truly life changing or enhancing, memorable and meaningful but the key is to make the learning transferable back into school and life beyond.

References:

Bangsbo, J., et al. (2016). The Copenhagen Consensus Conference 2016: children, youth, and physical activity in schools and during leisure time. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2016; 0:1–2. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096325
Read, S. A., Collins, M. J., Vincent, S. J., (2015). Light Exposure and Eye Growth in Childhood. Clinical and Epidemiologic Research, 56, 6779-6787. doi:10.1167/iovs.14-15978
Park, J. P., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T., Kagawa, T. & Miyazaki, Y. (2010). The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventative Medecine, 15(1): 18–26. doi:  10.1007/s12199-009-0086-9

Kids play outdoorsq

Lesson plan: Outdoor learning with 'tree-rific' poems

Time required: 60 minutes Learning goal: Students understand the value and importance of trees to humans and our environment. They recognise how they can use their senses to experience trees, and understand how to convey these experiences into poetry. They recognise how their poetry can be used to convince other people about the importance of trees. Essential questions: Why are trees important? Why is it important to receive feedback about artworks? How can you give feedback to others in a truthful but kind manner? How can you use feedback to improve the quality of your artworks? What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside? Curriculum links: Year 5 & 6 English General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking. Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2. Resources required:

  • Seven large pieces of cardboard, each labelled with one of the following: Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, Smell, Thinking, Feeling/Emotion.
  • Seven whiteboard markers or thick textas.
  • The book Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.
  • Student Worksheet (paper or online copies), free-to-access from Cool Australia’s website.
Digital technology opportunities: QR codes, digital sharing capabilities Lesson Sequence: Part A. Story and Rake thinking routine – 25 minutes Part B. Poetry Writing, Editing and Sharing – 25 minutes Part C. Reflection – 10 minutes PART A. Story and Rake Thinking Routine Step 1. If you aren’t already outside, take your class to your outdoor learning space. Review outdoor learning rules and the benefits of outdoor learning with students, including potential hazards and actions to take in the event of hazards. Step 2. As a class, read Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola. Step 3. To help consolidate student thinking, engage students in a class discussion using the following questions: What’s the most important reason we have trees? Why is this the most important reason? Step 4. Invite students to participate in the Rake thinking routine on the Student Worksheet. This requires students to use their senses to observe the nature around them. In this activity students are asked to observe how they experience trees by answering the following questions: What do trees feel like? What do trees smell like? What might trees taste like? (WARNING – some trees are toxic so don’t actually try tasting them!) What do you see when you look at trees? What do trees sound like? How does being around trees make you feel? What does being around trees make you think about? Hot tip: While students are completing the Rake thinking routine, prepare for the next activity by spreading out the seven pieces of paper or cardboard labelled with one of the following (Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, Smell, Thinking, Feeling/Emotion) with markers/textas in the learning space to form a large circle. Step 5. Working in seven groups, invite students to share some of their responses to the questions above, adding ideas to the relevant seven cards spread around the learning space. Encourage students to be creative in thinking about what words can be added to the cards. Give groups 2-3 minutes at each card. As students rotate through the activity, you could reduce the amount of time they spend at each card, as it may become increasingly difficult to think of new ideas. Monitor student attention and behaviour, and shorten the time at each sense, if necessary. PART B. Poetry Writing, Editing and Sharing Step 1. Reconvene the class and explain that they will use the words on these seven cards to write a poem about trees, and that they will get to decide how to use the poems to help other people realise the importance and value of trees. Before beginning, engage students in a discussion around the words and phrases written on the card to ensure all students are familiar with these words, how they are used and how they apply to the topic of trees. Step 2. Revise the concept of adjectives and encourage students to use them in their poem. For revision, you could teach the rap below: Word Rap A noun is a person, place or thing, Like boy or house or playground swing. An adjective describes nouns well, A smile, blue sky or beautiful shell. A verb is an action or being kind of thing, Eat, run, were, be, shout and sing! Step 3. As a class, create some examples based on student ideas. For example: ‘branch’ – strong branch; ‘wind’ – fierce wind, etc. Lead students to the question: What effect do adjectives have on the reader? (Example answer: To help the reader create an image in their mind). Step 4. Explain that students will write their own poem, using one short descriptive sentence for each of the five senses. Step 5. Place the pieces of cardboard back into the large circle formation so that students can use the brainstormed ideas to write their poems. Ask students to sit at the pieces of cardboard again. Explain that the lines of the poem don’t have to be written in order. Encourage students to move to the different senses in their own time. Emphasise that their poems need to reinforce the importance of trees. Students can write their poems in the spaces provided on the Student Worksheet. Step 6. At the end of the writing time, ask students to whisper their poems aloud to check their sentence structure and the meaning of each sentence. Students then form pairs and read their poems to each other. Give students an opportunity to share their poem with the whole class. For more information about this activity: Cool Australia is an award winning not-for-profit that helps teachers inspire their students through real-world learning. Download free-to-access units of work and lesson plans that integrate topics such as sustainability, ethics, Aboriginal Histories and Cultures, economics and wellbeing across subject areas and year levels. Build your confidence and skills with accredited online professional development. Cool Australia would like to thank The Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees – for their assistance in producing the Outdoor Learning series.]]>

Kids play outdoorsq

Lesson plan: Outdoor learning with ‘tree-rific’ poems

Nature and poetry go hand-in-hand. Many famous poets were inspired by nature, including William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Geoffrey Chaucer and John Keats. Poetry encourages the use of creative expression and descriptive language.

This activity teaches students about using adjectives to help their reader imagine the scene being painted by poetry. This activity also contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum.

Time required: 60 minutes

Learning goal: Students understand the value and importance of trees to humans and our environment. They recognise how they can use their senses to experience trees, and understand how to convey these experiences into poetry. They recognise how their poetry can be used to convince other people about the importance of trees.

Essential questions: Why are trees important? Why is it important to receive feedback about artworks? How can you give feedback to others in a truthful but kind manner? How can you use feedback to improve the quality of your artworks? What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

Curriculum links: Year 5 & 6 English

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Resources required:

  • Seven large pieces of cardboard, each labelled with one of the following: Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, Smell, Thinking, Feeling/Emotion.
  • Seven whiteboard markers or thick textas.
  • The book Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.
  • Student Worksheet (paper or online copies), free-to-access from Cool Australia’s website.

Digital technology opportunities: QR codes, digital sharing capabilities

Lesson Sequence:

Part A. Story and Rake thinking routine – 25 minutes

Part B. Poetry Writing, Editing and Sharing – 25 minutes

Part C. Reflection – 10 minutes

PART A. Story and Rake Thinking Routine

Step 1. If you aren’t already outside, take your class to your outdoor learning space. Review outdoor learning rules and the benefits of outdoor learning with students, including potential hazards and actions to take in the event of hazards.

Step 2. As a class, read Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.

Step 3. To help consolidate student thinking, engage students in a class discussion using the following questions: What’s the most important reason we have trees? Why is this the most important reason?

Step 4. Invite students to participate in the Rake thinking routine on the Student Worksheet. This requires students to use their senses to observe the nature around them.

In this activity students are asked to observe how they experience trees by answering the following questions: What do trees feel like? What do trees smell like? What might trees taste like? (WARNING – some trees are toxic so don’t actually try tasting them!) What do you see when you look at trees? What do trees sound like? How does being around trees make you feel? What does being around trees make you think about?

Hot tip: While students are completing the Rake thinking routine, prepare for the next activity by spreading out the seven pieces of paper or cardboard labelled with one of the following (Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, Smell, Thinking, Feeling/Emotion) with markers/textas in the learning space to form a large circle.

Step 5. Working in seven groups, invite students to share some of their responses to the questions above, adding ideas to the relevant seven cards spread around the learning space. Encourage students to be creative in thinking about what words can be added to the cards. Give groups 2-3 minutes at each card. As students rotate through the activity, you could reduce the amount of time they spend at each card, as it may become increasingly difficult to think of new ideas. Monitor student attention and behaviour, and shorten the time at each sense, if necessary.

PART B. Poetry Writing, Editing and Sharing

Step 1. Reconvene the class and explain that they will use the words on these seven cards to write a poem about trees, and that they will get to decide how to use the poems to help other people realise the importance and value of trees.

Before beginning, engage students in a discussion around the words and phrases written on the card to ensure all students are familiar with these words, how they are used and how they apply to the topic of trees.

Step 2. Revise the concept of adjectives and encourage students to use them in their poem. For revision, you could teach the rap below:

Word Rap

A noun is a person, place or thing,
Like boy or house or playground swing.
An adjective describes nouns well,
A smile, blue sky or beautiful shell.
A verb is an action or being kind of thing,
Eat, run, were, be, shout and sing!

Step 3.
As a class, create some examples based on student ideas. For example: ‘branch’ – strong branch; ‘wind’ – fierce wind, etc. Lead students to the question: What effect do adjectives have on the reader? (Example answer: To help the reader create an image in their mind).

Step 4. Explain that students will write their own poem, using one short descriptive sentence for each of the five senses.

Step 5. Place the pieces of cardboard back into the large circle formation so that students can use the brainstormed ideas to write their poems. Ask students to sit at the pieces of cardboard again. Explain that the lines of the poem don’t have to be written in order. Encourage students to move to the different senses in their own time. Emphasise that their poems need to reinforce the importance of trees. Students can write their poems in the spaces provided on the Student Worksheet.

Step 6. At the end of the writing time, ask students to whisper their poems aloud to check their sentence structure and the meaning of each sentence. Students then form pairs and read their poems to each other. Give students an opportunity to share their poem with the whole class.

For more information about this activity:

Cool Australia is an award winning not-for-profit that helps teachers inspire their students through real-world learning. Download free-to-access units of work and lesson plans that integrate topics such as sustainability, ethics, Aboriginal Histories and Cultures, economics and wellbeing across subject areas and year levels. Build your confidence and skills with accredited online professional development. Cool Australia would like to thank The Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees – for their assistance in producing the Outdoor Learning series.

Renault's Master Bus arrives at outdoor adventure school in Gippsland

Outdoor adventure school masters Renault bus selection

Renault has begun sales of its fully imported 12-seater Master Bus to schools in Australia, with the School for Student Leadership’s Snowy River Campus in Gippsland, Victoria, taking delivery of two identical specification vehicles.

The buses will be used at the outdoor adventure school where Year 9 students spend up to 10 weeks at a time exploring pursuits such as surfing, hiking, kayaking and mountain biking, while learning self-reliance and leadership skills.

The school uses the buses to transport students to and from adventure locations within a 1-hour drive of the beachside location near Marlo, at the mouth of the Snowy River.
Principal Mark Reeves says the Renault Master Bus met all the School’s requirements from functional, economical and operational perspectives.

Renault Master Bus in Gippsland
A Renault Master Bus at the School for Student Leadership’s Gippsland campus.

“We were in the market to replace some older vehicles. The Renault Master Bus seemed to be exactly the right size. It is very spacious inside and it can be driven on a regular car license by all of my staff,” he says.

“Pricing was critical for us and the Master Bus comes fully equipped for our needs, at about $60,000. Annual servicing, teamed with service intervals of up to 30,000km are key benefits for us, as we only cover around 12,000km per year, so we should only need one annual visit to the dealership. Some other buses need a service every 10,000km or six months.

“Fuel economy looks to be good and the (six-speed) automated transmission suits the engine really well. The Master Bus is simple to drive, and as we have about 20 staff at each campus, and any of them could be called on to drive it, this is important. The staff like the fact that all the control buttons for the ventilation and sliding door are grouped logically on the dash, and they are easy to learn.

“The Master Bus does well on tarmac or dirt. We do a fair bit on dirt and the Bus is very stable. It has good road holding and steering. It feels safe and secure, and has excellent ABS. It leaves the old bus for dead.

“Prior to making a purchase decision we reviewed the market and I discussed the purchase with my staff. We saw the Renault as a quality European vehicle that would give us the flexibility we needed,” he says.

“There are some very handy features. Our bus came with an electric sliding side door and the students really love the USB chargers for their iPods and iPhones. Because we have patchy coverage for free-to-air radio, the kids bring their own music along.

“One of the biggest surprises was the aircraft-style cabin heater which runs down the length of the cabin. It’s a real winner,” Mark says.

“The students surf all year round, and so can get back into the bus quite cold. The heater warms them up quickly. The air conditioning is very effective, too,” he says.

The Master Bus has a twin air conditioning system, fitted within the cabin to prevent the damage that can afflict external roof-mounted systems. The AC is very effective and designed for Australian summer conditions.

“The seats are really comfy, there’s plenty of room inside, and with the front-wheel drive and low flat floor in the luggage area, and we can store all of the students’ 100-litre adventure packs. We also tow a trailer for the kayaks,” Mark says.

“The flat floor is also easy to sweep or mop out, given the students bring in mud and sand on their feet.

“When the students aren’t complaining about something it is a sign they are content, and so far the Master has passed muster with them,” Mark says.

“The experience the School for Student Leadership Snowy River campus is having with their new Master Buses is exactly what we planned for,” says Renault LCV Model Line Manager, Lyndon Healey, who led the programme to bring this high specification people-moving version of the Master range to Australia.

“We spent about 2 years consulting with a wide range of bus users, and determined that the combination of 12 seats, a large luggage area and strong heating and air conditioning systems would appeal to the market, and in particular with school users.

“The Master Bus is an exceptional value proposition as it comes very well specified as standard, and with a large selection of options, which may be individually specified or taken as an option pack.

“With our price, powerful and economical drivetrain, long service interval, Capped Price Servicing for the first 3 scheduled services of just $349, and our 3-year/200,000km factory warranty, the Master Bus provides an exceptional package for school bus buyers and plenty of peace-of-mind.

“Renault LCV has been the biggest selling light commercial brand in Europe for the past 18 years in a row, which underlines the faith buyers on the Continent have in our practicality, durability and aftersales service. And with a growing national network, currently comprising more than 50 dealers in Australia, we are closer to more Australians than ever before,” Lyndon says.

“If your educational facility is considering trading up to a newer, safer, more comfortable and better appointed vehicle, contact your nearest Renault dealer to find out more about the Master Bus.”

Full detail of the Renault Master Bus are also available on the Renault website.

About the School for Student Leadership

The School for Student Leadership is a Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) initiative offering a unique residential education experience for Year 9 students. The curriculum focuses on personal development and team learning projects sourced from students’ home regions. There are three campuses in iconic locations across Victoria. The Alpine School Campus is located at Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps. Snowy River Campus is near the mouth of the Snowy River at Marlo in east Gippsland. The third site is adjacent to Mount Noorat near Camperdown in Victoria’s Western District, and is called Gnurad-Gundidj.