Outdoor Assistant Term 3 Don Valley Campus 0.6 Fte - The Alpine School

  • Victoria State Government - Education and Training
  • Dinner Plain VIC 3898, Australia
  • 17 Jun, 2022

Job Description

Job ID:  1283387
Location:  The Alpine School [Multiple Location Campus]
Department:  The Alpine School
Role Type:  Teacher Aide
Subjects/Duties:  View Subject/Duties
Full/Part Time:  Part-Time
Ongoing/Fixed Term:  Fixed Term
Classification:  Ed Support Level 1-Range 3
Apply By:  29/06/2022
Other Information:  
Begin Date:  11/07/2022
End Date:  23/09/2022
Hours:  22.80
Contact Name:  Brodie Clapperton
Phone:  0430 804 162
School Website:  alpineschool.vic.gov.au


Application are sought for a Outdoor assistant to cover a Leave position for Term 3 2022 at our Don valley Campus

The School for Student Leadership is an expanding and growing year-nine specialist school. It consists of three current campuses and one new campus under construction. The school conducts a program in China in partnership with an International School.

All are located in regional Victoria except the China program:

  • Alpine School Campus, Dinner Plain.
  • Snowy River Campus, Marlo
  • Gnurad-Gundidj Campus, Noorat-Glenormiston.
  • Don Valley- Campus, Don Valley.

Forty-five students live, learn, work, play, recreate and undertake adventures at the schools in a unique (in State Education) highly supported leadership education program.

The School has modelled the educational program on an Experiential Education model, and at its core has a project/ enquiry learning and social-enterprise focus.

A highly developed curriculum, pedagogical, assessment and reporting approach relates to the Victorian F-10 Capabilities.

Core Moral Purpose
The core-moral purpose of the school rests in a mixture of the following:

  • best practice middle years education,
  • a contemporary interpretation of the adolescent "rite of passage',
  • "long service leave" for year nine students, as applied to many Australian industrial settings,
  • reinterpretation of contemporary paediatric and adolescent psychological research as applied to education,
  • understanding the implications of a student-centred approach to education including
  • Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs
  • Glasser’s (2000) Choice Theory
  • what it means to be a learner in the 21st Century.
  • Agency, authenticity, action-Leadership.

Middle year's experiential educational best practice informs our curriculum content and pedagogy.

These include including fundamentally engaging activities as the basis of our work, project-based work, enquiry based learning, experiential learning, working on concrete work tasks, team work, integrated use of ICT, reflective practices, meta-cognitive learning, thinking and learning profiling and community living.

The deliberate limitation of resources and the creation of learning/decision-making tension points, among many others are keys to the success of learning.

Rite of Passage

The contemporary "Rite of Passage" refers to that which has been lost in modern, western capitalist paradigm.

Put simply, many traditional cultures incorporated a period, at about puberty, of; separation from family, minimal communication with family/community, undertaking a significant and prolonged journey in the wilderness, undergoing physical/emotional hardship, solving real problems concerning "survival", learning the spiritual mores of the community from elders and other significant adults among other undertakings.

Often, the successful reintegration to community/society after such an undertaking, such a "rite", included in scarring or cicatrisation as a mark of successfully undertaking this hardship/separation/reintegration into the community and as recognition of the acceptance into and responsibilities of, an "adult".

Long Service Leave

In many organisational structures in Australia, after ten years of continual service, members of that organisation are entitled to a period of leave from their role for re-creation, renewal, reinvigoration, rediscovery and so on as both a mark of respect and in preparation for the next period of work and life.

Year nine students have been at school for ten years and also deserve a period of "long service leave". In this construct, the leave must require undertaking tasks, learning and experiences that are fundamentally different to those of their normal existence. It is because of this among other reasons, that traditional "school work" should not be undertaken in this residential learning environment.

Students are undertaking "new' learning that is fundamentally about them and their future selves, and should not be confused with the teacher-centric model of education from which many have come. The learning they are undertaking is hugely valuable in itself. We have to re-assign a value to the learning undertaken in this 'long-service leave" construct.

Adolescent Neuro-Psycho-Emotional development

This adolescent stage in a young person's life involves reference to Biddulph, Louv, Carr-Gregg and other contemporary authors. Biddulph in particular refers to the three stages of children’s development, the third beginning at around puberty and involving attachment and association/mentoring/role-modelling by a significant adult who is not a direct member of the young person's immediate family.

There is also much recent research published around this important and formative stage in a teenager’s brain development: these young brains are still a work in progress. The teacher, educator, scout/guide master, sport coach and so on tends to be that person in our society.

Clearly this person needs to accept the considerable and onerous trust and responsibility that is placed upon them. Reference is made to Richard Louv in regard to his identified construct of Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).

Among others, NDD refers to that phenomenon where medical practitioners are identifying behaviours in young people that can be attributed to lack of exposure to the natural environment, unstructured play in that environment, exploration of the natural environment, getting physically dirty and physically touching and personally experiencing that environment as opposed to experiencing it through a digital media.

Maslow and Hierarchy of Needs

The model of care and welfare that is provided to our students is critical to the success of the program and the student outcomes we aim for. Maslow describes a hierarchy of needs that as a general rule must be achieved for all of us to progress through to a high state of awareness and in our circumstance, true and life-long learning.

At a fundamental level, students need to have satisfied basic physiological needs. We provide a safe, well nurtured learning and living environment with a focus on healthy eating and food: there is neither junk food nor sweets/lollies/bon-bons allowed, no chewing gum and no cordial or fizzy drinks.

Good accommodation, safe and secure ablution areas and access to healthy exercise is critical.

We believe in creating a sense of care and belonging, community and mutual respect that allows students to feel safe and cared for, a part of a real and living community that they are active participants in, not observers or passengers.

There is a high moral and participative standard expected. We believe that through a close sense of community, students can develop a strong sense of self, what they believe and value, respect and valuing of and for diversity and for others and a robust self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is only through this deliberate process and supported environment can this progression be made.

Glasser and Choice Theory

We subscribe to this approach and view every opportunity with a student as a learning opportunity. We do not subscribe to a punitive approach: we do not punish students. That does not mean we do not hold behaviours to account: students are held very accountable for their choices, actions and inactions.

To gain an understanding of student behaviour, we interrogate ourselves and each other as to the nature of behaviours: are the behaviours we are witnessing normal adolescent behaviours? Many behaviours we as adults witness in adolescents might challenge our adult sensibilities: but they are not deliberate behaviours.

If not, we always fundamentally seek to understand the cause or drive of such an abnormal behaviour. In every instance, unusual behaviour is motivated by a need that we as both the educators and adults in the care model must seek to understand.

We also believe that adolescents do not need “fixing up”. They have not come to our program because they are somehow naughty or they need to be modified in some way. Ours is a school, students learn (mostly about themselves) and often the experience is transformational.

Much of our program focusses the students on themselves, learning about relationships and learning about the community in which they were residing for a specific amount of time and learning about leadership.

As such much of their learning can be organised in the following way:

  • Learning how to manage their own behaviour;
  • Learning how to manage their own learning;
  • Learning how to be responsible for themselves and,
  • Learning about and with others.

These four ways of viewing learning and behaviour is essential learning’s for all students, which in turn if mastered changes the way individuals view themselves and the world in which they live.

In addition to managing their own learning and behaviour Glasser (2000) suggests that people who are in control of their own life, are happy and have no need to control the lives of others.

By the same token those who are not happy want to control others and the environment in which they live. Those who are not happy are not finding a way or perceiving a way of having their basic needs met.

21st Century Learning

We also subscribe to a contemporary view of 21st Century Learning. Louv (noted above) notes that the world is becoming an increasingly hostile and scary place: parents are less and less likely to allow their kids out into the wild dangerous world. He notes that in reality, with the ubiquitous use of technology, it is now more than every that we need the natural world.

The more technology we have, the more nature we need. We also note also that every student we now see has only been to school in the 21st Century. They are mostly educated by teachers who went to school in the 20th Century.

They exist in a school system that was developed in the 18th Century. If ever there was a time to do education differently, it is now.

These converging concepts provide a powerful rationale and significant "moral purpose' or central belief for undertaking our programs. Our campuses have less curriculum inertia than many system models, as there is a new cohort each term.

Review, renewal and organisational reflection are encouraged and it is hoped that innovation is a key feature of our programs. Educational and balanced risk taking is encouraged. Change is a feature of our organisation, introspection and challenging mores and beliefs is a value. We adopt all these curriculum innovations and are an integrated curriculum model.

We actively promote the importance of conceptual and practical preparation-separation-reintegration model and minimal parental contact. Separation anxiety is a part of our experience and we work with the student to cope with his/her incarnation of this emotional response.

We believe this is an essential component for the success of the program. Students undertake expeditions and we encourage them to explore and get close to the natural world.

Every student benefits from the experience and every student will acknowledge that the experience is at times extremely challenging.

They return home and after a period of adjustment, every student in our experience will go on to better outcomes at school because of the "rite", separation, relationship with a significant adult and exposure and relationship with the outdoors and natural environment.

Our research shows that students are better learners, more focussed, more settled, have better medium and long term goals and can undertake practices to achieve those goals. They do academically better at school and are more settled and considerate at home.

Beliefs and Values

The school has developed a core set of beliefs and values which guides school and program decision making. The successful applicant will demonstrate in his/her a commitment to these core values. We Believe in and Value:

  • Connectedness
  • Respect
  • Relationships
  • Self-Belief.

The roles and responsibilities

As a result of the multi-campus operation and the residential 9-24/7 operation on each campus, the role requires a person with a flexible, enthusiastic and team-oriented approach. All staff work in a close team environment with their colleagues, and a culture of collaboration, sharing and feedback permeates this relationship.

The Principal is the instructional leader in the school, the Ex-Officio member of council, direct line-manager to all staff but delegates this responsibility as required.
The school Principal is primarily based at Snowy Campus and will be often mobile.

The Campus Principals and the Leading Teachers with the Generalists will form the core of the teaching staff.

Leading Teachers should be familiar with aspects of contemporary DET management practices.

The Business Manager has a vital advisory with both the Principal and the Campus Principals in making and supporting resourcing decisions.

The Overnight and Education Support Staff are intrinsically connected to the successful outcomes that the school aims for.

The kitchen and catering model is critical to the success of the learning program and the staff follow a “Common Kitchen” approach to healthy food for growing adolescents.

The school has a Community of Practice approach to ensure high quality outcome for students, to reduce variability between teachers, classes, campuses and days, uses evidence and data and privileging time for inquiry among others.

The operational budget of the multi-campus school is in the order of $6-7m per annum. The school generates a large cash income through parent contributions from home schools and grants for the international program.

The governance and leadership model of the School for Student Leadership is unique in the Victorian Education system. The Governance and Leadership models comprise one School Council and a single Principal.

The school council, nominated by the Education Minister, consists of high profile members of the Victorian community. There are past student and Koorie community representatives on the school council.

The School Principal, Business Manager, Campus Principals and Leading Teachers form the School Leadership Team.

The Business Manager is the Secretary of the School Council and has a close working relationship with the Principal, School Council President and Finance Committee.

A Campus Principal and Leading Teacher comprise the leadership team at a campus. The LT Curriculum oversees the pedagogical program. There is a Learning Specialist at each campus.

A Digital Technologies Coordinator leads and implements the ICT program across the school.

With this model, a member of the leadership team can be on-site at the school most days as the operation of the organisation is 24/7.

The school, as a co-educational residential school, has two gender specific accommodation wings and has a highly trained team of teacher and non-teacher support staff to maximize the desired educational outcomes.

The school has a particular focus on ensure the safety of students through the Child Safe Standards.

There is provision in the Equal Opportunities Act to select staff based on gender due to the residential nature of the program.

Because of the unique nature of the operation of the school, the delivery of the programs involves a range of evening, overnight, early morning, holiday and weekend duties for all staff. Flexibility in working hours and arrangements is a vital part of this role.

Selection Criteria

SC1 Demonstrated experience and skills in coordinating a specific education support function.

SC2 Demonstrated capacity to supervise the work of other support staff and to develop procedures and guidelines relating to the work area.

SC3 Demonstrated high level oral and written communication skills.

SC4 Possess the technical knowledge and expertise relevant to the position.

SC5 Demonstrated capacity to provide advice and support to management in respect to the work area.

SC6 Demonstrated commitment to professional learning and growth for both self and others.


This education support class role is specific to a trained and qualified outdoor guide/facilitator/leader that can effectively support the operation of the 'School for student leader' outdoor program.

The duties and responsibilities relevanting to this position are as follows:

  • Provide instruction to students in the field specific to the outdoor activity inclusive of; Hiking, Mountain Biking, Whitewater Canoeing, Caving combined with an overnight component. ES staff will work with a qualified teacher in this role at all times.
  • Provide first aid to students when required, based on experience and qualifications (including Wilderness First Aid)
  • Implement risk management procedures consistent with the school’s policy documentation
  • Assist in transportation of students and staff to fulfil the requirements of the school’s operation
  • Provide overnight supervision of students on campus to assist in the operation of the school
  • Work with teaching staff to manage the wellbeing and safety of students in a school and/or outdoor settings
  • Provide high level communication, both written and verbal, with students, staff and parents that supports student learning and wellbeing


  • Provides coordination support to teachers through rostering and the organisation of the work of a team of aides, including supervision and guidance.
  • Conducts routine presentations to parents to assist teachers in communicating objectives and outcomes relating to educational programs and/or students.
  • Liaise with external providers of support services.
  • Provide medical intervention support that involves a specific medical condition approved by the Department, requires specialised training/instruction that requires regular updating and has clearly defined responsibility for the administration of such support.

Who May Apply

Individuals with the aptitude, experience and/or qualifications to fulfill the specific requirements of the position.