The Specialist School Activity Boost (Activity Boost) provides funding for student activities to Victorian Government specialist schools for students with disability and high needs, and supported inclusion schools. Activities include but are not limited to arts, sports, cultural and social programs. These schools generally face higher costs in delivering these activities due to higher required staffing ratios and more specialised equipment.
Schools will have flexibility in selecting appropriate activities for their students. Schools will be able to deliver tailored place-based solutions that provide the most benefit to students and families, in class and beyond the school.
Funds can be used to:
- engage external providers to deliver targeted arts, sports, cultural or social programs
- develop an in-school program, delivered by school staff
- pay for an excursion, including student attendance at camps
- establish a partnership with a local sports club (for example, a bowling club) to provide activities for students
- purchase resources or equipment to establish regular in-school access to activities (for example, giant 10-pin bowling equipment)
- cover ancillary costs, such as transport to attend an excursion
- cover casual relief teaching (CRT) costs to release school staff to deliver activities.
Examples of funding use
The following list of examples, linked to curriculum areas, demonstrates the breadth of activities that the Activity Boost funding can be used for.
- The school engages an external provider to run cultural music workshops for all students.
- Students learn to play a piece of music in school, then go on an excursion to watch/listen to it being performed.
- The school engages a singing coach for a term to work with students who express interest in forming a school choir. The students learn several pieces and perform at a local community event at the end of term.
- A school staff member has particular skills/interest in an arts medium (e.g. is a skilled potter). The school employs a CRT to allow the staff member to run pottery workshops for students. Some of the funds are used to purchase a pottery wheel and tools.
- The school engages a mural artist to work with students to create a series of outdoor murals to display throughout the school.
- Students have been learning about Australian artists and go on an excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria to view some examples.
- The school engages a drama teacher/therapist to run social skills sessions for secondary school students. The students explore concepts of appropriate behaviour in the workplace through role-play and create video models for the school intranet.
- A dance teacher/therapist is engaged to run a series of dance workshops for students.
- Primary students have been reading fairy tales and go on an excursion to watch a performance related to a fairy tale text.
Health and physical education
- The school arranges for a group of students to take part in a term of classes with Riding for the Disabled.
- Students have been learning Aussie rules football for the term. The school arranges for members of an AFL team to visit the school and run student workshops. The school also uses funds to purchase equipment to support the workshops (e.g. targets, footballs).
- A group of students attend a local gym once a week for a term to learn how to use the equipment safely and gym etiquette.
- Students participate in a day excursion of adventure activities to stimulate movement and mental wellbeing.
- Students go on an excursion to a farm or zoo to learn about biology and zoology.
- Students have been learning about recycling and go on an excursion to a waste management or recycling centre.
- Students learning botany or horticulture have an incursion by an external provider to demonstrate plant growth or an excursion to a greenhouse.
- The school engages an external provider to run a workshop about being safe online.
- The school delivers a robotics workshop for students in conjunction with the local technology school and purchases materials to support student learning.
- Students take part in a coding activity to assist their learning in information technology.
Humanities, personal and social capability
- Students have been learning about the ancient world and go on an excursion to a museum to see artefacts.
- Teachers accompany additional students on work experience programs.
- Respectful Relationships workshops are conducted to help students build their social interaction skills.