MLC Banksia is the College’s Education Outdoors site for students in Years 5 to 8, and is located on the Banksia Peninsula, Gippsland Lakes, near Paynesville.
Each MLC Banksia experience is carefully and strategically planned to enable effective personal skill development. Students undertake a range of new, age-appropriate challenges each time they return. MLC Banksia experiences are theme based and have strong links to the Kew curriculum. Facilities at MLC Banksia include accommodation options that cater to the needs and camp experience goals of visiting student groups.
An emphasis on fun underpins the Year 5 experience. The focus is on stimulating interest in the outdoors, learning about local flora and fauna, and developing an awareness and appreciation of the environment. Students participate in sailing, hiking, beach walks, stories around the campfire, environmental learning and art projects. Students experience living in cabins and are introduced to the practical aspects of camp craft and overnight camping.
The Year 6 experience focuses on the importance of water, while expanding upon the skills developed in Year 5. Through participation in a range of activities that build teamwork and co-operative skills, students learn about the various ‘user groups’ that rely on water for survival. The Year 6 experience is structured to support friendship development and confidence building.
A key objective of the Year 7 experience is to help students form friendships, bond with peers and develop stronger relationships with one another and their Home Group Teachers. Students focus on personal development, environmental understanding, and the Indigenous values of the Gippsland Lakes region. In addition to extending their bushwalking and camping skills, students undertake environmental projects and navigation exercises.
The Year 8 experience at MLC Banksia includes a strong focus on sustainability and the development of environmentally conscious lifestyle choices. Learning is practical and hands-on, incorporating both individual and team activities. The Year 8 experience provides the link between Year 7 and the students’ eight weeks at MLC Marshmead in Year 9. Students experience sailing, sea kayaking, caving and further develop their navigation and camping skills. Student accommodation is in self-contained cabins and provides a valuable introduction to the experience of independent living.
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