The Yakapna Programme has a significant tradition at our school originating in 2002. The original aims of the programme have remained to create a time for students to transition from the Middle to Senior years of school.
The programme provides learning activities and experiences which allow students to form deeper understandings of self, place and community. The vision for the Yakapna Programme is to create a learning community of students and staff together in one location for Year 9.
One of the signature elements of the region’s heritage is the strong Aboriginal community and culture. This Aboriginal culture runs through this land back for tens of thousands of years. Through the Aboriginal community today and their elders and ancestors, there is an unbroken connection to this ancient culture.
The school is located on land traditionally owned by the Aboriginal people. GVGS has a significant number of students who identify as Aboriginal. The school approached representatives of the local Aboriginal community seeking permission to name the Year 9 programme using Yorta Yorta language. Through partnerships with the local community members, the Yorta Yorta word “Yakapna” was selected. “Yakapna” means community or family which we felt captured the essence of the Year 9 Programme.
The programme has offered students a wide range of signature experiences. These have developed over the years and currently include:
The Urban Experience in Melbourne
Students are given authentic learning experiences while immersed in the city environment. The camp provides the opportunity for independent learning and acceptance of responsibilities.
The Immersion Programme
Enables students to experience more ‘hands on’ learning in settings often outside the classroom and in our community.
The Service Project provides students with involvement in the wider community in a valuable and significant way. In small teams, students identify opportunities to support their local communities.