A re imagining of Launceston’s urban spaces has netted Scotch Oakburn a national education award.
The school was named one of the winners of The Educator magazine’s innovative school awards.
Scotch Oakburn was the only Tasmanian school to make the cut, and has received an award for the past three years for various projects.
This year, the school received a nod for its SOC2City project, where grade 7s were put into teams to reimagine and redevelop some of Launceston’s iconic spaces.
About 100 students were involved in the inaugural program, which was hailed a great success by the school.
Middle School head Julie Kemp said the program had been designed to give students an opportunity to use the skills they learned at school in a practical setting.
“It was born because I saw that there was a need for students to be able to apply their skills in the real world,” she said.
Launceston landmarks like Royal Park and Ritchie’s Mill, along with spaces such as the area behind the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania and the Gasworks car park, were the locations the teams had to develop.
The teams of five or six were tasked with building a business plan and proposal to submit to the City of Launceston council, which included a 400-word written submission and a video proposal.
Principal Andy Muller said the project helped to teach students “general capabilities” such as teamwork, collaboration and time management to apply their learning.
He said the skills learned were integral to the school’s learning approach.
The students also learned about the history of the area they were “developing”, which Ms Kemp said helped build engagement and connection to the city.
The Educator awards were announced this week, with 40 schools named as award winners.
Scotch Oakburn won their award in 2016 for their relationship with China and their Chinese learning program.
In 2017, their bush Kinder program netted them the award.
Mr Muller said while it was humbling to be the only Tasmanian school on the list, he didn’t think it was reflective of the broader Tasmanian education landscape.
“We are stoked that we have been nominated but there are a lot of schools around Tasmania doing innovative things,” he said.
Mr Muller said he encouraged other schools to think about applying for next year’s awards.
SOC2City was such a success that it will become an annual program for Scotch Oakburn’s middle school students.
The Educator’s innovative school awards are announced each year.