Optimism and innovation

Article by Chris McNamara
Melbourne Girls Grammar / 15 February 2018

According to The Foundation for Young Australians’ (FYA) and their New Work Order research, the automation, globalisation and flexibility of the future of work will ensure that a 15‐year‐old today will experience a ‘portfolio career’, potentially having 17 different jobs over five careers in their lifetime. They might be self‐employed, working for other people or doing both — while also collaborating with people on the other side of the world.

This change isn’t looming, it is here, it is happening. We can no longer look to the past to solve future problems as our future is rapidly evolving as is the workplace and traditional career.

At Melbourne Girls Grammar we are approaching these changes with optimism and innovation. Melbourne Girls Grammar is rising to the challenge of the future of work, by changing the traditional structure of schooling and providing opportunities for students to discover their passions and build their capacities for action and influence within their many life contexts.

For our students to flourish in the highly complex, accelerating world in which they will live and learn, they must emerge from school confident in their identity, equipped with strategies to expand their capacity to apply themselves in challenging contexts, and optimistic that they can create their own future opportunities.

The design of our Senior Years acknowledges the need for personalisation and the development of student autonomy within a defined structure and with clear expectations. Girls in the Senior Years have both fixed and flexible components to their week and have the capacity to shape their day according to the goals and priorities they have established with their teachers, wellbeing coaches and fitness coaches. Students are encouraged to develop solutions to problems that interest and engage them, harnessing their intellectual and creative potential.

A unique component of our Senior Years Program is Student Enterprise. Throughout their four-year senior experience, the girls engage with opportunities offered under the auspices of our Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE). These experiences are organised under four domains: learning beyond school, careers inspiration, student philanthropy, and leadership. The girls choose from the suite of options and document their experiences and their learning in their Student Enterprise Profile.

As the girls construct their enterprise profile, they are also encouraged to develop broad understandings of their place in the world and grow their intercultural understanding through participating in one of the global opportunities on offer. Girls are able to work collaboratively with our Student Enterprise Manager to create opportunities that help them investigate an area of interest and target their personal aspirations.

The learning beyond school component of the student enterprise offerings encourage girls to experience the world of work and inspire them to create a pathway to future career opportunities. These experiences take many forms and include but are not limited to the traditional notion of a work experience week. Careers Inspiration may include an online accreditation, an overseas

experience or an internship. Our internship model has been developed to include extended experiences within a career field or a connection of workshop experiences that broaden their perspective of an industry or type of career.

In rising to the challenge of preparing students for the future of work, Melbourne Girls Grammar is creating the time and a diverse range of opportunities for students to build their understanding about their passions and talents and the types of skills, attributes and mindsets that will help them succeed and adapt to the future world of work, whatever that might look like.

Chris McNamara, Deputy Principal, Program Design and Development


Image: Year 11 Student, working on her Algorithmics course