About Student Volunteering
NSW Department of Education schools develop Student Volunteering and Service Learning activities to allow students to explore local issues of concern and make a difference.
By participating in community volunteering activities, young people have an opportunity to learn demonstrate care, respect and responsibility.
Volunteering will enable students to participate and interact in their community in a positive and meaningful way. The experience may help them to develop skills and confidence in communication and team work. Students will be encouraged to talk about their participation in volunteering activities, and to reflect on the impact of their contribution.
Volunteering is relevant to all students in NSW government schools and all levels of ability.
The NSW Premier’s Student Volunteering Awards
Students will be encouraged to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of volunteering activity over the period of enrolment in Years 9 and 10. Those who achieve this target will be eligible to receive a Premier’s Certificate.
This Award will be a useful inclusion in a young person’s resume, demonstrating to prospective employers that they have a sense of responsibility and a willingness to give selflessly to participate in their community.
Some volunteering activities may be organised as group, class or school projects. However, many students already participate in voluntary community service activities outside school.
Students involved in voluntary service activities with Scouts or other youth groups, surf lifesaving, assisting parents with Meals on Wheels and many other community oriented tasks like these can be acknowledged through the Premier’s Awards program. Parents assist by encouraging their child to talk to the school’s Student Volunteering and Service Learning coordinator about the activities they do outside school that may contribute to their Premier’s Award.
The NSW Premier’s Student Volunteering Awards program has various levels with certificates issued to reflect greater voluntary contribution:
What Happens at Sylvania High School?
All students are given the opportunity to participate in volunteering activities both within the school and outside of school.
Within the school students have the opportunity to volunteer their time and skills in a variety of areas including the Tech crew, SRC, dance, drama, music productions and performances, hospitality and Open night to name just a few.
Sylvania High School also has close links with the following outside agencies including:
Frank Vickery Village- students attend the hostel twice weekly to volunteer their time to assist with morning tea and morning craft or exercise activities.
Time 4 Kindy- students attend on a weekly basis to assist staff with the children during their morning activities.
What are the benefits?
Volunteering helps students to:
- participate and interact in their community in a positive and meaningful way
- develop an understanding of cultural and generational differences
- provide support and assistance to others more disadvantaged than themselves
- contribute to society as a way of thanks to others who have contributed to making their lives more fulfilling
- build their confidence and self-esteem in communicating and working with others
- enhance their skills and knowledge for potential future employability
- demonstrate their selfless commitment to a better future for all
- find a connectedness with their community, a purpose for learning and a goal for their future
Research has shown that generally, participation in volunteering activities leads to
- increased happiness
- sense of satisfaction and purpose
- improved self-esteem
- better health
- a stronger network of relationships: friends and support networks
- skill development (both practical and personal)