Westminster School are long-time partners with AFL SportsReady. Together we’ve been shaping the futures of Trainees and making a lasting impact for over 20 years.
Westminster School, a co-educational institution in Adelaide, South Australia, was founded in 1961. The school offers a strong focus on sports and performing arts, and one of its unique offerings is the AFL SportsReady Schools Program. This program provides flexibility for past students passionate about physical education to gain practical experience working in a school setting.
Gary has been at Westminster for 36 years, serving in various roles. Including acting principal, head of senior School, head of senior students, and director of boarding for over 20 years.
In recent years, his mainstay has been his involvement in the PE Program, and he shared his experiences with the AFL SportsReady Schools Program.
The AFL SportsReady Schools Program provides recent School leavers with practical experience working in their school setting. Working with a Teacher allows the Trainee to learn what it’s like to work in a school. The Trainee supports the PE and sports departments in the school. They also participate in excursions and camps with the students. The school also offers before and after-school training sessions and weekend activities as well.
The Trainees selected are only a year older than the current year 12’s, making them better suited to work with younger students. Their involvement in ensuring classes and events like athletics carnivals run smoothly varies depending on the event. But they do not put them in front of the class with that kind of responsibility.
Gary says, “The program allows flexibility and is customised to fit the needs of the Trainee.”
The AFL SportsReady Schools Program is flexible and customisable to fit the needs of each Trainee. For example, the current Trainee, Kayla (Pictured with Gary), has serious outside sporting commitments, so she can adjust her start and end times as needed.
The program’s flexibility makes it an attractive option for Trainees who want to gain real-world experience while completing their qualification.
The Trainees are selected through a rigorous process, starting with a written application and followed by an interview. The school looks for passionate year 12 students interested in physical education. Preferably someone who has completed year 12 PE as a subject.
“As the Trainees progress through the program, they gain confidence and take on more responsibilities,” says Gary.
The working experiences show Trainess that teaching is challenging, especially with some of the younger students. Helping them develop the skills needed to work with people of all ages. Kayla, also a talented coach heavily involved in the junior school, has gained exposure to what happens in the senior school. She has also assisted in preparing PowerPoints, doing research, and even seeing what it’s like to write a new course.
“Kayla is transitioning from being a student to being part of the teaching staff, and that takes some getting used to,” says Gary.
The AFL SportsReady Trainee Program at Westminster School provides a valuable opportunity for students passionate about education to gain practical experience while completing their qualification. The program’s flexible nature and customised approach allow Trainees to balance outside commitments while building confidence and taking on more responsibilities.
In summary, the Program offers a win-win situation for young people who want to pursue their passion for physical education.