Lifeskills is an exemplary action learning program which allows students to develop and build self confidence. It promotes quality learning in schools by providing a safe context for risk taking and for student managed enterprise. It rewards students for exerting effort and building self reliance and allows them to choose between activities related to regular work, volunteering and entrepreneurship.

The program was developed at two government schools in Maitland over several years and has since been taken up, in varied formats, by other primary and central schools around NSW. It has high potential to be adapted and modified to strengthen vocational learning in the middle years and to assist school to work planning in Stage 4 and 5.

Lifeskills demonstrates how both integrated learning within the existing curriculum and school extracurricular activities can be excitingly relevant to students' lives within and beyond schooling.

Evaluation of the program: The Lifeskills Program was recently evaluated by the University of Newcastle’s School of Education. Dr Erica Southgate who led the research team said: "The real beauty of this program is that it can be implemented simply and cheaply on a very small scale. That's they key to its success- it's adaptability regarding scale and its flexiblity of focus - it can be a gardening program or a lunchtime market focused program or one that just has auctions. It can be nearly all things to all teachers".

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