Developing global citizens
We know that our young people will live and work in a globalised, internationally focussed world where the flow of money, technology, people and ideas will occur continually. Northcote High School students need to be equipped to engage and prosper in a society and economy that is connected to the rest of the world. They need to understand and be prepared to take responsibility as global citizens. In order to achieve this, Northcote High School will ensure that our students have the knowledge and the capacity to:
- • Communicate effectively across cultures and boundaries
- • Understand the world and the concept of interdependence
• Speak another language
Why would Australian schools do this? In fact, almost all Government plans developed over the last 6 years, State and Federal, acknowledge the importance of developing young Australians who are able to collaborate across national boundaries in the 21st century, “the Asian century” – who have the confidence to develop personal and perhaps business relationships within Asia. At very least, they are competent interacting beyond Australia. Click on any of the images to follow links to Federal and State policy statements:
2016 saw Northcote High School become the first Australian government school to commit to offering an Australian high school certificate, offshore, in China. To date, this has been the province of a very small group of independent schools, whose work in Asia has largely been of a commercial nature. Northcote High School has partnered with the International Education Division of DET and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to work with two Chinese schools.
- • Baotou Foreign Languages School (No 1 Senior Middle School of No 1 Machinery Group), Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China
- • Hengshui No 1 High School, Hengshui, Hebei Province, China
For our staff, the professional development opportunities when mentoring partner teachers delivering the VCE overseas are profound and we have seen the benefits time and again. The VCE, a premier Australian curriculum, also prompts and challenges students in Asian countries in new ways and tests new skills. And at the end of this – a student in China finishing the VCE and receiving an ATAR has access to an Australian tertiary institution through the same pathway as everyone else.
A History of International Experiences
An international viewpoint is not something entirely new for Northcote High School. After the turmoil of World War Two, NHS became one of the first schools to accept students under the Colombo Plan. Students from Singapore, Malaysia and other countries came to study English at NHS, although they were often older than their local classmates. In the 1990s, NHS became one of the first schools to accept international students at the senior years of school. And also in the 1990s, NHS signed a sister school agreement with Huaibei No 1 High School. It’s now one of the oldest sister school relationships between a Victorian and Chinese school. And in 2016, we signed a second agreement with a newly established school - the Tianjin Binhai Foreign Languages School.
In the 1930s, Northcote High School exchanging correspondance by mail with other schools around the world. These included Staszic High School in Lublin, Poland in 1935. NHS and the Polish school exchanged large hand coloured folders by mail, explaining each others country and searching for common connections. The Red Cross Group in each school was the connecting group. The elaborate folder sent by the Polish school still exists. Pages are shown below. Click on the right hand one to read their warm letter of greeting to NHS.
Recent International activities
- • March 2016 saw teachers from the Singapore Department of Education on an extended placement at NHS, while five other visiting groups from the Asia-Pacific region came on day tours through our school through Terms 1-3.
- • Huaibei No1 High School brought 25 staff and students out to visit in August 2016.
- • In March 2017, 40 NHS students and staff travelled to China to perform in Huaibei, Tianjin, Shanghai, Beijing and X'ian, at a number of Chinese schools.
- • October 2017 will see eight NHS Yr 9 Chinese second language students involved in the fifith Victorian Young Leaders to China Program. NHS has been involved every year of this state subsidized program’s existence.
- • In November 2016, 40 NHS students travelled to Cambodia to take part in a community project.
- • In March 2017, 20 senior art students travelled to the US for an Art and Design tour. Language immersion trips are planned to New Caledonia in June and to Italy in September 2017!
School Partnership advice
NHS is not able to process unsolicited requests for international cooperation. International schools seeking Australian partner schools should consider contacting
The Department of Education, International Education Division, Level 1, 41 St. Andrews Place, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia. Phone (+61 3) 9637 2000