School Exchange - Australia

School Exchange with Paynesville School, Victoria, Australia

Since 2012 Chelsea Primary School has been participating in an exchange programme with Paynesville Primary School in Victoria, Australia.  Paynesville School is a small rural school 4 ½ hours out of Melbourne. It is situated on the Gippsland Lake system, has no traffic lights and no fast food outlets.

The Principal of Paynesville School began his teaching career here at Chelsea School and he instigated the exchange in 2012 with the aim of encouraging his students to become global citizens rather than being satisfied with a small town lens through which to learn and grow.

Each year approximately 28 – 30 of our learners cross the Tasman Sea to experience life at a pace different from their own. In even years, the Paynesville students come to Chelsea and we travel to them in the alternate years.

Each country has unique geographical features to share and show. The students are billeted with host families in both countries as are the accompanying parents and staff. This in itself is a challenging and rewarding experience for the children and proves to be one of the highlights of the trip for them.

The children learn to manage their own budget (their spending money), manage the airport check-in process and take responsibility for their passports and boarding passes during this process – all of which is usually done for them by their parents. They build resilience in the face of challenges; possible homesickness, different family habits and dynamics.

We now have strong links with Paynesville Primary School and our communities look forward to hosting each other on a regular basis.