The School of Hard Knocks provides an innovative approach to improving the health and life outcomes of its students
Homelessness, dislocation of youth, drug and alcohol addiction and unemployment are key issues facing many communities around Australia. The School of Hard Knocks provides a new business model which is conducted in parallel with welfare and health care to provide possible pathways for students to re-engage in mainstream society.
The main pillars of the school business model are:
We appoint an honorary leader for each discipline that we teach. These individuals participate as patrons or in a more hands on capacity if time permits. They provide leadership to our teachers, contribute to the curriculum and support students by attending and/or participating in key performances
Unique Teacher Training
Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Dr Kathleen McGuire and colleagues have worked with street choirs in Australia and abroad, and developed a highly innovative philosophy of teaching for engaging students who have a mix of personal, physical, medical and emotional needs. This teaching method has now been documented with support from the Helen McPherson Smith Trust and we use it to train and prepare all our professional and volunteer teachers for working in a challenging, yet highly rewarding, environment.
Exciting Performance Opportunities
Creating performance opportunities is an important component of the school philosophy. We recognise the positive impact it has on our students to achieve goals and receive acknowledgement. Students develop increased self-esteem and confidence through the experience of rehearsing and performing in our ensembles