This research-based book focuses on the development and evolution of the School for Student Leadership (SSL), an alternate and unique residential school for year-nine students, operating in Victoria, Australia. It traces the journey of the SSL, a state secondary school, from a single campus in 2000, to its current three campuses, with more to come in the future. The book documents the key findings and insights from a university/school research partnership spanning a 16-year period. Central themes running throughout the book include the importance of social and emotional development/competence to support and guide learning in adolescence; the nature and value of adolescent leadership; relationships and community as foci of middle-years education together with what constitutes a modern ‘rite of passage’. The book explains how, in this particular alternate setting, deliberate steps have been taken – and responsively changed over time – to develop knowledge, skills and competencies, which enable the building of meaningful and sustainable relationships and social and emotional competence within the community. Many of the lessons learned in this setting reveal the potential for transference into mainstream educational settings, to enable all year-nine students to receive the same opportunities to grow and develop as those who have attended the SSL.
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