VNYC Feb Retreat

Back: Jay Coupe, Isaac Heron, Jamie-Lee Evans (Foster Youth Museum), Alchimae Prasad-Khan, Amanda Faauga, Simulata Pope (VOYCE team), Saron Bekele, Tara Lee (VOYCE team), Amanda Smith (VOYCE team) Front: Oliver Miller, Lakiesha Cummings, Fatima Abdallah

The sixth VOYCE National Youth Council retreat was the second to take place at Ferndale Lodge in West Auckland, this time on the 8th and 9th of February.

As curriculum development was this retreat’s focus, the VNYC spent the majority of its time learning and applying the basic principles required to write an effective curriculum. This began with an introduction to the concepts of training objectives, competencies, and learning objectives and an activity in instruction-writing aimed at demonstrating the importance of being specific when writing procedures for others to follow. Mixed in amongst this was a review of the different learning styles and a youth-led discussion of the importance of approaching learning and teaching with a growth mindset.

The focus of the retreat then shifted to the application of these skills to a variety of tasks. This involved the VNYC spending short sessions planning events and writing team builder activities, and then to a discussion of what the training objectives should be for a curriculum for a youth-led social worker training session.

When the VNYC was not working through this learning process, members also ran their own meeting, as they have been for the last few retreats. Also, members had a valuable opportunity to spend time socialising as a group outside of their working environment when they went out to the movies together on Saturday night.

This was the first of three retreats which together will provide the VNYC with a strong understanding of how to write a curriculum and put them on the path towards the ultimate goal of producing multiple curricula which can be used by external organisations on an ongoing basis. However, the next retreat will provide a brief break from this process to focus on cultural competence, in particular through the development of an understanding of Maori and Pasifika worldviews, when the VNYC next meets over 14-15 of March in Wellington.