Grade 5 Students Dreaming BIG next week!

Grade 5 Students Dreaming BIG next week!

Dream BIG 2024 starts next week with Higher Education Visits for year 5 students in Burnie.

Dream BIG is offered to all Year 5 students at government schools in the Burnie Area and is coordinated by Burnie Works. It gives them experiences of higher education and jobs, early in their schooling, helping them to see opportunities and Dream BIG for their future. This builds the foundations for better engagement, learning, and staying in school.

Over the next few weeks, 230 students from Natone, Montello, Burnie, Havenview, Cooee, and Somerset Primary Schools will visit TasTAFE, the University of Tasmania, and Hellyer College.

Burnie Works uses a collaborative approach to deliver the Dream BIG program. It brings together primary schools, higher education facilities, and businesses.

Burnie Works recently undertook a study of the benefits of the Dream BIG activity. The Report – ‘Making the Invisible Visible: Impact of Burnie Works – Dream Big’ is now available for the community to download and read on our website.

Burnie Works Chair Jacqueline de Jonge said “To help us understand our impact in 2023 we worked with Social Ventures Australia to do an analysis of the social value of Burnie Works. It focused on the Dream BIG program. We hope to use the social value learning from this report to mobilise resources to further support schools and students in our community to be part of Dream BIG”.

The analysis aims to understand the change that Burnie Works has made for the Burnie community. It focuses on change over time and examines the value of this impact. 20 people participated in interviews throughout this process including past students. The report tells the story of change from each stakeholder’s perspective and how they value those changes.

A student in an interview said “It really opened my eyes. When you’re that young, you think of things you want to do, but you never get to look at them. If I didn’t do Dream BIG, I don’t think I would have seen the job. I’d still be questioning whether I wanted to do it.”

A Principal of a participating school said, “At that age, some of the kids have a growing realisation that perhaps their home life isn’t all that great…by showing them those possible futures, the kids can actually see that they can take control of their future…it helps with their wellbeing.”

Over 2,250 young people and 120 local businesses have participated in Dream BIG since it commenced. All higher education facilities in Burnie can participate in Dream BIG.

The lifetime social costs of just one young person leaving school early, before completing Year 12, is nearly $1m. The 2024 Productivity Commission Report on Government Services shows that Tasmania has the lowest year 12 attainment rate (just 53% of Tasmanians finished year 12 with their Tasmanian Certificate of Education or an equivalent VET qualification), the lowest retention rate (the number of full-time school students in Year 10 that continue to Year 12), and is struggling on many other educational indicators. All despite having the highest spend per student (this data excludes the Northern Territory).

We are measuring and evaluating this program so we can demonstrate how Dream BIG might contribute to improved educational engagement and attainment, as well as improved school retention over the long term.

The full social value report can be found on our website.