Santa’s Workshop: Building Better Lives – Jennifer Oaten

With the belief that girls can do anything, listening to the student voice and through our focus on the strategic plan, Santa Maria College is proud to announce the launch of Santa’s Workshop. This new initiative will give our students the opportunity to learn woodworking and other essential life skills. We know that girls can do anything, and this workshop will help them develop into strong, independent young women.

Our Mission, as articulated in our Strategic Plan, states that we ‘Empower girls to have a positive impact on people and the planet.’

And within our Strategic Plan within our Social Innovation Pillar (3.1), our goal is to Establish innovative ways for our students to learn practical life skills to make a difference in the world.

Building Better Lives is the tagline for Santa’s Workshop and features on our signage. We intend to make items, such as wooden toys, which can be donated to children in need or items, such as toolboxes, that can be sold within our community to raise funds for those in need. The focus is on others, not on oneself, building better lives for others.

Santa’s Workshop is a place where students can not only design and create products but also receive guidance on how to evaluate their work. Furthermore, it is where our girls cultivate important life skills.

The workshop will provide workspaces for students to learn a range of skills like using hammers, drills, sanders and a wide range of hand tools. Skills such as measurement, material selection and budgeting will also be learned. Sustainable practices will also be adopted, for example, using recycled materials and minimising waste. 

Our goal is for students to leave this class confident in their abilities and armed with the skills necessary to produce quality work they can be proud of. These skills will stay with them long after they have left school.

In 2023, Years 7 and 8 students will be offered a woodwork elective for the first time. Great interest has been shown by the girls, with 86 Year 7s and 129 Year 8s choosing to do the Woodwork elective.

Several groups will be trialling the space for a range of projects this term, including our IGNITE girls (our gifted and talented program), STENgineers (Year 7 elective) and Art and Design students. Co-curricular opportunities will also be developed and offered in 2023.

Much time has been spent in the areas of safety and compliance, storage of materials, types of tools and equipment required, materials and consumables and including the types of projects to be made.

The launch of Santa’s Workshop would not have been possible without 

  • Our 2021 Year 10 students who provided much input to the workshop in November 2021 during Future10.
  • The $25,000 funding received from Parent Council to purchase tools and equipment.
  • Our Maintenance team’s hard work in preparing the space, purchasing tools and equipment and providing advice.
  • Our Science Technicians have assisted with the layout and labelling of equipment.

We hope this wonderful opportunity will enable our students to learn valuable life skills while distributing goods and funds to communities of need, benefitting the most vulnerable in our society.

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