Teaching Initiatives Program

Congratulations to the 2022 grant recipients.

This year grants were awarded for a range of initiatives to foster improved student learning in sustainability, general curriculum, diversity, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

View all the winners


2022 grant recipients

Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients. Check out all the winning entries below.

Appin Park Primary School

Engaging and Connecting with our Older Community

Category: Diversity

Foundation and Year 5/6 students will interact and create connections with members of our Aged Care Facilities, enjoying the company of each other and showing a greater awareness of how they can both have a positive impact on the lives of each other. Learning from each other, how to make friends, how to be inclusive and showing an acceptance of individuals for who they are.

Sometimes the stereotype is that young people are rude and only think of themselves and that old people are grumpy and have nothing more to offer our community and society. These stereotypes need to be broken down and our young people can learn a lot from our older community members. Potentially the greatest learning can be through newly formed friendships that are lasting, through a greater understanding of resilience and through the acceptance and appreciation of everyone within our community.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College

Composting Machines

Category: Sustainability

BSSC is the biggest provider of VCE/VET in Victoria, with 1850 year 11/12 students. The school prides itself on providing students the latest in future focused technology and innovation. Emphasis is placed on workplace requirements and care for the environment.

The Opportunity to secure a grant from Bank First has given the school the chance to introduce a technology to the Foods & Hospitality area that will benefit student understanding of sustainability and the environment.

These composting machines will assist in reducing waste and assist in fertilising the soils on the grounds of the school. This will enhance production of school vegetables and herbs, which are in turn used within the kitchen or donated locally. This technology will show case to the school and the community the support of grants offered. Bank First will make it possible to implement such technologies in the school and integrate more advanced processes within the curriculum on a practical level.

Beverford District Primary School

Wellbeing Skills for Life Program

Category: General curriculum

The 'Wellbeing Skills For Life Program' gives older primary school students the necessary skills required to live an independent, healthy and happy life. This program will help support and develop skills required for life such as laundry (washing and drying clothes), budgeting and spending (making shopping lists and purchasing groceries), cooking basic meals, healthy eating, exercise, applying for jobs, household chores / social skills (answering phones correctly, setting a table etc) and appropriate hygiene practices to assist healthy living.

Students will be given the opportunity to learn the skills listed above in small group settings and practical/hands on ways. Included in the program are student driven projects such as a 'Student Led Healthy Canteen', 'Community Healthy Recipe Book', and much more.

Camberwell South Primary School

Camberwell South Primary School does Ninja Warrior!

Category: Diversity

Camberwell South Primary School does Ninja Warrior! CSPS students have used digital technologies to build a virtual Ninja Warrior course as part of their Physical Education and Active Schools programs.

The Ninja Warrior program was created to increase students’ voice, confidence, physical strength and flexibility, and to encourage all students to enjoy the benefits of team challenges. Thanks to Bank First, a traverse climbing wall is the first physical structure to be built from using students digital designs!

Choice Learning Space; Wodonga Senior Secondary College

Learning through Lego

Category: General curriculum

The Learning through Lego initiative will benefit the secondary students at Choice Learning Space, Wodonga. Choice operates as a partnership between Wodonga Secondary Colleges and Junction Support Services. It provides a transitional education pathway for disengaged local young people who have minimal to no school attendance, mental health barriers and extremely low academic abilities. Many of our students share significant gaps in their education, an inability to focus, recall and retain information, anxiety and, for some, a powerlessness to articulate how they are feeling.

As teachers at Choice, we are constantly exploring innovative practices to engage our students in positive classroom experiences, regardless of their learning abilities or socioeconomic status. One such way to address these inequities is through purposeful play. By learning through play, this initiative can close achievement gaps by affording every student a chance to succeed, despite their circumstances.

Coburg Special Developmental School

Aided Language Displays

Category: Diversity

All our students have special learning needs and most are unable to read. Coburg SDS believes that ALL students should have access to good quality children's books that they can access. We plan to produce an Aided Language Display for ALL picture books in our school library, so our students can "read" books and answer questions about books. We will also add aids to make the story real eg. For "Charlottes Piggy Bank" by David McKee, we have the book, a piggy bank, play money and an Aided Language Display. Our students love reading our books in this hands on way, and the staff use these story kits every day. We just need more of them!

Croydon Special Developmental School

Self-regulation Assistance

Category: Diversity

Croydon Special Developmental School is a school for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Some students have a diagnosis of autism and/or physical disabilities which results in a range of diverse learning needs. Many students are unable to self-regulate, and are therefore unable to engage in the classroom curriculum without additional supports.

Currently, there is no regulating equipment for secondary school students to access in their existing classroom space. It is our aim to introduce a program that increases accessibility to regulating opportunities and meets the diverse needs of our students. The first step in this program would be to purchase equipment such as therapeutic Kloudsacs. KloudSacs provide deep pressure input which is calming to the nervous system and supports learning. Introduction of KloudSacs into the program will allow students to meet their regulation needs while accessing the curriculum in their own individual way.

Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School

Twin Rivers Café

Category: General curriculum

Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School accommodates students who live with a disability. The student's progress through the school and in their final 3 years participate in the VCAL Program which includes the running of the Twin Rivers Cafe which is open to the public.

The program will enable the purchase of a square register with detachable customer display and Eftpos machine which is customised with photos of items for sale in the cafe, prologue2go app which enables better communication for nonverbal students. These items will increase the communication and ability for all students to work effectively in the cafe and make it inclusive for all.

Essex Heights Primary School

Mathematics Garden

Category: General curriculum

The Mathematics Garden is an important element of our Learnscapes vision, taking into account inclusive play, educational practice, community use, sustainability and aesthetics.

An important feature is that it caters for students who are isolated in the playground (trauma, social issues and ASD). We have extensively researched mathematical gardens in primary schools and this integrated, student design is a truly innovative idea.

A variety of different mathematical play areas including interactive panels which create challenge and expand play, and painted surfaces which encourage games and mathematical wonder. There are small tables for trading as well as pictures which celebrate mathematical patterns in nature. In the shady trees, students have to hunt for mathematical signs in the prime tree. Students can measure their height and use signage to locate the distance and direction of the state capitals. The Mathematical Garden assists student learning and adds fun for the community.

Frankston High School

A documentary

Category: Sustainability

In a series of Filmed Letters students living on the French coast of Brittany correspond with students from the coast of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria.

In each country they undertake an 'archaeological road trip,' writing about what they are seeing and thinking about. They learn about each other, and their shared concern for the impact of rising waters. This is narrated over the visual content they create. The letters are an ongoing correspondence and include both observation and reaction.

The students visit sites around their respective coastlines to investigate evidence of climate change, and signs of adaptation to that historical phenomenon. In the Australian setting, the accuracy of the remarkable oral records of indigenous Australians is featured in relation to what the archaeological evidence confirms.

The teams observe and capture the present and, in considering the past, talk together about their shared future and adaptation the challenges of sea level change.

Heatherwood School – Statewide Vision Resource Centre

Mad about science

Category: Diversity

Accessible science for students who are blind or have low vision.

SVRC and 'Mad about science' are collaborating to provide students who are blind or have low vision with an engaging and fully accessible science experience.

This initiative aims to involve students who are blind or have low vision, with their teachers, in two science-themed days in order to maximise their enthusiasm and participation in science at school.

Heritage College

Learning and remembering music notation

Category: General curriculum

This initiative involves a concentrated effort to make learning and remembering music notation a meaningful experience for the students involved in instrumental piano. Playing an instrument can be a source of exploration and joy when music notation is competently mastered by students.

Keysborough Gardens Primary School

Keysie Kids are Global Kids

Category: Diversity

Keysborough Garden Primary School will be celebrating our diverse community by creating a large mural outside the performing arts centre to show how proud we are of where we come from and our diverse individual needs and strengths.

This mural will show our community how much we value each student and how our diversity is celebrated through our values of Kindness, Empathy, Gratitude, Respect and Excellence.

Maffra Primary School

Fruitful Garden

Category: Sustainability

The Maffra Primary School has been endeavouring to raise funds to upgrade and establish a fruitful garden, in order to use its produce in the school kitchen. Unfortunately due to the 2019/2020 Fires and Covid, our fundraising efforts have been hampered and our garden ideas have been put on hold.

It is our wish to have a garden suitable for all year levels, where every student can participate in and be proud. The idea that the students are able to gather ingredients from their own garden for cooking classes would be the ultimate success story.

Mullauna College

Mental health and well-being programs

Category: Diversity

COVID has created a disconnect for students. They feel isolated and unhappy with the world, and their place in it. We need to provide them with the skills needed to explore these strong and difficult emotions. We need to support them in understanding their mental health and when to seek professional help. We need to engage them in helping themselves and each other.

We need to create future leaders who have the emotional and mental health to understand and support others. Through a series of well-being programs, we would like to upskill young people and the community around how they can be their own cheerleaders. How to recognise mental distress in themselves and others and when to get professional support.

Rangeview Primary School

Reconciliation Garden

Category: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

Rangeview Primary School students are designing and implementing a Reconciliation Garden project in their journey to be inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This authentic project will involve all curriculum areas and all year levels and will enable purposeful learning of First Nations perspectives.

Our new outdoor learning space will provide classes with an enriching space for learning and will enable teachers to embed cultural practices in a meaningful and inclusive environment. We are looking forward to this exciting project and seeing our students thrive in something they are passionate in learning about.

Somerville Secondary College

Robot Revolution

Category: General curriculum

It is predicted that STEAM skills will become important in 75% of new jobs. Somerville Secondary College is developing the Robot Revolution initiative to enhance our student STEAM experience.

Robot Revolution! is an integrated, hands-on learning initiative linking STEAM subjects utilizing BBC Micro:bit and VEX robotic technology. Students in Years 5-8 problem solve using coding, mechanics and engineering principles. The program is a collaboration between our college and local primary schools. Resources will be used in class, by our Robot Revolution! club and loaned to Primary Schools with student ambassador support. The Robot Revolution! initiative will benefit greatly from the introduction of VEX IQ Competition kits. These kits will encourage greater computational and engineering thinking when designing, building and coding robots. They will also enable students to participate in inter-school competitions, increasing student confidence and collaborative working skills.

Victorian College for the Deaf

Urban Bees

Category: Sustainability

The Urban Bees initiative aims to bring sustainable beekeeping practices to inner-city Melbourne, led by our cohort of Deaf students. Through Urban Bees, students will have the opportunity to establish and maintain a beehive in a culturally supportive environment. They will be responsible for bee care and maintenance, and will harvest honey to be given to our student-led social enterprise, Tradeblock Cafe.

Additionally, they will engage the wider community by providing online bee content and onsite beekeeping workshops. Our students were driven to establish the Urban Bees initiative due to their deep passion for sustainable farming practices and the production of fresh, local and healthy food options for our school community.


Frequently asked questions

What is considered a teaching initiative?

New ideas, programs and methods of teaching that support enhanced student learning outcomes are considered initiatives.

Ideas must fall under one of the following categories: General Curriculum, Diversity, Sustainability or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

The purchase of computers and software is not considered a teaching initiative, however the development of software that may be used by students or staff will be considered for a grant.

The payment of wages for personnel is also not considered a teaching Initiative.

Further, introducing a program that is in place at another school or institution is not considered a Teaching Initiative. New ideas and methods of teaching are initiatives.

Who is eligible to apply?

The program is open to all Members of Bank First working in Victorian schools and preschools.

What do the successful applicants receive?

A share of $30,000 in funding for education-related initiatives. The amount granted depends on the needs of each initiative, grants have previously ranged from $200 - $2,000.

How are the applications judged?

The TIP judging panel review all applications and select winners based on their level of innovation, student welfare benefits and support of student learning outcomes.

When will applicants find out the result of their application?

Applicants will be notified in late May regarding whether the application for their school/preschool was successful. Successful applicants will also be posted on our website.

If I am successful in my application, when will my school/preschool receive the grant?

Your local Relationship Officer will arrange a visit to your school/preschool to present your TIP funding cheque and certificate in Term 3. A presentation to all staff will be conducted, either at a staff meeting or during the school day. (If covid-19 restrictions prevent a face-to-face presentation, one will be organised online and your grant money sent to the school.)