Applied Learning Update – September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019



The Father’s Day PaddyMart was a great success, the best yet! The boys worked hard to produce a range of handmade goods for sale, and elected to donate the proceeds to saving koalas by supporting the World Wildlife Fund with a one – off donation focused on habitat restoration and medical treatment for injured koalas.

In terms of project management, the PaddyMart was well staffed by the boys, working in shifts. Most groups made a batch of products ready for sale on the day. There were some projects that, due to difficulties with materials and processes, weren’t quite ready. Nevertheless, the learning outcomes were met with the design and development of each project and the detailed evaluation of the issues causing delays.

This year, the PaddyMart was notable for the range of materials and projects; leather keyrings, pine drinks crates, neoprene drinks holders, PVC dispensers, cookies, picnic wine stands and resin filled keyrings. It’s great to see all the boys experimenting with different materials and finishes.

Once again, it’s been very much a team effort. I’d particularly like to acknowledge the work of Mr Daniel Willey towards the success of this PaddyMart, due to his frequent presence in the room, even when not scheduled to be here, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of a wide range of making techniques.

Industry Visit

Moving forward in the world of Employability, we’ve enjoyed another Industry Visit to Ballarat Toyota Service Centre. We thank Joe for his guided tour of the Service areas, the workshop, the car detailing area and the showroom. Of particular interest was the pathway conversations that a few boys were lucky enough to discuss with employees of Toyota. This reinforced the message that most people these days, will have a number of different careers during their lifetime. Our VCAL Assistant, Janine Clements, was responsible for the liaison for this trip. I’d like to acknowledge her work in coordinating bus, boys, first aid kit and staff members, all arriving in the right place at the right time.

We’re now moving into that stage of the term where last assignments are being given. Mr Michael Weadon has done a power of work in preparing a Numeracy unit of work on buying a car. This will be of interest to all the boys, especially the murky depths of car finance and insurance, and which pitfalls and traps to avoid. I’m expecting this information to be of practical benefit to all the boys, even those who currently own a car.

SAVE THE DATE!! TUESDAY OCTOBER 15- 9.30 – 10.30 am

Year 12 boys are currently engaged in completing the arrangements for our end of year VCAL Celebration morning tea. All parents and our employers are warmly invited. We of course understand that many folk may have other commitments, so even dropping in for a short time will be appreciated. The format this year is very different, due to the Year 12 boys’ input. We will be hosting a range of practical demonstrations in our rooms, which will enable parents to experience a snapshot of what the boys are excelling with-¦ the making and doing experience.

This can’t happen without a lot of preparation. Mr Kinnersly has been working with the boys on the initial planning and in his recent absence they have really taken on responsibility in finessing the arrangements and proactively taking on the organization of the morning.

The planning for this experience is well underway, and, not to spoil the experience, attendees can expect to see some resin casting, wood work, cooking and painting.

Formal invitations will be coming out soon.


Mr Procaccino has been working with a number of boys on the latest addition to the -‘Fleet’; the renovation of our new, (old) Caravan. We’ve discovered, not unexpectedly, that there is more work to be done than first glance would have indicated. The progress so far is more in demolition than refitting however the boys are doing a great job ensuring that original fittings and fixtures can be preserved as far as possible. When complete, the Caravan will be used for VCAL functions and events. Watch this space.

It’s always terrific to see our boys being recognized for their contributions to the wider Community. We’re very proud of Stanley, who featured in an article in this week’s Courier highlighting the important work of himself and other St Pat’s Boarders who are tutoring young people after hours. Follow this link for the full story.

Friday Classes

Mr Brian Hayes has been working with the boys who are here at school on Fridays, completing project work and building their Independent Living skills. I occasionally -‘happen’ to go past just in time to sample morning tea; cake which they have made, or sausage rolls they’ve learned to bake. Of course the clean – up is also a critical skill. They’re getting better, and would benefit from extra practice at home!