VCAL Update – February 23, 2017

February 22, 2017

This year marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter at St Patrick’s College in the area of Applied Learning.- The first VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) classes have begun at the College in the highly customised Applied Learning Centre.- – VCAL is an alternative to VCE and is designed for students whose prefer learning through doing, or a -hands-on- approach.- The Applied Learning program aims to give boys the necessary skills to equip them well for employment, training at TAFE level, apprenticeships or traineeships. – VCAL gives students practical work related experience as well as literacy and numeracy skills and an opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.

The first few weeks of Applied Learning at St Patrick’s College have seen a group of almost- 40 boys from Years 10, 11 and 12 work together on multiple projects and classwork culminating in the opening of the -Paddy-Mart- micro-shop.- The Paddy Mart opened for St Valentine’s Day and offered customers a range of handmade goods including jewellery, potted succulents, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, carved wooden coasters, and chopping boards.- All goods were designed and produced by the students and enabled them to satisfy several of their VCAL Learning Outcomes. The boys raised approximately $200 at the Paddy-Mart for the Heartkids Foundation.

The boys have also been working hard achieving Safe @ Work Certifications which are required before boys begin their structured work placements or school based apprenticeship programs.-

It has been a very busy and exciting beginning to the year, and the staff involved in the program are very proud of the work that has been completed.- It is exciting to be working in a room where students are baking, making necklaces, woodworking and completing written work all at once.- The next phase of the program will see students working on projects that they have nominated themselves and from the submissions entered so far the next few months will be very interesting and see plenty of creativity and innovation. We are so pleased with the progress towards independent learning that the boys are exhibiting.