St Patrick’s College will introduce the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning next year.
Three VCAL certificates will be offered in the first year, including foundation, intermediate and senior.
St Patrick’s College principal John Crowley said community consultation around the school’s future direction showed a need to look at applied learning areas, including the possible introduction of a VCAL program.
“It’s really important that every student can achieve success in their learning,” Mr Crowley said.
“VCAL is a hands-on application to learning. It’s learning through doing.”
He said VCAL gave students practical work related experience as well as literacy and numeracy skills and an opportunity to build personal skills that were important for life and work.
He said they had planned for a “gold standard VCAL” by appointing last year’s Victorian VCAL Teacher of the Year Lyn Miniz to oversee the program’s implementation.
He said Ms Miniz had been working with a school sub-committee over the VCAL introduction.
“It’s about what will we offer, how best to structure the course.
“Whatever is introduced must be the best program possible.
“Lyn is very enthusiastic about VCAL and understands it thoroughly.”
Mr Crowley said the school’s former food technology centre had been refurbished as a VCAL facility, with between 30 and 40 students expected to take up the option next year.
“It may be combined with VET studies and pre-apprenticeships or traineeships.
“It’s such an important pathway for any boys who enjoy learning through a hands-on approach.
“It’s recognition that people learn in different ways.”
VCAL focuses on vocational studies, including literacy, numeracy, personal development and work related skills.
The students will begin foundation VCAL in year 10, moving into intermediate in year 11 and senior in year 12 to prepare them for a pathway into an apprenticeship, traineeship, employment or TAFE training.
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