Student Pathways – Applied Learning

A vibrant aspect of our school in the Senior Years is the opportunity for our students to have an applied learning focus through Vocational Preparation at Year 10 and in our intermediate (Year 11) and Senior (Year 12) VCAL classes. Students learn skills and capabilities as they are exposed to work environments and training programs. A trend in employment in society is that the applied pathway opportunities beyond school are only increasing in demand.

In many ways our VCAL students have demonstrated the courage to seek out the VCAL pathway. Our boys involved in the VCAL program have a focus on moving into credentialled certificate courses (and university), apprenticeships or work post Year 12.  In some cases, students are fast tracking their apprenticeship and work and saving upon course fees by undertaking the VCAL program in the Whitefriars Senior Years. Importantly, the students are engaged and develop the necessary skills for their individual pathway that may not have taken place if they studied in the VCE.


Our VCAL students have had an eventful and fulfilling term:


Intermediate Barista Coffee Making and Food Handling Certificate Course

Recently, the intermediate VCAL students have completed their Barista and Food Handling Certificate course which teaches boys about how to make coffees, how to use the coffee machine and the hygiene that is required when making coffees. The VCAL café program enables senior students the opportunity to make and sell coffee and experience first-hand budgeting and how to manage a business. VCAL teachers are preparing for Intermediate and Senior VCAL students to undertake a café task together next term for the teachers and students at Whitefriars.


Intermediate Work Experience

The intermediate VCAL students recently attended their first work experience opportunity for the VCAL program at their chosen trade or job site. Usually, the boys will choose a job that aligns with their TAFE course. While doing the work experience, each student will gain an understanding of what it is like to be on a job site with other workers, how to manage working for a boss and be given the chance to dip their toes in the world outside school. The program creates independence and it gives the boys a chance to focus on what may become their future.


Asylum Seekers Refuge Vegetable Growing Project

Since the start of the year, both Intermediate and Senior VCAL students have been renovating/building our new Vegetable Growing Mindfulness space behind F1.01 and F1.02 classrooms. It will be a functioning garden space for all learning areas, wellbeing and the community to gather for multiple purposes. This project will extend beyond our current senior and intermediate students as it will become a legacy for other students in the future. Students are involved in preparing, installing, planting, maintaining and harvesting a wide range of produces that will support a range of curriculum units and extra curriculum projects. For now, the goal in its first year is to try and design, organise, and develop a working garden and then hopefully develop it with the environmental studies classes or mindfulness activities ran by Pastoral groups or Houses.

Proposed activities and experiences for the Vegetable Growing Project space:

College Curriculum

  • VCAL projects, such as Food Security Network (Chris Saray)
  • Year 7 Science (Interactions and Habitats unit)
  • Year 7 Religious Education (Creation unit)
  • Year 9 Science (Ecosystems)
  • Year 10 Science (Horticulture)
  • Food Technology produce (Years 9 to 12)
  • Year 9 Indonesia – Making Connections food garden
  • Year 9 Visual Arts Photography
  • Year 10 General Science – Ecology
  • Languages garden – Indonesia, Italian and Chinese

 The curriculum is further supported by the following student and staff clubs:

  • Science, Technology and Environment at Whitefriars (STEW)
  • Sustainability and Environment Team
  • SRC
  • Book club
  • Staff Gardening Club

The garden will also support the following community projects and events:

  • Eastern Alliance for Sustainability Learning
  • Experience Whitefriars primary aged students
  • Refuge Centre
  • Wellbeing – meditation and reflection for Staff and Students
  • Resource Smart Schools hub
  • Ten network – Teachers for Environment Network
  • World Environment Day
  • National Composting Week
  • National Recycling Week
  • Clean Up Schools Day
  • Wurundjeri connection
  • Environment and Bee Week
  • Laudato Si week



Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching