The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands on option for students in Years 11 and 12.
Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, the VCAL focuses on hands on learning. Completion of the VCAL leads toward pathways including TAFE, apprenticeships and getting a job.
Students in the VCAL program will be expected to work toward becoming an independent traveller. Independent travel is a vital skill supporting the student transitioning to their post school pathway.
The Jackson School VCAL program is based at school, but involves students learning in the wider community. A usual week comprises of two school based project days, one day of structure workplace learning and one to two days of vocational training or school based apprenticeship studies.
VCAL enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs.
Students select accredited VCE modules, Vocational Education and Training (VET) modules and units from the following:
Literacy & Numeracy Skills
The purpose of the VCAL Literacy & Numeracy Skills units is to develop literacy skills and knowledge that allow effective participation in the main social contexts in which we function in Australian society, such as family, work, education and community settings.
Industry Specific Skills
The VCAL learning program includes Vocational Education and Training (VET) units of competency. Students can choose from a wide range of VET subjects including automotive, engineering, building and construction, hospitality and retail, agriculture, horticulture, warehousing and hair and beauty.
Work Related Skills
In order to develop employability skills, VCAL offers the choice of undertaking a structured work placement, a part time apprenticeship/traineeship or part time work. A range of other units and modules are available to help prepare students for work.
Personal Development Skills
As part of the VCAL program students participate in projects and activities at school and in the wider community developing team work skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work.
The Applied Learning Program caters for students between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. The program has been carefully designed to provide an emphasis on developing student independence and ‘life-skills’.
The Applied Learning curriculum is focused on the following areas:
Travel is an essential element to broadening students’ future options. Students are encouraged to develop their public travel skills and are involved in an extensive travel-training program. Initially, students explore their local community and what it has to offer, before moving on to more challenging journeys further afield.
Students participate in a variety of supported work placements including retail, gardening/maintenance, assembly & packaging, and volunteer work. These opportunities provide valuable experiences and build confidence.
Independent Living Skills
Students develop their skills in budgeting & shopping, food preparation, personal care, home care, and caring for clothing.
Students are involved in a weekly Community Access program. This allows students to become familiar with their local community and some of the sporting, recreational and social opportunities that it may provide.
It is essential for students to learn to develop and apply their own skills, strategies and resources. It is equally vital to learn how to work cooperatively as part of a team and to build effective social relationships.
Practical Literacy & Numeracy
The Applied Learning curriculum is based and assessed around real-life skills and hands-on learning. Accordingly, numeracy covers such things as working with money, shopping, budgeting and measuring cooking ingredients. Similarly, literacy focuses on reading instructions and signage, recipes, form filling and essential reading/writing skills.
The Applied Learning Program is designed to support students to reach their full potential and discover post school options that best suit their needs. Students completing the Applied Learning Program leave school with confidence in their ability to participate in, and be valued members of the community.