A welcoming space

A welcoming space

Orbost Secondary College will create an informal learning and gathering space with funding from the Lynne Kosky Memorial Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) Grant.

Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett, said the grants provide important financial support to the selected VCAL providers to develop outstanding learning initiatives for their students that involve strong community participation.

“Congratulations to Orbost Secondary College on receiving a Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL grant which will provide an important financial stimulus for their school’s VCAL program,” Ms Garrett said.

“The Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL grants support projects that allow students to gain skills essential to the workplace and to build strong links with industry and local community organisations.

“VCAL provides important pathways to engage and retain students in applied learning that prepares them for future success in further education, training or employment.”

The grants acknowledge the outstanding contribution made to education and training in Victoria by Lynne Kosky, the former Victorian Education Minister, who passed away in December 2014.

Each recipient will receive a grant of $6250 to implement their respective learning initiative during 2020.

VCAL students at Orbost Secondary College will use the grant to develop a community space in an underutilised area at the front of the school to coincide with the refurbishment of the college’s 1912 building.

The project will see the area transformed into a multipurpose recreational space with tiered seating for school assemblies, recreational sports facilities for games such as Connect Four, Jenga and table tennis, as well as a barbeque. The students will plan, design, source the materials and build the facility.

“It is exciting to know that we will have an area that is inviting from the street when you enter into the new office area,” school principal, Peter Seal, said.

“We plan on using the space for more infor-mal parent and community sessions such as a grade six parent information night where we can have a barbecue or pizzas in the pizza oven and play some of the games on offer.

“Last year, year 12 student, Cassidy Martin, used the deck on the VET (Vocational Education & Training) VCAL building as a space to host her rock band for her music performance as part of her studies during lunch time where students and teachers gathered to listen. It would be nice to see the space used like that and hopefully people will drive past and see it being used and think wow, there’s a bit happening at that school.”

Mr Seal was particularly impressed with the build due to the large number of local trademen who were able to be sub-contracted onto the job. In total there were over 20 ex-students completing parts of the plumbing, painting and building for example.

“It’s great to be able to use locals for big jobs like this in the community,” he said.

The aim of the grants is to provide support to VCAL providers to implement an initiative that will extend student progress and attainment in their VCAL studies, increase VCAL student opportunities for lifelong learning, enhance VCAL student opportunities for community engagement and engage them in the various stages of the initiative from design through to the end.

VCAL is a hands-on option for students in years 11 and 12. It provides students with practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.

The State Government has invested $109 million over four years to redesign career education, to help students make better career and pathway decisions, and to meet business and industry needs.

The government is also investing $25.9 million to improve students’ access to high-quality VET as part of their senior secondary schooling.

IMAGE: Acting principal, Rob Clay, has settled in nicely to his new office and was keen to reminisce of a time when his new office was once other classrooms back when he was a student. INSET: Leading from the new office administration building outside into the space in front of the school theatre and music areas are new steps which lead to the play equipment. Adjacent to that will be the next phase of upgrades to replace the old U1/U2 buildings and will feature information technology rooms and classrooms.