A VCAL update

8 June 2017

On Friday June 2, we [ Lenny Coco, Olivia O’Donnell and Mackenzie Isherwood]  assisted Mrs Helen Perez set up the show jumps and arenas for the Assumption College show jumping qualifier the next day. We didn't realise how much work goes into putting everything together for this competition.

 We were among many other volunteers helping her at the Lancefield Equestrian Reserve, and their  assistance was greatly appreciated.

We helped put the star pickets into the ground to make the boundaries for the three show jumping rings and the warm-up arenas. We also attached the bunting to the star pickets to make a florescent boundary for the three rings and warm-up arenas.

We also helped build the show jumps and arranged them as instructed by the course builder, Peggy Mills. We didn't realise how mathematical show jumping was until that day. Everything is measure: arena, warm-up ring, distance between each jump, height of jumps, space between spreads, distance of jump and boundary, and the travel path of the course. And each show jump needed to be colour coordinated.

The experience was an eye opener. It was rewarding and we would like to do it again.

When students enrol in a VCAL certificate they agree to complete a set of compulsory subjects which include literacy and numeracy, and they agree to complete a minimum of 20 days structured work placement during second and third terms. In this bulletin we have included some examples of numeracy work and types of work placement students have been involved in this term.


Numeracy is a compulsory subject that covers such outcomes as design, measurement, time and money, location, data and numerical information. Students are assessed on the one outcome more than once as they need to be competent in these outcomes for the whole year and not just for one assessment item. We use a variety of assessment items including tests, reports, oral presentations and online activities, and some assessment is teacher observation of students doing various activities.

Currently we are looking at design and measurement. Year 12 students have designed and built  raised garden beds for Willowmeade residents and for each of the boarding houses, putting the skills learnt in the classroom and at TAFE and at work to the test.

Year 11 students have been cooking and are about to put together their own $5 meal deal to demonstrate their measurement and budgeting skills and some helped set up for the Assumption College equestrian event at Lancefield  last Saturday.

Structured work placement

We have introduced a three-day program to the VCAL program. Students attend school on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and attend TAFE and work on Wednesday and Friday. This day of work helps students gain an understanding of what the industry involves and it helps students meet the work related Skills component of the course and, in some cases, has led to either part-time or full-time employment.

The students have found employment in a variety of industries including the technical and trade industries, hospitality, the animal assistance industry, education and IT. VCAL staff are out and about on a Friday visiting the students and talking to employers about the skills that they are learning on the job.

 Year 12 morning tea - June 22

Year 12 students are organising a morning tea to say thank you to the significant adults in their lives who have supported them so far. Invitations are out, but if you have not received yours please ask your child about it. We hope to have a good representative of parents, grandparents and siblings. The morning tea is between 11am and midday on June 22 and students are using some VCAL lessons to cook the goodies for the morning tea.

Congratulations and farewell

Since our last bulletin a few VCAL students have been completing extended structured work placement as a trial to obtain a full-time apprenticeship. The VCAL course is all about preparing students for work or vocational training, so we celebrate when students can achieve their dreams by finding their ideal jobs. William Wyllie recently started a full-time electrical apprenticeship. We congratulate him and wish him the very best in his future as an electrician.

 Jenny Pendlebury - Careers and VCAL Coordinator