ensington Community High School is located in Flemington and provides an alternative education for vulnerable students at risk of not completing their education due to unmet personal, interpersonal and learning needs. It draws its students from a wide range of suburbs across the north and west of Melbourne.
The LLEN met with key staff from the school to discuss what programs would best support the retention, educational achievement and successful transitions of their students. It was decided to concentrate our efforts in 2018 on enhancing the career development program in Years 7 to 10. As a result a program was developed to be delivered by the LLEN in conjunction with the Humanities teachers at the school. Eight sessions were delivered across Terms 2 & 3. The first sessions used the myfuture website to allow students to explore their interests and skills and begin relating these to the world of work. Students developed a career profile which matched what they learnt about themselves to possible future occupations.
The next sessions used some of the tools from the Guiding Circles program to promote student’s self-esteem and self-awareness so they could begin to uncover personal talents that are transferable to a future career.
This happened through activities that help them tell their stories to each other and relate their life experiences to career planning. This can also help them become more engaged in school as they discover their potential career options and see the relevance of education to job opportunities. Specific activities included Favourite Things / Focused Storytelling and the Pencil / World of Work activity. Students had fun with the activities and were highly engaged.
The final sessions consolidated their learning through further brainstorming on industries that were of interest to the students. Students developed posters on their interest areas and were able to identify and discuss a wide range of related jobs, including work conditions and the education and training requirements for each job.
Students then used all this information to complete their Career Action Plans which will continue to be discussed and reviewed throughout their time at the school.
Teachers were very pleased with the student engagement in the program and believe it will be a great basis for further career discussions, including planning for future work experience and SWL. It will also inform future subject selection, including participation in the VET in Schools program, into the senior years of the school.