Report: Lillian Leptos
The Year 11 students enrolled in the VCAL stream are focussed on developing their pre-employment skills rather than simply preparing for a string of exams. The VCAL Personal Development course is focussed on students working as individuals and teams to create, plan and execute an activity within their community. They had to demonstrate creativity, knowledge, skill, organisation, communication reliability and responsibility.
This term the class decided to plan an activity that would help the Year 7 students improve their ability to listen to instructions, work as a team and problem solve. It was an activity that could also help the Year 7 students build relationships across the different cohorts in the school and learn about areas of the school that they don’t usually go into.
Planning for this day began three weeks ago and the product was a great afternoon activity for the Year 7s. The VCAL students worked in teams of two and three to plan their station activity. They wrote up instructions, collected equipment they would require and negotiated with staff to release students from their timetabled work. They created a scoring sheet and an informative flyer and went to the Year 7 class to explain what was going to happen. Finally they negotiated with administrators to find the money to provide a prize for the winning team.
Lunchtime on the Race Day was stressful as the VCAL students used their lunchtime to set up their stations and collect their score sheets. Monique and Alexandra organised the class into teams, and gave them instructions and a map to follow. Bilal could see the rising level of stress as the time ticked down.
“We are not always terrific at writing things up, but you can count on us to make this a success,” he reassured me. He was 100% right.
The aim was an exciting and engaging series of activities that the Year 7 students loved doing. They were very excited as they burst out of the classroom and started the rotation through the eight stations.
The challenges included:
Bob The Builder – students had to work together to create a towering structure;
Human body parts – students had to name and label human body parts on the College skeleton; Minefield – students were blindfolded and had to be guided through the course by their team’s spoken instructions;
History knowledge – this was based on students being able to recall the material from their term one humanities class;
Teamwork – students were given materials that they had to work creatively to reposition;
Basketball – listening to the facilitator’s instructions were just as important as skill in shooting hoops;
And also a quiz on the roles of the office staff and protocols around the front office.
The Year 11 students were amazing. They were clear in their instructions and incredibly supportive of the Year 7s, giving gentle hints when needed. VCAL 11 were very determined to make the event succeed. They took enormous pride in running their station well.
The Year 7s gave the activity a big thumbs up. When asked what they saw as the lessons from the day, they said;
“Don’t ever give up” – Sienna and Mustapha
“Teamwork makes the dream work” – Sarah
“Always give it a try” – Adam
“You need a team to succeed” – Amina
This is the VCAL 11 Dream team responsible for this great learning opportunity:
Mohamed, Seraj, Adam, Amir, Alexandra, Ali, Zein, Bilal, Dean, Dylan, Jacob, Yana, Django, Jye and Monique.