Bendigo Senior Secondary College Agency in Pathways

Bendigo Senior Secondary College identified a need for increased student agency in pathways decision making, and implemented several changes to ensure that students’ learning programs were meeting their needs and aspirations.

Recognising that many newly arrived students of refugee background were undertaking VCAL, the school implemented a stand-alone EAL VCAL program, with specific content on settling into Australia and gaining confidence with English while meeting the VCAL learning outcomes, as well as employing an MEA to support the class. Part of the program includes supported work experience, where the school’s Pathways team use their networks to identify suitable workplaces and willing employers who can offer students a chance to gradually explore the workplace environment and build their skills. These initiatives combined help to equip students with the confidence and knowledge they need to make informed choices about their future.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College now offer three pathways including VCE, VCAL and EAL VCAL, providing students and families with greater choice and options. Due to the school’s approach in providing interviews and info sessions with interpreters, where each of the options are explored and dialogue between the school, the family and the young person is opened up, students and families have more authentic agency and control with regards to pathways decision making.