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Drouin Secondary College - Course Selection

Hands On Learning

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In order to provide pathway opportunities for students who are disengaged with school, prefer to learn by doing and who require additional support with literacy and numeracy, two different Hands on Learning programs are offered at the College. The traditional Hands on Learning Program (HOL) is aimed at providing greater success and engagement for students in Year 8.

The Trade Pathways program at Year 9 is designed to provide a pathway for students as an option for students identified by the College who may benefit from an altered program. As places are limited, ultimate inclusion in each program is determined by the program coordinator, in consultation with families, Learning Group teachers, class-room teachers and student results.

Features of Year 8 Program:

  • Flexibility - Additional teacher support and smaller class size allow greater flexibility in lesson delivery, increasing individualised learning for students 
  • Hands on Focus - Hands-on activities provide real life meaning for student learning, a sense of achievement and lasting projects for community use 
  • Less is more - More common classes together fosters the building of stronger student-teacher working relationships. HOL teachers also work together as a close team on student learning and pastoral care . 
  • Home base - students have a home room, where they study literacy, numeracy and themes and display their work. Students take ownership for this room. 
  • Team Building – Students are expected to attend 2 camps for the year, the first is in week 2 of term 2 and is essential to building a good group dynamic for the year. Students study team work, outdoor and physical education and environmental studies units as part of these experiences 
  • Connections – The home group nature of the program allows increased home/school communication in addition to the regular reports students receive. Families attend an informal get-togethers term 2 and 3 to celebrate successes and catch up, and there is a formal graduation dinner at the end of term 4.

Features of the Year 9 Trade Pathways program

The program will put Student at the Centre and consist of four elements.

  • ELEMENT ONE – Trade Training Alliance PRE APPRENTICESHIP STUDY - Students will complete a number of Certificate 2 competencies at DSC and also off site each Monday as a pre apprenticeship taster course. The material covered will give students accredited units that can be applied to a majority of Certificate II. 
  • ELEMENT TWO – YEAR 9 FOUNDATION (COMMUNICATION) ENGLISH AND MATHS UNITS – Students will complete these foundation units to support their weaknesses in literacy and numeracy. Students will undertake 4 units of Literacy and 2 of Numeracy.
  • ELEMENT THREE – STUDENT CHOICE -Students will choose the remainder of their subjects from the electives they are interested in and are relevant to their pathway. They would not be confined to the choice structure of other main stream year 9s. Their choices would be part of a MIPs plan in consultation with the Careers and Pathways Team. 
  • ELEMENT FOUR – INDIVIDUAL PATHWAYS PLAN - Each student will be involved in developing an individual pathway in conjunction with the Year 8 HOL/Year 9 Pre App Co-ordinator and the Careers team. As already stated the students will not be confined to the restraints of a mainstream program and will be given the opportunity to pick subjects that will lead them into the chosen career pathway. For example if the student wanted a career in Carpentry they may be able to do a year 10 elective

Program content Year 8 HOL

Some of the areas to be covered over the year will include:

  • Outdoor Education for overnight bushwalking and camping sustainably.
  • Independent living skills-learning how to fill in forms, budget, use public transport, careful shopping and more
  • Learning respect, communication skills and how to be a team member
  • Multicultural Melbourne project – learning what makes Melbourne multicultural magic.
  • Community Service through “Advance” and “Duke of Edinburgh Compass Award” using the CFA as a service provider
  • Community Service with through the Leos Club at Drouin Secondary College and affiliated with the Drouin Lions Club.
  • Understanding of learning styles and exploration of possible career pathway options.


Camps, excursions and other activities throughout the year are heavily subsidised the Advance Program. Family contributions for these, practical subject fees and book listed items total around $600.
All students are given two free electives within the mainstream Year 8 course.

The timetable of a typical HOL (Year 8) student would look similar to this:

Elective Elective Themes Literacy Literacy
Recess Recess Recess Recess Recess
SURFF Elective LG Numeracy Numeracy
Elective Elective Themes Elective Elective
Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Elective Literacy Numeracy Elective Themes

Steps involved in enrolling in the HOL program or Year 9 Trade Pathways Program:

  1. The College will identify suitable candidates for each program early in Term 3. Students who wish to self nominate can speak to their Year Level Leader or visit the HOL booth at the Course Selection Evening with questions.
  2. Students need to write a letter stating why they wish to be part of the program and the expression of interest form needs to be completed by parents. The letter and form must be returned to LG teachers by the stated deadline on application forms.
  3. Await confirmation of a pre entry interview time with parents/guardian in late Term 3.
  4. Students need to show a desire to improve their effort and behaviour to be considered for the program.
  5. Parents need to be prepared to support the HOL team and the program throughout the year by attending information sessions and celebration evenings.