STUDENTS at Brauer College are stepping into the shoes of teachers in their latest vocational program.
Year 12 VCAL students are spending eight weeks mentoring about 200 primary school pupils from around the district in their own woodwork classes.
Yesterday 36 grade 5 pupils from Merrivale Primary School took part in the program, which is part of a Westvic community project grant aimed at developing leadership and other skills.
Brauer College VCAL teacher Russell Moody said students were running the classes and teaching basic woodwork skills. “Most of their learning you want to be as hands-on as possible,” he told The Standard.
“This community project has to be working with people outside the school, so we threw the feelers out to primary schools and had a good reaction.”
As well as Merrivale, pupils from Port Fairy Consolidated, East Warrnambool Primary and Warrnambool Primary School will take the class over eight weeks.
Mr Moody said VCAL students studying a range of trades were learning essential skills by holding their own class.
“We have guys involved in construction, guys involved in electrical, girls in childcare, guys and girls involved in hospitality, so they’re all building important skills.
“They’re picking up communication skills, how to lead a team, occupational health and safety — so there are many outcomes that can be met through actually doing the project.
“The primary school students are picking up basic woodworking skills so it’s a win-win.”
He said the narrow age gap helped the VCAL students relate to the younger children.
“They’re encouraging them to do it themselves but also up to helping if they’ve got a problem.
“The primary school students are thrilled. When you’re creating something it’s great when you’ve got an outcome to show for it.
“Some of them are saying ‘this will go home for dad’s birthday’ or ‘next Father’s Day’.”