The Leaving to Learn program was first introduced to Croydon Community School in 2005 and supports the students to follow their passions into a pathway to the world of work. The program consists of a range of events and activities in which students learn about how to create a professional resume, cover letter and specific application letters, dress appropriately for the workplace and prepares them for all forms of interviews, from a standard one-on-one interview, informational interview, through to panel and group interviews. It provides students with the opportunities to speak with professional business people from a range of industries and provides opportunities to work on their confidence and self-esteem.
The Leaving to Learn program at Croydon Community School & OPTIONS@Bayswater consists of 13 events throughout the school year. Each program is customised to individual year levels to ensure that all students are prepared and ready to explore their passions outside of the boundaries of the school campuses.
Big Day Out
The Big Day Out is one of the newest events added to the Leaving to Learn program. It is the first event each year and aims to bring together all students from Croydon Community School & OPTIONS@Bayswater to participate in a fun, activity-filled event.
The aim of the program is to bridge the gap between the new and existing students and have them work together in teams, creating positive and supportive Advisory groups and a sense of belonging to the school.
The event also introduces the students to the mature and respectful behaviours that are expected of each student when attending programs, informational interviews and internships outside of the school grounds. The senior year levels are given the opportunity to model these behaviours to the newer and younger students of the school. The event is run at an offsite location to ensure a neutral environment and provide the space needed.
Charter Marking was introduced as a celebratory event that acknowledges all students who signed the Charter Pledge the previous year. With the growth in the program and the introduction of personal pledges, this event emphasises the importance of SMART goals to achieve personal and professional goals.
Charter Marking is also used to introduce the Leaving to Learn events that will be happening throughout the current year leaving the students with a greater understanding of their roles and participation in each event.
The event is run during Town Hall on the first Monday in April at Croydon Community School and the first Wednesday in April at OPTIONS@Bayswater, during a morning tea event.
All students who have successfully met their personal pledges and the Charter Pledge will receive a certificate presented by a member of the leadership team which they can add to their portfolios.
Charter Signing is one of the biggest and most important events on the Leaving to Learn calendar. Students across the whole school come together in May every year for a celebration of their learning and sign a pledge to commit to education or work for the next 12 months. Years 9 – 12 sign the large Charter Board and all students from 7 – 12 present a personal pledge with a goal that they would like to achieve within the following 12 months.
The event is held at a local theatre on the first Tuesday of May each year with tea, coffee and a light dinner included. The night is put together and run by the senior school students and the Leaving to Learn Events Coordinator (L2LEC). The students work as a team to ensure that the night runs successfully, from creating invitations, running sheets and programs, ordering refreshments, to organising the lighting, music performances, taking the photos and filming the evening.
The Internship Preparation program is designed to build students’ internship readiness and workplace skills through a range of workshops followed by a sit-down lunch.
To ensure students have the skills and capabilities to navigate multiple careers and meet the challenges of the changing world of work, the program is broken into 6 levels. These are sequential to improve their career and pathway decisions beyond school.
All levels of the program conclude with a sit-down lunch; this encourages the students to speak with their Advisors, and business people that have assisted with the program, about any aspects of the day they would like to explore further. It also encourages the students to put into place appropriate table etiquette and manners, skills they may not have the chance to practice elsewhere.
Big Picture Education has a strong emphasis on Learning Through Internships, Shadow Days and Informational Interviews. The Pathway Interviews assist in providing students with vital skills to help them transition into both learning beyond the classroom and setting up future pathways beyond school.
For the Senior and Middle School (Senior, Transitions, Gateway and Out and About Advisories) students, the Pathway Interviews are split up into 3 areas of interest:
- Portfolio entrance/interviews
- Apprenticeship/Traineeship applications/interviews
- Casual/Part time employment interviews
All students attending the Pathway Interviews will have an up to date resume, cover letter and portfolio. Students who are completing interviews for apprenticeships/traineeships and casual/part time will have a job ad that they have chosen and researched, and the students completing a portfolio interview will have a pre-written overview of the industry they would like to work in.
All students will be matched with a local business person who will conduct the interview and provide the student with feedback. Students will also complete a self-evaluation.
After the interviews, Advisors and students will be given copies of the feedback forms to work through in Advisory.
For students who face anxiety or are unsure of their pathway, a shorter less formal interview will be set towards the end of the day when it is not as busy. Students will be matched with either a staff member they feel comfortable with, a member of the Wellbeing Team or a local business person who has completed interviews over the last few years that understands the students’ needs.
Speed Careering is a whole school event that is run at EV’s Youth Centre in Croydon during Term 3. The event aims to build students skills in the Big Picture requirement of Informational Interviews while gaining insight into a range of industries.
The day aims to match as many students possible with business people and industries linked to their passion. This helps them gain a greater insight into the pathways available in that industry. Not all students’ passions will be able to be addressed but all students are expected to attend the day to gain practice in interview skills and learn about industries they may not already know about.
The Senior Advisory will assist the Leaving to Learn Events Coordinator in organising and running the day. Students from the Advisory will prepare and serve the lunch, time keep for the changeover of groups, take photos, set up, pack down and assist the business people.
The EV’s main hall will be set up into 6 small groups (1 per Advisory, including OPTIONS@Bayswater). Each Advisory group will spend 10 minutes with each business person, hearing their ‘journey’ and asking questions.
Once all Advisory groups have made their way around the room and heard from each business person the student leaders will thank the business people and lunch will be served.
During lunch students are encouraged to seek out and speak with any of the business people they have heard from to ask further questions and explore the possibility of shadow days and internships.
Girls and Boys Day Out
The Girls Day Out and Boys Day Out are events planned and run in conjunction with the school Wellbeing Team. These events are aimed at working on self-esteem and self-confidence skills in a positive and supportive environment.
By separating the male and female students the opportunity is created to discuss topics of a more sensitive nature and allows the students to feel comfortable in sharing and joining discussions or activities.
The days are held offsite to create a neutral environment to peak interest and excitement about the days, which consists of a balance of physical activities, group discussions and lunch.
Topics that are covered on the day are based around current issues that the students have been raising with the Wellbeing Team, as well as activities created to assist the students in building their confidence and trust in both themselves and each other.