Campania students building for success

Campania District High School in Tasmania's Coal River Valley is a pre-prep to year 10 school. Like many similar schools in rural communities, they had some disengaged students, so were looking for new ways to engage them in learning.

They decided to try a series of three eight-week short courses in building and contruction, targetted towards disengaged students in years 9 and 10.

Each course involved six to ten students working with local builder, WIlson Homes, going on-site and working under supervision, with the aim being to encourage students' career aspirations in the building industry, as well as provide them with workplace connections.

The School received a REAPing Rewards grant of $1,600 funded by Caledonia Foundation. The grant was used to purchase supplies that enabled the course to run, including protective clothing, tools, writing material and iPads for students to use.

Practical skills

Students who participated in the course worked with Wilsons Homes whilst they constructed a home in a local sub division, seeing a house come to life from planning to construction. They assisted and observed the boxing and concrete pouring of the floor, framing, roofing, brick laying, plastering, plumbing, electrical, painting and landscaping.

Throughout the course, students were required to compile a portfolio, which provided the theoretic study component to the course. Students used the iPads to document their learning, record progress and access further study for their portfolio.

The course was delivered through Youth Futures, a Registered Training Organisation, so those students who completed the program received a Statement of Attainment, formally recognising their newly acquired skills.

All the students involved benefitted, finding the course both interesting and educational. Students were then able to showcase their new skills and apply them to build a cottage in the school grounds for the younger students to use.

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