CATCH the kids at Lakes Secondary College

CATCH the kids at Lakes Secondary College

At the start of term two, following a long wait, several delays and a pandemic, Lakes Entrance Secondary College was proud to announce the launch of its year nine program, CATCH.
This is an off-campus term for all year nine students, hosted at the TAFE Gippsland facility on Bullock Island, Seamec, in conjunction with the Gippsland Local Learning Network, headed up by Tony Paganella.
The classroom has an uninterrupted view of the blue ocean, dolphins and pelicans and is a ‘grown up’ space rich with technology (Virtual Reality capacity and multi-media), and peopled by experts in the oceans, fishing, boating, and all things Lakes Entrance.
The first week saw the students engaging in an excursion and tour of the Lakes Entrance Fisherman’s Co-operative (LEFCOL), exploring the Tommy Norton dredge, hearing from volunteer organisations and being introduced to a range of professions that will open up to include work experience, part-time jobs and future career plans.  
After a term they will have boat licences, a certificate in community volunteering and a newfound focus on their own futures.
The pre-eminence of education and the doors it can open has been communicated repeatedly.
“The students have engaged strongly, attended consistently, behaved with respect and consideration and are the forerunners of a program that will put the college on the map as an innovative, curious and world expanding venue,” assistant principal, Barb Hadlow, said.
“Their academic work hinges on planning, envisaging and researching a project called ‘Bullock Island 2040’. This involves consulting with local experts on power generation, tourism, fishing sustainability, recycling, waste management and transport.
“Their planning, design, consultations and development will result in an exhibition to parents, students, staff and community stakeholders in the final weeks of the term.
“In between there are hikes, bike rides, canoeing, on country walks with local Elders, and plenty of time in the sunshine and fresh air.
“Terms three and four will see the other two year nine classes at the school complete this program.
“Literacy and numeracy learning is embedded in all the students are doing around this project based learning.
“The community ‘buy in’ has been enormous, with 30 organisations volunteering their time and personnel to assist students to learn, engage and grow their understanding of this magical place we live in.”
The challenge, Mrs Hadlow noted, will be to lure them back to the college campus at the conclusion of this term.
However, they are all expected to return more mature and focused, with a better understanding of themselves and the power of good decision making, with some inspired views about their own pathways, a set of certificates to enhance their CVs and a renewed appreciation of the community and all it has to offer.

IMAGE: Lakes Entrance Secondary College year nine students are finally embracing the CATCH program, which sees students learning off site at TAFE Gippsland’s facility on Bullock Island, Seamec. (PS)


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