VCAL is a full time alternative course to VCE and includes studying a VET subject. Some students prefer subjects that have a more practical approach and a VCAL course may be more suitable as it is geared towards applying what has been learnt in class to real life situations. It often focuses on preparing students to work after school. At Norwood, VCAL is only offered at Years 11 and 12.
The four subjects studied are:
- Literacy and Numeracy (relevant to real life situations)
- Industry specific skills (a VET subject)
- Work related skills (working in a job or apprenticeship)
- Personal development skills (skills useful for job seeking and the work environment: i.e. communication, interview techniques, resume building, career guidance etc.)
Students are required to select a number of VET units in areas of interest. They do not need to complete any single VET qualification, but can choose to undertake units in different vocational areas, for example, hospitality and horticulture.
As part of the program, students must participate in community-based projects, voluntary work and/or structured activities that will help develop self-confidence, teamwork skills and other skills important for life and work.
Places at Norwood are strictly limited to one class per year and subject to a selection process that involves a suitability interview and a review of behaviour and motivation.