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VCAL Students just love projects

This semester, the projects for the Personal Development Skills classes at Cire Community School covered Sport, Beauty, Landscaping and Woodwork, Cooking, Art, Upcycling and The Amazing Race. Students participated enthusiastically and there was a strong community involvement focus in all the projects.

In the Sports Project run, at Mount Evelyn campus and organised by teacher Mark Hunt, students played a variety of sports including basketball, futsal, squash, volleyball, trampolining and footy nines.  Students developed their skills and fitness and worked on teamwork and leadership.  The students also organised and ran a lunchtime indoor soccer competition at Mount Evelyn Primary School.  Students were responsible for designing the coaching program, creating a fixture and ladder, coaching, umpiring, and running games for the primary school students and they completed a certificate in Community Coaching.

In the Beauty Project, run at Mount Evelyn campus and organised by teacher Megan Small, students were involved in two community projects.  The students visited an aged care facility, Alexandra Gardens Assisted Living, on a regular basis. On each visit they set up a manicure table in the dining room and invited residents to have their nails groomed and painted and they gave hand massages. The other was work placement experience at Meggahair Salon, owned by Megan, where the students learned some of the tasks of a first-year hairdressing apprentice.  In class each student researched a history of hairstyles and makeup for an oral presentation in class, supported by power point slides.

In the Landscaping and Woodwork Project, run at Mount Evelyn campus and organised by teacher Ash Kirkwood, students improved and maintained the school grounds at Mt. Evelyn campus, to make it a better place to learn while studying at Cire Community School.  The students were responsible for designing and constructing outdoor student spaces and a chicken enclosure, as well as maintaining children’s playgrounds in the community and the community garden.

In the Art Project, run at Mount Evelyn campus and organised by teacher Bernie Miller, students researched a number of art themes. The major focus was on street art and they attended a stencil making workshop with Yarra Valley artist Paul Sonsie. They researched, prepared and delivered a presentation on an art movement of their choice and prepared art work from the themes for exhibition at Lilydale Show and for the Cire School mural. In all, fifteen entries were submitted for the Lilydale Show-Art Show and Cire Students won five prizes in three sections.

India Moffat won 1st and 2nd prize in Adult Novice- Mixed Media Art

Jacinta Lammertse won a Commended Award in Adult Photography

Jye Holden won 3rd prize and a Highly Commended Award in Junior (under 17) Drawing Class

In the Cooking Project, run at both campuses and organised by teacher Ian Seppings, students researched cuisine across the globe and identified suitable recipes for the project.  Ian designed the program to improve cultural understandings among the students and to promote healthy eating.  To introduce these dishes to a wider community audience, students each week prepared dishes to be shared with Cire Community members at Mount Evelyn. Students used fresh produce grown in the community garden for the project. At Yarra Junction, the students also prepared dishes that were culturally inspired, and then shared among the members of staff and visitors to the school. This semester, the students prepared vegetarian versions of their chosen dishes.

The Art Project, run at Yarra Junction campus and organised by teacher Jacqui Tarquinio, celebrated several different areas of focus, culminating in a fundraising event. Jacqui developed students’ skills with clay, canvas, wood-burning and street-art inspired graphics, as well as developing their skills in researching, planning and organising. The culmination of this project was the sale of various pieces of art made by the students to raise funds for the Starlight Foundation and fund some school art resources.

The Upcycling Project, run at Yarra Junction campus by teacher Willa Vale, students created beautiful and functional items out of old scraps of material. Students developed hand sewing and machine sewing skills and created items such as heat packs and cushions that were highly sought after when they joined forces with the Art team, selling these to raise funds for the Starlight Foundation.

In the Amazing Race Project, run at Yarra Junction campus and organised by teacher Kelly Charman, students prepared and ran an event full of mind-boggling challenges. Their focus throughout the planning process involved learning through trial and error, what type of activities could be successful and what resources they would require to run the event effectively. Students had to pick challenges that were physically, mentally and/or socially challenging. They organised routes, clues to locations, organised trails for their challenges, wrote meeting minutes and participated in team problem solving activities. The final race day was held with the remaining students of the Yarra Junction campus taking part.

If you would like to learn more about Cire Community School VCAL programs and educational services click here or call 1300 835 235.

It’s official, we now cater for year 7, 8, 9 and 10

Cire Community School (formerly Yarra Valley Community School) has been operating as a registered senior secondary school for the last two years, from our Mt Evelyn and Yarra Junction campuses. We are very pleased to announce that from the start of the 2017 school year, we will be accepting enrolments in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, in addition to our existing VCAL programs.

The curriculum at Cire Community School is designed to cater specifically for vulnerable students, those who have experienced barriers to completing their education and young people at risk of disengaging with school. We aim to provide a supportive learning environment for each student that builds self-regulatory and relational capacities through a therapeutic approach to teaching and learning that is grounded in the research backed, Berry Street Education Model. The school provides students with a planned and structured program to equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to complete their schooling and to make a successful transition from school to work, training or further education.

The school creates learning experiences that engage students, while maintaining a strong emphasis on the development of key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Integrated units of work and a project based learning approach, provide students with an opportunity to explore their interests and passions and learn more about their community. As a result, teaching and learning resources are varied and often involve creating hands-on experiences through partnerships with the local community and interaction with the natural surroundings.

At Cire Community School we do things differently. All classes from 7 to 12 are modelled on a primary school structure, whereby students have the one classroom and one teacher for the majority of their core study at a particular year level. This enables the development of strong and positive relationships between the teacher and students and between students within the peer group, facilitating a safe and supportive learning environment.

Now with 115 students across two campuses the future looks bright in 2017 as we become a Year 7 to 12 school and continue to explore flexible and innovative ways of engaging the young people of the Yarra Ranges in their learning journeys. Cire would like to thank the community for their feedback and contribution which played a big part in successfully extending the education levels at the Yarra Junction campus.

Need to know more? Year 7 to 9 orientation sessions over the coming weeks for students considering attending our school in 2017. The sessions will be held at our Yarra Junction campus, 39-41 Little Yarra Rd, Yarra Junction. Additional orientation sessions will be held in late January and early February 2017.

The dates and timing of the orientation sessions are as follows:
Monday 12th December 9:30 to 11:30am
Thursday 15th December 9:30 to 11:30am

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the school on 1300 835 235 for further information and to book into one of the orientation sessions.

 

VCAL Students pay respect on Remembrance Day

VCAL Students - 2016 Remembrance DayOn Remembrance Day this year students and staff from Cire Community School, Yarra Junction campus, attended the 11am service at the Yarra Junction Cenotaph.

At the ceremony, held by the Upper Yarra RSL, students Rebecca Behr and Lachlan McKenzie laid wreaths on behalf of Hon Tony Smith MP Member for Casey and Victoria & State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish MP.

“It was a beautiful ceremony to remember our fallen soldiers.” Rebecca Behr, student

It is important for the students to understand and acknowledge the sacrifice of their ancestors and the history of Australia and the world. Attending the Remembrance Day ceremony not only provided this opportunity, it also allowed the students to get involved and feel a part of it.

“I was proud to attend the service today.” Corey O’Brien, student

The following is from the RSL website:

Remembrance Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the men and women of World War One, both in the armed forces and civilians. Remembrance Day is held on the 11th November every year as this was the day in 1918 when hostilities ceased.

Nearly one hundred years has passed since the truce that ended World War One, yet conflicts continue to ignite throughout the world. This said, citizens and leaders of the world continue to hold the belief that peace is possible, and continue to work towards that goal.

In Remembrance Day ceremonies across Australia one minute of silence is observed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to mark the anniversary of end of four years of horrifying war.

“I was happy to pay my respects to all who have died in war.” Charlotte Stritch, student

The students were moved by the occasion and went away with a greater understanding of the importance of Remembrance Day.

“The speeches were very interesting. It gave me emotion and awareness of what happened, thank you.” Zabian Jones, student

If you would like to learn more about Cire Community School VCAL programs and educational services click here or call 1300 835 235.

VCAL Students raise funds for the Starlight Foundation

On Thursday the 27th of October, Cire Community School Personal Development Skills (PDS) Art Group and Upcycling Group joined forces to raise money and awareness for the Starlight Foundation. To do this, the two classes held a market stall out the front of the Art Room at the Yarra Junction Campus.

In general, the VCAL Personal Development Skills classes are designed to help students develop as a person. They learn about team skills, leadership and develop self-confidence and personal responsibility. Planning and managing projects in the community are a big focus of this unit. The skills that are developed in these classes are transferable to work and or further study.

“I really enjoyed participating in the Cire Community School market stall because it gave me a sense of marketing skills.” Robert – student

The students and teachers came up with the idea for their semester project to showcase the products they had made throughout the semester. They raised money for the Starlight Foundation and for much needed art supplies for the PDS Art Group. The Starlight Foundation’s mission is ‘to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families’ making them the charity of choice for this project.

“I feel good that we raised money for the starlight foundation.” Zoe – student

For the market stall, students in the Art Group made things like candle holders, painted canvases and also ceramic mushrooms, whilst the Upcycling Group made wheat packs, cushions and soft toys. As is the ethos of their class, the Upcycling Group made their products using old, recycled materials such as clothing and other consumables.

“I was very pleased with the work I made and sold for the stall.” Jesse – student

The students worked extremely hard to make their art and craft products, working together as a productive team, with all students contributing ideas to help make the best of their market stall project. A money tin with promotional materials was displayed at Cire Services Head Office in Yarra Junction which staff and members of the public generously donated to.

There were staff members and parents from Cire Children’s Centre that dropped by and bought products and also other people from the Cire community who showed support and purchased items from the market stall.

The project raised a total of $454.75, which is a great effort so well done to all involved. The total amount of money being donated to the Starlight Foundation is $284.75. The remaining money will be invested into much needed art equipment for future art classes.

The students of the Art and Upcycling groups would like to thank everyone that took the time out of their busy day to drop in, support the students and purchase some of their products.

If you would like to learn more about Cire Community School programs and educational services click here or call 1300 835 235.

Students raise funds for Breast Cancer Network of Australia

The intermediate class of Cire Community School set up a stall recently in the Yarra Junction shopping centre selling kindling. As a class, they were raising money for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia (BCNA), whose aim is to support people who are affected by breast cancer through their services, resources and programs. The intermediate class chose this charity because amongst the school community, breast cancer has had a big, ongoing impact that has been felt by staff and students. The students wanted to be able to give something back, in appreciation for what those affected have done for the local community.

“Over the past few months, we have had a few false starts, idea changes, motivational issues and other small hiccups, but we’re proud that we could ultimately band together to successfully complete the project.” Lachlan, VCAL student

From a wider perspective, this was a good way for the class to get a feel for the preparation and planning of an event. They had to plan the process of preparing the wood; of organising permission to set up their stall, and of getting permission to use the BCNA promotional material. The students also needed to consider the occupational health and safety aspects of the process. On the day, the intermediate class were split into three groups of 3-4 students. Each group had a one hour shift to interact with the local community and to try and gather up as many kind donations and kindling sales as they could. The students were also giving away free balloons to children as they walked past – which may have annoyed their parents, but that was not intended!

“It was great to be getting to know our local community.” Lachlan, VCAL student

The intermediate class was particularly satisfied with their efforts when a couple of local women came up and told several students about their own experiences with breast cancer, thanking the students for their commitment and recognising that they were part of something important. Sarah Le Page, the teacher of the students involved, was also very proud of what the students had managed to accomplish.

“Their project had a few revisions however, their end goal remained the same. They really wanted to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia in recognition of the network’s important role in helping those in our community who have suffered from the effects of having breast cancer; or being a member of a family affected by breast cancer.” Sarah Le Page, VCAL Intermediate Teacher, Cire Community School

“It made my day to see the community being proud of us.” Steffany, VCAL student

The class project faced difficulty where they set up, inconveniently being in front of the community noticeboard. It was clear that this was not a good position to be in, as a number of people wanted to be able to read the noticeboard. The students were careful to pack up quickly after their three hour shift, so that the community could use the noticeboard again. This however did not dampen their spirit or enthusiasm, with one of the greatest highlights being the appreciation shown by members of the public for the students’ hard work.

“We thank all those in the school and wider community who helped us to make this project happen, particularly Tony  who also assisted us in preparing the kindling. We also appreciate the support of the staff at Cire Children’s Centre, for graciously taking one of our donation tins for a week, and actively encouraging the collection of additional donations.” Intermediate class at Cire Community School, Yarra Junction campus

The class did this as a team project with minimal help from staff. On the day they raised just over $200 for BCNA. The money raised comprised kindling sales and additional donations. The intermediate class are hoping to sell more kindling in the next few days to add to their total raised. They will be depositing all funds raised into the bank account of Breast Cancer Network of Australia once the project is complete.

Projects like these are designed to prepare VCAL students for the workforce. They start up a mini business and set goals to measure their success.  The businesses are social enterprises as they have a social purpose just like this one. They either have a direct social benefit to the community or they aim to raise money for charity.  These projects are supported by an EngageMe! Grant from the Victorian Government. Running the enterprises gives the students employability skills with a particular focus on initiative, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and communication.

For further information on Cire Community School VCAL programs click here or call 1300 835 235

Ready, Steady, Participate!

On 25th of August, students from Cire Community School went to Duncan McKinnon Reserve in Murrumbeena to compete in an interschool athletics day. This was the first opportunity that our students have had to compete with other schools in an athletics carnival.

The day was organised by the Berry Street School, with four schools invited to participate. There were representatives from Caulfield Park, the Berry Street School and St. Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre which all cater for students with similar backgrounds to our own students.

“It was nice to see all the schools getting together.”Tess

On the day, the township of Mt Evelyn experienced torrential rain and hail storms but luckily the sun was shining in Murrumbeena and all the events were able to run on time.

The day got off to a great start when senior students Matt Geale took gold and Jarryd Furneaux took bronze in the long jump. Matt won the event easily by jumping 35cm further than his nearest opponent.

Another outstanding moment for Matt Geale was when he volunteered at the last minute to run in the 100m sprint and finished third in the final to score bronze.

Foundation student Marie Hoffman won 6 ribbons over the course of the day, including 2nd in both the 200m and 400m girls running events. Another ribbon she won was gold in the 3-legged race along with team partner Jesse Wenzel. This event had been dominated by Cire students Jacinta Lammertse and Jess Brown in the heats; however Marie and Jesse took first place in the final.

Other highlights of the day included our girls relay team finishing second, the boys finishing third and the awesome performances by the girls in the jumping and throwing events.

“The students all had a great time competing.Mark Hunt

The biggest highlight of the day by far was that every student put their hand up to participate in multiple events and united to support each other. Not only that, but all of the students made a concerted effort to get along with and encourage the students from the other schools and ensured they shook hands after each event.

In what proved to be an extraordinary day filled with outstanding performances, it was our student’s determination, sportsmanship, respect and camaraderie that stood out most.” Mark Hunt

“It was nice to interact with students from other schools” Zoe M

Overall, Cire Community School finished a close third out of the schools on the day. Our students and teachers look forward to next year and thank all of the students that participated in this event and made it such a great day. Cire Community School would like to thank the Berry Street School for organising this event and the invitation to attend.

“It was an awesome day” Jarryd

For further information regarding regarding Cire youth educational services click here.

 

VCAL Students do great things

This year our VCAL students have been doing some really great things so we thought it is time to share the stories with the community


VCAL Biggest Morning Tea Biggest Morning Tea – Alice in Wonderland inspired Tea Party
Students at Cire Community School, Mount Evelyn campus, recently hosted a Biggest Morning Tea, Alice in Wonderland style to raise money in support of the Cancer Council. The event was held by the Personal Development Skills (PDS) cooking class. The PDS cooking group has students ranging from foundation through to senior VCAL level. The students have a great rapport with each other, working as a cohesive team and supporting each other’s work.

The Biggest Morning Tea project was undertaken to meet the requirements for the semester to create, organise and run an event. Over the semester, students in the group had weekly practical sessions making sweet and savoury finger foods in readiness for the event. They worked tirelessly to perfect their recipes in preparation for the event.

Food served on the day included lemon meringue pies, anzac biscuits, chocolate brownies, lemon slice, scones with jam and cream, flourless orange cakes, rocky road, fairy cupcakes, jam drops, chocolate balls, mini quiches, savoury sandwich fingers and sausage rolls.

There was fabulous encouragement shown to the students of the group with not only Mount Evelyn students attending, but students from the Yarra Junction campus joining with their peers, as well as families of the students participating in the event. The generosity of the students in supporting their peers was in itself a wonderful gesture. One student alone donated $30.00. Cire staff, past and present, joined in the event. Staff at head office didn’t miss out either, meetings had been planned for that day that could not be avoided, so the cooking group arranged for food to be delivered to Yarra Junction, which was met with great appreciation.

Money raised from the Biggest Morning Tea totalled over $400.00, well done everyone.

“I have absolute admiration for the students in the way they conducted themselves throughout this project. From the start of their cooking project through to the end, which was an absolute high, they showed focus and dedication. I am very proud of the efforts shown by Cire Community School students.”
Ian Seppings – Teacher/Leading Support Officer


Breakfast Club at Yarra Junction

The Australian Red Cross states that breakfast means ‘break the fast’, as the previous meal is typically 8–10 hours before waking up in the morning. Breakfast is important in re-fuelling the body with energy and nutrients, kick-starting the day. If breakfast is skipped, the result can leave a person feeling lethargic and tired and lead to difficulty concentration and behaviour difficulties in the school environment.

Students who have eaten breakfast can concentrate better and have a longer attention span, helping them to learn and study better. They can also perform better physically after eating breakfast as there is more energy available to their muscles. Breakfast can improve behaviour and mood, as children have better concentration and aren’t tired or hungry.

The benefits of the school breakfast program (for students who have not had breakfast at home) are:

  • Providing essential nutrition for our adolescents
  • Better health and learning outcomes
  • Socialisation
  • Increase participation and engagement at school

The breakfast club started in February 2016 and has taken off with most students helping themselves to breakfast, cleaning up their own dishes and getting to class on time.

Each Monday students are treated to freshly made pikelets. Traditional toppings of lemon and sugar or maple syrup are sampled. The other days of the week students are able to help themselves to cereal, toast, tea, coffee or fresh fruit.

“Its fantastic” – Zabian

“Convenient and a bright way to start the day” – Lochie

A big thank you to all involved in this beneficial initiative.


A visit to Coldstream Animal Aid (CAA)
Cire Animal Studies Project class from Mt. Evelyn campus went on an excursion to CAA last semester; to learn about how animal welfare in our community as a class can assist them.

The day was jam packed with valuable information on all the great things the CAA do for our four legged friends. Their main aim is to care and provide safety for animals that can no longer live at their homes or because their owners cannot provide for them anymore. Animal Aid runs an adoption program and arranges microchipping, registration and inoculations.

Money is raised from donations and government support, as well as from adoption fees, animal boarding and grooming. It is staffed by volunteers with a few permanent workers; and caters mostly for domestic animals such as cats and dogs, but also caters for small livestock such as goats and small pets like rabbits and occasionally ferrets. Volunteers work in the boarding, grooming, vet clinic, cattery and kennels, promotional events, opportunity shops and on grounds maintenance.

On the tour they saw kittens, cats, dogs, rabbits and goats. The students couldn’t help themselves from getting attached to some of the animals and wanted to take them home. The animals are really well cared for and have plenty of room, stimulation and a happy environment while they wait to be adopted.

Some great initiatives came out of the visit to help them with some of the materials needed for the animals such as toys and bedding. There is a great demand for bedding as the centre goes through quite a lot. The students are discussing collecting bedding for them (blankets, rugs, etc ), as well as making hammocks for the cattery (from second hand baby blankets).

Next term the students are hoping to spend more time with the animals, as they were told about a reading program that a school did with the dogs. Being in the shelter can be stressful for many of the dogs and they had kids come and read to them. It settles the dogs to have someone sitting close and being able to hear the soothing sound of a human voice. They came away with a lot of ideas about how to assist the shelter and build it into the project through next term.

Thanks to the team at the Coldstream Animal Aid for an informative visit that has inspired us to help out.


A trip to Yellingbo to learn about conservation

Helmeted HoneyeaterThe Animal Studies Project class at the Mt. Evelyn campus  have been a busy bunch. They went on a school excursion to the Yellingbo Conservation Reserve, which protects the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater, Victoria’s bird emblem. This species is endemic to the area and is only found in Victoria. The students have been learning about this endangered species from the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater and as a class they felt the need to contribute to their conservation efforts. First step was to go to the reserve to help revegetate new areas which can be used in the conservation program.

“The reserve was roughly a half an hour drive away from campus. The roads where mainly rural and narrow; twisting, turning, hilly roads that seemed to roll on forever, with either farms or bushland on either side. On the drive there you had the sensation of being far away from civilisation however your are only 25 minutes from Lilydale.”

Arriving at a large converted cattle shed on the reserve, hidden away in the trees. The students were greeted by a friendly bloke by the name of James Fraser who holds the position of Environmental Coordinator. James gave the class a quick tour of the grounds and facilities. The students were briefed about the animals and plants at the Conservation Reserve. After sitting through a quick OHS meeting the class walked down to a small clearing in a swampy area, which only had grasses growing and there they were informed of the task ahead – revegetation. The students willingly grabbed some tools to dig holes and plants to begin the planting.

The students planted 165 trees and shrubs that will grow to provide a suitable understorey habitat for the rare honeyeater birds.

After all the tree planting and pleasantries, the class was taken on a nature walk where they spotted the endangered yellow helmeted honeyeater bird. It was perched on a low hanging branch, only metres away. James told us the bird was a scout bird which had flown down to see whether or not there was a threat to the colony.

On the way back to campus the students stopped at the Yellingbo Reserve nursery, which is connected to the conservation site. There they saw all the plants being potted; the same plants that they planted earlier that day. Profits made from the nursery provide some of the funding for the conservation work.

A big thank you to the Yelling Conservation Reserve and James Fraser for hosting this important visit.


For further details on Cire Community School VCAL programs and educational services click here or call 1300 835 235

From Cire to Deakin – Corey’s Journey

On Monday 21st of June, one of the students from Cire Community School was presented with the award for Most Outstanding Senior VCAL Student in 2015 at a ceremony at Federation Square.  The award was presented to Corey Everitt by the Hon. James Merlino (above image) in front of a big crowd including staff from Cire Community School and Corey’s parents.  Corey said of his time at Cire that

“it was probably the most significant period in my life thus far. Both for its hardship and reward.”

Corey began his journey at Cire Community School in 2014 after being disengaged from education for more than 12 months before beginning his VCAL studies. He engaged well with his teachers while completing his Intermediate VCAL but had a lot of ups and downs as he battled through some personal issues.   Benefitting from the supportive environment at school where staff and students showed patience in trying to engage him into the program.  Corey recently reflected that

“It’s a common to look down on the VCAL program, mainly for its attraction of people who have yet to engage in their studies or apply themselves. However what some don’t see is that the program gives freedom for active students to prosper and succeed and also an alternative for the few who just need a helping hand for where they want to go.”

Commencing Senior VCAL in 2015 Corey began the year very slowly and was not a very productive member of the class, but the students and staff at Cire Community School continued to support him.  At the beginning of term 2, Corey decided to participate in an activity day called “Super Awesome Fun Day” where students worked in small groups to complete challenges.  After that day, Corey slowly built his confidence in social interactions and began producing some written work.

The change over the course of term 2 was dramatic. He became a highly engaged member of the classroom and worked well with others on a couple of community projects.  He led a photography project where students worked with residents at an aged care home to create a documentary about their lives.  Corey also helped lead a landscaping project where students mowed lawns and did basic landscaping for elderly and disabled members of the local community.

By the start of term 3, Corey was a leading member of the Senior VCAL class.  He expressed an interest in pursuing a career in writing.  Corey’s teacher challenged him to write well beyond the required standard to meet his Senior VCAL outcomes.  We also began the process of looking into university pathways.  Corey wrote extended pieces on mental health, climate change, euthanasia, the character strength of grit and wrote an excellent short story about artificial intelligence. He conducted presentations to the class on topics such as his future career goals with the aim to help fellow class mates.

Corey’s transformation from being disengaged to becoming a hard working and high achieving student was a pleasure to be a part of.  The extent of his achievement was confirmed at the Cire Christmas party where Corey presented in front of over 50 staff and shared his story.  It was a great moment to witness his mother’s pride at seeing him give such a passionate speech to this group and receive such a positive reaction from the audience.

Corey is currently studying a Diploma in Media and Communication at Deakin University.  He hopes to continue studying at Deakin and begin his Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) in 2017.  Corey has made an excellent start to his higher education with good grades across the board.

“The transformation I went through from an absent and reclusive kid to an inspired student who avidly applied himself to school and the community, was a pretty substantial change, unbeknown to me it was supposedly significant enough for a group of judges to think I deserve such an award. Must have been a slow year in student achievements.”

Despite his humility, Corey’s character development and determination to improve himself make him a well deserving recipient of this award.  Corey has developed the confidence and resilience required to set himself up for success at university and life.

From all of us at Cire Services we would like to congratulate Corey on this incredible achievement and wish him all the best in the future.

For further details on Cire Community School VCAL programs click here.

A splash of colour for Cire Services

Cire Community School Personal Development Skills Art group (PDS) has worked diligently this semester to beautify the back of the Community House (now Cire Services). The project was based on the topic ‘Change’ and the students researched how they could depict (through art) the community changing over time. The PDS Art class worked in teams; problem solved and had lots of fun to achieve these excellent results!

The seats were painted to display the aboriginal heritage of the area. The designs near to and on the BBQ represent an ‘old world’ theme and the board on the wall depicted a present or modern theme. The floor was also painted to represent the mechanics of change – moving and pushing through time.

The art students decided to use spray paints on the back board to represent the modern idea of street art. There was debate around the social issue of graffiti in our class and a question about the community liking graffiti or street art and the difference between the two. Students wrote a survey and found that people in the community didn’t mind street art as long as it wasn’t vandalism or tagging such as graffiti. The students went further and even wrote a letter to the local council to get a graffiti wall for people to express their street art styles. The local council will be visiting us next semester to discuss this matter and the students would like to change their perceptions and promote street art as a new and modern art form.

Overall the courtyard of Cire Services looks amazing, bright and vibrant. Making a positive change to the once dull and boring walls, seats and BBQ area. A fantastic job done by the PDS Art group at Cire Community School!

“Our class worked really hard to reach our goals and I think we all did a great job.” Steffany  – VCAL Student

“The project went really well. We all pulled together and the finished outcome was great.” Zoe  – VCAL Student

“I enjoyed spraying the street art wall.” Robert – VCAL Student

“It was fun! I like letting my imagination run wild.” Crystal – VCAL Student

“Its Wicked” in regards to the students project. Robert (Student of Art group)

Cire Community School offers a full range of educational services for local young people that require an alternative to mainstream schooling. For further information click here or call 1300 835 235

Community programs – getting students involved

Community programs are an important part of our Yarra Valley Community School’s (YVCS) curriculum. Students gain transferable skills that can help them in the future and also play a part of giving back to the community they live in. Last year the Senior and Intermediate students from YVCS polished up their entrepreneurial skills by creating and running several social enterprise projects. The students developed their own small businesses which they ran in the local community. Money was raised which was then donated to causes that they felt could use their support. These social enterprises included:

School canteen
Car wash ‘Oh my gosh it’s a car wash’
Making and selling beauty products
Growing garden seedlings for selling
Teaching basic computer skills to grade 6 Steiner School students
Providing a landscaping service that included mowing and gardening for elderly and disabled members of the community
Native animals mentoring project – students helped build boxes for the animals with boys from the Mt Evelyn Primary school

These businesses proved to be a great success with funds being raised to help orphans in Bali and a donation to Anchor to support young people dealing with homelessness. They also used some of the funds to pay for their own year 12 graduation dinner.

On Monday 22nd of February they had a visit from Heidi Tucker (CEO) and Lisa Stockheim from Anchor. The students were presented with a certificate of appreciation and a thank you letter for our donation. Lisa had a great discussion with the students about the causes of homelessness and the services that Anchor provides. They also asked how the students would like the money spent. By engaging with the students and having them take part in the decision making it was decided that the money would be spent on food. The students felt that food was the best choice as it would benefit the most number of people. Several of the students were quite disappointed that the funding around homelessness is so inadequate and said they wanted to help more in the future.

“What an inspiration these students are, most coming from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves and their main goal is to help others – we are very grateful for being a part of the 2015 program and look forward to 2016, keep up the great work” Heidi Tucker – CEO Anchor

“The students felt great about being able to help people in need and gained a lot of skills that they can add to their resumes and help them get employment.” Mark Hunt – YVCS Coordinator

“This is totally awesome being able to donate to these great causes.” Sean – VCAL student  (in image above)
The experiences gained through these community programs have helped the students prepare the projects for 2016. Due to the success of last year’s social enterprises some of the same projects will make a return along with some new ideas.

The Social Enterprise Project is supported by the Victorian Government.

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This isn’t the first time the students have raised money for people in need, check out what they did to raise funds for a Kenya orphanage last year.
YVCS Students making a difference
YVCS Students making a difference part 2

If you would like to know more about our youth education programs click here.