General capabilities and career education Illustrations of practice

Career education: linking learning for students with disability to workplace experiences

This illustration of practice describes how a career education program provides authentic learning experiences in a workplace environment within a high school. Black Mountain School differentiates the curriculum to cater for a range of learners while developing the Personal and Social capability, to ensure that students are equipped to develop positive outcomes in their lives beyond school.

Black Mountain School is located in O’Connor, three kilometres from the centre of Canberra. The specialist school caters for 110 students from Year 7 to Year 12 and provides innovative and engaging learning programs for students with disability. Individualised programs are developed in collaboration with teachers, parents and students.

Black Mountain School aims to develop skills to optimise post-school life for its students. In addition to providing industry-specific training, the work education programs foster essential skills that can be utilised across a range of workplaces, to enable students to develop the confidence to work effectively as an individual or as part of a team. The work education programs maximise student employment possibilities through authentic on-the-job work experience and work placements.

Black Mountain School supports students to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions described in the Australian Curriculum by providing learning experiences through engagement with community and industry.

Key aspects of the program of learning include:


The horticulture program provides the opportunity for students to engage in rich, applied learning through on-the-job training and industry-standard work experience at Yarralumla Nursery Horticulture Training Centre, as well as the school's own horticulture centre.


Students in the hospitality program operate the school canteen. Students also operate the on-site facility Café Six Degrees as a commercial venture. The program maximises opportunities for students to access work experience in the community and practice communication and collaboration skills in an authentic, supportive learning environment.


Students in the sustainability skills program lead the school recycling program to collect and sort paper and plastic recyclables. Recycled and sustainable products are used to create artworks and other products. These are available for purchase in the school café.

Work Experience

Meaningful work experience allows students the opportunity to transfer the skills they learn at school to a workplace environment. Community partnerships offer work experience in a wide range of contexts.

Black Mountain School incorporates the Australian Curriculum learning areas of Design Technologies, Health and Physical Education, English, Mathematics and The Arts.

The school uses the general capabilities to develop teaching and learning plans that support all learners to achieve their goals. Development of the Literacy, Numeracy, and Critical and Creative Thinking capabilities is fundamental to students becoming successful learners. Students can develop the elements of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and social management within the Personal and Social capability.

General capabilities

In the illustration of practice:

Describe how the school uses the Australian Curriculum learning areas and general capabilities to develop a career education program.

Identify the school's approach to the key objectives of Future Ready: A student focused National Career Education Strategy.

How does the school identify and engage with a range of stakeholders in the development of their career education program?


In your school context:

Identify how a school-based career education program would benefit your students.

What aspects of the Australian Curriculum could be included in your school-based career education program?

What elements of the Future Ready: A student focused National Career Education Strategy would you include when developing your school-based career education program?

How would you identify and include appropriate community stakeholders when developing a school-based career education program?



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