General capabilities and career education Illustrations of practice

Career education: STEAM learning and creative problem solving

This Illustration of practice demonstrates how Burnie Primary School incorporates career education through the implementation of a Science, Technologies, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program, which also provides students with the opportunity to develop a range of general capabilities. This program adopts key elements of the Australian Government National Career Education Strategy and the Tasmanian Government Department of Education My Education.

Burnie Primary School is located in the port city of Burnie on the north coast of Tasmania, approximately 230 kilometres north-west of Hobart.  The school caters for 370 students from birth to Year 6.

The Tasmanian Department of Education My Education approach to career education supports Burnie Primary School students to identify their personal interests, values, strengths and aspirations as they develop the knowledge and skills to make decisions about their future learning, work and life opportunities.

Burnie Primary school established the Coding, Arts and Robotic (CAR) STEAM initiative in 2018 to provide career education learning experiences in a range of contexts.

CAR encourages students go beyond consumer technology and build transferable skills by making, developing, inventing and innovating technology. Robotics and coding activities, environmental programs, and community, industry and university partnerships, provide opportunities for students to develop and refine STEAM skills and prepare for life beyond school.





- engage in STEAM based learning opportunities

- develop understandings about why STEAM is important for the future

- assist teacher-led information sessions for families

- engage in STEAM based learning opportunities

- engage in school-wide inquiry-based learning opportunities through STEAM

- begin to explore personalised inquiry projects

- run Learn to Code events for families and community

- help to facilitate teacher-led professional learning sessions for Burnie Primary School

- teachers and teachers from other schools mentor younger students in the school 


- engage in STEAM based activities alongside their students

- begin discussions with key STEAM Teachers around relevance and the way forward

- begin to provide opportunities for transference of STEAM skills to the regular classroom

- engage in STEAM based activities alongside their students

- begin professional learning based on My Education

- map general capabilities to STEAM-based activities

- engage in whole-school professional learning about inquiry-based teaching 

Parents and Families

- begin teacher-led information sessions for families

- participate in Learn to Code evenings for families

- begin discussions around relevance of STEAM and the Makerspace

- engage in Learn to Code sessions with students

- attend information sessions on STEAM education and career education

The Community

- offers partnerships that support learning opportunities for students. 

- establishes partnerships. 

The Burnie Primary School career education program incorporates the Australian Curriculum STEAM learning areas of Science, Technology, The Arts and Mathematics.  Engineering is addressed across the Australian Curriculum through Science, Technologies and Mathematics with dedicated engineering content descriptions in Design and Technologies.

The career education program includes opportunities for students to develop Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social, and ICT capabilities.

Whole school, grade-based, and individual inquiry-based learning is embedded into school pedagogy, guided by the Tasmanian Department of Education STEM Framework.

The Arts mapping document

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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