Shepherdson Road, Mount Gambier, SA, 5290
Established in 2002, the Flexible Learning Program (FLP) at Tenison Woods College is an alternate education option for young people seeking to complete their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE, Years 11-12) without having to attend school. Part of the educational provision offered at Tenison Woods, a co-educational Catholic College, the FLP enables students to manage work, study and academic success in a program that caters specifically for their individual needs. It is particularly suitable for students who: are more practical ‘hands on’ learners, prefer/need to enter the workforce, have caring responsibilities, are pregnant or young parents, have disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health conditions, or are homeless or living in poverty. Students come from diverse regional communities and a range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. In 2011, 119 students (64 female and 55 male) were enrolled in the FLP.
How this program works
The FLP provides a holistic model of pastoral care and customised education delivery aiming to meet the diverse educational and psycho-social needs of students who aspire to complete the SACE but for whom the traditional model of classroom based schooling is not appropriate. At the FLP, the emphasis is onindividual student personal development, recognising prior learning and enhancing skills and knowledge for future participation in the community. This involves making connections to students’ worlds in the learning process, recognising broader learning such as continued participation in sport, music or other community activity and acknowledging the need to meet the basic welfare/pastoral needs of students before formal learning can begin.
Each student has a case manager who oversees their educational program and works with the students to develop an individual curriculum plan designed to meet the student’s specific needs and aspirations. Students spend between 2 and 5 days per week in the program but do not attend school classes, rather, a range of community based learning activities are utilised. Activities such as, employment, TAFE studies and volunteer or community work, are packaged as SACE Stage 1 and 2 Community Studies subjects for which students are required to collect and collate evidence of their learning, and reflect upon this learning. On-line learning and distance learning packages, with tailored learning tasks and assessments, enable students to complete compulsory units such as mathematics and English. The program works closely with local employers, education and training providers, government suppo