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Vocational education

Skills training programs

Individual learning areas as identified in the SET Plan and our curriculum are complimented by a range of specialist programs designed to expose students to skills training learning opportunities. These programs not only add value to the traditional curriculum but also help ensure that our students are as prepared for life after school as they can possibly be.

These programs have been recognized with numerous educational, environmental and community awards culminating in winning Education Queensland’s highest accolade a State Showcase Award for Excellence in Senior Schooling. Aspley Special School’s innovative “Cans to Coffee” initiative has enabled all students at our school to access ongoing skills training by developing a suite of training programs and providing them on the school campus. This school-based approach has removed many of the complexities associated with traditional off-campus training and work experience and maximised transition outcomes for students.

Kingfisher Centre

Recycling at ASS began in 1983 with can crushing as a work experience option - raising $25 for the year. Since that time, ‘can crushing’ has been transformed into the world’s largest (by volume of product recycled) school-based recycling program processing over 650 tonnes of recyclables, generating over $35,000 and provided skills training opportunities for many students with a disability.

Most students at ASS engages in recycling-related skills training at some point during their schooling career, participating in activities including eWaste processing, can crushing, glass sorting, cardboard packing, lid removal, stamp recovery, tree planting and mulching. All students regardless of their disability are involved.

Students are expected to operate within a work-like environment and complete designated tasks, follow expectations, work within set procedures and adhere to WH&S standards. Students develop and practice valuable life and employment-related skills including staying on task, adhering to quality control measures, exhibiting safe behaviours and displaying acceptable work ethics. These skills can subsequently be refined and transferred to a range of work and supported work environments.

Hospitality courses

Hospitality skills training at ASS culminate in selected students operating the Frothee Coffee Shoppee for between sixty and one hundred customers most Fridays. To represent our school in this sought after program, students must first develop a suite of skills through engaging in a range of school-based hospitality and life skills programs.

Most students at ASS participate in an individualised living skills program each week. This program exposes students to the kitchen environment as well as introducing them to simple cooking and snack making skills, health and hygiene practices and general kitchen procedures. On consolidation of these skills, students are eventually introduced to higher level skills and a hospitality work ethic through their involvement in the Coffee Shop Cooking program. Scones, slices, pikelets and quiche are produced by students in this program for subsequent sale in the Frothee Coffee Shoppee.

These life skills and cooking programs are complemented by students operating all aspects of the school tuckshop (one day a week) and participating in a 10 week basic cookery course (based on units of competency from the hospitality training package) that trains students in commercial kitchen operations. All students are provided with the opportunity to further refine social and etiquette-related skills developed in these hospitality programs through regular visits as customers to the Frothee Coffee Shoppee.

In addition, our traditional hospitality programs is complimented by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) program. This program sees students involved in the development and construction of the garden, in addition to providing students  opportunities to propagate, plant, harvest and eat fresh fruit and vegetables – from garden to plate.