Our aim is to cater specifically for students who have disengaged from mainstream education, or students who are at risk of disengaging.
Our students come from all backgrounds and have left mainstream education for a wide range of reasons. What they have in common is a strong desire to improve their chances of success in life and our focus is on assisting them to make a positive contribution to their community by transitioning to further education, training or employment.
The South Portland setting is homely, class sizes are small and students and teachers build strong and supportive relationships that foster both social and academic growth and give our students the very best chance of achieving their personal goals.
Applied learning is a key to our approach, so our classes are ‘hands on’ where possible. The teacher-student-parent-carer relationship is also personal, with regular communication and face-to-face meetings each term.
In the 2006 census, Portland and district had the second highest level of youth disengagement in Victoria. Something had to change. A small group of committed school and community members came together to plan a response.
The Portland Secondary College Re-Engagement Program opened in 2011, with 26 students.
Since then, we have educated over 180 young people. Many have completed their education with us and moved into employment, traineeships, apprenticeships, business owners, and further training. Others have been supported to return to mainstream employment.
Intro of Staff
Christine Hart – Satellite Campus Program Leader; VCAL Program Support.
Christine is the leader and manager of the PSC Re-Engagement Program. She has been teaching and leading the program since 2020. Christine guides literacy, also teaches Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills. Christine previously held the position of the coordinator for the Program for Students with Disabilities at PSC and has a background in welfare and wellbeing.
Lauren Logan – Teacher.
Lauren started at the PSC Re-Engagement Program in 2019. Providing a hands-on approach to Numeracy in both the Junior and Senior VCAL classes.
Greg Grant – Teacher.
Greg is a Technology Teacher at PSC and has been teaching at the Re-Engagement Program in 2020. Greg provides a hands-on approach to Project Based Learning, applied learning and incorporating numeracy and literacy into the junior classes.
Intro to facility
The PSC Re-Engagement Program is situated in South Portland. The homely environment provides a change of setting and expectation about school. The lounge room and bedrooms have become classrooms and offices, while the kitchen and dining room are communal eating and meeting spaces.
Students and staff care for the facility and gardens. At times teaching is hands on in the gardens, while at other times the garden space is used as the classroom for a change of setting.
What do our students say?
Portland Re-Engagement Program has many different benefits; for example there is more support from teachers and more help for individual students. Teachers can get around the class faster and help more students, there are less students which means the classes are quieter. RE is more hands on that suits a lot of students especially wanting a trade. Jessie 17
In our numeracy class our teacher is great at putting the fun in our classwork. Loz had the great idea to let us make gingerbread houses involving maths. We calculated the costs for all the lollies, quantity for how much of the ingredients we would need for each one. We measured our templates out on paper to use when we make our houses. Marni 17
“If there was no Re-Engagement Centre there would be no schooling option for me and I’d probably just be sitting around at home. But now I wake up and want to go to school because I enjoy it here and if you don’t enjoy school you won’t go and you won’t learn.” – Liam, 16
We aim to develop young people who are active members of the community. We are well supported by various groups within our community and to make sure that we give back, we regularly contribute to our community.
Fresh Fruit Program – Supported by Portland Aluminium, the students from the Re-Engagement Program order, count and allocate fruit for the students at the Primary Schools of Portland and district. It is a hands on way for students to learn about ratios and teamwork.
Reconciliation Day – Students from the Re-Engagement Program have been involved in supporting Reconciliation Day at the Portland Civic Hall. Students have learnt about service of food and communication through their involvement in the day.
International Day Celebrating People with Disability – Students from the Re-Engagement Program have taken an active role in this annual day, which supports and celebrates people with a disability. Students have improved their understanding of themselves and others from the day as well as their communication skills.
Portland Community Garden – Two gardening plots to grow vegetables and donate the produce to Meal Share. Giving back to the community and learning the nutritional value of growing your own food.
Julie Street Creative Arts Centre – Students at Re-Engagement Program have been selected to support the Laneways Project. Learning design skills, basic welding, painting and working in a team.
Q & A
How do I enrol?
Potential students and families are encouraged to contact Portland Secondary College on 5523 1344 to express an interest in the program. Re-Engagement Program Leader Christine Hart will then arrange a meeting time for you to come in and learn more about the program and see the facility first hand. If this is the appropriate program, PSC will apply via Flexible Learning Options for approval.
What do you teach?
Students in year 10-12 are enrolled in the Victorian Certificate of Education at either Foundation or Intermediate level. They will also be enrolled in a VCE subject and if possible, a VETiS subject (such as Hospitality, Furnishings, Engineering).
Junior classes consist of Years 7-9, Literacy, Numeracy, Social Emotional Learning, History and Humanities, Hands On Learning project based learning, Sustainability.
What are the start & finish times?
Start and finish times differ from class to class so this will be dependent on which class you are enrolled in.
What do we offer?
How can I help?
The PSC Re-Engagement Program offers small class sizes and greater individual attention. However this comes at a significantly higher cost when compared to mainstream education models. Currently the program is funded by the Portland Secondary College and charitable donations. However, the continuation of the program is a year proposition unless a sustainable funding source can be secured.
We are thankful for the support received so far and desperately need the community to continue to get behind us to ensure we can provide this much-needed service to benefit out whole community.
It is for this reason that we have initiated the opportunity for businesses, community groups, families or individuals to sponsor a student.
The annual cost for a student is $2,000 annually, however we will gratefully accept smaller contributions for partial sponsorship.
This tax deductible donation will allow a student to continue their education at the centre and give them the very best chance of success in life.
MAKE A DONATION
You can make a donation to the program through United Way Glenelg Sponsor a Student Placement Initiative:
Donations are tax deductible.