School operations

School Community Work

What is school community work?

School community work is community work by a student that:

  • supports the student’s learning and career development
  • directly benefits the community
  • is organised by the school
  • is undertaken voluntarily by the student, and
  • is approved by the principal of the school as school community work

School community work is not work experience or structured workplace learning.

Work experience is the short-term placement of a secondary school student with an employer to provide insights into an industry and the workplace. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn — not to undertake activities that require extensive training or experience.

Structured workplace learning is structured on-the-job training in a workplace during which students are expected to master an identified set of skills and competencies related to a course accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

School community work is voluntary

Students should volunteer or willingly engage in school community work Schools can encourage but not compel students to do school community work.

Students must do school community work without payment or reward for their work.

School community work must link to the school curriculum

School community work undertaken by students should be linked to their school curriculum (for example Victorian Curriculum F-10, Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and Vocational Education and Training (VET)  delivered to secondary students or International Baccalaureate).

Schools should consider ways in which their volunteer student workers can capture their learning from their school community work placement — such as via:

  • journals
  • log books
  • presentation back at school assignments
  • blogs
  • wikis
  • or podcasts
Guidance chapter explaining the meaning of school community work by a student

Reviewed 27 May 2020

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