NETschool Learners work with curriculum that meets their individual needs and interests via Centre-based Learning or Progression Learning programs with support from their personal learning Mentor.

What will I learn?

Personal growth for re-engagement

All NETschool Learners receive individual support from their Mentor at the Centre so they can learn:

  • Relational skills and self-regulation through Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
  • How to learn, through participation in Research-based Learning.
  • How to succeed in a mainstream educational setting and the workplace, through particpation in curriculum that meets Learner’s individual needs and interests, integrating into classes, and undertaking Structured Workplace Learning placements with local employers.

NETschool Learners can do studies from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), Vocational Education & Training (VET), and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) studies. Learners who choose to undertake formal units of study receive curriculum support from teachers from Bendigo Senior Secondary College (BSSC) who regularly attend the Centre to:

  • Provide expert English and Mathematics tuition.
  • Provide specialised tution across a range of units of study from the VCE, e.g. Biology, Health & Human Development, Legal Studies, Psychology, etc.

Research-based Learning

Often Learners who come to NETschool have not attended mainstream schooling for many years or have had significant interuptions to their schooling. These Learners, therefore, need a great deal of support to become study-fit. Research-based Learning (RBL) provides Learners with opportunities to develop inquiry, research, higher-order thinking skills (HOTS), and collaboration and communication skills neccessary to successfully participate in formal units of study and/or work placements.

Learners are encouraged to undertake RBL as part of a team under the supervision of their Mentor. The team identifies a need within their community and then research the nature of the need: they identify who is affected, what the impact is, and devise a plan to meet the need. Each RBL project concludes when the team ‘delivers’ their ‘solution’ to the stakeholders.

By commencing an RBL Learners have an opportunity to apply their skills to a topic of personal interest. As the project grows, Mentors assist Learners to extend their skills and knowledge, and teach new skills as required by each Learner. Mentors evaluate each Learner’s growth in skills and knowledge and measure improvement against the VCAL standards for Literarcy & Numeracy, Work Related Skills, and Personal Development Studies. Therefore, successful RBL results in Learners’ demonstrating competance against nationally recognised vocational standards.

VCE studies

NETschool learners, who are study-fit, may choose to undertake VCE studies when they believe they are ready to do so. A VCE English and a VCE Mathematics teacher are avaiable three days each week at NETschool; these lessons are held in a classroom at the Centre for as few as one or as many as eight Learners at a time.

VCE English & Mathematics @NETschool

VCE English
Foundation English Units 1 & 2
English units 1 & 2
English Units 3 & 4
VCE Mathematics
Foundation Mathematics 1 & 2
General Mathematics Units 1 & 2
General Mathematics Units 3 & 4
Mathematical Methods Units 1-4
Specialist Mathematics Units 3 & 4
Most Learners begin formal studies by undertaking a unit of English at the Centre. Other VCE units can be accessed in one or two ways:

  • Online learning – the Leaner is enrolled in a VCAL or VCE unit and assigned a teacher from BSSC. The Learner’s subject teacher comes to NETschool from BSSC at least once each week (the Learner’s Mentor arranges these meetings). The teacher provides the Learner with printed notes, study resources, etc. Communication is a combination of face-to-face meetings at the Centre, phone-calls, texting and emails. Learners can do VCE units either scored (sit exams and gain a study score toward the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, ATAR) or un-scored (no exams, no study-score, no ATAR)…and/or…
  • Attend classes at BSSC – the Learner attends scheduled classes for one or more units of study; either scored or un-scored. This method is necessary for specialised programs that have applied elements such as Fine Arts, Chemistry (practical investigations), Physical Education, etc. After each lesson at BSSC, Learners simply return to the Centre – a brief 5 minute walk through Rosalind Park.


Motivational Outside Values Experiences…is the experiencial and action-based element of the NETschool program for all Learners. MOVE enables Learners to participate in a variety of indoor and outdoor physical activities so they can experience success and fun as they overcome the barriers that blocked their success in mainstream schooling.

Learners can participate in activities with Learners from different Mentor groups: some activities are community-based (Righteous Pups), or working with volunteers (Adopt-a-Highway), and some activities flow from Learners RBL projects (e.g. fundraiser walk-a-thon around Lake Weroona).

The Arts

NETschool supports Learners to explore and develop their artistic expression through music and fine arts lessons at the Centre and by participating in public performances and exhibitions. NETschool has a modest selection of acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and drums. DrumBeat is a program that helps Learners to actively listen and enhance total brain function through group practice on African Djembe drums. Each year Learners give musical performances at St John of God Hospital in Bendigo and showcase their fine art skills with an annual SJoG NETschool Art Exhibition. In 2013 NETschool took the award for Best Art Display by a Senior Secondary School at the Bendigo Show.