Nothcote High School

Let us follow the better path


VET (Vocational Education Studies) at Northcote High School

Many students at Northcote High School choose to complete VCE subjects in Year 10. They also have the option to commence VET studies.

Students will be provided with advice about VCE advanement during tutorial, and through the course counselling process. Students who wish to explore vocational learning also have access to a number of VET (Vocational Education and Training) subjects through a cluster arrangement with local TAFE providers and within the school.


What is VET?

VET is an acronym for Vocational Education and Training. Northcote High School students have the opportunity to study ‘hands on’ learning off campus at a range of schools with NCAT (Northern College of the Arts) being the main site of choice. NHS currently has over 50 students doing a range of subjects including: carpentry, equine studies, engineering, hospitality and media. These students enrol in a two-year part-time certificate two course that runs at specific times suitable to the broader school timetable. We have also a VET taster program to give students the opportunity to experience hands-on learning at NCAT. This opportunity also compliments the Work Experience program in Year 10 to help students make choices about subject choices in VCE and other pathways options such as VCAL. Whilst many students choose to do a VET subject as part of their Year 10/ VCE studies, some may choose to go down the VCAL path and into pre-apprentice training at TAFE.


Structured work placements

Some VET courses require students to do a structured work placement. All students who do a Structured Work Placement  complete a structured work placement from and a copy is sent to their VET teacher. ItYou need to check with your VET teacher that the placement is suitable, that the placement meets the requirement for the course (80 hours) and that you indicate on Compass you are on a Structured Work Placement. 

VET student feedback 


This year in my VET Engineering course I have fabricated a soft face mallet made of mild steel and aluminium, a sheet metal binder/folder, fashioned a centre punch out of mild steel and a galvanised tin tool box. Though the making of these tools I’ve gained knowledge of how to use metal turning lathes, a spot welder, how to use 3D modelling software, a range of hand tools and metal working machines and the ability to use a variety of CNC machines such as: Mills, lathes, 3D printers and laser cutter. And I am only half way through the course so there is still lots to learn and plenty to make and enjoy!

Alex Greenwood 10B Engineer


It is a long day but the good thing about this course is that you get skills, learn how to use tools, you build a saw horse, a timber wall frame and a dog house. This course gives you a taste for the trade and will confirm whether you want to be a carpenter or not. Nick Frewen and Nick Di Fabio teach the course. We are all looking forward to the second year of the course next year.

Ryan Tunnicliffe Year 10



In first year we learn all about roof plumbing: We drew plans and were given a straight length of down pipe and learnt how to cut it. With the copper piping we learnt how to do bending, welding and joining. Also we did some demolition work smashing concrete. We learned how to use a concrete cutter. In second year we will do some concreting.

Aidan Tosolini and Lachie Burton Year 10


Miniature and model engineering forms a large part of engineering fabrication in general, and has been a source of great enjoyment for consumers and producers of these articles, and enthusiasts, for many years. This model engine is an early example of a live steam toy, which have provided endless hours of great fun to the young, and the young at heart. It was made by Doll & Co., a reputable German toy manufacturer of the early 1900s. It is about 90 years old. As such, it is very delicate, and at one point an essential part broke, which rendered the engine useless. Oh No! Luckily, I am studying engineering as a VET subject, and through these studies I developed the expertise and skills which enabled me to fabricate a replacement part, which fits the bill perfectly. This fine example of model engineering now works beautifully again and now that I can make my own things, my passion for model engineering has grown even stronger.

Michael Stapmanns Year 11

Equine Studies

This course is aimed at both hobby riders as well as those who want to goon and do a degree. There is no specific career that is leads to but there are a lot of different pathways like racing, training, stable hands, breeding, racing industry stable hand work nutrition  If you want to own your own horse this course will help you find out the things you need to now. The cost is reasonable, a matreials charge of $200 which when it comes it comes to horses is cheap. In the first year we rode quite a but and was it was very practical and we covered OH&S. In second year we learn a lot about anatomy, nutrition and confirmation (the way the horse is put together). How the anatomy works. How it affects heir performance. Recently we painted a skeleton on the horse to see where they go and then we had to work out how they moved.

Molly Walsh and Maudie Farnan Year 12


Our partnership with NCAT

Northcote High School is one a number of schools in the Northern Melbourne VET cluster that has invested money in the development of the Northern College of the Arts and Technology. Located in Preston, the facilities are fantastic and offer Northcote High School students the opportunity to experience ‘hands-on’ learning in a specialist environment fitted with the latest technology. A range of VET subjects are offered in the Arts and Technology.  Most Northcote High School students at Years 10 -12 elect to do their VET studies at NCAT. As part of the partnership, a 15-week VET taster program for Year 9 students was established in 2010.

VET taster program  for Year 9

The VET taster program runs on Tuesday afternoons for 15 weeks each semester involving up to 16 Year 9 students and gives them the opportunity to experience hands-on learning at NCAT. This opportunity  complements the Work Experience program in Year 10 that helps students make choices about subject choices in VCE and other pathways options such as VCAL. Whilst many students choose to do a VET subject as part of their Year 10/ VCE studies, some may choose to go down the VCAL pathway and into pre-apprentice training at TAFE.


In Term 4, Year 8 students are given information about the VET taster program and can apply for the program.