Girls Try A Trade

Try A Trade is a hands-on program provided by Skillshare. It gives Years 9 and 10 students an opportunity to learn basic hand and technical skills and gives them an insight into the construction industry. This program was offered to Santa Maria students for the first time this year. What was supposed to be a three-day program was unfortunately cut short due to COVID restrictions.

On the first day of Try a Trade, the girls went through some of the OHS procedures for the Skills WA workshop. They were then given plans for a letterbox/planter box they were to construct during the workshop, using brickwork and carpentry. While it took a little bit of time to get started constructing the framework and setting up plumb lines, once started, the girls worked hard on their constructions.

They learnt how to lay down the base mud and how to ‘butter the brick’. The girls embraced all the messiness of the job and developed their teamwork and problem-solving skills. And while many of them probably won’t enter the bricklaying industry, the girls proved that they could do anything and learnt valuable skills for the future.

While it is very disappointing that our students could not return for the next two days, they did manage to have a fantastic time on Day 1.

Staff member Lisa Shelley said, “Our trainer, Blair, was very impressed with how the girls got on with the job and their eagerness to learn. It was such a fantastic opportunity and one that hopefully we can repeat in the future. Fingers crossed we can return to finish our projects in Term 3!”

Year 10 student Jessica Yeo said, “I had so much fun. We first started building the mailbox and garden bed out of bricks and learnt all the correct bricklaying techniques. It was so much fun but lots of hard work. It’s a great experience and a nice break from the busy term.”

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