Student stories


When it came to clarifying her career options, Sally McLoughlin found that the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) process struck the right chord.

“The PLP was very useful and left me with a clear idea of the two possible career paths that I could pursue - music instrumental teaching or interior design,” Sally said.

Sally also found the PLP helpful in narrowing down the specific university courses, skills and prerequisite subjects she would need.

“I didn’t know much about the specific occupations I wanted to do or the further study required to get there, but the research task cleared up any confusion.

“The SACE, through the PLP, has helped me imagine my future dream career.

“It has also helped me gain more motivation as I now have a better idea about the direction I am heading and what I need to study to get there.”

Sally said another benefit of the PLP process was that it not only provided her with the know-how to research job opportunities but also gain skills in the job application process, including drafting a resume and the interview process.

On completion of her SACE, Sally plans to audition for the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide where she hopes to either study Music Performance or Music Education and Pedagogy.

“These courses will hopefully guide me to a career in private instrumental tuition or classroom music teaching.”

In choosing her career path, Sally says her cello teacher was also a factor.

“I’m inspired by the way she motivates me and empowers me to not only be a good musician but a good person to others.

“Importantly, she loves her job and I hope also to have a happy future. I feel that I could also inspire younger children as she has done for me,” she said.

For students about to undertake the PLP, Sally advises them to not get stressed if they do not have firm ideas about their future.

“Knowing your ideal future career isn’t completely necessary as the PLP teaches you about the things you need to consider and the way to prepare for any career path you choose.”

Reflecting on her SACE experience to date, Sally said: “As well as career skills, the SACE is teaching me how to set goals for myself and achieve them while reflecting on my process and making improvements along the way.”

Sally said the favourite part of her SACE studies so far has been the greater freedom in subject choice and the opportunity to study what she feels is relevant and enjoyable.

Peter and Chloe

Moving into Year 11, Peter Rongwei said for him, the PLP process was about personal growth and future planning.

“I undertook assignments about self development, study plans for SACE Stage 1 and 2 subjects and beyond, career pathways, industry safety and also researched information about different industries,” Peter said.

He said although the conversations he had with his PLP teacher and classmates helped him to form views about his future, the roundtable presentation between his parents and teachers was the most useful aspect of the PLP at his school.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to display my own understanding of the course, my abilities, what I am capable of and the progress I had made throughout the PLP process.

“By finishing this task, I have further learnt more about myself and what career pathway I will be taking — I am now planning to go to Adelaide University to study Agricultural Science. “Australia is renowned for its rich farmland and animals, so I thought it would be a worthwhile goal to find a career in this field,” Peter said.

Also progressing to Year 11 this year, Chloe Bachelor says the PLP helped her put together an action plan to achieve her career goal of becoming a police officer.

“The PLP is an opportunity for students to get an insight into what they really want to do,” Chloe said. “I genuinely didn’t have any idea what the PLP would involve but it did give me a greater understanding of my learning needs and future aspirations.”

“We undertook a goal-setting assignment that focused on setting S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound) goals and strategies. I never really had set myself goals until now, but as a result, I have an aim for what I want to do in the future and an action plan to achieve it.

“Through the PLP I also had an opportunity to do an alternative task researching police work. It gave me an insight into what my job might look like in the future.

“I have now chosen my subjects for Year 11 based on the skills I know I will need in order to become a police officer,” Chloe said.