Person standing with 3 arrows on the ground

Work discovery

teaching practice

For student year

Middle years
Senior years

Helps students to

  • discover training pathways
  • explore work experience
  • Helps teachers to

  • use myWAY Employability
  • Summary

    Transitioning from school to the workplace or further study is not always easy.  Many students are unsure of what they want to do and how to go about discovering this information.

    This Work discovery unit explores post-school pathways, work experience, and Work Health and Safety. There are a range of resources such as glossaries, videos, teacher notes, and activities.  The activities are designed to build the students’ knowledge and understanding of how to plan, prepare and identify post-school opportunities.

    Students will also use the myWAY Employability website to develop an individual profile matched to relevant career, further education and training information, and pathways. They are then invited to explore their own life skills on the myWAY Employability website.

    The activities in this practice will help set students up for success by:

    • developing student awareness of the various post-school educational and training pathways available
    • assisting students to engage in real-life learning about careers
    • providing opportunities for students to develop job application knowledge and skills
    • developing student planning and organisational skills
    • helping build student-school-community partnerships

    The Post-school options practices on inclusionED meet the needs of diverse learners and most resources are scaffolded.

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    Preparing to teach

    Unit plan

    The unit plans for this practice are available as a PDF or in a word version. Use the word version if you wish to amend the plan or record any teaching adjustments.

    The plan includes:

    • Lesson One: Explore Training Pathways
      • Lesson One also includes the information and resources for the whole term project Training Pathways Forum.
    • Lesson Two: Explore Work Experience

    Some of the activities and quizzes in this unit will be completed on the myWAY Employability website. These activities are denoted with the following symbol:

    myWAY Employability website indicator

    Unit Plan – Work-Discovery

    Unit Plan – Work-Discovery

    Before you begin:

    Review your school's current work experience program.  Consider how this can be used to complement the existing program.

    Have students complete the Post-school pathways section on myWAY Employability – There are two questions for students to respond to.  

    Review the following work experience articles and print and prepare as necessary.

    The Teaching to diversity notes - available in the resource - section outline how each practice is designed to assist you to teach to the diversity within your classroom.

    Curriculum alignment

    This practice aligns with the following standards and capabilities: 

    Work Studies Curriculum Standards

    • ACWSCL006: Investigate a wide range of occupations, and the skills and personal qualities required in these fields.
    • ACWSCL012: Practice the skills and attributes underpinning entrepreneurial behaviours.
    • ACWSCL014: Source career information and resources.
    • ACWSCL017: Investigate formal and informal recruitment processes.
    • ACWSCL037: Use a range of tools, methods and skills for accessing work relevant to 21st century recruitment and selection processes.

    General Capabilities (Personal & Social Capability)

    • Self-management: work independently and show initiative.
    • Social management: communicate effectively, work collaboratively, make decisions, develop leadership skills.


    Glossary worksheet (optional)

    This practice has separate glossaries for the Training PathwaysWork Experience, and Workplace Safety activities.  The glossary will assist students to pre-learn the vocabulary used in this practice.

    Each glossary booklet contains word lists and activities at the three different levels of scaffolding. For  activities with a number of unfamiliar terms we recommended you focus on 3-5 words that are most relevant to each lesson.

    The glossaries are located in the resource section of this practice.

    This video provides a quick example of how to teach vocabulary. Note: this video is intended for viewing by teachers only.   

    This pre-teaching vocabulary video is included in all of the MyWay Employability practices.

    It works best if:

    • you demonstrate to students how to complete the Training Pathways and Work Experience sections.
    • you seek permission and/or invite input from your school leadership team regarding the event if needed.
    • you consult relevant staff at the school to draft a list of suitable panel speakers.
    • you decide on the date and time of your panel discussion event, organise practicalities such as booking the venue.
    • you consider the size of the venue to determine who you will invite: Another class? Parents? Other staff members?

    It doesn't work if:

    • students don't have access to a computer to individually log onto the myWAY Employability website.

    In the classroom

    Practical checks

    • Have all students created an individualised login?

    • Do all students have access to the myWAY Employability website?

    • If needed, have you organised a peer mentor or an additional adult?

    Lesson one: Explore training pathways

    This lesson contains the following objectives:

    • Students will learn relevant vocabulary
    • Students will identify their preferences and important considerations when choosing a career
    • Students will research training pathway options pertinent to their career of interest
    • Prepare for event (optional activity)
    Whole class activity: Jigsaw learning

    Divide the class into groups of three. Each group uses the guides and articles to answer a series of questions.  They will report back to the class what they have learnt and any other interesting thoughts:

    Each group nominates a scribe, a reader, and a speaker for the activity. 

    Questions for the groups to consider:

    • What are the features of university?
    • What are the features of TAFE?
    • What do I need to know about transitioning to uni or TAFE?
    • Does the career I’m interested in require uni study, TAFE study, or other experiences?
    • Other interesting facts on training pathways.

    Each group will then take turns to share with the class what their findings were.

    You may like to appoint a scribe to write the key concepts and ideas on the board or paper for students to refer to later.

    Individual activity: Career Bullseyes

    Students will research their career of interest using the Career Bullseyes and take notes on options they would like to research further. Students can then find training pathways that link to these roles, and search for universities or TAFE sites nearby that offer these courses.

    Students may like to refer to the notes about TAFE and Uni from the previous activity as they explore the pathway options.


    Whole term project

    The Training pathways forum activity is a whole-term project in which students take an active role in organising an end-of-term forum on the theme of “post-school training or educational pathways”.

    This activity is an opportunity for students to develop transferrable skills such as communication, organisational, and planning skills. 

    Download the teacher notes from the resources section for further information.

    • Seek permission and/or invite input from your school leadership team regarding the event if needed.
    • Consult relevant staff at the school to draft a list of suitable panel speakers.
    • Decide on the date and time of your panel discussion event, organise practicalities such as booking the venue.
    • Depending on the size of the venue decide who you will invite: another class, parents, and/or other staff members?
    Individual activity: Career Interview

    The career interview activity is designed to assist students with the task of interviewing people about their jobs. There is a peer-modelling video to assist you: this video depicts a student interviewing an adult about their job using the career chart as a note-taking tool. 

    If you are using the career chart activity it will need to be given to students at least a week ahead of the lesson.

    There are three versions of the Career Interview student worksheet. Decide which version (one-hand, two-hand or three-hand) of the resources will meet the needs of each of your students.

    The career interview worksheets are available in the resources section of this practice.

    Some students may find it helpful to view others completing parts of this activity. We have a few informal and short snippets that you may choose to share with your students.


    A student interviewing his mum (have the volume turned high)

    Job roles activity 

    Your students will organise an end-of-term event with speakers who come and talk to them. Each student has a role and the resources have been developed to cover the roles of: 

    • Event Promotion
    • Speaker Liaison
    • Master of Ceremony (MC)
    • Reporter  

    Depending on the degree of scaffolding they require, students respond to the job description by addressing the selection criteria and writing a cover letter. 

    This video shows two students discussing how they meet the selection criteria. 

    As always, select the resources you will use and adapt them as necessary. The Job role: Event promotion resources for each role can be found in the resources section. 

    Plan for audio-visual needs. For example, do the panel members have a PowerPoint presentation? Is the venue large and therefore do they need to use microphones in order to be heard?

    Support students with their various roles in the lead up to the event. For example, you may need to offer your student MC an opportunity to rehearse with you.

    Speaker Liaison

    In addition to the scaffolded job descriptions for this role you can download a Speaker invitation letter that you can copy, amend, and use the text.

    The Speaker invitation letter is located in the resources section.


    Lesson 2

    This lesson contains the following objectives:

    • Students understand how work experience helps them determine their career pathway.
    • Students will role-play common work experiences.
    • Students begin to understand how workplace safety affects their job.

    Creating a job application

    Students will draft a letter to a company, workplace, or person they know to request the opportunity to complete work experience there. This will be written like a letter of consideration or job application. Students will need to consider the following:

    • The benefits to the employer for taking on a work experience student
    • The specific skills the student can offer
    • Why the student particularly wants to have work experience at this place

    myWAY Employability Resource : Creating a job application

    If students are unsure where to start for work experience opportunities, this myWAY Employability article on undertaking work experience and internships has several useful links.

    The Cloze activity supports student understanding of the following myWAY Employability articles. 

    There are three scaffolded versions of the Cloze student worksheet available in the resources section.

    Journal writing activity 

    View the Teacher notes for information on the Journal writing activity.

    There are two versions of the Journal writing student worksheet.


    Introduce the articles Rights and responsibilities at work and Giving and receiving feedback at work.

    As a class brainstorm the key ideas and write these on the board.

    Depending on your students’ skills and time allowed for this activity, choose one of the following:

    • Show peer-modelling work experience role-play videos from the Plan section
    • Offer students several scenarios that they must role-play (either in pairs or in front of the class)

    Suggested scenarios can include:

    • You are a work experience student and are running late for your first day.
    • You are receiving feedback on how you are going on work experience from your workplace key contact person.
    • You don’t understand something that you are supposed to do on your work experience.

    Students can reflect on and discuss each of these scenarios with their partner or the rest of the class.

    Role-playing activity 

    Refer to the Teacher notes - Work experience role-playing  which explain the activity. 

    Use the Role-playing student worksheet to support this activity.

    Resources are located in the resource section of this practice.

    Peer modelling videos: Role-playing activity

    There are two videos for your students to watch. Each video shows student peers on work experience.

    The video stops in order that your students can evaluate the peer's performance. After the pause, there is a section where there is a peer model of a student evaluating the student in the video. 

    Depending on your students, you may want to stop the video at the pause. 

    Workplace safety

    Students finish off the lesson by completing the workplace safety student worksheet, which examines certain occupations that require protective equipment or PPE, as well as interpersonal safety.

    Resource: Workplace safety

    The glossary can be used to assist students to pre-learn the vocabulary about personal protection equipment items for workplace safety. 

    The Teacher notes: Workplace Safety explain the Workplace Safety activity.

    There are two scaffolded versions of the Workplace Safety student worksheet for students.

    Practice toolkit

    Practice implementation planner template

    We know that it is not always easy to keep track of what is working and what is not. So, we have created this template for you to record and reflect on what you are doing to help you create a more inclusive classroom. The implementation planner contains:

    • Guidance around goal setting
    • Reflection section (What worked, didn’t work and what to change and next steps.)
    • Prompting questions

    Implementation planner template

    Implementation planner with examples

    Set your professional learning goal for:

    Work discovery
    You can set and save your goal for inclusive practices using inclusionED. Saved goals will appear in your profile. Here you can access, refine and review your goal easily.

    Benefits of goal setting

    Setting, working towards, and reflecting on goals helps you grow professionally and improve your practice. You can access AITSL learning resources for teachers to learn more about:
    How to set goals
    The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership recommends using the SMART matrix to frame your goal setting.

    SMART goals refers to goals that are:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-phased
    Read more about Improving teaching practices.


    Teacher notes: Teaching to diversity using myWAY Educator

    Glossary booklet - Training Pathways

    Glossary booklet - Work Experience

    Glossary booklet - Workplace Safey

    Job role: Event Promotion - 1 Helping hand

    Job role: Event Promotion - 2 Helping hands

    Job role: Event Promotion - 3 Helping hands

    Job description: Speaker liaison - 1 Helping hand

    Job description: Speaker liaison - 2 Helping hands

    Job description: Speaker liaison - 3 Helping hands

    Speaker invitation letter

    You can copy, amend, and use the text in this word document

    Speaker invitation letter

    Job description: Event MC - 1 Helping hand

    Job description: Event MC - 3 Helping hands

    MC Order of Event

    You can copy, amend, and use the text in this word document

    Job description: Reporter - 1 Helping hand

    Job description: Reporter - 2 Helping hands

    Job description: Reporter - 3 Helping hands

    Teacher notes - Work Experience - Cloze activity

    Student worksheet - 1 Helping hand - Cloze activity

    Student worksheet - 2 Helping hands - Cloze activity

    Student worksheet - 3 Helping hands - Cloze activity

    Teacher notes - Work Experience - Journal writing

    Student worksheet: Journal writing - 1 Helping hand

    Student worksheet: Journal writing - 2 Helping hands

    Teacher notes- Work experience - Role playing

    Student worksheet: Role playing - 1 Helping hand

    Student worksheet - 2 Helping hands - Role playing

    Student worksheet - 3 Helping hands - Role playing

    Teacher notes - Workplace safety

    Student worksheet: Workplace safety - 1 Helping hand

    Student worksheet: Workplace safety - 2 Helping hands

    Related Practices

    This practice is from the core research project