No bells, no uniforms…learning your way

Zech and some of his fellow Gordon students.

Zech Horvath’s enthusiasm for adventure and academic excellence knows no bounds as he prepares to embark on the journey of a lifetime while completing his VCE at The Gordon.

But, you might ask – how does he do it all?

Zech’s upcoming journey to walk the historic Kokoda Trail as part of Geelong’s Kokoda Youth Program represents the flexibility students can unlock to gain real-life experiences when they choose to complete school at TAFE.

“It’s so unreal, the chance to go overseas with a group of fantastic teenagers and adults and get the chance to walk this amazing trail with so much Australian history behind it is truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” he says.

At The Gordon, students only need to be on campus when they have classes. Small class sizes mean one-on-one opportunities with teachers in a supportive adult learning environment, without bells or uniforms.

With a curriculum encompassing subjects like legal studies, psychology, mathematics, English, and his favourite, outdoor education, Zech has found the perfect blend of academic studies and hands-on learning.

“I came to The Gordon after a decade of home-schooling. I heard good things about VCE through TAFE, it felt like the right choice,” says Zech.

“I really enjoy the adult learning environment. The respect I feel from the teachers makes me feel like I’m not just another VCE student going through Year 11.”

Senior college principal Gavin Wake said a standout feature of studying VCE at The Gordon is the integration of vocational education within the senior secondary curriculum. This approach allows students to gain hands-on experience in their field of interest, making learning more applied and relevant to real-world scenarios.

Gavin praised Zech’s dedication and adaptability.

“His achievements in Year 11 have been commendable,” he says.

“The ability to balance rigorous academic coursework with practical skill development is indicative of a dedicated and hardworking student poised for success in his future as he takes his place in the big wide world.”

Looking ahead, Zech has his sights set on a gap year before pursuing studies in aerospace engineering and one day moving to the USA.

“Other than that, I’m really looking forward to turning 18 and being able to drive to school, as well as being on the home stretch, as far as my adolescent education goes,” he says.

Looking to complete senior secondary school in an alternative setting or wanting to return to study? Learn more about our VCE programs at