Café Chattie is a School to Work program initially funded by the Education Department to foster and develop work skills. It is now a self-sustaining program which is continually being enhanced.
Each semester 15 year 10 students attend a Barista training course for a day at a registered RTO in the city. The school funds half the cost of the training course. The students are then required to work in the Café one morning per week and twice a term on a Friday morning in periods 2&3.
The café serves teachers and senior students only. The baristas rotate around a variety of jobs: coffee making, milk frothing, taking orders and serving customers.
Once they have completed the semester they may be invited to become supervisors of the incoming trainees.
The participants, once they have completed the program end up with three certificates for their resume. We have had success with several of the Baristas obtaining part time jobs after their program has finished.
Café Chattie not only provides students with additional qualifications for their resume , it also promotes confidence and leadership skills and allows the students to develop a rapport with their teachers outside the classroom and mingle with their older peers.
We began our café in the old staff common room, as the idea took off with great success we managed to relocate closer to our kitchens and food prep area. At that time we were still using spare school desks and chairs for the café. Over the last few years our café has evolved into an up to date trendy café with an outdoor area to sit and relax. We have recently had bi-fold windows installed which gives the cafe a far more appealing look and inviting atmosphere.
Café Chattie Photo Gallery: View here
"Café Chattie is one of my favourite areas of the school. Not only does it serve great coffee and delicious food, but it provides students with the opportunity to gain work experience as well. In my experience at the café, I have thoroughly enjoyed the sense of community it creates between the students working and the teachers coming in. The café is a wonderful part of Chatswood High School!"
"The café is a great work experience for students and creates a happy atmosphere for teachers and student to enjoy coffee. Working in Café Chattie has been one of my most memorable experiences in high school and is a great environment to be a part in. Café Chattie provides students the skills and knowledge of working as a barista and is a wonderful addition to the Chatswood High School community."
"Although the early mornings were hard at times, it was all worth it when I got there. Cafe Chattie allowed me to make friends, while learning and experiencing new things. During my experience, I learnt service skills, social skills and how to make a good cup of coffee, both these skills made it 100 times easier for me to get a job. After my 1 year working at Cafe Chattie, I would definitely recommend it to anyone going into year 10, as it gave me experience and I had a good time working with the lovely supervisors and staff. Thank you Mrs Hunter!!"