Bingara Central School News: Week 4, Term 3 (August 12, 2010)

August 15, 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to explain how this significant round of funding has been distributed here at school.

The funding, provided by the Australian Government, was for the purpose of lifting educational outcomes, particularly in Numeracy and Literacy in targeted schools. Our school plan, to meet this challenge, has taken a three pronged approach.

The first was to provide the best physical resources we could create and to this end we have already made some small but significant improvements in some secondary classrooms and installed interactive white boards in all secondary classrooms. All primary classrooms will also have interactive whiteboards once the current building works (funded separately) are completed towards the end of this year.

Our second approach has been to improve teacher quality. We have teachers involved in a range of teacher training initiatives. Teachers are supported in developing networks with other schools to broaden their experience and bring fresh ideas into school. Teachers are encouraged to engage in further training to improve their skillset in the classroom. Just as an example this week Brooke Marshall, Scot Crispin and Nikiah Harris from Secondary are participating in Accelerated Literacy training. In addition we have regular, co-ordinated and ongoing progress of teacher training within school from which all teachers benefit. 

The third prong is targeted intervention programs, designed to lift individual student performance. Three examples of these are Reading Recovery, Quicksmart and Speech Pathology.

While focused on Year 1 students our Reading Recovery, co-ordinated between Jared Fuller and Bec Brien, has been expanded to also include Year 2 students. The Quicksmart numeracy program covers from Year 5 to Year 9. Tutors Lissy McDouall, Ray Allen, Kate Muir and Co-ordinator Robyn Gasson conduct lessons in a dedicated laboratory and our work has been recognised as a model for implementation across our region.

Speech Pathologist Linda Foskey has concentrated her work in infants but is now expanding her assessment into upper Primary.  I believe we have taken full advantage of this funding in this well balanced and co-ordinated approach and I thank Primary Assistant Principal Alison Johnson for her role in developing and implementing this approach. 

What is important now is to identify the improvement in student learning outcomes that we expect to flow from this plan. I expect that it will take some time. An important measure of these improvements will include success in NAPLAN, School Certificate and Higher School Certificate assessments.

A less easily defined improvement will be in levels of student and family satisfaction with the opportunities provided by the school for students. It is our goal to establish and maintain a strong culture of the value of learning and the satisfaction of achieving success at school. I am confident,  as a whole Kindergarten to Year 12 school, that we are on the right path to achieving this.

Mark Vale,