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Report
From Dead to Deadly
Holy Spirit School
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Histories and Cultures
Traditional Ownership
We acknowledge the traditional owners
and custodians of this land we visit.
We respect and are grateful for the
wisdom of the Elders – past, present,
future, their dedication to their
communities and for preserving the
knowledge and rich cultural heritage of
the natural resources for all.
Conversation
The Aboriginal flag
What are the rewards
and challenges of
embedding Aboriginal
and Torres Strait
Islander Cultures and
Histories into our
Curriculum?
The Torres Strait Islander flag
EL&QR 2012
3
Who are We?
HSS PROFILE
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Holy Spirit School is a large P-7 Catholic Primary
School.
Current enrolment is approaching 900 students.
5 Year 5 Classes in 2013
4 Streams at each year level.
3 Curriculum Developers
1 School Counsellor
2 Teachers for Students with Special Needs
3 Learning Support Teachers
1 Technology Teacher
1 Librarian
24 Special Needs Students
35 Students on Personal Learning Plans (PLPs)
66 Students with Individual Learning Plans
Australian Curriculum- where?
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It is one of the three cross curriculum
perspectives
Moving from Dead to Deadly…
What
are the
BIG 5?
Moving beyond the BIG 5…
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Bush tucker
Dreaming stories
Artefacts
Dot paintings
Comparing lifestyles
Organising ideas: Country/Place
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Australia has two distinct Indigenous groups,
Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
maintain a special connection to and responsibility for
Country/Place throughout all of Australia.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have
unique belief systems and are spiritually connected to
the land, sea, sky and waterways.
Wulgurukaba
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Wulgurukaba means ‘canoe people’.
The canoes were made from the
corkwood tree as the bark was thick and
light. The people lived off the sea for
thousands of years. Families would fish,
and collect sea shells and other coastal
items.
Bindal
Organising ideas: Culture
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies
have many Language Groups.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’
ways of life are uniquely expressed through
ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
have lived in Australia for tens of thousands
of years and experiences can be viewed
through historical, social and political lenses.
• Culture
Wulgurukaba
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Cultural Heritage items of 
the Wulgurukaba people
include: shell middens,
stone tools, art sites and
burial sites.
Aboriginal people
chipped stone into an axe 
shape and then
sharpened by grinding
the edges on sandstone.
Bindal
There are some important
Bindal rock art sites near
Townsville which show
dreaming stories, native
animals (turtle, wallaby
and possum).
Rock art in the area also
displays symbols of
shields and bora rings.
Cultural Identity
Comes from having access to:
•Your culture – its institutions, land, language,
knowledge, social resources, economic
resources.
•The institutions of the community (lifestyle) –
its codes for living (social and environmental),
nutrition, safety, protection of physical, spiritual
and emotional integrity of children and families.
•Cultural expression and cultural endorsement.
(DEEWR, 2010, p. 22)
EL&QR 2012
17
Organising ideas: People
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The broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander societies encompass a diversity of
nations across Australia.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
have sophisticated family and kinship
structures
 Australia acknowledges the significant
contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people locally and globally.
Professor Rhonda Craven
University of Western Sydney
A Cycle of Learning
Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
histories and cultures is a cycle of learning involving:
• Understanding of students, community,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
protocols and knowledge frameworks
• Curriculum, assessment and reporting
• School culture and environment
• Strong community partnerships
20
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander frameworks
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Holistic approach to Indigenous studies
My Land My Tracks: A framework for the holistic
approach to Indigenous studies was developed by
Ernie Grant, Dijirabal/Djirrabal Elder and published by
the Innisfail and District Education Centre. The
holistic approach to learning promotes cross-cultural
understanding.
www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/indigenous/services/culturallocal.html
Holistic Planning and Teaching
Framework My Land My Tracks
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Developed by Ernie Grant Dijrabal/Djirrabal
Elder from Tully, North Queensland
Holistic Planning and Teaching
Framework
A local Elder
 Historical figure
 Artefact e.g. digeridoo
 Local area study
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Cross Curriculum Priorities
BUT…
Out of 135 content descriptors across
Foundation to 6
Only 31 are Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander
Out of 181 content descriptors across 7-10
Only 13 are Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander
HSS Curriculum Planning
Planning
Prep Unit
Year 2
Year 4
Year 3
Year 6
Holistic Planning and Teaching
Framework
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Schools and school communities are encouraged to
find out about their local Indigenous history and
stories from their region.
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It is important to connect with your local Indigenous
community through local families at the school or
local Indigenous organisations.
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Holistic Planning and Teaching Framework My Land,
My Tracks by Uncle Ernie Grant is an excellent
resource for doing this.
“Take me Home” Gowrie Boys
Yarning Circle
http://www.theyarningcircle.com/
Yarning Circle
Yarning Circle® Creator, Lee Townsend, is an
Aboriginal woman born and raised in Blacktown, NSW.
During her role with the Commonwealth Employment
Services she was involved with young people looking
for work. Many of these young people needed
assistance in gaining the necessary skills to participate
fully in today's modern world. Lee set her heart on
giving them that assistance. Making a life-changing
decision she redirected her career and joined the
Australian Catholic University to study Primary School
Teaching.
Yarning Circle
Student speaks when they have the
object
 Turn taking
 Deep listening
 Open and honest sharing
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Yarning Circle
Yarning Circle
NAIDOC WEEK
Holy Spirit School community sets aside
Term 3 Week 2 for NAIDOC
celebrations.
 We also celebrate other cultural events
throughout the year – where appropriate
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8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning
Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new
way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others.
This is a pedagogy framework that allows teachers to include Aboriginal perspectives by using
Aboriginal learning techniques.
It came from a research project involving DET staff, James Cook University’s School of
Indigenous Studies and the Western New South Wales Regional Aboriginal Education Team
between 2007 and 2009.
Every place, every People, has its own unique pedagogies. These 8 simple ones
are merely a starting point for dialogue. Each school engages in a different way,
and produces its own unique frameworks for Aboriginal education
through dialogue with the community about local ways of doing things.
Building Partnerships
Classroom teachers meet with their
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
students’ parents.
 We have meetings with Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander representatives.
 The school has made connections with
local elders.
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
parents and community members are
involved in activities at our school.
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Meeting Individual Needs
We track the literacy and numeracy
outcomes of our Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander students.
 All our Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander students have Personal Learning
Plans. These plans are a result of
individual meetings with the child and their
family and the class teacher.
 PLP Template
 PLP Interactive Site
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Resources
8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Education Action Plan
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Fact Sheet
 Pinterest: Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander histories and cultures
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To find out more
For more information or resources:
[email protected]
[email protected]

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