St. Therese`s Community School

Report
St. Therese’s
Community
School
Successful Engagement
In
Education
A journey from 2010
St. Therese’s Community School
- Situated in Wilcannia, NSW Outback – 200km from
nearest town of Broken Hill
- Paakantji Land
- Catholic School - Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
- Infants school K-2
- 34 students enrolled
- At present all students Aboriginal
- 6 full time teachers
3 classroom teachers
3 off class teachers
Learning Support / Special Ed Teacher
Wellbeing Teacher
Principal
- 14 staff members altogether (7 are Paakantji People)
Come to School
With Us
DVD
The Learner at St.
Therese’s Community
School
What we know…
Data Collection
Enrolment remains static averaging 7 new kindergarten students
each year
Movement rate to/from Wilcannia approx. 20% students
2009 school attendance rate was 69%
At the start of 2010 only 55% of students saw what they are doing in
the classroom as ‘learning new things’
High level of behaviour referrals eg. students climbing on roofs,
running out of classroom/school, swearing, violence, etc.
End of 2009 whole school average instructional reading was level 4
Data collected 2010-2011
from visiting Speech Therapist, Occupational
Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Child
Psychologist and Child Paediatrician
 25%
of students with severe language disorders
 50% of Kinder enrolments 2010 were
developmentally delayed
 20% of students suspected Foetal Alcohol
Syndrome
 36% of students with high needs (behavioural,
social, emotional)
 30% of students SWD funded
The Learner
Factors that can impact future learning
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Loss & Grief
Trauma
Substance Abuse exposure
Separation (break-up, jail)
Domestic Violence exposure
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Attendance
High behavioural needs
Visible signs of neglect
Students with Disabilities
The Community of Wilcannia
Wilcannia
Challenges facing Wilcannia
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Unemployment
Housing
Health – life expectancy
Alcohol and drug abuse
Domestic violence
Remote Service Delivery Community

Remote service delivery is a commitment by governments to work with
Indigenous communities to improve the delivery of services to 29 priority remote
communities across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New
South Wales and South Australia.

The aim is to improve access to government services and facilities, raise the
quality of these services, and better support Indigenous community
governance and leadership.

Communities chosen because of high need for improvement and opportunity
for potential

COAG has agreed to six targets and associated timelines for Closing the Gap:
1. Close the life expectancy gap within a generation;
2. Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a
decade;
3. Ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four years olds
in remote communities within five years;
4. Halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children
within a decade;
5. Halve the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment or equivalent
attainment rates by 2020, and
6. Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians within a decade.
SPOTLIGHT ON WILCANNIA
Remote Service Delivery
Community
What the Research is saying…
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Belonging, Being and Becoming
The Early Years Learning Framework, Dept of Education
Teaching Reading: Report and Recommendations from the National Inquiry into the
Teaching of Literacy
Dept of Education
Calmer Classrooms – A guide to Working with Traumatised Children
State Government Victoria
How People Learn
John Bransford
Play Matters
Kathy Walker
Teaching Children with Reading Difficulties
Deslea Konza
Visible Learning
John Hattie
Six Secrets of Change
Michael Fullen
Two Way Teaching and Learning
Purdie, Milgate and Bell
School Framework
Purposeful – Positive
A Clear Direction and Vision
the
ren
oups
Education
Catholic
Education
Office
School Staff
Principal
Religious
Education
Coordinator
Lead
Teacher
Learning
Support
Teacher
ICT
Teacher
Classroom
Teachers
Whole
School
Literacy
Groups
First
Steps
Jolly
Phonics
Peak Hill
Sight
Word
Program
Agreed
Numeracy
Practice
Sharing
our
Story
First
Steps
Maths
Whole
School
Prayer
Mathletics
Godly
Play
Aboriginal
Spirituality
Meditation
Paakantji
Cultural
Programs
Integrated
Units
Paakantji
Language
Circle (meet
once a term)
Community
Support and
helpers
ICT
Support
Staff
National
Partnership
Program
Board of
Studies
Agreed
Literacy
Practice
AEWs
Play Based
Learning &
Structured
Playground
Flexible
Learning
Personal
Learning
Plans
(PLPs)
St. Lucy’s
Special
School
- visiting tchrs
- Skype
lessons
- Arts/Tech
Early
Childhood
Focus
Group
(meet once
a term)
Assessment
and
Reporting
Cu
Imm
Pro
(start
Instru
D
a
Abo
Imm
Expe
Health
Maari Ma
Nutrition
Maari Ma
Dental
fund 15 hour
a week staff
member
- fund recess
and lunch,
milk cheese
break
fully fund
toothpaste
and
toothbrushes
- in class
lessons once
a term
Mercy
Action
Group
Fund
breakfast
program
each month
Paediatrician
Dept. Rural
Health
Referrals by
teachers or
parents
- Once a month
visit (3-4
students each
visit)
- Assessment
done on
referrals
- Uni students
(Speech, O.T
- 6 day visits
per term
St. Lucy’s
Special
School
School Based
Health
- Speech
Therapist and
Occ. Therapist
visit for 3 days
every term
First Aid
person
- PD/H
curriculum
- Transport to
Doctor’s if
needed
Wilcannia
Kids
Support
Coordinator
Initial stages
of
development
of this role by
Aboriginal
Affairs NSW
Parent &
Community
Engagement
Comm
Working
Party
(meet
once a
month)
Wilcannia
Inter
agency
Group
(meet once
a month)
School
Open
Days
School
Committee
(meet once
a term)
Birthday
Assemblies
Brighter
Futures
Parenting
Programs
Comm
Visits
(once a
month)
Transport
for
funerals
Wilcannia
Comm
Dinners
Morning
and
Afternoon
bus runs
Newpaper
Newsletter
and Website
Come to
School With
Us
DVD
P
Wellbeing
Wellbeing
Teacher
2 year
funded
position
through
RSD
Royal
Flying
Doctor’s
Psych
Student
referrals
from
school
and
parents
(once a
week)
Julie
Hollitt
Ed.
Psych
Referrals
classroom
support
(Once a
year)
Early
Childhood
Counsellor
Funded
through
Save the
Children
(2 days a
week)
Child
Mental
Health
(Broken
Hill)
School
based
programs
2012
Far West
Child
Develop
and
Wellbeing
Group
Early
Process of
developin
g group
Wilcannia
Case
Coordination
Group
School
Based
Programs
and
Support
Client &
Family
service
referrals
(met once
a month)
Seasons
for
Growth
Counsellor
(once a
term)
Restorative
Practice
AEW
Supervision
support
(CEO)
One-onone
intensive
support
work
including
sand play
Staff
Supervision
Beginning
Teacher
Mentoring
Principal
Mentoring
Best Practice / Successful Engagement
– Learner as Centre
Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs)
1. Attendance
2. Behaviour
3. Learning
Teacher
Team
AEW
PLP
Student voice & parent voice
included
Student
Parent
Restorative Practice
Building, Maintaining and
Restoring Positive Relationships
Consistency – Fair Process
Circle Time
Encouraging self-regulation and
independence
At St. Therese’s School we are safe and friendly learners
Holistic Approach
Nutrition Program
Breakfast, Fruit, Cooked Lunch
Dental Program
Seasons for Growth
Dealing with Loss and Grief
Prayer and Religious Education/Spirituality
Speech Programs
Intensive individual/small group programs
Occupational Therapy Programs
Intensive individual/small group programs
Wellbeing Programs
Intensive individual/small group programs
Structures/routine/organisation
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Visual Timetables
Predictability
Quiet Time (Music)
Flexible Learning
Stable, safe environment
Change over of staff
Unstructured, unstable home lives
Structured Playground
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Engaging equipment
Staff involvement
Restorative Practice Framework
Social Skill development
Proactive
ICT
• Effective resources for
engagement and learning
15 ipads
2 ipods
2 flip cameras
1 video cameras
15 netbooks
10 XO laptops
4 Interactive Whiteboards
1 Listening Post
• Lack of ICT in homes
• Skype Lessons
• Digital World
Resources
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National Partnership Funded
Engaging & effective
Hands on use
Student ownership
Classroom – set up for success
• Spaces
Quiet, Reading
• Behaviour Management
R.P. – Consistent, Fair, Firm
• Classroom Management
Visuals
• Set the Scene
Now - then
• Lesson breaks
OT activities / songs
• Observation
Learner as Centre - flexibility
Play Based Learning
Some of our students
have missed this
early part of their
development
Why Play…
• Develops decision making skills
• Encourages them to accept
responsibility for their learning and
behaviour
• Increases opportunities for language
development
• Builds motivation among children and
allows for self direction
• Supports children in understanding
cooperation and group values
• Builds self confidence in children
• Fosters a child’s sense of imagination
and curiosity
• Supports children developing a sense
of self and identity.
Adult is there to guide, evoke,
challenge, support, extend
Aboriginal Education Workers
(AEWs)
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Cultural Support
Community
Support
Classroom
assistance
Role models
plus much more
 Aboriginal
Education Workers (AEWs)
Professional Learning Plan
TARGETS
To establish clarity of roles, tasks, timetables and legal obligations in the classroom, playground and community.
To provide professional learning and practices based on current research for children in remote communities.
To acknowledge the critical role played by AEWs in the education of these children and to build confidence, capacity
and leadership.
Term 1
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Child protection/duty of care workshop 
Workshop with NPs facilitator 
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Clarification of roles and responsibilities
Literacy workshop ICT workshop -
Skype to form professional networks
Professional Learning Conversation Wilson
(To be confirmed)
Ongoing support for implementation of PLPs –
Staff.
Term 3
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Child protection/duty of care 
Literacy workshop 
ICT workshop -
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Individualized plan for each AEW
Workshop with NPs facilitator -
O'Callaghan
Professional Learning Conversation Wilson
Ongoing support for implementation of PLPs –
Staff.
Diocesan staff
Liz O'Callaghan
STCS staff
Robert Fajks
Merindah
Term 2
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Workshop with NPs facilitator 
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Dio & School
Diocesan staff
STCS staff
Robert Fajks
Liz
Merindah
Dio & School
ICT workshop
Tessa Franks and
Merindah Wilson
Smartboard training.
Ongoing support for implementation of PLPs – Dio &
School Staff.
Professional Learning Conversation - Merindah
Wilson
Term 4
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Workshop with NPs facilitator 

Liz O'Callaghan
Behaviour and well-being workshops - Restorative Practices
Liz O'Callaghan
Behaviour and well-being workshops - Restorative Practices
ICT workshop
Robert Fajks
(To be confirmed)
Ongoing support for implementation of PLPs – Dio &
School Staff.
Paakantji Culture &
Language Program
Culture & Community
• Paakantji means ‘River People’
• Paakantji Land runs along the Darling River
• School Paakantji Cultural Program important
- developed over 30 years
- contributed to by well over 50 people
- generations
• Documenting the language and cultural history
- Space within school
- Photos
- Songs
- Posters
• Community Centre – in the works
Integrated Units
Stage 1 (Yr 1 & Yr 2)
Two Year Cycle
Even Years
Odd Years
Focus
Early Stage 1
(Kindergarten)
Identity
Me
My Family
Belonging
Energy
Moving
Our Land
Transport
Environm
ent
Our Place
People in my
Community
Places in my
Community
Change &
Growth
My Changes
Growing & Changing
Past, Present, Future
Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4
Early Stage 1 Unit of Work
Term
Unit of Work
Linked with
Foundation
Statements
1
Me
Students
develop an
understanding
of who they are
through
identifying
personal
characteristics
and qualities as
well as the parts
of their bodies
and they
explore their
immediate
environment by
using their
senses
Moving
KEY LEARNING AREAS
HSIE
CUES1
Communicates
some common
characteristics
that all people
share, as well as
some of the
differences.
CCES1
Describes events
or retells stories
that demonstrate
their own
heritage and the
heritage of
others.
CUES1
Communicates
some common
Science &
Technolgy
LTES1.3
Identifies ways
in which living
things are
different and
have different
needs
ICES1.2
Recognises and
uses various
means of
communication
UTES1.9
Identifies and
uses a limited
range of
computer based
technology when
undertaking
exploration and
production
PPES1.4
Explores and
identifies ways
Creative Arts
VAES1.1
Makes simple
pictures and other
kinds of artworks
about things and
experiences.
MUES1.1
Participates in
simple speech,
singing, playing and
moving activities.
DRAES1.1
Uses imagination
and the elements of
drama in
imaginative play
and dramatic
situations.
DAES1.1
Participates in
dance activities and
demonstrates an
awareness of body
parts, control over
movement and
expressive qualities.
VAES1.2
Experiments with a
range of media in
PD/H/PE
Paakantji Cultural
Studies
PHES1.12
1.UL.1
Displays basic positive Recognises and responds
health practices
to words, phrases and
IRES1.11
simple sentences in
Identifies how
Aboriginal language
1.UL.2
individuals care for
each other
Identifies and responds to
DMES1.2
features of written
Identifies some
languages
1.UL.3
options available
when making simple
Uses known words in
decisions
Aboriginal languages to
COES1.1
interact in everyday
Expresses feelings,
situations
1.MBC.2
needs and wants in
appropriate ways
Identifies cultural
practices and relates
these to personal
experiences
Paakantji Language
- Facial Parts
- Body Parts
- Colours
Paakantji Songs
- Miki, Munga, Yalka
- WallTall&Walkbout
- Clap your mara
- Flag Song
- Yaalthi Yuri
-Totem Song
Paakantji Culture
- Senses / hunting, danger,
cooking
- Totems
- Hunting (tools)
MOES1.4
Demonstrates a
general awareness of
1.UL.1
Recognises and responds
to words, phrases and
Paakantji Language Circle
• Meets four times a year
• Menidee, Broken Hill and
Wilcannia Schools
• Staff who teach Paakantji
Language in schools along
with Principals
• Developing Units of Work for
the teaching of Paakantji
Language
• Development of a website
• Employment of a Paakantji
Language Community Worker
• Sharing ideas, strategies, issues
• Supported by the Board Of
Studies
Community Events & Bush Trips
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Community Visits
NAIDOC – schools & community
Agencies and NGOs organised events
Wilcannia Central School
Mutawintji Open Air Camp
Various significant sites/locations in
Wilcannia and surroundings
- bush tucker
- bush medicine
- Old ways
Publications and Promotion
• My Mara Love to Clap
• The Naked Boy and the
Crocodile
• Falling Star
• The Moon and the Gecko
• The Galah and the Frilled
Neck Lizard
• Bush Tucker Dreaming
• Down River ‘Wilcannia Mob’
Aboriginal Spirituality &
Religion
• Whole School Prayer
- Creator Spirit
- Meaningful to own experiences
- Songs / Action
• Relaxation/Meditation
- Quiet music
- Quiet calm spaces
- Gardening
• Dreamtime Stories
• Sharing our Story
- River Bank to Classroom
- Adapting units – relevant/meaningful
- Creative Arts
Passionate
Positive
Proactive
Staff Wellbeing & Support
Factors with living in a Remote Aboriginal Community
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Isolation
Travel
Networks (family/friends)
Access to services
Cost
Close living with colleagues
Cultural differences
Work life - Home life
Increased community involvement (always on)
Supporting Teachers at St. Therese’s Community School
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School support
Principal/Mentor
CEO support
Isolation allowance
Western Leave Days
Staff supervision
Specialist support each term
Professional Development
Accommodation – new teacher housing mid 2012
Colleagues / Site
Recent Graduate Support
(Developed School Wellbeing Document)
Partnerships
St Lucy’s School Wahroonga
Speech and Occupational Therapist every term
Maari Ma Health
Nutrition and Dental Programs
Paediatrician
Nutrition Worker
Save the Children
Intensive Supported Playgroups
Social Welfare Role
Brighter Futures and Centacare
Parent Groups
Other school link ups
Improving Student Attendance

Full nutrition program
(breakfast, fruit, milk and cheese, cooked lunch)
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Bus pick ups and drop offs
(start at 8.30am – keep going back)

Safe & Engaging environment
(technology, resources, events, open days)

AEW involvement & support
(community perspective)

Individualised Attendance Targets
(connected with PLPs)

Staffing – teacher:student ratio
(behavioural/emotional/social/academic)

Involvement in various meetings/groups focusing on attendance
(identify some of the real issues – connect families to support, Brighter Futures, Centacare, Safe
Families)

Connection with Wilcannia Central School and FaCSHIA
(communicate common attendance message to community)
Succession Planning
 Education
Plans developed on all KLAs
 Classroom Lessons ‘best practice’ filmed
 Staff Handbook developed
 3 Year Restorative Practices Plan
 School Annual Plans link to Professional
Learning Plan which is linked to
Professional Learning Cycle (PLCs)
 National Partnerships Plan (4 year)
 Remote Service Delivery Plan (4 year)
ALL LINKED TOGETHER
Strategies for Engagement & Learning
Learning and Teaching Practices DVD
Kindergarten Observational Survey Results
(Average Score)
2009
2010
2011
44
38.5
34.7
29
22.6
17.2
15.8
12.2
8.5
3.07 3.4
5.25
Reading Level
4
11.6
10.2
14.2 13.5
4.9
Letter ID (out of 54) Word Test (out of 15)
Writing Vocab
HRSIW (out of 37)
C.A.P. (out of 24)
Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) Observational Survey Results
(Average Score)
2010
50
2011
51.7
30.1
26.2
26
21.1
16.9
13
8.25
Reading Level
18.2
12.2
9.8
Letter ID (out of 54) Word Test (out of 15)
Writing Vocab
HRSIW (out of 37)
C.A.P. (out of 24)
Te
rm
Te 1 2
rm 00
Te 2 2 7
rm 00
Te 3 2 7
rm 00
Te 4 2 7
rm 00
Te 1 2 7
rm 00
Te 2 2 8
rm 00
Te 3 2 8
rm 00
Te 4 2 8
rm 00
Te 1 2 8
rm 00
Te 2 2 9
rm 00
Te 3 2 9
rm 00
Te 4 2 9
rm 00
Te 1 2 9
rm 01
Te 2 2 0
rm 01
Te 3 2 0
rm 01
Te 4 2 0
rm 01
Te 1 2 0
rm 01
Te 2 2 1
rm 01
Te 3 2 1
rm 01
4 1
20
11
Attendance Data
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Overall School Attendance (Yearly
Percentages)
‘Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their
full potential.’
Reflection and Questions
Invitation to ask a question or share a
comment or thought
Thank you

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