Atherton State School
Location: Atherton, Far North Queensland
Atherton State School is a dynamic and very complex large school with 495 enrolled students – 35% are Indigenous, 5% are EALD, 16% identify as being from a low socio economic background.
How Atherton State School has used Gonski funding
Atherton State School has been allocated $270000 in additional funding in the 2016 and also again in the 2017 school year. This has enabled the school to purchase and invest in the following:
- Purchase of dedicated reading teachers to assist with on the ground teaching of key reading concepts to students on a daily basis. This targeted program focuses on the basics of the teaching of reading using hands on, physical resources and digital media to engage student learning.
- Purchase of additional Guidance Officer time at the school to deal with the increase in students identifying as or suspected of having a mental health concern.
- Purchase of additional Speech Language time to assist with the development of targeted speech language services in the junior school area.
- Purchase of two classroom sets of laptops to assist with student learning and development.
- Funded an Early Years Development Program at the school two days a week for 4 year olds to prepare them for school the following year.
- Utilised funding to take teachers off-line for collaborative planning and curriculum development opportunities with neighbouring schools.
- Utilised funding to allow students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to attend camp and school excursions – without the funding they would not be able to attend.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
- Student attendance has increased.
- Student achievement data, especially in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy, has increased 15%.
- Student morale has increased significantly.
- More students are able to access critical support through the school’s Guidance Officer.
- Greater satisfaction in the school from parents.
- Students entering Prep are better equipped and ready for learning thanks to the early years program.
What Atherton State School could do with Gonski funding in the future
- Continue the same programs as they are working.
- Purchase further Guidance Officer and Speech Language Pathologist time
- Purchase of a school nurse in a fractional capacity
- Upgrade the school’s home readers and library stock to engage students