Burwood Girls High School
Location: Burwood, suburban Sydney NSW
Burwood Girls High School, in Sydney’s inner west, has an enrolment of 1200 students from highly-diverse ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Many students, and 40% of staff, have English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD); about 68 languages are represented across 75% of students, and there are a large number of newly-arrived students in Years 9, 10 and 11 who have graduated from Intensive English Centres. More than 200 students require intensive EALD support, and about 77 have been identified as needing additional learning support.
How Burwood Girls High School has used Gonski funding
BGHS has focussed $145,000 of Gonski funding on provision of additional English language support – including establishment of a Bridging Class - for those who most need it, and helping to develop background knowledge of Australia so students can better understand cultural references in the curriculum. There are enhanced mentoring and leadership programs for students, improved connections between the school and students’ families, and increased student engagement in the school through the engagement of Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) to work with the school’s Chinese, Korean and Pacific Islander communities. Comprehensive professional learning for mainstream teachers has developed their knowledge and skills in supporting improved learning outcomes for ESL students.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
Principal Mia Kumar says, “Gonski funding has enabled the school to plan and expand programs designed to ensure equity for all students.”
What Burwood Girls High School could do with Gonski funding in the future
The full Gonski funding would allow BGHS to embed and expand its whole-school equity program through expansion of CLOs to reflect the school’s size and cultural diversity, establishment of a regular after-school tutorial centre with specialist expertise to improve academic performance of EALD students, engagement of additional support for students with learning disabilities, and more targeted professional learning opportunities for staff around curriculum differentiation, EALD teaching strategies, and improved assessment of student achievement.
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