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Elizabeth Macarthur High School

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Location: Narellan, NSW

EMHS is a partially selective and comprehensive high school serving the South West Sydney growth corridor. We have 1180 students, 60 aboriginal students and 20% ELAD. We rarely get funding as our FOEI is 100 but we struggle to support students with disability and with a learning difficulty.

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

With the Gonski funding we were able to employ a teacher to take a literacy lesson with all of stage 4 and buy a literacy and numeracy program. We have tested all students and plotted them on the learning continuum and trained staff in Multi Lit. These programs and the staff release have allowed us to teacher students who do not read and write at grade level to have intensive intervention.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

Over the past 2 years our literacy results have continued to improve so that we have state average numbers of students at or exceeding state benchmarks. This has also had a positive impact on HSC results where we have for the first time had a child on the NESA honor roll, but more importantly had successful integration of students into apprenticeships and traineeships instead of just a job, as they have the literacy and numeracy skills to train in a trade. 25% of our year 12 cohort received early entry into UNI. 40% received uni offer. 20% went to TAFE or apprenticeship.

What could your school do with Gonski funding in the future?

We would employ a permanent literacy teacher to work on all students to move them up one or two marks, this would see almost all our students reach minimum standards, We would also ensure that we had all our stage 4 and 5 students receive intensive support. We would also employ more SSLOs to support students and create a senior study for stage 6 students to receive support

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