Emerald State School
Location: Central Queensland
Emerald State School has a socially and economically diverse enrolment of around 340 primary students, about half of whom are from low income backgrounds. 3% of students are Aboriginal, 8% are from non-English-speaking backgrounds, and there are a small number of students with disabilities who are integrated into mainstream classes with the support of specialist school-based staff.
How Emerald State School has used Gonski funding
Over 2014-2016, Emerald SS has received about $313,000 in Gonski funding. These funds have been directed towards ambitious targets for improvement in both reading and writing achievement levels, using a range of strategies including professional learning for teachers and support staff, pedagogical coaching for teachers, use of specific targeted programs for students, curriculum review and better use of data analysis, and building greater parent engagement with the school.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
The extra funding has provided both time and expertise to build staff capabilities in effective teaching and support strategies, and improved capacity data analysis to inform teaching practice to better identify and target student learning needs. These changes have resulted in significant improvement in NAPLAN results and student achievement. The funds have also boosted leadership support with the school establishing a part-time Master Teacher in Literacy to supplement the leadership provided by the Principal and part-time Deputy Principal.
What the continuation of Gonski funding means to Emerald State School
Principal Rhonda Jones says that the level of provision and at the school and the quality of profession development for staff will suffer if the funding is discontinued. She says, “if the capacity to bring in experts to work with …staff on proven improvement strategies …. [is] lost it is difficult to see how the level of improvement in student literacy achievement could be maintained.”