Berserker Street State School
Location: Rockhampton, regional Queensland
Berserker Street State School, located in the Rockhampton QLD, has an enrolment of 490 students, most of whom are from low-income backgrounds. Indigenous students comprise 30% of the school’s population, and 42% of its Prep students, while about 60 students are from non-English-speaking backgrounds including Pacific Islanders and refugee children with no formal education of English skills who require intensive support. Almost 100 children have identified disabilities, and there are also a significant number of children in care who have complex needs.
How Berserker Street State School has used Gonski funding
Following on from funding under the National Partnerships Program, BSSS received $600,000 in Gonski funding for 2014-2016. The school has used its funding to build on the renewal process that began under the NPP, opening up classrooms to share best practice, giving every teacher at the school a 6-month intensive training program regardless of their experience, employing extra teaching and support staff to work with complex case-managed students, and providing more specialist support in classrooms. Families in need receive support through a full-time guidance officer and a full-time youth worker, while improvements in IT provision have allowed each child to access a laptop computer. Providing one basic uniform for any child who needs it, and not charging fees, have helped the school to create a greater sense of student engagement.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
The transformative benefit of additional funding is reflected both in achievement data and increased student and parent engagement with the school. The school has developed a whole-school comprehensive curriculum and pedagogical plan, supported by high-quality documentation to support teachers and support staff in their daily work. Says Principal Rebecca Hack, “Disadvantage isn’t spread evenly across our society or our school system, … and with the help of extra resources through Gonski funding we have creating a program that is letting kids thrive.”
What the continuation of Gonski funding means for Berserker Street SS
Continued Gonski funding will allow Berserker St to maintain and build on its current success. “…so much of what we do is dependent on funding, and, if our kids don’t get that support here, they won’t get it anywhere else,” says Ms Hack.