Location: Heatherbrae, NSW
Hunter River High School has approximately 800 students who are from geographically widespread areas and diverse communities. 18% of our students identify as Aboriginal and sections of the school’s community include areas of socio-economic disadvantage. The school provides specialised support for students with a mild intellectual disability (IM), a Multi-Categorical Class and a Tutorial Centre for students with behaviour difficulties.
How has your school used its Gonski funding?
Hunter River High stands to receive approximately $3 million dollars if provided with the full 6 years of Gonski Funding. We have received one third of this funding and are already seeing substantial differences for our students. So far we: Established an additional Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning position aimed at providing increased access to professional development for staff . Used Gonski funding to provide staff with the time needed to access, implement and reflect on Professional Development opportunities and Lesson Study Observations. Implemented a Focus on Reading Program and a Focus on Writing Program. The funding has enabled us to co-ordinate and plan for continual improvement in these areas through data analysis, literacy resources and training. Implemented a “Numeracy by Neccesity” Program that teaches students the value of numeracy in education and wider communities. Provided free student access to additional tutoring for Maths and English. Adopted a Gathang Language Program for our Indigenous students that is now widely used in regular Acknowledgement to Country. Established iSTEM classes and resources resulting in an increase of students selecting Mathematics and Science subjects. Established a 21st Century learning space for our Library. Provided additional technology to all Faculities for increasd use by students. Used Gonski to supplement PBL and other programs that support student wellbeing such as Elevate Study Tools, Domestic Violence Awareness and Cybersafety.
How has Gonski made a positive difference for students? Increased access to technology, through our investment in Ipads. Additional tutoring, literacy and numeracy programs have improved results and increased the completion rates of assessments. Increased student attendance and retention. Enhanced cultural awareness and connectedness for students and the community.
What could your school do with Gonski funding in the future?
Full Gonski funding would enable HRHS to build on our progress since 2014, expanding individual student support, academic success and building teacher capacity through training. Continued funding for years 5 and 6 of the Gonski agreement is absolutely necessary for us to keep working towards these goals and maintain the existing programs.