​Atherton State School

Location: Atherton, Far North Queensland

Atherton State School is a dynamic and very complex large school with 495 enrolled students – 35% are Indigenous, 5% are EALD, 16% identify as being from a low socio economic background.

How Atherton State School has used Gonski funding

Atherton State School has been allocated $270000 in additional funding in the 2016 and also again in the 2017 school year. This has enabled the school to purchase and invest in the following:

  • Purchase of dedicated reading teachers to assist with on the ground teaching of key reading concepts to students on a daily basis. This targeted program focuses on the basics of the teaching of reading using hands on, physical resources and digital media to engage student learning.
  • Purchase of additional Guidance Officer time at the school to deal with the increase in students identifying as or suspected of having a mental health concern.
  • Purchase of additional Speech Language time to assist with the development of targeted speech language services in the junior school area.
  • Purchase of two classroom sets of laptops to assist with student learning and development.
  • Funded an Early Years Development Program at the school two days a week for 4 year olds to prepare them for school the following year.
  • Utilised funding to take teachers off-line for collaborative planning and curriculum development opportunities with neighbouring schools.
  • Utilised funding to allow students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to attend camp and school excursions – without the funding they would not be able to attend.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

  • Student attendance has increased.
  • Student achievement data, especially in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy, has increased 15%.
  • Student morale has increased significantly.
  • More students are able to access critical support through the school’s Guidance Officer.
  • Greater satisfaction in the school from parents.
  • Students entering Prep are better equipped and ready for learning thanks to the early years program.

What Atherton State School could do with Gonski funding in the future

  • Continue the same programs as they are working.
  • Purchase further Guidance Officer and Speech Language Pathologist time
  • Purchase of a school nurse in a fractional capacity
  • Upgrade the school’s home readers and library stock to engage students

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