Canley Vale High School

Location: South-western Sydney

Canley Vale High School, located in Sydney’s south-west, has an enrolment of 1,455 students, drawn from the local community, international students, and new arrivals to Australia. Almost 90% are from low-income backgrounds. English is the second language for 88% of students, and 96% are from non-English-speaking backgrounds, predominantly Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese and Khmer, as well as students from Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern backgrounds.

How Canley Vale High School has used Gonski funding

CVHS received $3m for the period 2010-2013 under the National Partnership Program, and $4,041,476 of Gonski funding for the period 2014-2016. The school has made improving literacy a school-wide priority for the use of its needs-based funding, targeting achievement of ongoing and consistent improvement in NAPLAN results and significant value adding in the area of literacy for all students. Individual literacy programs are provided for all students in Years 7, 8, & 9, involving specialist staff within classrooms, dedicated and timetabled literacy periods, withdrawal and support of students with higher needs, and support for teachers through professional learning and team teaching. Gonski funding has allowed the maintenance of this program, its extension into Year 9, and a focus throughout on writing as well as reading. The literacy staff has expanded to 9 specialist and non-teaching staff, and teachers have used extra release time to undertake professional learning and build expertise across the school.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

The program has made a “phenomenal difference” says Principal Peter Rouse. In 2015, 97% of Yr 9 students achieved at or above National Minimum Standard across literacy & numeracy, with CVHS placed in the top 1% nationally for value-adding. Yr 10 retention to HSC has increased from 81.4% in 2010 to 93% in 2015, and the number of students achieving an ATAR has increased, together with improvement in HSC results.

What the continuation of Gonski funding means to Canley Vale High School

With funding from NPP and Gonski Mr Rouse says, “students have completed the school’s literacy programs and develop language skills that underpin all aspects of learning.” Without the maintenance of Gonski to provide continuity of funding over time, he fears the loss of what has been achieved and says that “students will bear the cost.”

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