Darlington Primary School

Location: Darlington, southern suburbs of Adelaide, SA

Darlington Primary School, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, has an enrolment of about 300 students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. 75% of students are from low-income backgrounds, with 54% eligible for the SA School Card, while 47% are from non-English-speaking backgrounds and 19% are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Five Intensive English Language classes were established in 2012.

How Darlington Primary School has used Gonski funding

Darlington PS received over $180,000 in Gonski funding during 2014-2016. The money was used to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes by providing additional support in reading and maths to meet specific learning needs for children who did not qualify for other forms of additional funding or support. These students participate in a well-structured short-term program that will enable them to catch up with their peers. The program focusses on reading comprehension skills in terms 1 & 2, maths development in terms 3 &4, tracks the students’ progress over the course of the year, and provides dedicated time for the classroom and intervention teachers to meet to ensure continuity of teaching and learning and discuss student needs and success.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

Student achievement has improved significantly, with every “intervention student” exceeding expected growth in reading levels – some as much as 12 months’ of learning and improvement in just over one term of intensive support. Development of student attitude and confidence as learners also increased over the course of the program. Principal Kathryn Entwistle says; “This catch up has made a significant difference to students’ reading abilities, as well as how they view themselves as learners.”

What Darlington Primary School could do with Gonski funding in the future

The full Gonski funding would contribute to DPS’ ongoing priority of improving learning for every student, and further the school’s priority to develop the “expert learner” and foster each student’s self-belief as a life-long learner.

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