The Henry Lawson High School

Location: Grenfell

The Henry Lawson High School is a small rural comprehensive high school of approximately 170 students in central NSW. Our students and school community take great pride in the academic, sporting and school community achievements, especially in music and a range of sports. Our students are polite, friendly, value their learning and the opportunities provided through the school and community.

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

We have targeted raising student expectations for Aboriginal students through developing pathways to increase their engagement and achievement levels. Strong partnerships with parents have developed.

We have used funding to increase students from non-English speaking backgrounds' proficiency with English, particularly with writing.

Funds were used to offset Year 9 students’ access to technology: Transition adviser employed to continue to work with students at risk of becoming disengaged, supporting them with curriculum adjustments, additional tutoring and goal setting and pathways mapping.

School learning support officers were employed to support students with a range of learning needs to implement identified adjustments.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

All students had an individual learning plan in place. All made sound progress across all learning areas and continue to be engaged in learning and school life. They access support through school learning support officers, the transition adviser, the learning support teacher and Norta Norta tutors. Language proficiency was supported through weekly tutorials in written English in preparation for Stage 6 writing demands. Strong progress was achieved. All students in Year 9 had access to a laptop for learning.

Suspension rates were down, attendance rate above state average; All Year 10 and 11 students completed requirements for RoSA. Retention to Year 11 was high – 91%. Students made sound progress, with adjustments supported by the additional support in the classroom.

Across all areas that were tested in NAPLAN, the Year 7 data showed that there was good progress for the students in the lower bands, evidence that the range of adjustments were improving student outcomes.

What could your school do with Gonski funding in the future?

Provide access to opportunities not always available to rural students. Improve the literacy and numeracy results of students. Allow greater access to technology and associated pedagogy for its use in learning. Provide strong professional learning opportunity for staff. Allow greater learning options for student who experience difficulties at school. Provide a diverse and expanded curriculum for rural students. Foster strong relationship with community.

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