Lucas Heights Community School

Location: Barden Ridge, NSW

Lucas Heights Community School was established in 1992 at Barden Ridge, a then new and growing residential area in the Sutherland Shire. The school is unique, being the only DEC school from Kindergarten to Year 12 on one site in the metropolitan area. The modern purpose built facilities support effective teaching and learning, reflected in the school's outstanding HSC results.

Whilst the school is effectively run as two schools, a junior (K to 6) and a senior (7 to 12) school, many programs operate to provide enrichment opportunities for both junior and senior students. Junior school students and staff have the advantage of high school facilities and programs and senior school students and teachers have available to them mentoring/tutoring opportunities and certain facilities available only in the junior school.

With the relatively small student enrolment numbers in both junior and senior schools, students are well known to teachers. Year 12 student exit polls indicate that students value the close mentoring relationships between teachers and students.

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

The school has used the Gonski funding to better meet the needs of Aboriginal, EAL/D and low socio-economic background students. This has been achieved via the employment of extra LaST(Learning and Support Teachers) time across the K-12 school, and the creation of an extra Deputy Principal position in the 7-12 School. We have also used funds to strengthen the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy within the school.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

Gonski has made a positive difference for students in the provision of extra support in the classroom through additionally funded LaST time, and also in the overall Wellbeing and discipline climate of the school through the additional oversight and support provided by the two secondary Deputy Principals. K-12 Literacy programs in particular are going from strength to strength, with a focus on K-12 Numeracy to follow.

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

In the future, the employment of additional staffing in K-6 could be the next step, to ensure that the most effective pedagogies were being used, along with data driven innovations.

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