Melville High School

Location: South Kempsey, Mid North Coast NSW

Melville High is a comprehensive co-educational school which enjoys very positive links with its community, and has a well-earned record of high academic, sporting and cultural achievements. Melville caters for public education high school students in areas including the seaside villages of Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks. Smithtown is also included as it adjoins Gladstone directly across the river.

Melville High is situated in South Kempsey which is a lower socio-economically disadvantaged area, and much of the housing near the school is public housing. The student composition includes 28% or 182 ATSI students, while the remainder come from mainly Anglo-Australian culture with a varying range of socio-economic backgrounds. The school grounds are 4 1/2 hectares and distinguishing features of the school are the hall complex which contains three major areas and the Skills Centre which is shared with the community out of school hours. A new Building and Construction Trade Training Centre was completed in 2011.

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

Gonski funds have been used to support the addition and expansion of multiple programs targeting all students, with particular focus on those with the greatest educational needs. Melville High has established a Clontarf Academy targeting Aboriginal boys to assist engagement and completion to year 12. We are also now able to establish a Girls Academy with the support of Role models and leaders Australia, to provide similar focus goals for our Aboriginal girls. Student Literacy and Numeracy levels are addressed with tutoring through the Quicksmart programs and additional welfare staff and programs have been established to support Children and Young people dealing with Domestic Violence, Drug abuse and other social concerns for this community.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

Our overall attendance figures have shown improvement for the first time in several years. Literacy and Numeracy results in NAPLAN have also improved in the latest data released. Student graduation to University or employment has also been very successful, with the majority of school leavers entering the workforce or training.

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

We would be able to maintain the current programs and extend the number of students who we would be able to assist. This will lead to positive benefits to all students and the wider community. By having consistent funding we will be able to engage staff and services on a regular basis and plan more effectively for the future. The ongoing funding will allow the success of these activities to be fully developed and demonstrated.

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