Penshurst Public School

Location: Penshurst, suburban Sydney, NSW

Penshurst Public School, in the Georges River area of southern Sydney, has an enrolment of about 440 students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. About 80% of students are from non-English-speaking backgrounds, with about 60 different languages spoken. There are 3 classes of hearing-impaired students who are integrated for many subjects.

How Penshurst Public School has used Gonski funding

Penshurst PS received about $110,000 in Gonski funding for 2014-2015, which has been used to improve literacy & numeracy outcomes, increase support staffing to enhance student learning, and for enhanced staff professional development. New programs include Language Learning and Literacy (L3) for Kindergarten, MultiLit and MiniLit. Providing explicit, systematic and individual support for ESL students has been a focus, and extra student learning support officer hours have increased the available individual support.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

Penshurst PS is already seeing the benefits. ESL students receive more intensive support, increasing both their English learning and their confidence, enabling them to make greater academic progress. Principal Jeff Lie says; “Student achievement across the board has improved as a result of the new literacy programs, increased individual support for students, and greater staff professional development. Students who were at risk of falling behind are now meeting literacy benchmarks.”

What Penshurst Public School could do with Gonski funding in the future

The full Gonski funding would allow Penshurst PS to build on current achievements in literacy by continuing to offer more individual support to students, introducing new maths programs to ensure student develop essential numeracy skills, increasing programs for Gifted and Talented students, and offering greater professional development for staff.

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