Robert Townson High School
Location: Campbelltown, southwestern Sydney
Robert Townson High School is a comprehensive coeducational high school of around 800 students. Despite being in a low socio-economic demographic, until the Gonski funding began, our school operated on standard state funding. In 2016 our school received and extra $300,000 dollars to support student learning outcomes.
How has your school used its Gonski funding?
Over the last three years out priority has been to improve student learning outcomes in three ways: Literacy development, Numeracy development and improving teacher skills in an engaging learning environment. Students undertake individualise learning programs that target Literacy and Numeracy needs. Learning programs utilise individual and group tuition combined with engaging technology. They are tested using a range of tools and programs modified as students develop. Parents and students have growth reported twice yearly both as individuals and mapped against state cohort.
Teachers continue to be developed in researched endorsed practices that improve learning outcomes while also developing engaging learning environments.
How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?
Students arrive in year 7 with an average 2-3 year gap in Literacy and Numeracy growth which has historically widened as they get older. With these initiatives we have been able to show a marked upward growth towards the state average for the cohort of students. Students are more engaged generally and teachers are developing innovative and engaging practices across all curriculum areas. This includes modifications of traditional learning spaces for more engaged and effective learning.
What could your school do with Gonski funding in the future?
We are establishing Community of Schools programs that will allow us to address and rectify student growth issues before entering high school while concurrently continuing to work with teachers to improve pedagogy. We will do this while continuing to develop engaging learning environments.