Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Tumbi Umbi Campus

Location: Tumbi Umbi, Central Coast NSW

TLSC Tumbi Umbi is co-educational middle years campus within a diverse community on the Central Coast of NSW. Our enrolment sits at 1100 with 60% from low socio economic areas. Over thirty nationalities are represented with 10% of students with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, 34 students in support classes and over 120 students in smaller classes catering for less independent learners. The campus has a strengths based approach to education driven by the question "How is this child smart?"

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

TLSC Tumbi Umbi Campus received $488,000 in Gonski funding. The additional money has been used to provide programs to provide targeted support to students, targeted professional learning for staff including SASS and improve facilities to enable teaching to support the development of those attributes needed this century.

We have started, extended and/or embedded: - QuickSmart; QuickLit; Advancement Via Individual Determination - AVID ( a whole school pedagogy reform process focused on lifting student achievement through high impact strategies while supporting teachers with high impact professional learning); multiple wellbeing programs that enable students to access curriculum while building a strong sense of belonging; alternate programs both on-site and off-site for disengaged students and students with often debilitating mental health needs many of whom are transitioning through our community to other areas; additional support for students with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage in learning and cultural awareness; intensive writing workshops for students and teachers; the employment of SLSOs to implement focus programs for targeted students; employment of additional teachers to support existing programs and extend their use and influence; revamping of facilities to better support and engage students; extend learning spaces; renew programs; increase community links and opportunities for real life learning for all students and deepen the effectiveness of accommodations and adjustments.

The flow on effects have been tremendous and we have only just started. We are providing financial support for students to enable them to engage with learning including supplying food, paying for supplies, supporting excursions, providing tutorials, running Wednesday Workout, supporting the Homework Centre, building better access to technology, employing a community links manager to liaise with families and provide links to community programs.

Our staff have been engaged in learning to implement future focused programs and processes using evidence based practice.

We have formed deep relationships with tertiary education and community businesses. Partnerships with partner schools have been consolidated to support students on their learning journey - work centres on pedagogy and curriculum with wellbeing providing the support to enable students to access learning despite challenging personal circumstances. Our school has squeezed everything out of this additional funding to ensure students have choice in their future and in doing so have reached students who stereotypically may not have made it through their schooling.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

Our students see themselves as young people with a future and skills to make the most of learning experiences. They are showing increased levels of independence, extremely positive reputation in the local community, confidence in themselves and their learning. We have had an increase of 15% in the numbers of students gaining entry into university. Employment outcomes are lifting and employability is strong. Student achievement and engagement, and staff professional learning and collaboration have improved significantly. Core literacy and numeracy results have improved particularly for our students with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Retention and completion rates have improved and satisfaction levels are high. We are better able to anticipate and support students’ needs at all levels as we have been able to deepen the knowledge and experience of a dedicated staff.

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

The full Gonski funding would allow TLSC TUC to develop and expand programs already in place to ensure generational cycles are challenged and changed for our students. It would enable the provision of time and teachers to support learning in classroom, collaboration and professional dialogue opportunities within and beyond the school and extend the use of personal goals to shape and focus student learning by students.

It will be used to support the development of a house systems where smaller groups of students are closely linked to teams of teachers. Authentic conversations between students, teachers and parents will inform negotiated learning goals thereby building self-regulating learners who value their learning and see it linked to their future opportunities. Wellbeing programs will be undertaken to address issues around the effects of trauma, male and female specific issues including the impact of social media while building students’ capacity to be resilient and resourceful and challenge the major societal issue of the continuation and impact of domestic violence.

Principal, Shayne Player, says that "the full six years of funding is essential to ensuring that our programs continue and are extended to allow us to deepen our responses to the growing wellbeing needs of young people in an increasingly complex world. We cannot ignore the impact that disadvantage has on everyone at every level and in all aspect of our lives.

TLSC Tumbi Umbi Campus has consistently shown we can reverse the impact of disadvantage when we have the funding to enable change through targeted interventions and high impact programs that supports students, staff and community to be the best they can be. Let's make it happen for our young people by daring to be different!"

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