Wyndham College

Location: Nirimba Education Precinct, Quakers Hill, Sydney

Wyndham College is a government senior secondary school located at Quakers Hill, New South Wales, Australia. The College provides an academic and vocational subject offering for students with a range of learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to access courses offered by the College, University and TAFE. The HSC Life Skills Program is provided for support students identified with mild or moderate disabilities.

How has your school used its Gonski funding?

The Gonski funding has allowed for the development and implementation of an alternative pathway at Wyndham College known as the 'Build-a-Bike' Program. It is a Life Skills TAS program that is linked with an English Studies Course focused around engine mechanics, the history and world of motorcycle and car racing, including its representation in literature and film. The Program is in its second year of operation.

This course has offered re-engagement to students whose educational journey would have otherwise been truncated by their disaffection for the conventional classroom. The founding teacher has worked with the students to build a mechanic's workshop, equipped with the tools needed to service and repair motorcycles, cars and other appliances. Students have learned numerous mechanical skills valuable for later life in addition to spray­ painting and welding. They have built upon their literacy and numeracy skills whilst maintaining their engagement through the link to motorcycles. The teacher's innovation, creativity, expertise and infectious passion for providing positive learning experiences for students has been the basis of the incredible success of the program - membership to which has become competitive and envied amongst the student body. The Build-a-Bike Program has become the anchor point to completing a stage 6 education for numerous students, and for others the launch point into a career in mechanics.

How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?

Gonski funding has made it possible for disaffected students to reconnect with school and learning. Their increased engagement has also resulted in the improvement of their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as improving their chances of post-school success.

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

Future Gonski funding would see the development and implementation of more innovative programs designed to ensure that no student is left behind.

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