Yass High School is an inclusive, comprehensive and growing school in a rural community close to the national capital. Students benefit from a brand new trade training facility, open plan learning environment and the opportunity to participate in academic, cultural, creative and performing arts, sporting, agricultural and technological pursuits. The school has strong ties with the community and is part of an active and supportive community of schools which shares and promotes common values.
How has your school used its Gonski funding?
The RAM equity funding has been used to support the following programs: Professional Learning Framework:- All teachers’ professional learning goals are supported by targeted professional learning with documented evidence. This is case managed and budgeted within each faculty (PL $24,000). The three teacher goals are developed from the school and faculty plans, Australian Teacher Standards and personal wellbeing. Quality teaching rounds- (PL $20,000) Casual relief and professional learning for teacher classroom observations and written feedback twice a year. A clear documented accreditation process developed, with flow chart, beginning teachers’ meetings and an induction package (Rural and Remote 3,000) . Beginning Teachers Program includes two timetabled release periods and one period for their mentor. (BT $36,000). Time is spent observing classes and giving feedback and developing resources. Fortnightly new teachers’ meeting with DP for support and professional development. New Scheme teachers also had mentors in their KLA to provide direct support including reciprocal classroom visits. Southern Tablelands Community of Schools- focus on high expectations for HSC success includes joint professional learning, network days for HSC marking and term 3 school development day in KLA groupings (RR $6,000). Integrated learning ( 4 periods) fortnight x four teachers (SE $4,000) - A rich learning experience for year nine students combining the theory and content from six key learning areas. This Project Based learning opportunity was developed to take advantage of the new open classrooms. Each topic is based on the Australian cross-curriculum priorities: Aboriginal, Asia, Technology and Sustainability culminating in a major project. Additional Year 9 elective line ( 5 periods) ( SE$12,000)- Year 9 now have 3 electives and greater choice of curriculum. Three artists in residence working with students in Industrial Arts metals and wood ( RR $10,000) and Visual Arts (RR $4,000) culminating in major public exhibitions and a quality student mentoring program. English Faculty enrichment programs and extension opportunities (SE $3,000) in creative writing, film making and public speaking (Two days per term), subsidising excursions to productions and visiting writers and authors (SE $1,000). Mathematic formative assessments for each stage 4/5 topic and development of student friendly Numeracy Continuum, extensive SMART analysis, development of feedback strategies pre topic and define areas to target , embed teaching strategies into current programs ( based on Hattie’s high impact on learning outcomes), evaluate current assessment tasks and modify based on staff and student feedback (SE $4,000). School visits and establish networks (RR $2,400). Science gifted and talented Forensic Science Workshop and 4 enrichment days (SE 3,900) and STEM- Science and Engineering Challenge ( RR 2,500). Professional Development for Rural and Remote Science network staff who will again deliver physics, biology and chemistry across three schools (RR$4,000). Aboriginal Equity Flexible funding :- Teacher release 0.2 (AE 12,000) to coordinate all Aboriginal programs including a teacher mentor for all 30 Aboriginal students, the development of PLPs and whole school summaries of student goals, Cultural days and celebrations and supervision of Aboriginal Support Officers and AIME education program. A teacher mentor 0.2 (AE $12,000) Identifies students years 7-10 who are at or below the national minimum standard in all NAPLAN domains and focuses on areas of improvement. This includes Individual and small group learning assistance. A learning hub supported by Aboriginal mentors from Canberra University operates each fortnight were students complete classwork and assessment tasks and discuss involvement in cultural programs. Individual Sponsorship ($17,000) employs a teacher mentor for Year 11/12 students, meeting weekly with each student. Students have identified their Personalised Learning Pathway and this is regularly updated and communicated to all senior class teachers. Time is allocated for completion of assessment tasks and an after school study session is available Tuesday evenings. A mentor from Canberra University also supports leadership and aspirational goals. Parents are in regular contact with the school mentor who reports all positive progress. AIME Educational Program supported by trained university mentors (AE$1,000) delivers the Ambassadors of Indigenous Success Program and includes- Delivery of the tutor squad program and supporting the school in help Indigenous students to stay at school and increase the rates of Indigenous student enrolments into university and connecting them with further training or employment. Wellbeing programs :- Development and writing of whole school Wellbeing policy including scope and sequence for each years timetabled wellbeing lessons and support programs: peer support/SHINE/Strength/Community visits (SE $4,000), Transition 6-7 (SE$ 6,000), Student Assistance - subsidising excursions, uniform, purchase of equipment and entry to all academic competitions(SE$9,000), Gifted and Talented extension days ($2,000) additional release time for year advisers (SE12,000), Breakfast club (3,500). Intensive Reading:- Vocabulary building resource, Systematic synthetic phonics program with multi user site licence (SE-$1,000) supported by Learning and Support teachers.
How has Gonski made a positive difference for students?
All staff are demonstrating responsibility for their professional learning through the application of their Performance Development Plan and are willing to be part of class observations with a focus on quality teaching and feedback. All staff undertaking accreditation successfully complete and maintain the process, (in 2016 four beginning teachers reached proficient) Scope and Sequences for every KLA accessed by whole learning community and include differentiation and targeted literacy and numeracy programs. Strong collaborative partnerships with Community of Schools focusing on high expectations for HSC success and joint professional learning that include HSC marking processes. Students have greater choice in subject matter, learning styles and feedback. Open-plan learning spaces are fully utilized, targeted literacy and numeracy programs embedded in all programs and cross faculty delivery. Student Wellbeing is supported through additional resources so they are healthy, happy and engaged learners. It includes strengthening physical, social and emotional development with input from and connections to our local community. Greater access to extension programs including HSC study days, leadership and SRC development programs, academic, agricultural and sporting competitions and important exhibitions, presentations and cultural events which have broaden student horizons. Students are intellectually engaged with learning and are active in trying to achieving a high degree of success as measured by the TTFM survey All students with additional needs are able to access mainstream classrooms with the support of School Learning and Support Officers, adjust programs and assessment tasks and the development of additional resources. This is as a result of whole school professional learning on differentiating curriculum and developing individual learning plans.
What could your school do with Gonski funding in the future?
Continue to ensure teachers have the much needed infrastructure to work collaboratively, confidently and resourcefully on rationalising learning. Students to develop their own goals for learning and given every opportunity to access and plan their learning, think deeply, and logically and to effectively work independently and in groups. The funding will also promoted enhancement of learning environments so that they foster high expectations and add value to students’ literacy and numeracy levels and the purchase of technology systems to build a communication infrastructure that ensured open communication between parents and the school and documents students learning profiles.
Joint Primary and Secondary learning teams will focus on the continuum of learning K to 12 with teams for 2017 identifying Gifted and Talent students and extension programs, Creative and Performing projects and a Middle School model for improvement of literacy years 5 to 8.