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Dare to Lead Conference Canberra 14 August 2009 “ At the end of the day the quality of programs in schools is reflected in the quality of the relationships.

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Presentation on theme: "Dare to Lead Conference Canberra 14 August 2009 “ At the end of the day the quality of programs in schools is reflected in the quality of the relationships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dare to Lead Conference Canberra 14 August 2009 “ At the end of the day the quality of programs in schools is reflected in the quality of the relationships between people who have to work together” Dare to Lead

2 Workshop Overview Overview of Aboriginal education at RRHS What is happening at a classroom level Whole School Community of Schools project Classroom delivery Same outcomes Programs Activity

3 Richmond River High School Comprehensive public school in a semi rural district on the North Coast of NSW Priority School Funding Currently implementing Positive Behaviour for Learning 3 core targets of QT, literacy and numeracy, school and community partnerships Aboriginal student population approximately 2%

4 Classroom level Specific units of work Staff in servicing starting at executive level Faculty accountability Transition programs Year 8 Cultural Studies Empowering staff Participation Partnerships Skills Genuine partnerships which are effective and productive for all parties are not always easy to foster…this is the hard part. Task: improve literacy and numeracy levels AND rates of school completion to successfully participate in post school options ‘we doom our children to failure if we do not make sure they attend.’ Professor Hughes

5 Skills To develop useful academic skills in ways you currently know how…we all know how to teach! Programming but also the delivery (differientiated curriculum/backward mapping) Literacy / numeracy interventions (Norta Norta, DEEWA) Analysis of NAPLAN results AND act on them as a WHOLE SCHOOL (primary schools) Scope and sequence in all KLA’s (stage 3-4) Recognise the characteristics of G & T and nurture them (the hook)

6 Participation To encourage engaged participation in ways which are well established Welcome to country / flying the flag NAIDOC Week / Sorry Day Cultural Activities Library resources …needs to be documented and the whole school is aware of what is happening …one off activities are feel good BUT are they encouraging engaged participation?

7 Partnerships Knowledgeable and sensitive respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their Culture…pervades the other two! Staff Students Whole school culture Parents and Communities MUST be part of the educational journey for success…

8 Days AbsentTotal DaysNumber of TermsNumber of Years Missed 1 day per week45192 years 1 term 1.5 days per week676.513.53 years 1.5 terms 2 days per week902184 years 2 terms 3 days per week1353276 years 3 terms 5 days per week1127.5225 years 2 terms Average 5 days per term 2205.51 years 1.5 terms Average 10 days per term 440112 year 3 terms

9 What are the reasons for student absences? Data* illustrates that Aboriginal students were staying away from school not to stay at home to watch TV or ducking off to the shops but for a variety of reasons including… Brainstorm in table groups why kids may stay at home… *Data from McRae, 1990 What Works. The Work Program The Workbook

10 Reasons (McRae, 1990 What Works. The Work Program The Workbook) Needed to help at home Felt they ‘couldn’t do the work – reinforced by their teachers High mobility and poverty School was considered ‘childish’ (usually yr 9 and 10) and hung out in groups…often with a parent Year 7 boys ‘testing the waters’ who would truant until caught then usually stop Real or imagined bullying at school. Social interactions with peers AND teachers unhappy…usually problems with primary-secondary transition Children living with extended family Strong attachment with home and parental protection The most important ‘school factor’ was the nature and quality of relationships between students and staff.

11 What our kids Say… What is Racism? How much does racism affect your ability to achieve at school? What do you do if someone says something racist to you? Who do you think should make sure there is no racism in the school? What do you think is effective against racism?

12 Year 8 Cultural Studies The aim of Cultural Studies is to develop an understanding of Australian Aboriginal Peoples, and other cultures within Australia to enable students to be active and informed advocates for a just and inclusive society. Success and otherwise…..

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21 Whole School Dare to Lead resources/inservices Personalised Learning Plans Yarn-Up pilot project - Kanyini Artist in Residence Aboriginal Education Plan In-School Work Program Acknowledgement of Country Creative use of funding…

22 Awareness and Confidence Why has the artist placed the shoes in a circle ? What does the circle symbolise ? Why are there only shoes depicted ? What point does that make ? What difference would it make to the message of the picture if the feet were bare ?

23 Please Explain (extract from Berwick, Burgess & Meyers) Aboriginal identity is always controversial - media perception creates divided views -misquoted/misguided -teachers must be open minded, admit they do not always know the answers, be prepared to research, discuss and argue with their students Activity: Many of them are no darker than me. Many of them are no darker than me.

24 Many of them are no darker than me Aboriginality is defined only in terms of colour It is offensive to Aboriginal people to be referred as ‘half-castes’ The Commonwealth Government’s definition of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person covers people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait descent who wish to identify as such Protectionism had positive effects on maintaining Aboriginality A person must be accepted by the Aboriginal community to identify as Aboriginal Aboriginal people no longer have kinship ties Where a person comes from, as well as their family connections, may identify that person as Aboriginal A large number of Aboriginals are eligible for a free car from the government when living in remote areas Bringing Them Home is the name of the government report about the stolen generation Coloured is an accepted term for Australian Aboriginals A non- Aboriginal person who pretends to be Aboriginal is likely to be accepted by both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community

25 Community of Schools Project SNP-Aboriginal Education Respect and acknowledgement is integral to Aboriginal student success. However, flying a flag, celebrating NAIDOC Week etc are not changing student educational outcomes. Scott Fatnowna QT Conference Coffs Harbour 2008 Improving student outcomes Student Mentor Program Designing Curriculum Collegial Snapshot Parental engagement Respectful and positive relationships

26 Our Ideal School Imagine you could wish for the stars… In your ideal school what programs/activities would you include to promote equal opportunity, inclusion, success and pride for ALL students

27 Considerations…. Our school LiteracyNumeracyAttendance Community Involvement Cultural Awareness Behaviour Aboriginal Employment/ Role Models WelfareRetention

28 Email Address gae.masters@det.nsw.edu.au


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