Highlights from 2021 were:
Intensive Learning Support Program
Three teachers engaged with highly successful small group interventions to support students with improving their literacy and/or numeracy results. Groups consisted of 3-5 students meeting for a 40 minute session three times a week. Overall about 100 students participated in the program with Check-In assessment results showing most participants “closing the gap” to becoming 5-10% closer to state averages.
Transition into Year 7
Students started the year by making good use of the dedicated Year 7 playground area. Peer Support ensured students were able to build friendships and navigate the different routines of high school successfully.
Year 5 students from our partner primary schools were unable to visit for Year 7 for a Day; however, Orientation Day had taken place in Term Four, 2020. While social distancing requirements led to a modified program being delivered, students were still well-prepared for 2021. The Year Advisors for Year 7 2021 welcomed students who weren’t from partner primary schools, with a dedicated afternoon session so they could become familiar with the school the week before Orientation Day.
Orientation Day for the Year 7 of 2022 students was postponed to their first day of the year. Students from non-partner primary schools were invited to an afternoon in Term 4 so they could meet teachers and become familiar of the school groups rather than risk being overwhelmed when starting without knowing any peers.
Brain Food Program
The Brain Food program empowers students as they develop skills which help them to learn more effectively. Sessions included:
- Benefitting from having a Growth Mindset
- Developing study skills
- Effective organisation and time management
- Making the most of the “Learning Pit” challenge
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Metacognition and different ways of learning
Visible Learning Expo
Many assessments were cancelled due to the 'Learning from Home' period, and cohort restrictions led to a mini-VLE being run instead. Each class spent a double period with a volunteer teacher also joining their lesson to focus on how they benefited from feedback and developed quality work throughout the year. Students also set goals for 2022 to help their Year Advisors support them. While it was low key, it was a fantastic way to finish the year reviewing the students many successes.
All Year 12 students finished their Life Ready sessions, while Year 11 commenced the 25 hour mandatory Life Ready course. Most of the Year 11 work was postponed due to 'Learning from Home', so they will have additional sessions in 2022 to develop their understanding of personal finance, road safety and other areas which are important for life after school.
National Minimum Standards
All Year 10 students participated in testing for National Minimum Standards with small groups receiving support throughout the year to improve their literacy and numeracy. The few Year 11 students yet to achieve the standards had small group support sessions. Year 12 students who had not yet satisfied the Reading, Writing or Numeracy requirements were supported by Learning and Support Teachers so that all reached the minimum standard prior to completing the HSC.
With NAPLAN cancelled in 2020, Check-In assessments were introduced to provide additional diagnostic information. All Year 8 engaged with the reading and numeracy assessment in Term 2, then all Year 7-9 students completed the assessments in Term 4. This provided excellent diagnostic information to help teachers target learning activities at any gaps students have.
Learning from Home
Learning and Support teachers delivered a support Zoom session every school day between 10am and noon for students to drop in and receive assistance. A few frequent visitors arrived nearly every day while many others benefited from a one-off session with follow-up phone calls or referrals to class teachers helping to ensure everyone was able to experience success.