Aboriginal Student Literacy and Numeracy Program
This program brings together Aboriginal students from each stage with a stage-based teacher to determine individual needs and provide literacy and numeracy interventions in a supportive and structured environment. Strategies from the ‘8 Ways of Learning’ program are incorporated in school programs but are more strongly emphasised in these groups. Benchmarking of student achievement at the commencement of the program provides appropriate data for planning and assessing. In this program last year, the Year 2 and Year 3 students were successful in the Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers Competition, achieving Encouragement Awards for both their group poem and group story. Woy Woy South P.S. had no Aboriginal students in 2014 NAPLAN testing who qualified for Norta Norta funding, none in Year 5 who failed to meet national minimum standards in any test, and none in Year 3 who failed to meet minimum standards in more than one area.
Yarn Up was a collaborative project within the Brisbane Water Learning Community, where each school participated in making a short film about our local Aboriginal area. The project ran for three years and was an important way of connecting our Aboriginal students and families with community and local sites.
View the Yarn Up film here …
The Aboriginal cultural continuum
A program was developed across the learning community in which K–12 students from all partner schools combine with other students in the same year of schooling for culturally based activities and excursions, directed at their level of understanding and experience. Each school organises one activity for the continuum, with Woy Woy South P.S. hosting the Year 4 students for bush tucker experiences. Students learned about traditional uses for plants and had the opportunity to make and taste lemon myrtle cheesecake and kangaroo and crocodile sausages, and look at displays of lemon myrtle and macadamia nuts, which are some of Australia’s biggest exports. The excursion was a great success with many positive reports during the AECG meeting.
Every year NAIDOC is celebrated by students and community participating in traditional Aboriginal activities. A flag-raising ceremony begins the week, with an acknowledgment to country done by a local Aboriginal person, including a smoking ceremony. Students from the Woy Woy campus have helped to run our activities as well as Aboriginal community members and parents.
Close the Gap and Harmony Day
Glose the Gap and Harmony Day were combined in past years to acknowledge the importance of affecting change for Aboriginal people to experience a life expectancy in line with non-Indigenous people. Every student participated in a whole school photo taken from an aerial view. In 2012, students and teachers formed the Aboriginal flag, and 2013 students, teachers and community members came together to form the rainbow serpent – the creator of life in many traditional Aboriginal cultures.
Young, Black and Ready 4 School transition program
This is a transition to Kindergarten program for all Aboriginal students across the Brisbane Water Learning Community, bringing families, Mingaletta Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation, schools, and health and Koorana AECG personnel together to ensure Aboriginal students and their families are supported in entering school. It involves information sessions, health and hearing checks, as well as activities for the children. T-shirts are given to participating students and each school provides hats, bags and some school equipment.
All partner schools in the Brisbane Water Learning Community nominate Aboriginal students for awards in 100% attendance, attendance higher than state average, academic, sporting and cultural achievement and cultural encouragement. An afternoon barbecue is held for parents with the awards ceremony following and attended by school staff, District Office staff, family and community members. Awards are given K–12, with Year 12 academic achievements also being featured.
The objectives of these awards are to:
- recognise and celebrate the achievement of Aboriginal students within our Learning Community
- motivate Aboriginal students
- enhance AECG, community, school and LMG partnerships
- bring the community together in celebration
- improve long-term results in the areas of attendance and academic achievement
- celebrate Aboriginal culture.