; Targeting truancy
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Targeting truancy


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                                                                                                                                                                                Contact Mark White
                                                                                                                                                                        Mobile: 0438 886 037 Tel: (08) 8363 4655
                                                                                                                                                                   Fax: (08) 8363 4755 Email: whiteboy@chariot.net.au
                                                                                                                                                                 “Meeting standards, Exceeding expectations”

Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                         Publication for Department of Education and Children's Services


                                       Targeting truancy
                                         Students who ‘wag’ school are the           students missing that much school-         package, written by a special Ministe-         Some of the innovative ap-
                                       target of a State government plan             ing are at risk of not achieving their     rial Task Force on Absenteeism, pro-         proaches already adopted by schools
                                       aimed at reducing the number of stu-          educational, social or psychological       vides practical information to support       to address truancy include:
                                       dents who skip school by finding the          potential.                                 schools in recording, reporting, analy-        • Lincoln Gardens Primary
                                       best means to keep them in the class-           “We want to give these students          sis and planning.                            School: an 8.30am Breakfast Pro-
                                       room.                                         greater support and incentive to keep        “I expect each school to outline in        gram which has had a significant
                                         Premier Mike Rann and Education             attending school and pass on the mes-      their action plans a process of how they     impact on attendance and punctu-
                                       Minister Trish White released the At-         sage that education is the gateway to      will deal with poor student attendance,      ality;
 Giving the                            tendance Improvement Package earlier
                                       this month, a resource kit to assist
                                                                                     further success.”                          particularly when students have been           • Port Adelaide Primary School:
                                                                                                                                                                             established the Purliana Inabarendi
                                                                                       The release of the package coincides     absent for more than 10 days a year,”
 elderly a                             schools to find ways of motivating stu-
                                       dents to attend school.
                                                                                     with the start of back to school prepa-
                                                                                     rations across the State which for the
                                                                                                                                she said.
                                                                                                                                  “Schools will also be expected to re-
                                                                                                                                                                             (Stars Working Together) Club on
                                                                                                                                                                             a Friday – the day with the poorest
                                         Mr Rann said he wants and expects           first time includes the historic rise in   port attendance data in their annual         attendance - to encourage students
 helping hand                          all State schools to have Attendance          the school leaving age from 15 to 16.      reports from 2004.                           to come to school; and
                                       Improvement Plans in place by next              “The reason we want to keep stu-           “One of the most useful elements of          • Morphett Vale High School:
                  PAGE 3               year.                                         dents in school or in some form of         the package is a list of case studies of     have a plan to reward students with
                                         “Addressing truancy in our schools          training for an extra year is to keep      schools that have successfully reduced       good attendance records with
                                       is one of the Government’s immedi-            them learning, stimulated and in-          their rates of truancy.                      vouchers entitling them to discounts
                                       ate priorities in education,” he said.        volved - and working towards a job           “The causes of truancy differ from stu-    at local businesses.
                                         “Being absent five days a term from         in which they are interested,” he said.    dent to student. Because of this – no          “The package is intended as a guide
                                       reception to year 10 adds up to more            “The longer students stay at schools     one solution will fit.                       only and individual schools will
                                       than one year of school missed by a           these days, the greater their future op-     “That’s why its important to have a        work with their communities to de-
                                       student.                                      portunities.”                              range of successful ideas for schools to     velop plans that are responsive to
                                         “That is far and away too much and            Minister White said the truancy          consider.”                                   local needs,” Ms White said.

 World trip
 for robot                               boost
                                            Students at Port Wakefield
 creations                                Primary School are being
                                          given a healthy kickstart
                  PAGE 5                  each day thanks to a new
                                          eating program under way at
                                          the site.
                                            Following the success of the
                                          Kids Eat Fresh program run
                                          by the Department of Human
                                          Services and Adelaide Pro-
                                          duce Market, Port Wakefield
                                          Primary School principal Les
                                          Johnson said the school
                                          would this year fund a similar
                                            Under the Kids Eat Fresh
                                          program, Port Wakefield Pri-
                                          mary School last year won
                                          $200 in funding to provide
 Talking about                            the school’s 65 students with
                                          fruit and vegetable snacks for
                                          one term.
 the art of                                 “The outcomes were such
                                          that we can justify funding it
 teaching                                 ourselves on a trial basis this
                                          year,” Les said.                           All set for a healthy snack are Kayla Anderson and Julian Yeates along with other reception to
             SPOTLIGHT                           • continued page 7                  year 2 students at Port Wakefield Primary School.

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2   xpress                                                                                                                                            Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

The newspaper of the
Department            of
                                A feast of bush tucker
                                  Bush tucker was on the menu at Christies
Education            and        Beach Primary School last term, with a unit
Children's Services.            of work on the food and an emphasis on en-
                                terprise and tourism.
Managing editor                   The unit of work, for year 4/5 classes, culmi-
Renae Borgas                    nated in the opening of a Kaurna Foods and
tel: 8226 1011                  Other Bush Tucker Café, where students pre-
                                pared, cooked and served food to invited guests.
Journalists                       All present at the café opening, in November,
Charmaine Newton                were presented with a cultural feast including
tel: 8226 1532                  dance, stories and bush tucker.
                                  The meals offered on the three-course menu
Lynne Hare                      included: kangaroo kebabs marinated in pa-
tel: 8226 0942
                                prika, wattle seed and aniseed myrtle, fillet of
Gabrielle Hall                  fish baked with lemon myrtle and blood limes
tel: 8842 6680 (Clare)          and wattle seed pavlova.
                                  Year 4/5 teachers Di Hume and Karyn Giles
Email                           said the focus on bush tucker and Indigenous
borgas.renae@saugov.sa.gov.au   culture was made possible by a grant from the
                                Multicultural Education Committee.
Editor Xtra                       Di and Karyn said initially students took part
Claire West                     in a walk around the local area gathering data
                                to determine whether a new café would be vi-
For information, see            able.
page 2 of centre section          Students spoke to a local councillor about
                                building rules and regulations and an architect
ADVERTISING                     about developing a café.
KRL Media Services                The classes also worked with Department of
tel: 8231 5433                  Education and Children’s Services and Indig-
fax: 8212 1238                  enous staff on the project.
                                  Di and Karyn said students participated in ex-
Postal address                  cursions to Aldinga Scrub, Morialta Falls and
Department of Educa-            the Botanic Gardens to gather information
tion and Children's
                                about bush tucker.
Public Relations Unit             Students were also taught songs and dances
GPO Box 1152                    suitable to use as entertainment in a restaurant
ADELAIDE 5001                   setting.
Fax: 8226 1605                    Principal Pam Kent said students were in-
Courier R 11/21                 volved in decision making in all aspects of the
                                project from choosing a location of the café and
                                selecting building designs, to the presentation       Parents were among those invited to the bush tucker café launch at Christies Beach Pri-
DISTRIBUTION                    of entertainment.                                     mary School. Pictured were Ruth Lewis and Estelle Hall.
Every departmental staff
member receives a copy.
For distribution enquir-
ies, call 8234 0140.

                                New site for Peterborough pre-school
Staff on leave or ex-
change, relief teachers           Peterborough Community Pre-school will be          where this project can proceed.                     be services from basically birth to year 7 on the
and general readers can         relocated to the Peterborough Primary School           “Officers from the Education Department           one site,” Kaye said.
subscribe to Xpress. See        this year.                                           have visited the kindergarten and school to           “A large majority of our families live on that
subscription forms in             Education Minister Trish White has approved        inspect the sites and finalise arrangements for     end of town and being on one site will have
this issue.                     the relocation as part of a $445,000 project         this project with the community.                    advantages for them.
                                which will provide a new facility for up to 40         “It is planned to upgrade an existing building      “There will also be advantages for the rural
                                children and will include activity areas, a with-    at the primary school and build on for extra        children who catch school buses, the school
                                drawal room, child and staff toilets and a fenced    space, as well as creating a fenced activity area   dental clinic will also be just across the road
Manuscripts can be sub-
mitted on IBM compat-           outdoor play area.                                   and car park.”                                      and there will be access to some of the school
ible 3.5 inch floppy disk         Ms White said the new site would provide the         Peterborough Community Pre-school director        resources such as the computer room, library,
with manuscript copy.           Peterborough community with a centrally-lo-          Kaye Meaney has welcomed the announce-              junior primary classes and any visiting perform-
Our       software     is       cated education and care facility.                   ment.                                               ances.
Microsoft Word 97.                “In particular, it will make the kindergarten        She said with kindergarten, playgroup, occa-        “There will also be benefits for the staff. With
Please include title and        more accessible to families, many of whom live       sional care and primary education services co-      the SACSA (South Australian Curriculum
work location and phone         some distance from the current kindy which is        located, there would be numerous benefits for       Standards and Accountability) Framework
number.                         situated on the edge of the town,” she said.         the local community.                                across the year levels we will be able to work
                                  “This is an important project for the town and       “It will be a one drop education stop for about   with junior primary staff in an exchange of ex-
EDITORIAL POLICY                I am pleased that we have now reached a point        80 per cent of our families because there will      pertise.”
We cover as wide a range
of the department's serv-
ices and projects as pos-         Welcome back to the           ate more flexible pathways                                     connected and networked        rector, Strategic Human
sible. Preference is given
to news from sites or
services not covered in
previous issues.
                                2003 school year. I hope
                                you have enjoyed a restful
                                break and are ready for an
                                exciting and challenging
                                                                and provide students at
                                                                senior secondary level with
                                                                increased choices for their
                                                                                                C E' S                         organisation with a culture
                                                                                                                               that is based on a clear set
                                                                                                                               of values and ethical stand-
                                                                                                                               ards and which values peo-
                                                                                                                                                              Resource Management and
                                                                                                                                                              Organisation Development
                                                                                                                                                              to head up the new Office
                                                                                                                                                              of People and Culture.

                                year ahead.                      • Dissemination of an At-                                     ple and their contributions.     The selection of the ex-
Please keep articles brief.       Substantial preparations      tendance Improvement                                             The following three of-      ecutive director, Schools
The average length is           have been made to ensure        Package early this term to                                     fices will manage our busi-    and Children’s Services
300 words. Publication          a smooth start to the year      support sites in helping stu-                                  ness with a clear service      who will lead the Office of
fees are not paid.              and I would like to thank                                                                      orientation aimed at deliv-    Learning and Service De-
                                                                dents,      parents      and
                                all staff for their coopera-    caregivers to understand                                       ering responsive and im-       livery is underway and an
  Articles may be edited
                                tion and dedication in          the importance of regular,                                     proved services to sites:      appointment will be an-
to fit available space and
to conform to house style.      managing this important         daily attendance at school.                                      • Office of Business Im-     nounced shortly.
Advertisements appear-          task.                            • Provision of materials                                      provement and Strategic          These appointments and
ing in Xpress and Xtra            During 2003 we will be        and lesson plans for teach-                                    Financial Management           the finalisation of arrange-
are not necessarily en-         implementing a number of        ers to use in the classroom,                                     • Office of People and       ments for the new offices
                                Government priorities and       starting with primary           ter outcomes for students.     Culture                        will ensure that we are
dorsed by the depart-                                                                             • Formation of a forum of
ment.                           other initiatives to im-        Mathematics and English.                                         • Office of Learning and     focussed and ready to meet
                                prove outcomes for all chil-    While the results from the      leaders from schools and       Service Delivery.              the challenges ahead.
No responsibility is ac-        dren and students in our        State literacy and numeracy     children’s services to work      As you may know, Mr            Again I welcome you back
cepted for the accuracy         schools and preschools.         testing program are show-       closely with me in develop-    Gino DeGennaro has al-         and look forward to work-
of information or claims        These include:                  ing a general improvement,      ing strategic directions for   ready taken up the position    ing with you to achieve the
made in any advertise-            • Allocation of the addi-     we need to capitalise on        the department.                of executive director, Busi-   highest possible standard of
ments. The views ex-            tional 160 Junior Primary       this. The work from the           Following substantial sys-   ness and Resource Manage-      learning for all children
pressed in articles are         teachers to strengthen          pilot curriculum project is     tem-wide consultation, I       ment and leads the Office      and students in 2003.
not necessarily those of        learning outcomes and re-       a common sense approach         have begun the realign-        of Business Improvement
the department.                 duce class sizes in the early   to supporting teachers with     ment of State Office to        and Strategic Financial
                                years.                          their daily programming         strengthen our capacity to     Management.
DEPT WEBSITE:                     • Implementing the Age        and planning under the          support schools and              I have appointed Ms
http//:www.decs.sa.gov.au/      16 legislation and Futures      SACSA Framework and             preschools through the         Margery Evans to the De-                Steve Marshall
                                Connect initiative to cre-      will ultimately lead to bet-    creation of a highly inter-    partment as executive di-          CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                                        xpress          3

faces for                                                                                            Charity links
DECS                                                                                                   Students at Port Augusta Secondary
                                                                                                     School are helping boost the profile of
                                                                                                     young people in their community and
                                                                                                                                                     science and they are willing to do things for
                                                                                                                                                     their community.”
                                                                                                                                                       As a result Elderly Help was created.
  Two new faces have been                                                                            building links with the elderly at the same       Last year five groups of students tidied up
appointed within the Depart-                                                                         time.                                           50 gardens in Port Augusta over two days,
ment of Education and Chil-                                                                            It is part of an annual school program        offering a free service to the elderly and disa-
dren’s Services.                                                                                     known as Elderly Help where students go         bled and undertaking chores such as weed-
  Gino Degennaro has been                                                                            to the homes of local elderly and disabled      ing, mowing, moving heavy pots, sweeping,
selected as executive director,                                                                      people and their carers to spruce up their      trimming, edging, clipping hedges and even
Business and Resource Man-                                                                           gardens and help with chores.                   washing windows.
agement and leads up the Of-                                                                           Easily identifiable in their blue and white     With the help of staff who provided trans-
fice of Business Improvement                                                                         Elderly Help uniforms, 42 students set out      port and trailers, and NRG Flinders who
and Strategic Financial Man-                                                                         to lend a helping hand in the final week of     each year pay for uniforms and dump fees,
agement. Margery Evans has                                                                           last term.                                      the students set about “making someone’s
been assigned as executive di-                                                                         While their classmates were out enjoying      day”.
rector Strategic Human Re-                                                                           waterskiing and golf as part of the school’s      The program was extended last year to also
source Management and Or-                                                                            activities week, the group of gardening stu-    include weekly visits throughout the year,
ganisational Development                                                                             dents volunteered their time to the cause       with a different group of students visiting a
under the newly aligned Of-                                                                          instead.                                        different client each week to provide help
fice of People and Culture.                                                                            Student counsellor Simon Owens said the       around the garden.
  Gino comes from the posi-                                                                          program had been running for the past seven       While the home help is greatly appreci-
tion of Deputy Under Treas-                                                                          years and had developed an excellent repu-      ated by the elderly and disabled, Simon said
urer, Department of Treasury                                                                         tation within the community.                    the program went much further.
and Finance.                                                                                           Initially established to improve commu-         “The emphasis on the program is definitely
  He will strengthen DECS                                                                            nity perception of young people, Simon said     not on work,” he said.
strategic financial manage-                                                                          the Elderly Help program was one step in          “The students work hard and they do a
ment capacities and his                                                                              improving community relationships.              great job, but the emphasis is on interac-
knowledge of systems and                                                                               “I’m on a number of local committees and      tion with the people we’re helping. The in-
strategic planning will allow                                                                        there seemed to be a general perception that    teraction is as important as the work itself.
the department to position it-                                                                       the kids of today aren’t what they used to      “I encourage the kids to sit and talk to the
self more strategically to ad-                                                                       be, it was the old age-gap issue,” he said.     people.
dress current and future needs                                                                         “And I really thought ‘hang on, have you        “People are coming to us now rather than
and maximise emerging op-                                                                            met these kids?’ so I thought I’d find a way    us going to them and we have certainly built
                                   Ethel Anderson takes a break with Elderly Help year 9
portunities.                                                                                         to prove to people through a school con-        up a name in the community. I’d be the first
                                   students Brenton Spackman, Alisha McCarthy and Erin
  Margery was formerly the                                                                           text that young people do have a social con-    to hope that that’s a positive sign.”
Victorian Department of Edu-
cation and Training assistant

general manager of the Hu-
man Resources division.
   It is expected her expertise

                                                                                                                                        Teacher Travels
in a range of HR and OD
functions will complement
the department’s current prac-

                                                                                                                                        Across Europe
  Full details on Gino and
Margery as well as the ap-
pointment of executive direc-
tor Schools and Children's
Services under the Office of
Learning and Service Deliv-
ery will be featured in a future                                                                                                         Australian teacher Claire Watson used the teaching
edition of Xpress.                                                                                                                       shortage in the UK to experience life in another country
                                                                                                                                         and travel Europe.

Wildlife                                                                                                                                 Essential Preparation
                                                                                                                                         “I had always wanted to go to the UK and Europe
                                                                                                                                         and saw my teaching qualification as an opportunity
guide                                                                                                                                    to have a complete working holiday adventure”.
                                                                                                                                         “Although I had several friends already over there I
                                                                                                                                         didn’t know anyone that was teaching,” said Claire.
  Students can now use a                                                                                                                 “That’s where BMG Associates helped.” In Australia,
new publication as a learning                                                                                                            Claire had followed the advice of BMG Associates to
tool when visiting Mount                                                                                                                 prepare herself to teach in the UK. BMG Associates
Lofty or Cleland Wildlife                                                                                                                guided Claire through the essential documents needed
Park.                                                                                                                                    to teach in England so that she was ready to teach the
  The Department of Envi-                                                                                                                day she arrived. “I used my work as a way to fund my
ronment and Heritage has                                                                                                                 travels whilst still getting the most incredible teaching
produced the pocket-sized          Students involved in the online soapies production included Chloe, Nicole and                         experience.”
guides, Common Wildlife of the     Nikki.
Mount Lofty Ranges and Com-
mon Bush Birds of the Mount                                                                                                              The European Experience
Lofty Ranges.
  The guides cover everything
from the Australian Blue Pin-
                                   Largs Bay's soap debut                                                                                In her two years overseas Claire backpacked around
                                                                                                                                         Europe with a friend one summer and spent the other
                                                                                                                                         summer exploring the beaches of Cornwall. “I was
cushion wildflower to the            The literacy skills of students at Largs Bay    increase self-management, social skills, and        there to experience everything that the UK and Europe
Kookaburra. For more infor-        Primary School have been polished through         improve literacy related to use of new tech-        had to offer and made the most of my weekends and
mation phone 8204 9093.            the production of an online soap.                 nologies.                                           longer breaks”. “I always enjoyed reporting to friends
                                     The visual, interactive online soapie, devel-     The soapies online project would also allow       back home that I was off to France for a wine tour

Murals on                          oped by a group of 16 year 6/7 students in con-
                                   junction with staff and the Technology School
                                   of the Future, was launched late term four.
                                                                                     students to develop a greater awareness of mass
                                                                                     media technology and its pervasiveness.
                                                                                       She said the website included a discussion
                                                                                                                                         over the weekend, or to Switzerland on a ski trip or
                                                                                                                                         to Cambridge to go punting along the river.”

                                                                                                                                         Where Do I Start?
campus                               The soapies online project will continue
                                   this year and feature regular episodes per-
                                   formed, recorded and written by students.
                                                                                     board that allowed people to provide feed-
                                                                                     back about the script and production.
                                                                                       Students hoped to get schools across the
                                                                                                                                         Claire now works for BMG Associates helping other
                                                                                                                                         Australian teachers prepare to work in England. So to
  Langhorne Creek Campus           The visuals will be created using still photos    world watching the soap and providing feed-         find out all about the opportunities available to you
of Eastern Fleurieu School         and audio will be added.                          back, she said.                                     to teach in the UK and for a copy of our free
has been working with artist         Several episodes, which each run for about        “This project has developed students I.T          Teaching in Great Britain
Jacinta Poskey to develop          a minute, were shown at the launch, on 9          skills and also extended their literacy. It has     checklist, contact Claire Watson
murals on campus, based on         December. They were based on a fictitious         looked at how messages can be conveyed              at BMG Associates today on
two themes.                        story of students at Largs Bay Primary. The       through still images and sound,” Lee said.          Freecall 1800 677 948.
  The first theme was Ecologi-     episodes will start screening online in March.      “We have been able to engage students
cal Sustainability, which repre-     Deputy principal Lee Sansom said the idea       through the soapies medium.”                        BMG Associates
sents animals in the schools’      behind the project was to build student learn-      Students used a digital still camera, midi        PO Box 76
native fauna enclosure and         ing and skill development through a subject       keyboard, sound capture and editing and web         Brunswick East
trees from the revegetation        to which they could relate.                       software to produce the soapies. Staff from         Victoria 3057.
site. The second theme was           She said the project aimed to improve           TSoF have helped students through the proc-
Imagined Worlds which focuses      higher reasoning, divergent thinking and          ess. The soapies online website is <http://                  www.bmgassociates.com.au
on books and reading.              creative skills among students. It would also     osx.tsof.edu.au/~soapies/soap/ >.
4    xpress                                                                                                                                                              Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

    National award
    for Kingscote
      A group of three students at          involved students taking the con-
    Kingscote Area School has won           cepts of maths and applying them
    a national award in a mathemat-         to areas of interest.
    ics talent competition.                   She said Kingscote Area School
      The competition, called the           first involved students in the
    National Mathematics Talent             competition 11 years ago and had
    Quest, is an annual event con-          since made it part of the curricu-
    ducted by the Australian Asso-          lum for some year levels.
    ciation of Mathematics Teachers           “Students do seem to enjoy it
    to encourage students from kin-         because they have a choice about
    dergarten to year 12 in creative        what they want to investigate or
    and innovative uses of maths.           learn more about,” she said.
      The year 9 students, Tegan              “If they like motor bikes they
    Asser, Penny Johnston and               can go and find maths in motor
    Jessica Flynn, won the overall          bikes for example.”
    prize in the group category of the        Annette said the school had in-
    competition, for years 9-12.            volved the community in the
    There were only two other over-         competition, with visits and ad-
    all winners, in the class and indi-     vice given from members of the              Among the writers of the recently distributed SACSA Teaching Resources were, from left, Julie
    vidual categories.                      public about the various subject            Baillie, Margie Burrows, Julie Omand and Lesia Zubjuk.
      Teacher Annette Johnston said         areas chosen and project presen-

                                                                                      Resource arrival
    the students’ project involved the      tation and structure.
    investigation of mathematical             She said the three girls were
    concepts, building on class work        thrilled to receive their award.
    previously done involving ori-          The awards were presented at the
    gami.                                   Education Development Centre                More than 10,000 copies of the          to the Key Ideas and Outcomes for           In a letter addressed to principals,
      “When folding they looked at          on 16 November.                           draft materials of the SACSA              each year level in the primary and        Chief Executive Steve Marshall said
    the different geometry, the angles,       There were a number of other            Teaching Resources – Mathematics          early years and to ensure consistency     comments and feedback from educa-
    the symmetry and proportions.           winners in the competition, in-           and English R-7 will arrive in            across schools in the system.             tors on the draft materials were vital
      “They then asked what sized           cluding a group of three year 7           schools this week.                          The materials also contain some         to the development of the final prod-
    cube they would have if they used       students from Kingscote Area                The materials were written by 25        concept maps, which graphically rep-      uct.
    the same sized paper used to cre-       School, a year 5/6/7 class at Ge-         experienced teachers from 20 schools      resent the Key Ideas and Outcomes.          A feedback survey form will be dis-
    ate the origami and they used for-      ranium Primary School and the             during an intensive six-week period         Copies of each of the booklets will     tributed later this term and there will
    mulae to calculate this, includ-        Adam’s Road Children’s Centre.            late last year.                           go to every R-7 primary school            also be a number of consultations on
    ing Pythagoras theory.                  Merits were awarded to: the re-             The booklets contain descriptors for    teacher in Government schools in          the documents.
      “They also tested Euler’s rule on     ception class at Birdwood Pri-            each strand, Key Idea and Outcome         the State.                                  For further information and
    the model, and proved both              mary School and a group of year           for standards one to four in both the       Secondary schools will be receiving     comments please contact John
    Euler’s rule and Pythagoras rule.”      10 students at Birdwood High              mathematics and English learning          copies based on the number of stu-        Walsh on telephone: 8226 4103,
      Annette said the competition          School.                                   areas.                                    dents enrolled, particularly in junior    fax: 8359 3013 or email
                                                                                        They are intended to form a bridge      secondary years.                          <walsh.john@saugov.sa.gov.au>.

     Spelling CD-ROM targets primary students’ spelling
    Spelling: Improving Learning Outcomes is an        can filter information to develop a plan that      social, functional and contextual language         licence). These prices include GST.
    interactive professional development tool          is appropriate to the particular stages of their   act as learning to talk and write. There is more
    designed to assist primary teachers to identify                                                       to spelling than learning words.’ Dr Turbill       For further information visit EQ Shop at
                                                       students’ spelling development and
    and monitor students’ spelling development.                                                           completed her Masters degree in Education          http://education.qld.gov.au/accessed/ and
                                                                                                          in Linguistics at Sydney University and was        click on ‘product catalogue.’
    The CD-ROM provides practical advice,              The resource has been enthusiastically             made a Fellow of the Australian College of
    proformas and audiovisual demonstrations           received by professionals within the field.        Education for her contributions to early
    that support essential elements of planning,       According to Dr Jan Turbill, PhD, Director at      literacy development.
    implementing, monitoring and reporting. It         the Centre for Language at the University of
    features a set of spelling development             Wollongong, and Fellow of the Australian           ‘It is important to understand the connections
    indicators that focus on preliminary, semi-                                                           between reading and writing, and to see
                                                       College of Education (FACE), ‘The Spelling CD
    phonetic, phonetic, transitional and                                                                  spelling as the connection between them,’
                                                       is excellent material and I use it with my
    independent stages of learning.                                                                       she said.
                                                       undergrad students. The CD-ROM emphasises
    It also includes the ‘activities organiser’ that   that spelling is a language act, that we only      Spelling: Improving Learning Outcomes is
    provides a range of activities designed to         need to spell in order to write. Thus the CD       priced at $66 (single user licence), $176 (lab
    meet specific learning outcomes. Teachers          shows that learning to spell is as much a          pack of five CD-ROMs) or $264 (site or network

                            Looking for teacher resources in 2003?
      Compatible with most                  New Basics                             Literacy
      Australian syllabuses                                                        Numeracy
      Promotes high-quality                 Literate Futures                       Integrated Cross-
      student learning and                                                         curriculum Studies
      improved outcomes
      High-quality resources                                                       Studies of Society and
      including:                            Professional development               Environment
      • Lesson plans                        programs
      • Teaching and                        Photocopiable resources
        learning activities                 Interactive CD-ROMs                    Health and Physical
      • Assessment                          Videos and audiotapes                  Education
        activities                                                                 Science
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      Contact EQ Shop                                                               www.education.qld.gov.au/accessed
      email: resourcesales@qed.qld.gov.au
                                                                                    Click on EQ Shop catalogue
      Telephone: 61 7 3421 6333
      Facsimile: 67 7 3421 6300
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                          xpress      5

  Salisbury Downs Primary
                                 World trip for robots
                                   They’ve been around the         with,” Steve said.
School year 5 student Linh       world 100 times or maybe            Class teacher Darryl
Lam was recently awarded         more.                             Carter said Keithcot Farm
for her entry in a Festival of     But instead of seeing the       students were the first in
Music competition.               sights and having delights        the State to take part in
  Students are encouraged by     on foreign shores, robotic        this pilot project.
the South Australian Public      animals made by Keithcot            The students spent two
Primary Schools Music Soci-      Farm Primary students             half-days at TSoF, but un-
ety to submit artwork relevant   have been part of an              dertook detailed research
to the festival’s theme.         Internet zoo.                     before they began to proto-
  The winning artwork will         The year 4/5 students           type and build their robotic
feature on the cover to the      made robotic representa-          animals.
festival songbook, on the        tions of local fauna using          “Initially they researched
cover of the CD and festival     lego at Technology School         their animal and how it
program along with certifi-      of the Future (TSoF) after        moved, especially skeletal
cates for all participating      researching and designing         mechanics, and assembled
choristers, orchestra members    their prototypes.                 paper models with pins to
and assisting artists.             TSoF consultant Steve           provide pivotal points near
  Music society president        O’Connor said the animals         joints,” Darryl said.
Leonie Trimper presented         will form part of an                Students used RoboLAB
Linh with her award.             Internet museum where             software to give the ani-
  Each year about 6000 pri-      children around the world         mals forward movement or
mary school students take        can share information             hopping motions and some
part in the Festival of Music    about local animals.              could reverse and turn
which is organised by the          “The Internet museum is         when they touched the
South Australian Public Pri-     dedicated to fostering col-       sides of a box.
mary Schools Music Society.      laboration and cooperation          “The students had little or
                                 between kids around the           no experience of this pro-
Walk for                         world,” he said.
                                   The idea is for different
                                 school children to build ro-
                                                                   gramming software before
                                                                   the project began and it
                                                                   proved to be a great new

a cause                          botic representations of
                                 their local fauna out of lego
                                                                   learning experience,” Keithcot Farm Primary School students Marcie Packer, Philip Harford and Jaco
                                                                   Darryl said.
                                                                     Each school in the project
                                                                                                 Herholdt with a robotic koala which will be part of an Internet museum.

  Schools have been asked          “They can then share            has its own room on the fornia, Texas, New Zea-             “Possible future directions grams,” Steve said.
to get up, get fit and sup-      their constructions on the        website and students can be land, Singapore, Australia    for the zoo are an exchange    Visit the Internet museum
port Oxfam Community             web through movies, pic-          curators of their sites.      and Argentina have been or loan of animals program, for more information at
Aid Aboard’s Walk                tures, stories and whatever         Schools from Boston, involved in the Robotic feeding animals, adopt an <http://www.ceeotufts.edu/
Against Want on 23 Feb-          else they can come up             Princeton, Nevada, Cali- Animal Zoo Project.              animal and education pro- kime/>.
  Schools can join in the
Adelaide metropolitan walk
starting at 6pm in Rymill
Park or one of the wide
range of regional walks from
                                   State honours                                                               The deadline for 27 February edition of Xpress is
                                                                                                               10 February. Phone 8226 1011 for further details.
                                     Fourteen teachers from DECS schools were honoured
Mount Gambier to the               for excellence in teaching as part of the National Excel-
Clare Valley. There is also        lence in Teaching (NEiTA) regional awards late last year.
the opportunity for schools          The teachers, among a total of 20 from schools and
to organise a local walk.          preschools in South Australia and the Northern Territory,
  For more information             were selected from 226 nominations received from school
phone 8223 3405.                   councils, parent committees, parents and secondary stu-
Sunnies                              The NEiTA awards are presented by the NEiTA founda-
                                   tion, a non-profit corporation that is an initiative of the
                                   Australian Scholarships Group (ASG).

for sight                            The awards are the only national awards for teachers in
                                   Australia based on nomination by parents and students.
                                     Those recognised in December as part of the regional
                                   awards included: Carole Jackman, from Mount Barker Kin-
  Staff and students are en-       dergarten; Claire Chesson, from Athelstone Junior Pri-
couraged to participate in         mary School; Ted Flaherty, from Coromandel Valley Pri-
National Sunnies for Sight         mary School; Joy Keddie, Para Hills Junior Primary School;
Day on 28 February.                Pauline Rivett, Lucindale Area School; Nancy Verner,
  The fundraiser has been or-      Riverland Special School; Rosie Willson, Roxby Downs
ganised by the non-profit          Area School; Allan Brine, Peterborough High School; Bill
Australian-based agency, In-       Kelton, Eastern Fleurieu School, Strathalbyn; Colleen
ternational Centre for             Litchfield, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Enfield;
Eyecare Education (ICEE),          Therese McCutcheon, Glossop High School; Malcolm
to assist in eye care for peo-     McInerney, Findon High School; Rebecca Stapleton, Salis-
ple living in East Timor and       bury High School and Tim Tuck, Maitland Area School.
the Western Pacific region.
  In East Timor there are one
million people and no op-
tometrists, compared with                    FOR SALE
Australia’s population of
more than 20 million and
                                     EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
3000 optometrists.                           Historic Burra Township
  ICEE hopes to assist the
Western Pacific region by               Extensive Accommodation Facility
eliminating impaired vision                      ‘Redruth Centre’
and blindness caused by not            Magnificent stone buildings oozing history and charm
wearing glasses when               incorporating old Redruth church, extensive church hall, three
needed.                                      bedroom residence, old courthouse hotel.
  In 2000 alone, after examin-      The properties are available by expressions of interest as one
ing more than 16,000 people,      investment opportunity or any combination of 4 separate lots or
11,000 pairs of glasses were                   in parcels that purchasers are interested.
dispensed. Eighty-nine teach-      Zoned ‘Tourist Accommodation’, including 13 titles, currently
ers have also been trained in                    accommodates 88 with full facilities.
basic diagnostics and 15                     Burra is situated 156km north of Adelaide.
nurses in primary eyecare.         Expressions of interest close 5th March 2003 at 12 noon at the
  Staff and students can sup-                      Burra office of the selling agents
port the fundraiser by donat-           Inquiries, more information and forms available from
ing a gold coin and - wear           Wesfarmers Landmark Limited, 3 Market Square Burra SA
sunnies to school, create a                      5417 Ph: 8892 2003 Fax: 8892 2225
funky sunglasses design or
                                   Darryl Venning 0407 723 323 Simon McIntyre 0407 843 302
conduct a casual clothes day.
To find out more contact

Greg Campitelli on 03 9816
6   xpress                                                                                                                                              Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

Bridging the gap                                                                                                                 Norton Summit
  An exchange program be-
tween McLaren Vale Pri-
                                                                                                                                 teaches tourists
mary School and Point                                                                                                              Buses taking people on tours of the Adelaide Hills are
Pearce Aboriginal School                                                                                                         stopping at Norton Summit Primary School for lessons
was conducted last year, in                                                                                                      in environmental initiatives.
the spirit of reconciliation                                                                                                       Norton Summit Primary School has an extensive envi-
and new friendships.                                                                                                             ronmental and enterprise program, which was initiated
  The latest visit, from Point                                                                                                   by students.
Pearce to McLaren Vale last                                                                                                        Students have developed a mini wetlands from an over-
term, involved students in a                                                                                                     grown school rubbish dump, the school has sponsored an
range of activities including                                                                                                    Asian Moon Bear in China and it also takes part in an-
sport, a shared barbecue and                                                                                                     nual tree plantings in the Fourth Creek Torrens Catch-
a tour of the school and re-                                                                                                     ment area.
gion.                                                                                                                              Students make craft items including cards, magnets and
  Students from McLaren                                                                                                          scent jars (eucalyptus fragrance). The school also has a
Vale acted as tour guides and                                                                                                    market garden business, established through Enterprise and
researched and prepared for                                                                                                      Vocational Education, from which students sell produce
their respective tours. Other                                                                                                    and make tomato sauce, strawberry jam and pies.
activities included craft, a                                                                                                       Other initiatives include a community recycling station
shared lunch and final assem-                                                                                                    and the school’s participation in a world-wide science and
bly.                                                                                                                             education program, which involves students taking me-
  The exchange program be-                                                                                                       teorological readings and entering them on the Internet.
gan early last year in response                                                                                                    Norton Summit Primary School principal Brenton
to links and relationships                                                                                                       Conradi said students were given training and practise in
formed between the students                                                                                                      how to run a tour and environmental tours were adver-
with letters and artwork.                                                                                                        tised in a local information booklet on the Adelaide Hills.
  Organiser Sarah Dumuid                                                                                                           A bus company, which runs tours in the hills, contacted
said in term 2 a group of in-                                                                                                    the school to arrange 15 visits. The school arranged 45
terested children, parents and                                                                                                   tours for visitors with three students rostered on for each
grandparents visited Point                                                                                                       tour.
Pearce school and stayed                                                                                                           Student’s also produced an i-movie titled Operation
overnight in Port Victoria.                                                                                                      Groundforce which highlighted the schools involvement
  She said Aboriginal elder                                                                                                      in Waterwatch and the construction of the wetlands.
Rex Angie toured the group                                                                                                         For several weeks the buses arrived most weekdays and
around the community and          Point Pearce Aboriginal School student Deryce Cattermole enjoys craft at McLaren
                                  Vale Primary School during the November visit.                                                 students showed passengers around the school and spoke
elder Irene Agius told the                                                                                                       about the school’s environmental and enterprise initiatives.
group about her life growing      cluding grapevine cuttings     ‘doing reconciliation’ rather    students from each of the        Passengers bought some of the school’s produce, which
up in the area, as well as a      for planting.                  than just talking about it.”     schools interacting with one   would be reinvested into the environmental program. The
dreaming story.                     “The effort made by our        She said last year’s ex-       another. It also helped par-   three student businesses have taken in $1500 over the 15
  Students interacted through     group in travelling to visit   changes built relationships      ents and the wider school      tours.
a shared recess and lunch and     them was greatly appreciated   between the two schools, and     communities to learn more        Brenton said the tours also had benefits to students in
then sports activities. The       by the community and has       had helped to bridge the gap     about each other and build     terms of literacy and public speaking. He said by the time
school presented Point            had a lasting effect,” Sarah   that existed between the two     greater understanding be-      the tours finished, about 300 people would have visited
Pearce with products from         said.                          cultures.                        tween the two cultures,”       Norton Summit.
the McLaren Vale region in-         “It was really great to be     “It was really lovely to see   Sarah said.
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                                                                           xpress                 7

                                                                                                                                              Visual arts
                                                                                                     Students, staff and volunteers have
                                                                                                                                              showcase                                       artists in residence Bob Daly and
Festival                                                                                           been busy at Port Kenny Primary
                                                                                                   School preparing for Come Out 03.
                                                                                                     The Eyre Peninsula school’s 21 stu-
                                                                                                                                                                                             Kalyna Flowerpott, who were assisted
                                                                                                                                                                                             by musician Richard McDonald and
                                                                                                                                                                                             choreographer Kirri Potter.

highlights                                                                                         dents will travel 800 kilometres to
                                                                                                   perform with Ingle Farm Primary
                                                                                                   School for the opening of the visual
                                                                                                                                                                                               “The feedback has been that it was
                                                                                                                                                                                             bigger and better than anything
                                                                                                                                                                                             they’ve ever seen before,” Vicki said.
           Opening and                                                                             arts exhibition Detour from                                                                 The sneak preview for the local
          closing events                                                                           Straightsville …… to Happy Dog Time                                                       community was not only the perfect
  Opening on 11 March 2003,                                                                        at the Festival Centre’s Artspace Gal-                                                    opportunity for a dress rehearsal, but
Come Out will run three sepa-                                                                      lery on 11 March.                                                                         also reward for the hard work many
rate parades of children along                                                                       With funding from Country Arts                                                          local volunteers had put into helping
the River Torrens from a va-                                                                       SA, the school has been working with                                                      the school in preparing for the event.
riety of points, concluding at                                                                     four professional artists to prepare for                                                    Without giving too much away
Elder Park in a gathering of                                                                       the launch that will feature large                                                        about the Come Out 03 performance,
celebrations.                                                                                      “Babushka” dolls and colourful cos-                                                       Vicki said the focus was on “individu-
  The Adelaide Zoo will host                                                                       tumes.                                                                                    ality, the journey to happiness and not
the closing ceremony for                                                                             Residents of Port Kenny had a sneak                                                     judging things by their covers”.
Come Out 2003 on 22 March.                                                                         preview of the performance at the                                                           She said the community reaction to
A promenade performance for                                                                        school’s Christmas Tree Concert late                                                      the rehearsal had been a fair indica-
families will be able to be seen                                                                   last year.                                                                                tion of what to look forward to at the
and heard throughout the                                                                             Principal Vicki Shakes said the com-                                                    launch.
grounds.                                                                                           munity had been overwhelmed by the                                                          “Expect the unexpected,” Vicki said.
                                   Port Kenny volunteer Jo Haslam painting the Babushka dolls that quality and colour of the performance                                                       “It will be fun and colourful and en-
      Program highlights           will be used in the Come Out 2003 event.
  Bushfire - This world premier                                                                    which was directed and designed by                                                        chanting and magical.”
work was commissioned for
the 20-year anniversary for
the fires of Ash Wednesday,
which swept through South
Australia in 1983.
                                    Green reward Healthy boost at Port Wakefield                                                         • from page 1             dents, reception to year 2           whole school to enjoy each
  Inspired by local writer Mar-        Findon High School students Kallem Rudiger and Alan
                                     Thomas recently won a Research and Investigation Award                                      Funded by the school, stu-        teacher Pat Daniel has been          morning.
guerite Hann Syme’s true                                                                                                       dents are given two pieces of       taking carrots to the school for       Senior students are given the
story, it explores the themes        for their West Lakes water quality project in the AGL Sus-
                                     tainable Living Competition.                                                              fresh fruit or vegetables each      the past five years to provide her   responsibility of peeling, cutting
of family, treasures lost and                                                                                                  day and are encouraged to drink     students with a healthy snack        and preparing the fruit and veg-
having to deal with change.            Established in 1998, the Sustainable Living project aims
                                     to inspire, engage and reward high schools students to think                              water throughout the day as         and brain boost.                     etable pieces.
  The school season will be                                                                                                    part of the school’s healthy eat-     Now each Monday Pat heads            “The children are trying new
11-14 and 17-21 March at             and act sustainable. In this time the project has become
                                     Australia’s leading environmental innovation project                                      ing program.                        off to the Port Wakefield Fruit      foods that they’ve never tried
Space Theatre, Adelaide Fes-                                                                                                     A personal advocate for pro-      Mart to collect a week’s worth       before such as kiwi fruit and
tival Centre.                        which promotes science, research, innovation and
                                     sustainability.                                                                           moting healthy eating to stu-       of fruit and vegetables for the      rockmelon,” Pat said.
  The Singing Angels features
young singers with and with-           More than 1000 schools nationally and more than 7000
out a disability in a celebra-       students worked on projects through the program. There
tion of youthful human voice         were more than 3000 separate entries.
in all its diversity and beauty.
  Singers will be from the Tutti
                                       The Findon students worked under the supervision of
                                     teacher Malcolm McInerney.
Ensemble Holdfast Choir,               Kallem and Alan were invited to fly to Sydney to attend                                                          SENIOR SECONDARY ASSESSMENT BOARD
Modbury Special School and           the awards ceremony, to collect their award and prize in                                                           OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Surrey Downs School. There           early December. They spent a day at the University of New
will also be members from the        South Wales and also participated in presentation from a
                                     number of key environmental and design organisation.                                                                                      invites
Restless Dance Company.
  The performance will be on                                                                                                                        EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
13 March at St Peter’s Cathe-
dral, North Adelaide.
                                                                                                                                                                   in the membership of the
                                         PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
  Bruce’s Art Prize is a visual                    City, Suburbs, Country and Remote
art exhibition and this year is                                                                                                       SUBJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
based on the concept of ‘jour-       Oral healthcare education lessons with GarGar The Dentist and his animal
ney to the centre’, using the          friends receives high praise from Australian Education Departments.                                 FOR PSYCHOLOGY
ancient symbol the mandala.                    ‘I wish you well with the promotion of this program’
Visually representing this                                is a typical Ed. Dept. comment.
                                                                                                                                   SSABSA seeks Expressions of Interest from members of the public
years theme, ‘the ripple effect’
the mandala is a radial design
                                    Better still, the lessons are now on the web with teacher-friendly guidelines.
                                     Teachers can conveniently prepare, schedule or repeat any lesson 24/7/52.
                                                                                                                                     to participate in its Psychology Subject Advisory Committee.
with concentric rings of pat-                               For full details please visit
tern. Thousands of mandalas              ‘The SmileShineTM School-on-the-Web’ at www.oralhealthcare.info                           Stage 1 and Stage 2 Psychology are new subjects in the South Australian
created by school groups will                                                                                                      Certificate of Education (SACE) and will be first offered in the SACE in 2004.
                                        To further discuss any detail please phone Garth, Tel.: 08 8165 2144
be amalgamated to create the                                                                                                       Psychology is classified as a Group 2 subject and has been included in the
world’s largest collaborative                  4 Your Smile 2 Shine Pty. Ltd. ABN 12 089 094 182
mandala.                                            57 Leabrook Drive, Rostrevor, SA 5073                                          Science Learning Area.
  The exhibition will be held                                                                                                      The role of the Subject Advisory Committee is to oversee all Stage 1 and Stage 2
from 7 to 22 March (exclud-
ing Sundays) at the Adelaide
                                                                                                                                   curriculum statements of the SACE. The role includes providing expert and
Festival Centre.
                                     Adare Conference Centre                                                                       up-to-date advice in a learning area and monitoring the curriculum and assessment
  Allwrite! is the Young Peo-             Wattle Drive, Victor Harbor SA 5211                                                      of specific subjects in the SACE. There is also a role for the committees in
ple’s Literature Festival for 3                        Offers extensive facilities                                                 ensuring that support materials for the curriculum statements such as exemplars,
to 18 year olds. It will include                    for school camps and retreats                                                  resources, and annotated work samples are prepared and kept up-to-date.
meet the writer sessions,
workshops, regional residen-                                           Packaged camps available.                                   The selection process will take into account the applicant’s degree of
cies, book launches, Indig-                                            Fully Catered or Self-catered.
                                                                                                                                   subject knowledge, expertise, understanding of schooling and curriculum
enous dreaming narratives                                              Accommodation for 95 persons
told in paint, performance                                                                                                         and assessment processes, and ability to work with a range of people.
                                                                       (overflow accommodation available)
poetry and a group collabora-                                          Resident Site Manager.                                      The tenure of the Subject Advisory Committee for Psychology concludes
tion to write a book.
  The school season regional                          For Bookings & Enquiries:                                                    in December 2003.
                                                                                                                 KATRON 4657

Allwrite! will take place on 24               Phone/Fax: (08) 8552 1657
February to 28 March.                        Email: adare@granite.net.au
                                                                                                                                   Expression of Interest Forms
  The metropolitan Allwrite!               Website: www.adarecentre.com.au                                                         can be obtained by telephoning Karen Collins on 8372 7475.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Katron 4699

will take place on 17-21                        UCA Synod of SA - Camps & Conference Centres
March at the Pioneer Wom-                                                                                                          Direct Enquiries
en’s Memorial Gardens, King                      SPECIAL OFFER                                                                     about the Subject Advisory Committee for Psychology
William Road, Adelaide.              Special offers available for June, July and August 2003                                       can be obtained by telephoning Cliff Rothenberg on 8372 7462.
  For more information or                             for all camps at Adare.
school bookings phone                  $3.00 per person /day discount on Weekday rates
8239 2499 or visit                          Book now to take advantage of this offer
                                                                                                                                           Closing Date: Friday 28 February 2003
8   xpress                                                                                                                                                          Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

At last, someone’s talking
In the discussion about children’s learning, has teaching as a craft, a
skill and an art been neglected?
Ron Hoenig reports.

    s the verb “to teach” in the active or the
    passive voice?

  Curriculum discussion has tended to focus
on the process of learning, but what of the
other party in the mysterious process of teach-
ing and learning? Many teachers have been
searching for direction in further developing
their skills in creating the constructivist class-

  Now Central West district is developing a
project to pilot productive pedagogies, a
framework for analysing teaching that has
been undergoing intensive testing in Queens-
land schools.

  For the last three years educational leaders
from the district have been going interstate
once a year for some on-the-spot professional

 Late last year a group of 21 educational lead-
ers went to Brisbane with district superintend-
ent Chris Majewski to study productive

  In groups of four or five they visited three
schools each. While the schools varied in size,
composition and location, the Queensland
staff were united in their enthusiasm for the
productive pedagogies as a way of assisting
them to focus on their core business: teach-         raphies and the world outside of the class-             District coordinator Children’s Services Jayne
ing.                                                 room using the productive pedagogies                  Dunn describes the productive pedagogies           Kurralta Park Preschool director Pauline
                                                     model”.                                               as a lens through which people can analyse       Robinson said what they had seen of the use
  Productive pedagogies builds on interna-                                                                 their own teaching.                              of the methodologies in Queensland was very
tional research on authentic pedagogy and              Currently 59 schools throughout Queensland                                                           interesting and she was sure it would be use-
authentic achievement by the University of           are involved in a trial of the New Basics Project,      “We’ve spent a lot of time in the past few ful in preschool practice.
Wisconsin’s Center on the Organization and           including the productive pedagogies method-           years looking at learners and our developing
Restructuring of Schools (CORS).                     ology. New Basics is the Queensland cur-              curriculum. We don’t spend a lot of time look-     West Lakes Junior Primary principal Tony
                                                     riculum framework based on elements very              ing at pedagogy. Constructivism is a theory Varbaro said he was very impressed with what
  In 1997 Education Queensland commis-               similar to SA’s Essential Learnings.                  for learning and it depends on teacher’s craft he saw.
sioned a research study entitled The Queens-                                                               but productive pedagogies gives us a frame-
land School Reform Longitudinal Study                 In 2001, 26 leaders from the Central West            work to be critically constructive,” she said.     One site was a junior primary school with
(QSRLS) by Professor Alan Luke and associ-           district went to Brisbane, visited schools and          One of the critical aspects of the process is 300 students which was trialling productive
ates from the School of Education at the Uni-        met one of the members of the Productive              “professional learning communities”, dedi- pedagogies in reception classes – looking at
versity of Queensland “to investigate possible       Pedagogies team. Enthused by the project,             cated time for teachers to meet and discuss continuity of learning, tracking student
relationships between school-based manage-                                                                                                                  progress, and the use of the rich tasks, which
ment and enhanced student outcomes”.                                                                                                                        are assessment processes based on an au-

 While the research did not find a strong link
                                                          “ We've spent a lot of time                     in the past few years looking thentic activity.
between school-based management and stu-                                                                         ”
                                                                      at learners and our developing curriculum...                                           Tony said he was particularly impressed by
                                                                                                                                                           one school which was not formally part of the
dent outcomes, it did confirm the relationship
between good teaching and student out-                                                                                                                     trial. Teachers had initially rated themselves
comes.                                               they invited a presenter to SA to speak to their      their teaching.                                 highly on some criteria, but in the actual as-
                                                     district leaders’ conference. She provided                                                            sessment found that they had actually “missed
  The research used the CORS information to          some basic training in productive pedagogies.            The QSRLS report states there are strong the mark”.
distil 20 elements of good practice within four                                                            links between three key variables and more
broad dimensions: Recognition of Difference;           “People were very glowing in their praise,”         frequent use of productive classroom Consequently, they had decided to introduce
Connectedness; Intellectual Quality and Sup-         Chris said. “We decided that we should fur-           pedagogies:                                     the method into their teaching practice and
portive Classroom Environment. Using these,          ther explore the productive pedagogies.”                                                              school organization.
researchers went into 1000 school rooms                                                                       • The degree of teachers’ collective respon-
selected for their involvement in some sorts of         He said while the SACSA Framework was              sibility for student learning                     “I was impressed that the staff were driving
reform initiatives and rated the teaching.           based on the development and employment                  • The overall level of professional learning the change. They had set up a learning com-
                                                     of constructivist approaches, “we can use             community in a school                           munity on their own initiative that operated
  In general, the results showed that teachers       more help in how to make this happen in real             • The strength of leadership focus on peda- voluntarily before school, where all they talked
scored well on Connectedness and Support-            life in a classroom, and we saw productive            gogy.                                           about was their teaching,” Tony said.
ive Classroom Environment. They scored less          pedagogies as a very useful source of ideas”.
well on Intellectual Quality and Recognition of                                                              Jayne said though the Queensland project The educational discussions extended as far
Difference in their teaching. The QSRLS re-            The district has now decided to do some work        does not include preschools, the Central West as decisions about school excursions and how
port said there was “a pressing need to en-          with productive pedagogies this year. More than       preschool leaders has established a commu- they would impact on learning, Tony said.
hance the intellectual demand of pedagogy”           20 sites want to make it a focus of their work,       nity of practice that will explore the applica- “Teachers were really talking about excur-
and “connecting student work to their biog-          looking at what is effective in its introduction.     tion of productive pedagogies in preschools. sions, targeting the resources and they were
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                                       xpress     9

about teaching

  “Teachers were really talking about excur-        One of the significant question teachers have   for “some reflection on the intellectual quality
sions, targeting the resources and they were      to ask themselves in introducing a topic to       of what we’re doing and how it is relevant for
working as a learning community. They were
able to get support from their colleagues
                                                  students is: What aspects of this material
                                                  would an individual actually do in a context
                                                                                                    our children as part of the SACSA implemen-
                                                                                                                                                       The 20 elements
both when they had a success and when             other than a school room?
something didn’t go as well as planned,”                                                              Some staff and leaders in the district are al-
he said.                                           Chris Majewski related this to the need for      ready involved in more learning about the pro-
                                                                                                                                                       Intellectual quality
                                                                                                                                                       Higher-order thinking
  “The principal encouraged risk taking in                                                                                                             Deep knowledge
                                                         “ They were able to get support from their colleagues                                         Deep understanding
                                                                                                                                                       Substantive conversation
  Students were able to talk about what they              both when they had a success and when something                                              Knowledge as problematic
were doing in the language of the productive                                                                                                           Metalanguage
pedagogies and they felt engaged because                            didn’t go as well as planned... ”
they had been able to negotiate aspects of
their learning with teachers.                                                                                                                          Supportive classroom
                                                  intellectual rigour. In the element of Deep       ductive pedagogies as part of a Local Educa-
  West Beach Primary School principal             Knowledge for instance, teachers ask: does        tor Networks (LEN) program as part of SACSA        environment
Heather Tiivas said what was confirming for       this topic focus on the central idea of major     implementation. Christine said those teach-        Student direction
her school was the students’ engagement in        body of knowledge?                                ers would start the process of discussion in       Social support
their learning and that was motivating the                                                          their own schools and look at how much of          Academic engagement
teachers to continue.                              Another element was building resources.          this methodology teachers were already us-         Explicit quality performance criteria
                                                                                                    ing.                                               Self-regulation
  “You see a lot of teachers in groups devis-      “The teams that were developing re-
ing work and asking each other: Why are           sources through the project recognised              The teachers in the LEN work in groups of
you doing that and where will it lead?,” she      the importance of documentation. What             four. One person brings in a piece of work         Recognition of difference
said.                                             was really interesting was the way it was         they were willing to share.
                                                  shared so that all teachers had access to                                                            Cultural knowledge
  Tony added: “They could sit down and work       what was happening throughout the                   “Initially, they were apprehensive about hav-    Inclusivity
out the kind of questions to ask in class and     school: lesson plans, proformas, reading          ing somebody in to look at their teaching,”        Narrative
they were able to analyse things more deeply.”    materials, etc. All teachers made their ma-       Chris said.                                        Group identity
                                                  terials on the school intranet Staff were                                                            Active citizenship
  West Lakes Primary School principal             really using It as a communications tool,”      “But within a very short time people were
Christine Hatzi said that the specific descrip-   Christine said.                              engaging so openly. This just gives that struc-
tions of the 20 elements in the four domains                                                   ture and format. It was unusual that we didn’t          Intellectual quality
gave teachers a common language for dis-           Heather said she was excited about begin- hear any teachers in Queensland speak badly               Knowledge integration
cussing and analysing their teaching.             ning a project at her own school.            about the productive pedagogies. It really              Background knowledge
                                                                                               gripped them.                                           Connectedness to the world
 “They talk about ‘recognition of differences’,    She said the productive pedagogies would                                                            Problem-based curriculum
say, and how it impacts on the content and        provide professional dialogue between teach-   “Lots of them are saying: isn’t great to be
style of lessons,” she said.                      ers and their colleagues and opportunities talking about teaching.”
8   xpress                                                                                                                                                       Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

At last, someone’s talking
In the discussion about children’s learning, has teaching as a craft, a
skill and an art been neglected?
Ron Hoenig reports.

    s the verb “to teach” in the active or the
    passive voice?

  Curriculum discussion has tended to focus
on the process of learning, but what of the
other party in the mysterious process of teach-
ing and learning? Many teachers have been
searching for direction in further developing
their skills in creating the constructivist class-

  Now Central West district is developing a
project to pilot productive pedagogies, a
framework for analysing teaching that has
been undergoing intensive testing in Queens-
land schools.

  For the last three years educational leaders
from the district have been going interstate
once a year for some on-the-spot professional

 Late last year a group of 21 educational lead-
ers went to Brisbane with district superintend-
ent Chris Majewski to study productive

  In groups of four or five they visited three
schools each. While the schools varied in size,
composition and location, the Queensland
staff were united in their enthusiasm for the
productive pedagogies as a way of assisting
them to focus on their core business: teach-         raphies and the world outside of the class-        introduction.                                   nity of practice that will explore the application
ing.                                                 room using the productive pedagogies                                                               of productive pedagogies in preschools.
                                                     model”.                                              District coordinator Children’s Services Jayne
  Productive pedagogies builds on interna-                                                              Dunn describes the productive pedagogies           Kurralta Park Preschool director Pauline
tional research on authentic pedagogy and              Currently 59 schools throughout Queensland as a lens through which people can analyse Robinson said what they had seen of the use
authentic achievement by the University of           are involved in a trial of the New Basics Project, their own teaching.                              of the methodologies in Queensland was very
Wisconsin’s Center on the Organization and           including the productive pedagogies method-                                                         interesting and she was sure it would be use-
Restructuring of Schools (CORS).                     ology. New Basics is the Queensland cur-             “We’ve spent a lot of time in the past few ful in preschool practice.
                                                     riculum framework based on elements very years looking at learners and our developing
  In 1997 Education Queensland commis-               similar to SA’s Essential Learnings.               curriculum. We don’t spend a lot of time look-     West Lakes Junior Primary principal Tony
sioned a research study entitled The Queens-                                                            ing at pedagogy. Constructivism is a theory      Varbaro said he was very impressed with what
land School Reform Longitudinal Study                  In 2001, 26 leaders from the Central West for learning and it depends on teacher’s craft he saw.
(QSRLS) by Professor Alan Luke and associ-           district went to Brisbane, visited schools and but productive pedagogies gives us a frame-
ates from the School of Education at the Uni-        met one of the members of the Productive work to be critically constructive,” she said.               One site was a junior primary school with
versity of Queensland “to investigate possible       Pedagogies team. Enthused by the project,            One of the critical aspects of the process is 300 students which was trialling productive
relationships between school-based manage-                                                                                                               pedagogies in reception classes – looking at
ment and enhanced student outcomes”.                                                                                                                     continuity of learning, tracking student

 While the research did not find a strong link
                                                          “   We've spent a lot of time in the past few years looking progress, and the use of the rich tasks, which
                                                                                                                                                         are assessment processes based on an au-
between school-based management and stu-                               at learners and our developing curriculum...                      ”               thentic activity.
dent outcomes, it did confirm the relationship
between good teaching and student out-                                                                                                                    Tony said he was particularly impressed by
comes.                                               they invited a presenter to SA to speak to their   “professional learning communities”, dedi- one school which was not formally part of the
                                                     district leaders’ conference. She provided         cated time for teachers to meet and discuss trial. Teachers had initially rated themselves
  The research used the CORS information to          some basic training in productive pedagogies.      their teaching.                                 highly on some criteria, but in the actual as-
distil 20 elements of good practice within four                                                                                                         sessment found that they had actually “missed
broad dimensions: Recognition of Difference;           “People were very glowing in their praise,”         The QSRLS report states there are strong the mark”.
Connectedness; Intellectual Quality and Sup-         Chris said. “We decided that we should fur-        links between three key variables and more
portive Classroom Environment. Using these,          ther explore the productive pedagogies.”           frequent use of productive classroom Consequently, they had decided to introduce
researchers went into 1000 school rooms                                                                 pedagogies:                                     the method into their teaching practice and
selected for their involvement in some sorts of         He said while the SACSA Framework was                                                           school organization.
reform initiatives and rated the teaching.           based on the development and employment               ¥The degree of teachers’ collective respon-
                                                     of constructivist approaches, “we can use          sibility for student learning                     “I was impressed that the staff were driving
  In general, the results showed that teachers       more help in how to make this happen in real          ¥ The overall level of professional learning the change. They had set up a learning com-
scored well on Connectedness and Support-            life in a classroom, and we saw productive         community in a school                           munity on their own initiative that operated
ive Classroom Environment. They scored less          pedagogies as a very useful source of ideas”.         ¥The strength of leadership focus on peda- voluntarily before school, where all they talked
well on Intellectual Quality and Recognition of                                                         gogy.                                           about was their teaching,” Tony said.
Difference in their teaching. The QSRLS re-            The district has now decided to do some
port said there was “a pressing need to en-          work with productive pedagogies this year.          Jayne said though the Queensland project The educational discussions extended as far
hance the intellectual demand of pedagogy”           More than 20 sites want to make it a focus of      does not include preschools, the Central West as decisions about school excursions and how
and “connecting student work to their biog-          their work, looking at what is effective in its    preschool leaders has established a commu- they would impact on learning, Tony said.
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                            xpress       11

A voice to be
 A new program at
 Macclesfield Primary
 School is giving students
 a strong voice in the way
 the school is operated.
 Charmaine Newton
                                                            Macclesfield Primary School students are being given a greater say in the way their school is operated.

          acclesfield Primary students are       A focus team of leaders representing the        “The forums have a professional focus.        impact of their problem solving.”
           on a drive to cut their school’s    six schools and one kindergarten was             Students learn about teamwork and we link
           electricity costs with any money    comprised to plan the implementation of          them to our partnership plan,” she said.        “All other student forums can apply to
they save spent at the site, with the ap-      the project. Macclesfield became the                                                            the fundraising forum for projects.”
propriate approvals.                           school to drive change and will help the          A partnership plan outlines the work that
                                               other schools implement the program in           the school plans to achieve to improve           Julie said the model was not about stu-
  As a result, students are taking a genu-     the future. The model involves a network         outcomes.                                      dents having all the power. Forums de-
ine interest in ensuring lights, fans and      of student groups, representatives and fo-                                                      liver an apprenticeship in democracy.
heaters are turned off when not in use.        rums that link closely with each other, staff     “So through this teachers can work with       They engage all willing members of the
They feel empowered by the responsibility      and parents and school directions.               the people that the outcomes are about -       community in processes that encourage
they have been given and are inspired by                                                        the students - in order to achieve them,”      and value student consultation, collabo-
the opportunity to play a part in any future     There are class meetings held at the same      she said.                                      ration, problem solving, choice respon-
directions or improvements at the school.      time by every class each fortnight and stu-                                                     sibility and decision making.
The electricity saving and spending exer-      dent forum sessions held one afternoon a          She said the forums were instigated for
cise is one of several projects to be in-      fortnight. These are convened and run by         the first time in term four and were now          “We have explained to students that
cluded in an innovative program/model at       students and have representatives from           held every Tuesday afternoon. She said the     there are ‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ decisions in
Macclesfield Primary School to increase        each class.                                      other schools planned to introduce the         life and we have trained students and
student voice.                                                                                  model this year.                               adults in an understanding of how this
                                                 “The communication links are finally there                                                    applies to all of us,” she said.
  Principal Julie Simon described the model    for all groups – with student driven paper        “Any of the targets that our teachers fo-
as a “second generation SRC”, that fol-                                                                                                         She said the school introduced the
lowed the school’s partnership plan.                                                                                                           model through student leaders, who

  “It has evolved from the traditional SRC
                                               “    The forums have a professional focus. Students learn
                                                                                                                                               demonstrated and led the change so as
                                                                                                                                               to maximise credibility.
model in which you have two representa-                   about teamwork and we link them to our
tives go to a meeting and then consult with                                                                                                     The student team led a training day for
students,” she said.                                                partnership plan... ”                                                      students, staff and parents of other
                                                                                                                                               schools in the cluster.
 “One problem with that model is that it
didn’t have many links to parents, staff and   trails that have student literacy working        cus on in our partnership plan they can          She said all meetings, regardless of
school activities.                             overtime every week,” Julie said.                achieve in some way, through their forum       whether they are for staff, students or
                                                                                                time,” Julie said.                             governing councils, were modelled on the
 “Over 12 years of research and trial and        There are eight different forums covering                                                     same protocols and procedures, so that
error we have a framework that finally mod-    the areas of arts, environment, numeracy         “For instance, in our partnership plan we      if students were to attend any one of
els itself on the staff and parent models of   (called fundraising), literacy (called student   want to teach people about water preser-       these meetings, they would feel at home
decision making used in schools in SA.”        newspaper), special events, student wel-         vation and Kesab etc – so this becomes         with the processes – not intimidated by
                                               fare, ICT and school promotions and sports       an aspect of forums also.”                     them. Julie said both staff and students
  The project began in disadvantaged           and recreation. Teachers are the profes-                                                        had taken to the project.
northern schools in response to the way        sional facilitators of those forums, which        “It is about children having a say in what
adults worked with disenfranchised stu-        allow students to write operational plans,       and how they learn.                              “Engaging students in achieving initia-
dents. Variations of the model were intro-     negotiate goals and set criteria for success.                                                   tives that were relevant to their needs and
duced, based on the idea that by improv-                                                         “Students have recently erected signs         context demonstrated just what they can
ing student voice, resiliency, self-esteem       “We integrate a whole range of curricu-        encouraging students to turn off taps. The     achieve when they are engaged, focused
and self determination problems would be       lum across those forums,” Julie said.            next task is electricity, talking about the    and own them,” she said.
reduced. Julie said this was found to be                                                        effects of fluoro light on health.
true.                                           “Students work with guidance from staff                                                          “The number of students now speak-
                                               and parents to achieve their outcomes.”            “Often in schools, people don’t have an      ing up and feeling good about having a
  The cluster of six schools in the South-                                                      understanding of the need to turn lights off   say, being involved and completing
ern Vales district – Macclesfield, Echunga,      From there, a student executive – made up      or heaters off. I have challenged our stu-     tasks is increasing.
Meadows, McLaren Flat, Clarendon and           of senior students elected by forums, school     dents through the forum, to can get the
Kangarilla – took the idea further to change   staff and governing council representatives      school’s electricity bill down by $600. I am    "Teachers at the staff training day were
the way they constructed student decision      – considers the work done by each of the         sure they can. Any money they save,            astounded at the levels of competency
making. They are developing the model as       forums. Each executive reports on what their     through turning lights off, will go to the     of the students who trained them in stu-
a cluster model.                               respective forum has been working on.            fundraising forum – so students enjoy the      dent voice processes and practices.”
10   xpress                                                                                                                                           Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

                                 Cleve Area School year 7 students Rebecca Irwin and Chloe Edwards work through a maths exercise with some assist-
                                 ance from school services officer Gwenda Herbert in the learning support centre.

 A specified learning centre
 at Cleve Area School has
 provided a different
                                                                 of learning
 approach to student
 support programs.
 Gabrielle Hall reports.

          new Learning Support Centre at        “It operates full time with a teacher and      Teleah said the initiative was working well,   Learning Support Centre, Teleah said
         Cleve Area School on Eyre Penin- up to three school services officers (SSO’s)        often leaving students with a sense of          the stigma of learning assistance had
         sula is giving students an opportu- running the centre,” David said.                 achievement.                                    disappeared.
nity to target their learning needs and get
up to speed with their classmates in no time.   “The focus is on small groups and the           “One of the things we focus on is that         “We’ve got a situation now where the
                                              room is divided up loosely so small groups      students will finish what they came to start    students who are leaning in the centre
  Based on a similar model at Riverton and of up to four or five students can work with       or what they came to get help with, so they     are promoting it to other students," she
District High School, Cleve Area School an adult.                                             leave with an end product,” she said.           said.
principal David Crouch said the Learning
Support Centre was a different approach         “There’s no student who is there all of the    “Often in the class these kids might not         “It’s not just a place for students with
to supported learning.                        time, but there are some students who are       ever finish anything, particularly if they’re   learning difficulties, it’s for any students
                                              there for a relatively large amount of time     struggling with an area of their learning, so   that need help.”
  “The learning centre is something we es- and others are there for just a couple of          when they leave here they’ve got finished
tablished in 2002 and it’s part of establish- lessons a week.                                 work to take with them.                          The Learning Support Centre has also
ing a different model for delivering our stu-                                                                                                 doubled as a resource centre, with
dent support program,” he said.                                                                                                               teachers pooling resources to provide

  “Previously what we’ve had was our stu-
                                                   “ They feel they've accomplished something and that in                                     ready-access to learning tools.

dent support programs being delivered one-                                   want to learn more... ”
                                                                 itself makes them                                                             While in-class support is still provided
to-one in the classroom. What the Learn-                                                                                                      to teachers, Teleah said the Learning
ing Support Centre does is provide a physi-                                                                                                   Support Centre had been well-received
cal place in the school where students go     “It’s got a clear learning focus. It’s not a      “They feel they’ve accomplished some-         by staff and parents.
for support in different ways.              behaviour management focus, it’s not              thing and that in itself makes them want to
                                            somewhere for naughty kids.”                      learn more.”                                     “More parents are approaching class-
  “Some students have special needs,                                                                                                          room teachers asking if their child can
some have been identified for our exten-      Deputy principal Teleah Wilson said up           The aim of the centre is to help students      get extra support in some areas,” she
sion programs, some may have been to 50 students from reception to year 12                    overcome learning difficulties and enable       said.
away from school for a long time for some were utilising the supported learning fa-           them to slide back into mainstream
reason, or some may be struggling in one cility and agreed there were clear objec-            classes.                                         With 2002 acting as a trial year for the
area of a particular subject.”              tives for the centre.                                                                             Learning Support Centre, Teleah said
                                                                                               To be part of the learning centre, students    the centre and its program would be
  David said the Learning Support Centre         “Some of the comments from the stu-          are referred by teachers or parents, or the     refined for 2003 and build on its early
provided a more efficient delivery of learn-   dents have been that the Learning Sup-         students can refer themselves for extra as-     success.
ing support by targeting small groups of       port Centre is a quieter place to learn and    sistance.
students rather than focussing efforts on      it’s easier to concentrate in here,” she                                                        “We did a review with staff and gained
individual students. Students go to the        said.                                            And with a wide range of students work-       some feedback about any modifications
converted classroom for a series of les-                                                      ing alongside each other to receive learn-      they’d like to see for 2003 and we’ll try
sons each week and keep going “for as           “We’re quite strict on making this a          ing support, as well as a group of 17 ex-       and incorporate that into whatever
long as it takes for them to resolve their     place students come to work, it’s not a        tension students and a group of school-         model we come up with for the 2003,”
learning issue”.                               place where kids come to muck around.”         based apprentices working out of the            she said.
12   xpress                                                                                                                                               Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

                                                     In a class
South Australian teachers are being recognised for their commitment to teaching and dedication
to student learning through a classification process which is taking them to new heights.
Renae Borgas reports.

                                                                                                                                                  contributions to the State education sys-

       eaching careers are being nurtured
       through a personal classification                                                                                                          tem.
       process aimed at supporting teach-                                                                                                           • participation in an intensive performance
ers dedicated to the classroom.                                                                                                                   management process which enables teach-
                                                                                                                                                  ers to analyse and reflect on teaching prac-
  The Advanced Skills Teacher 1 classifica-                                                                                                       tice. As a result teachers identify areas of
tion provides a career path for teachers who                                                                                                      strength and areas for further development.
wish to stay in the classroom. This per-                                                                                                            • the personal satisfaction of having their
sonal classification was developed in con-                                                                                                        expertise acknowledged by colleagues and
sultation between DECS and the AEU in                                                                                                             the school community.
1993.                                                                                                                                               • achievement of AST1 classification mo-
                                                                                                                                                  tivates teachers to challenge themselves to
  Previously there were no opportunities for                                                                                                      continually improve their practice.
teachers to progress beyond step 12 and                                                                                                             • provision of a structure that supports our
remain in a classroom setting. To further                                                                                                         best teachers to remain within the class-
their careers, teachers were required to                                                                                                          room.
move into promotional positions which took
them out of the classroom. The AST clas-                                                                                                            “The Department of Education and Chil-
sification provides the alternative career path                                                                                                   dren’s Services is proud and appreciative of
in schools.                                                                                                                                       the work of AST1s who provide leadership
                                                                                                                                                  to our system,” Gaynor said.
  “Continuing research shows that the qual-
ity of the teacher directly correlates to stu-                                                                                                      An award ceremony was held in Decem-
dent success, and the AST process recog-                                                                                                          ber 2002 at the Education Development
nises this through its celebration of teacher                                                                                                     Centre, Hindmarsh to honour the teachers
excellence,” AST peer evaluator Gaynor                                                                                                            who gained Advanced Skills Teachers clas-
Strapp said.                                                                                                                                      sification during the year.

  “In the past 10 years about 1850 teach-                                                                                                          DECS Chief Executive, Steve Marshall
ers have been successfully assessed as                                                                                                            and Bill Hignett, from the AEU addressed
AST1s. These teachers contribute signifi-                                                                                                         the group and presented the certificates.
cantly to the provision of outstanding
teacher practice in leadership and peda-
gogy in public education.”
                                                       “ In the past 10 years about 1850 teachers have been                                        In 2002, 58 teachers from across the State
                                                                                                                                                  successfully completed the rigorous and re-
                                                                  successfully assessed as AST1s... ”                                             warding AST selection process.
  Applicants for the classification must be
permanent teachers, on step 10, 11 or 12                                                                                                           Some of these teachers included:
in the year of their assessment, or be a          through a discussion with the applicant.         • contribute to broader school issues.
teacher in the final year of a leadership po-                                                                                                                    Chris Kaczan
sition before reverting back to step 10,11,         The teachers who are assessed as AST1s          Benefits of the AST 1 process for schools
or 12 and be in a placement for one year or       have demonstrated that they are highly          include:                                         Urrbrae Agricultural High School teacher
more.                                             skilled teachers who:                             • the celebration of excellence in teaching   Chris Kaczan has developed a range of
                                                    • generate positive attitudes to learning       • the enhancement of the school’s public      cross curricular programs for students in
  “The process provides a wide range of op-       amongst their students;                         image                                           years 8, 9 and 10, focussing on the Urrbrae
portunities for teachers to demonstrate to          • have productive relationships with stu-       • the fostering of professional dialogue      wetlands.
a panel that they are exemplary classroom         dents, care givers/parents of students in       between teachers
teachers,” Gaynor said.                           their classes;                                    • the provision of a structure for perform-     He personally trialled and developed a
                                                    • use a wide range of classroom teaching      ance management meetings                        range of interesting and safe hands-on ac-
  The process consists of six strands in-         and learning processes;                           • a process by which line managers can        tivities which the students are keen engage
cluding a written application, extended ob-         • have an ongoing commitment to their         focus on and work with excellent teachers.      in.
servation of the applicant’s teaching by one      own professional development and are re-          • the positive impact upon the standard of
of the panel members and a maximum of             ceptive to new ideas and their application;     teaching and learning within a site               Chris has been involved in an extensive
three references/performance statements.            • are informed about current issues in edu-                                                   range of camps and volunteer programs
On assessment day the panel observes              cation and work collaboratively with other       Benefits of the AST 1 process for teach-       which has required consistent liaison with a
the applicant’s teaching, listens to a pres-      teachers to improve the learning outcomes       ers include:                                    range of community groups. He is proactive
entation and seeks further information            for all students.                                • recognition by DECS of their positive        in creating positive relationships with stu-
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                                   xpress        13

of their own

dents whose self esteem and feelings of self                                                                                                        This idea has lead to a 350 per cent in-
worth are developed through his quiet sup-                                                                                                         crease in girls taking part in the year 11 sci-
portive manner, patience and empathy.                                                                                                              ence course.

               Dianne Wright                                                                                                                         Pam caters for the preferred learning styles
                                                                                                                                                   of her students and provides them with the
 Westport Primary School reception teacher                                                                                                         opportunity to demonstrate their creativity
Dianne Wright is highly sensitive to the needs                                                                                                     through their presentations. Some students
and abilities of her students, providing a                                                                                                         chose to explain one of the laws of physics
curriculum which supports the learning                                                                                                             by writing poetry.
needs of each student in her care.
                                                                                                                                                                   Sue Matena
  Dianne places great importance on de-
veloping strong relationships with her stu-                                                                                                         Sue Matena is responsible for the R-7
dents and their families and actively involves                                                                                                     Music NIT program at McLaren Vale Primary
family members in the classroom so that a                                                                                                          School. She has developed a program
close school community relationship de-                                                                                                            which meets the needs of students who
velops.                                                                                                                                            display a wide range of musical abilities.

               Janine McKay                                                                                                                         Students want to be in her lessons and
                                                                                                                                                   hence the level of participation and achieve-
 Maitland Area School German teacher                                                                                                               ment is high. Sue’s program has drawn
Janine McKay specifically develops strate-                                                                                                         praise and recognition from the State edu-
gies to cater for students with learning diffi-                                                                                                    cation community.
culties and different learning styles.
                                                     “ These teachers contribute significantly to the provision                                                   Yvonne Ridge
  Janine was pivotal in the organisation and               of outstanding teacher practice in leadership and
implementation of a highly successful ex-                                                                                                            Happy Valley Primary School teacher
change visit of staff and students from Ohara                       pedagogy in public education...”                                               Yvonne Ridge provides her students with a
in Japan. She devised a varied range of                                                                                                            range of open-ended tasks, problem solv-
activities to showcase Maitland, Yorke Pe-                                                                                                         ing, resource based and hands-on activities.
ninsula and South Australia, involving the                                                        expertise are sought at a school, cluster,
school and wider community.                        Keyneton Primary School teacher Kellie         district and State level.                          Her year 6 students have actively partici-
                                                  Baier has established a classroom environ-                                                       pated in developing cross curricular inte-
  Janine has worked collaboratively with the      ment where senior school students are                          Mary Xenides                      grated units of studies through all levels of
local Aboriginal Education Teacher and Abo-       empowered to make decisions about their                                                          planning. She has played a significant part
riginal Education Worker to ensure the            own learning.                                     Ridley Grove School year 5/6/7 class           in the life of the school in her role as the
Narungga Language program was imple-                                                              teacher Mary Xenides is an enthusiastic          special ed teacher.
mented and supported.                               Kellie has fostered strong links with the     practitioner who provides an outstanding
                                                  local community, resulting in positive and      commitment to her students. She creates            Her regular and thorough assessment and
               Joan Sullivan                      supportive school community relationships.      an environment which supports student            evaluation of students and their abilities has
                                                                                                  learning, social and emotional needs.            led to the development of a range of pro-
  Burnside Primary School teacher Joan                          Margaret Dell                                                                      grams which have significantly improved the
Sullivan seeks and creates opportunities                                                            Issues such as lateness, poverty and eq-       learning of a number of students.
for her year 7 students to develop and             Seaford Rise Primary School teacher            uity in access to resources are closely moni-
demonstrate leadership. This has resulted         Margaret Dell has taught her junior primary     tored and appropriate actions are taken so        * Teachers who wish to seek AST1
in students using their initiative, showing       students the importance of their learning and   all students are able to access the curricu-     classification during 2003 should
respect and support for each other, be-           behaviour.                                      lum.                                             submit an application form (AST 101)
ing organised, self disciplined and respon-                                                                                                        to their principal by week 3 term 1.
sible.                                              The classroom is filled with examples of                     Pamela Kuhn                       Further information may be ob-
                                                  student work and materials which support                                                         tained      from     the    website
 Joan has established an effective and effi-      pupils in their learning. Students make           Former Unley High School science teacher       <www.decs.sa.edu.au/schlstaff>
cient borrowing system for sports equip-          choices; know they are trusted, that their      Pamela Kuhn has developed a regular ‘Girls       then Human Resources, Employee
ment which is run by the students in her          input is valued, and participate in sponta-     and Physics’ day to encourage year 10 girls      Development, Advanced Skills
class.                                            neous and in-depth conversations about          to choose science as one of their year 11 sub-   Teacher or by contacting the AST
              Kellie Baier                        their learning. Margaret’s experience and       jects.                                           Unit on 82261352.
14   xpress                                                                                                                          Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

         Closer to HOME

For the first time in               Cale Stacy, year 10, and Luke Pryor, year 12, are among the senior students defying tradition and
many years, Elliston                staying on at Elliston Area School to complete their schooling.

Area School on Eyre
Peninsula will have
senior students
                                 ike most senior students from Eyre          made those programs extremely flexible          for our students and lots of work in career
                                 Peninsula’s Elliston Area School            and able to be revisited each year to suit      education.
studying at the school           before him, Year 12 student Luke            the needs of individual students.
                          Pryor headed off to boarding school two                                                             “We’ve basically been hunting all over the
this year thanks to a     years ago.                                           The retention of senior students is part of   place for opportunities for our students to
push to retain              But the move took him away from his fam-
                                                                             a wider push to provide a variety of pro-
                                                                             grams to students at Elliston and ensure
                                                                                                                             enable them to get out and about and have
                                                                                                                             a taste of what’s out there for them.
students at the site.     ily and the town he loved, and after just a
                          year in Port Lincoln - 170 kilometres from
                                                                             its isolation does not mean they miss out
                                                                             on things their counterparts at other sites       “It enables our students to have a toe in
Gabrielle Hall reports.   home - he persuaded his parents to bring
                          him back to Elliston to complete his school-
                                                                             may take for granted.                           the water in a whole lot of areas and know
                                                                                                                             that if you’re here in Elliston and connected
                          ing. It is a trend that means for the first time     “Our whole strategic plan is looking at re-   by technology you can quite easily con-
                          in a long time, Elliston Area School will have     tention rates, looking at more jobs for stu-    tinue to live and work here.”
                          senior students in 2003.                           dents, looking at ways we can use tech-
                                                                             nology, how we can make curriculum rel-          With 80 students on the roll and a focus
                            Principal Janet Potter said this year there      evant particularly for young rural males in     on the “top end of the school” Janet said it
                          would be eight year 10 students, one year          an isolated community,” Janet said.             was auguring well for future enrolments.
                          11 and one year 12, defying the tradition
                          of senior students going to boarding school         Technology has played a large part in en-        “We’ve introduced a middle school focus
                          in either Port Lincoln or Adelaide.                suring distance barriers are reduced and        in year 6 and really from year 6 on we’re
                                                                             Janet said a large effort had been make to      looking at what will retain those students
                           “We’ve worked with parents and the gov-           “establish really strong networks with peo-     here at Elliston,” she said.
                          erning council to work out what it is that         ple in the city”.
                          they want for their children and whether                                                            “We’ve got 80 students now and by the
                          they want them to stay here to complete              However, as traditionally at many sites       end of this year we expect about 90 stu-
                          school,” Janet said.                               outside the metropolitan area, a large ef-      dents. We’ve been in a real lull, when I first
                                                                             fort and commitment is also made to ei-         came to Elliston we had 64 students, but
                           “What we’re saying to parents is ‘tell us         ther bring opportunities to the students or     we’ve really gained momentum along the

                                “ It's like a journey that we're all on together and it's a                                   “Now with the senior school access im-
                                              huge advantage being that way... ”                                             proving and the little ones coming into the
                                                                                                                             school we’re on an upward spiral.

                          what you want, tell us what you need’ and          take students to those opportunities.            “I think as the enrolments grow, the more
                          in relation to the students we’re very much                                                        confident people will become about the
                          saying to them that ‘it’s your life, what do         Whether it be study opportunities or sport    school.”
                          you want it to look like?’.                        and social interaction events, Janet said
                                                                             staff, parents and students were commit-         Janet admits it is a “constant challenge”
                           “Then we set about looking at what kinds          ted to making the extra effort to be part of    to retain students in rural areas, but said it
                          of programs we could offer them.”                  it. The variety of opportunities on offer re-   was an exciting one that was being well-
                                                                             flect that commitment.                          received by parents and students in
                           Janet said the school had now employed                                                            Elliston.
                          a senior school teacher to help deliver the         “This year we’ll have connections with
                          senior school program.                             TAFE to be able to offer a Certificate 1 in      “I think it’s exciting to be working in this
                                                                             Employment,” Janet said.                        area," she said.
                           “Together we’ve worked on putting to-
                          gether a senior school book pointing out             “We’re also involved in active8 Arts           "It’s like a journey that we’re all on together
                          we can do the same things here that you            through Carclew so we’ve done quite a lot       and it’s a huge advantage being that way.
                          can do in other senior schools, you just           of work in media and performance produc-
                          have to tell us what you want,” she said.          tion, looking at film making and video pro-      "The stakes for young people are very
                                                                             duction. We’ve used Ready Set Go fund-          high and we’re really committed to making
                           Janet said the small size of the school           ing to provide work experience in the city      sure we offer them the best we can.”
Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003                                                                                                                                                           xpress        15

           The eight key areas for Performance Management were the focus of a State-wide audit of
                                                      schools, preschools, TAFE and State office.
         Performance Management project officer, Susanne Owen looks closely at the findings of the
                                                                        audit and good practice.

         erformance Management – is it the                                                                                                                and collect evidence in their ‘brag books’ and
         big brother/sister accountability or                                                                                                             presenting this to their managers,” Susanne
         supportive professional growth?                                                                                                                  said. “Minutes of the meetings which reflect
                                                                                                                                                          these presentations can then be used, along
 This was one of the many issues looked at                                                                                                                with other information from the manager, as
during a South Australian audit of perform-                                                                                                               the basis for developing the written feedback.
ance management across the key sectors of           Susanne Owen, a State-wide Performance Management project officer.
education. The audit, which occurred last year,                                                                                                             “At a local level, everyone needs to be in-
aimed to determine the current level of                                                                                                                   volved in building a culture of recognition al-
progress in implementing performance man-           some guided questions, talk to me about            colleagues, students and parents; examples         though the leader’s role in establishing this is
agement in each site. The grid used for the         what’s happening in the classroom, talk to me      of computer skills products; collegial obser-      essential.”
evaluation identified six possible levels from      about your concerns about specific students’       vation notes etc.
zero to five for the elements, each with an in-     (Owen, professional development surveys,                                                                     Grievance Procedures and
dicator statement to describe the stage of im-      2002).                                               “In the audit, 70 per cent of directorates in         Addressing Underperformance
plementation.                                                                                          State office and more than 90 per cent of
                                                       Performance Planning and Personal               schools and preschools indicated a three or          The final aspects of the Performance Man-
  According to Performance Management                        Development Planning                      four rating in performance planning, of under-     agement policy are Grievance Procedures
project officer Susanne Owen, the usual for-                                                           standing, or actually achieving the objective      and Addressing Underperformance.
mat for Performance Management involved              Reflecting accountability, each staff member      of linking individuals to broader goals.”          Susanne said in terms of underperformance,
self-appraisal, a planning meeting between the                                                                                                            nearly 60 per cent of schools and preschools
manager and staff member to negotiate goals                                                                                                               and about 70 per cent of State office rated
and data collection and an interview to dis-
cuss achievements and to develop a written
                                                      “Performance Management is about all staff being clear                                              themselves at zero to two.

report which is required at least annually. Line         about what their work involves and completing it at a                                             She said experience showed that when
manager meetings are a required aspect of                                                                                                                 staff were under-performing, a regular, almost
Performance Management, but teams can                                     satisfactory level... ”                                                         weekly meeting process where the manager
also be involved, sharing goals and meeting                                                                                                               and the staff member work together to ad-
to provide feedback.                                                                                                                                      dress the concerns needed to occur. More
                                                    is required to identify some performance plan-      Targeted professional development to sup-         often than not, this did result in improved
       Job and Person Specification                 ning goals which link into the school, directo-    port current and future career planning is oc-     performance.
              and Induction                         rate, or systems directions.                       curring in about half of the school and pre-
                                                                                                       school sites, although a little less so in State                     Summary
  “Performance Management is about all staff          “For example, a performance planning goal        Office: The performance management
being clear about what their work involves and      for a teacher in relation to SACSA might be,       structure....has supported my professional          “Accountability is certainly part of Perform-
completing it at a satisfactory level,” Susanne     ‘a range of assessment strategies used in-         development…I’ve had the opportunity to dis-       ance Management, but most of our staff are
said. “The ratings used in the audit for the Job    cluding self and peer assessment and authen-       cuss my needs with my manager, but also it’s       competent and experienced,” Susanne said.
and Person Specification and Induction as-          tic assessment methods’ and for a non-school       helped me in being strategic at the same time
pects indicated a four or five response. This       based staff member, ‘undertake a risk assess-      with my training and development’ (Owen,             “Therefore, the ultimate goal is feeling mo-
suggests that current and new State office,         ment of my office area to ensure it meets the      2002).                                             tivated in the workplace and improved job
schools and preschool staff, have clarity re-       level 3 standard’,” Susanne said.                                                                     satisfaction through professional growth, as
garding their work roles and that regular re-                                                                  Recognition and Feedback                   well as continuously improving the quality of
views and updating are occurring.                    “Personal Development goals are also part                                                            the education we provide in the public sys-
                                                    of Performance Management and these are              In the audit, more than 80 per cent of           tem.”
  “In terms of good practice, Teachers Work is      about staff skilling themselves more in their      schools/preschools rated themselves at level
the reference document for teachers but this        current work or for future career planning,        four or five of celebrating success and staff       About the Author: Susanne Owen is the
needs a local context. Schools and                  which clearly is concerned with professional       feeling valued. Only 20 per cent had written       State-wide Performance Management
preschools use it to discuss aspects of Teach-      growth.                                            feedback related to data and linked to per-        project      officer    which      includes
ers Work such as behaviour management or                                                               formance objectives. State office results had      underperformance processes. Susanne
teaching methodology.”                                “In emphasising professional growth, identi-     more than 30 per cent of directorates indicat-     conducts training and development through-
                                                    fying the evidence of success when the goal        ing a four or five rating.                         out the State and has previously been a sec-
  Performance Management is based on sup-           has been achieved is important. Staff can take                                                        ondary school administrator. Susanne is
port and staff having a clear understanding of      control of their learning by gathering this evi-    “Best practice in terms of written feedback       currently completing Doctor of Education
their roles: ‘It’s been just a chat you know with   dence in a portfolio including feedback from       seems to suggest that staff develop their goals    studies in Professional Development.
16   xpress                                                                                                                                    Vol 6, No 1, January 30, 2003

                                                                                    Pitjantjatjara song and dance and a wel-          about family and kinship in the perform-
                                                                                  come onto Kaurna land marked the end-               ance which centred around a recently con-
                                                                                  of-year celebrations at Kalaya Preschool.           structed Wiltja (traditional Aboriginal
                                                                                    Lele Sanderson from the preschool said            shelter).
                                                                                  the children spent two terms integrating              “The children dressed up as different fam-
                                                                                  Aboriginal language, culture and identity.          ily members and used various artefacts in-
                                                                                    The performance in Pitjantjatjara was a           cluding digeridoos, clapstciks and
                                                                                  focus of the Aboriginal language program            coolamons.
                                                                                  and incorporated learning about Austral-              “The children read the story in
                                                                                  ian animals and their characteristics.              Pitjantjatjara and English with help from
                                                                                    “Activities included learning about ani-          the kindy teacher,” Lele said.
                                                                                  mal habitats, learning animal names in                Children have been participating in role
                                                                                  Pitjantjatjara, an excursion to Cleland             play and cultural experiences at the Wiltja
                                                                                  Wildlife Park and a series of Aboriginal            which has provided an Aboriginal perspec-
                                                                                  dance workshops focussing on animals.               tive to the play area.
                                                                                    “At the celebration the Kalaya children             At the preschool's end-of-year celebration
                                                                                  depicted various Australian animals                 there was also a display of children’s lit-
                                                                                  through a movement and action song,”                eracy, Aboriginal art activities and a
                                                                                  Lele said.                                          waltjapiti (family) tree made with chil-
Kalaya Preschool children performing an Aboriginal dance in their new Wiltja.       Children also incorporated their learning         dren’s handprints.

                                                                                  A growing cultural awareness
                                                                                    An Indigenous medicinal          matism and arthritis, Black          Information about the plants
                                                                                  garden is being established at     anther flax-lily, which is used    and their qualities had been
                                                                                  Christies Beach, as part of a      for colds and native pine, the     gleaned from the Urban For-
                                                                                  program to boost retention         resin of which is considered to    est Biodiversity Project team
                                                                                  and engage students.               have anaesthetic properties.       and the Kaurna community,
                                                                                    The garden, a joint venture        School Industry coordinator      she said.
                                                                                  between Southern Futures,          Megan Clark said work began          She said as part of the project
                                                                                  Noarlunga Health Services          on the Indigenous garden           students had also travelled to
                                                                                  and the local Kaurna commu-        about a year-and-a-half ago.       the Coorong with a group of
                                                                                  nity, is being built at the rear     She said Indigenous elders       local Indigenous men to gain
                                                                                  of Christies Beach High            were involved in the project       more information about me-
                                                                                  School.                            from an early stage, with plant-   dicinal plants.
                                                                                    Southern Futures is a re-        ing days, steering committee         “The idea of the garden is to
                                                                                  gional body funded through         meetings and through advice        engage students and promote
                                                                                  the department’s Enterprise        and feedback.                      cultural awareness in the com-
                                                                                  and Vocational Education             At the end of 2001 the elders    munity,” she said.
                                                                                  unit. It builds partnerships be-   took part in a traditional smok-     “The garden also shares the
                                                                                  tween business, industry, com-     ing ceremony on the land set       knowledge of local Indig-
                                                                                  munity and education to de-        aside for the garden, to cleanse   enous people and celebrates
                                                                                  liver education and training       the land and ensure the suc-       it.
                                                                                  programs in the southern re-       cess of the garden.                  “It is hoped that one day the
                                                                                  gion.                                Megan said about 20 mostly       garden will be able to be used
                                                                                    The idea for the garden          Indigenous students were in-       as an educational tool and
                                                                                  originated from Southern Fu-       volved in the project, with        opened up to the general pub-
                                                                                  tures staff, following similar     some 80 other children from        lic to walk through and learn
                                                                                  successful programs in the area.   local primary schools and          about the plants and Indig-
                                                                                    The garden contains some         preschools.                        enous culture.”
                                                                                  plants that will produce bush        She said they had been in-         A conversation pit/storytell-
                                                                                  tucker but the majority will       volved in looking after the        ing circle had been incorpo-
                                                                                  have traditional medicinal         garden and planting, design-       rated into the garden design.
                                                                                  qualities.                         ing and promoting the garden.        The garden is expected to be
                                                                                    Some of the plants that have       The project also planned to      completed by August this year.
Students work on the garden, with Stanley Geebung, Aboriginal Education Worker    already been included in the       link students to certificates in   The project is supported by the
at Christies Beach High School. The garden is a joint venture between Southern    garden are: Clematis               horticulture, tourism and busi-    City of Onkaparinga, the Ur-
Futures, Noarlunga Health Services and the local Kaurna community. The idea for   microphylla, or Old Man’s          ness studies through short         ban Forest Biodiversity
the garden originated from Southern Futures staff, following similar successful   Beard, which is used to rub        courses offered through South-     Project and Christies Beach
programs in the area.                                                             over skin sores and for rheu-      ern Futures, she said.             High School.

Green patch
of success
  A group of schools in the     The project aims to repair
north-eastern suburbs have     remnant vegetation and the
been involved in a success-    natural habitat and covers
ful Landcare project.          the area of Ambers Gully.
  Students             from     Since 1993, 7834 plants
Campbelltown, Athelstone       have been planted through
and Paradise Schools make      the project. In 2002 another
fortnightly visits to under-   700 seedlings were raised
take activities in the Black   and planted.
Hill and Morialta Conserva-     The project is also sup-
tion parks.                    ported by the Friends of
  Their involvement is part    Black Hill and Morialta Inc,
of a collaborative school      National Parks and Wildlife
Our Patch Landcare project,    SA, Natural Heritage Trust,
involving the school com-      Our Patch Torrens Catch-
munities, other organisa-      ment Water Management
tions and the general pub-     Board and the Urban Forest
lic.                           Biodiversity Program.

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