Casino Public School in regional NSW which has used Gonski funding to improve student literacy and numeracy by providing individual support and early intervention.
Principal Garry Carter says that Gonski funding has given the school the flexibility and resources to challenge students and get them to succeed beyond previous expectations.
“When you have a parent come up to you in the playground crying because her son is reading for the first time, you know that something is working.”
Extra support means no student misses out
Mr Carter says that the school has succeeded by focusing on lifting the quality of teaching and making sure no student misses out on the individual support they need.
With Gonski funding Casino Public School has been able to increase its focus on literacy and numeracy, which are the basis of students’ future learning. It has also been able to build on what it achieved through the NSW Government’s Early Action for Success initiative introduced in 2012.
The school has introduced new programs to its early years, including the Language, Learning and Literacy (L3) and Targeting Early Numeracy (TENS).
These programs have seen students make faster progress in literacy and numeracy and increased their focus and willingness to learn.
The school has been able to move to more collaborative teaching, with greater emphasis on staff working together to improve the quality of their lessons.
They have extra support staff in each classroom to ensure that all students can get individual support if they need it. This includes an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist for two days each week to provide in-class assistance for students who have specific learning needs.
Improved Literacy just the start
Since the start of 2012, the school has recorded improved results in literacy and numeracy. In the K-2 classes, where the investment has been highest, students are routinely making 18 months progress in a year in literacy.
In the Kindergarten class every student is now meeting expectations for reading and comprehension in 2015.
If it gets the full six years of Gonski funding Casino Public School will deliver even more for students.
Mr Carter says that with the full six years of Gonski we will be able to extend the early years programs right through the school, and expand professional development.
He says that the full six years of Gonski is essential for continuity and to ensure the school has enough resources to help every student.
“When I look around the school I see a Gonski investment that will pay off for the rest of our students’ lives.”