BIG things are happening at one of the smallest schools in the Bega Valley.
Bemboka Public School recently received news from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the body that oversees the My School website, that it had achieved above average growth in the improvement between Year 3 to Year 5 for literacy and numeracy.
Principal Jan Rogers believes the outstanding NAPLAN results that tracked Year 5 students in 2013 from their Year 3 results in 2011 came from carefully plotting the development of each child and targeting areas where they need help.
“We are very pleased to get this news from ACARA,” Ms Rogers said.
“We’ve been plotting the children on numeracy and literacy continuums and it’s really helped us to identify where they need assistance.
“We’ve been really explicit in targeting the individual child’s needs.”
Ms Rogers said assistance through a national partnership allowed the school to receive extra funding under the previous Federal Government.
“We used the money for numeracy programs, as we believed our literacy was already strong.”
The school also used a professional development program for teachers to help them achieve stronger skills where needed.
The combination of these factors has led the school to garner outstanding results which Ms Rogers said it will continue to build upon.
“We are definitely headed in the right direction,” she said.
The school isn’t just looking at improving the academic results of its pupils, but also their resilience and leadership capacity as they head into high school.
“In Year 6 we don’t have a set of school captains, we make the entire class a leadership group.
“We’ve found the experience is really good for them.”
At the end of the month Bemboka’s entire Year 6 class is off to Sydney for the Young Leaders Conference run by the Halogen Foundation.
Speakers this year included former NSW Premier and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr, popular children’s author Andy Griffith and 2013 Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose.
The conference is an annual event founded in 1997 to develop strong leadership values among young Australians.
It seeks to provide positive outcomes for “young people who aspire to lead themselves and others well”.