School No. 1717
Students are generally Anangu with Pitjantjatjara as their first language. Most of them have intermittent hearing problems. They live in large family groups. They generally speak English only at school and a little at the store, clinic or office. Watarru families have links with Amata, Fregon and Pipalyatjara.
(Pastoral) care programs: Relationships between the students and their teachers are very important. This relationship is facilitated and supported by AEWs and the Anangu Coordinator, who is the Anangu leader in the school. All play a large role in student welfare and pastoral care.
Support offered: Some parents and families help their children to come to school; for the most part it is the child’s decision. Teachers, Anangu Coordinator and AEWs are their other support.
Student management: This is heavily dependent on the Anangu Coordinator and AEWs. School and class rules and behaviour expectations are set up with students each year.
Special programmes: A breakfast program operates at the school each morning for those students needing. A fresh food break/snack is also available each morning.
Partnerships Plan or Statement of Purpose: The school’s operational plan is closely aligned with that of the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee, which has Literacy, Numeracy, Attendance, Secondary Education and VET as key priorities in 2003. Anangu training and decision-making is also an important focus of the school.
Recent key outcomes: The achievement of a school independent of Pipalyatjara, with its own Principal and decision-making structure. Improved student performance in both BST and ESL levels and in meeting the PY Education Committee’s attendance targets of 80% across the Pitjantjatjara Lands.
Curriculum and Subject offerings: Watarru delivers 7 areas of study using the SACSA Framework: English, Maths, Society & Environment, Health & PE, the Arts, Science, Design & Technology. Literacy in Pitjantjatjara is a growing part of the curriculum as is the area of Anangu culture and domain in Society & Environment.
Open Access: The secondary class is using the junior secondary material developed form Open Access units and modified for use by AES.
Special needs: Most students suffer from significant intermittent hearing loss (otitus media) and relatively poor health. ESL and Special Education support is provided for identified students, including a profoundly deaf student.
Special curriculum features: The increasing participation of the community in the delivery of Anangu culture and in the planning and delivery of the areas identified as of Anangu Domain.
Teaching methodology: Almost all students speak English as a second language, therefore ESL methodology is encouraged in all curriculum areas. Teachers work in teaching teams with AEWs.
Assessment procedures and reporting: Data is collected to inform parents, staff and DECS requirements. This include ESL Scales, attendance information, baseline data in literacy and in 2003 in numeracy
Joint programmes: A Land Management program is being developed across the school, with particular emphasis in the secondary class on the VET components of the work done.
Sporting Activities: Students enjoy sporting activities and ball handling skills are well developed from an early age. Basketball, football and softball are the most popular sports. A Land Schools’ Sports Day and cultural Night is also held at Ernabella once a year. Watarru will also participate as part of the Anangu district in SAPSASA in softball and football in 2003.
Other Co-Curricular Activities: Bush camps and workshops are being developed in conjunction with the community and local Land management organisations.
Staff support systems: Support for the principal is available from the co-ordinating principal based at AES, Ernabella; curriculum and induction support is available from AES Ernabella and AES Adelaide staff; personnel counselling is available from Terre Wohling who visits the Lands twice each year but is immediately available in emergency situations. Staff meet with the Principal at least once each term in formal performance development meetings. All staff work in teams with AEWs, who are essential in effective behaviour management and good learning outcomes for students. Support staff in Library & Resource Based Learning, Secondary Education, Hearing Impaired Services, Information Technology and Bursar are based at AES Ernabella and visit the school regularly. Access to Guidance and Special Education staff is currently through twice yearly visits. Some health services (dentist and optometrist) visit Watarru school each year for student consultation; Watarru students must travel to Amata for assessment by Australian Hearing.
Incentives, support and award conditions for Staff
Medical and dental treatment expenses: There is no clinic based in Watarru, the nurse from Pipalyatjara visits each week; a doctor is based at Fregon and makes occasional visits to Pipalyatjara. All other treatment needs to be accessed through the Non-Metropolitan Award.
Cooling: The whole building is centrally cooled.
Other: 2-3 computers are available in each learning area, digital camera and scanner are available and much used by students as is reliable internet connection.
Regular publications: Newsletter.
Other communication: Regular communication with parents, through open days, reporting afternoons and attendance when requested at community and community council meetings.
School financial position:Sound but is entirely dependent on government sources as fundraising is not a viab le option in this community.
Special funding: Rural & Isolated Index, ASSPA, BST, Early Literacy, School Card.
from the School Context Statement 03/03
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