Indigenous Education Strategy Newsletter - Issue 7

17 February 2016

  1. Message from Tony Considine
  2. Indigenous Education Strategy Steering Committee
  3. An Update from the Transition Support Unit
  4. Preschool Curriculum
  5. Indigenous Education Strategy Evaluation Update: Self-Assessments
  6. Community Engagement Charter
  7. Focus on Wellbeing
  8. More Teachers trained in Direct Instruction

Message from Tony Considine

Welcome to the first edition of the IERI Newsletter for 2016. It is shaping up to be a big year as we continue to implement major projects in schools across the Territory that will improve outcomes for Indigenous students.

I am pleased to report that we are on track with our project development and implementation and we will continue to provide regular updates on all IERI projects in our newsletters throughout the year.

On 9 February, Minister for Education, Mr Peter Chandler and Senator for the Northern Territory and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mr Nigel Scullion announced that the tender has been awarded for the construction of the Nhulunbuy residential facility. Local company Norbuilt will begin construction shortly with the view to finish in November in preparation for students to commence boarding prior to the 2017 school year.

Our Transition Support Unit (TSU) staff have been particularly busy this year assisting students from across the Territory in the commencement of the school year. TSU staff can now be more identifiable when out in community after acquiring four new Troop Carriers.

I encourage you to keep an eye out for our “troopies” in Darwin and Alice Springs proudly displaying our TSU logo and information.

If you would like further information about anything contained in this week’s newsletter please contact at ierinews.doe@nt.gov.au.

Tony Considine, General Manager 

Indigenous Education Review Implementation

Indigenous Education Strategy Steering Committee

The Indigenous Education Strategy Steering Committee continues to oversee key project activities under the Indigenous Education Strategy and has recently had the opportunity to hear directly from project managers on IERI projects at their first meeting for 2016. During the presentations project managers showcased project materials, provided insights on progress and discussed issues candidly giving the Steering Committee an understanding of how the projects are operating on the ground.

In addition to the presentations, the Steering Committee also endorsed the materials for the Principals Performance Plan and the Family and Community Engagement Charter. The Human Resources division will work with Regional Directors and Principals to implement the Principals Performance Plan and work will continue between the Regional Directors and Principals to implement the Family and Community Engagement Charters during 2016.

An Update from the Transition Support Unit

January has been a busy month for the TSU staff providing assistance and support to students who are attending boarding schools interstate.

With the assistance of the TSU staff, over 200 Indigenous students from remote communities across the Territory made their way to various boarding schools across Australia. TSU staff were on the ground at Darwin and Alice Springs airports assisting with check-ins, transfers and any questions that students, parents or airport staff had to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible.

Our TSU staff will also be present in communities in the first couple of weeks of Term 1 to ensure students feel supported while they’re settling back into school.

If you would like to contact the Transition Support Unit staff or would like information on the work they do please give them a call or email on the contact details below.

Transition Support Unit 

(p) 89014972 (e) tsu.decs@nt.gov.au

Terminal One building, 2-396 Stuart Highway, Winnellie NT 0820

Preschool Curriculum

An exciting new preschool curriculum is now being trialled in 37 preschools across the Territory.

Designed to support children’s learning at preschool, the curriculum will help guide programming for students on an individual and group level while aligning to the Early Years Learning Framework, a nationally approved structure that all early childhood education and care services are required to use.

The curriculum is also available to schools outside the trial so they may familiarise themselves with the content and provide feedback.

Indigenous Education Strategy Evaluation Update: Self-Assessments

Self-assessments will soon be distributed to project managers as part of the evaluation of the Indigenous Education Strategy (IES).

The tools, developed by consultants ACIL Allen and the Batchelor Institute are designed to collect baseline data on the implementation and effectiveness of the IES at the school level, as well as providing an indication about whether actions are leading to changes in system-level practice and improved student outcomes.

IES project managers will complete the department self-assessment, and principals will be engaged in the school self-assessment process via an online survey.

Self-assessments will be de-identified giving the department an overall assessment of IES implementation and system-level outcomes.

Further information regarding the evaluation self-assessments will be provided in the coming weeks.

Community Engagement Charter

A key part of the Indigenous Education Strategy is how families, schools and communities can better engage with each other. To make sure that we are maximising these opportunities a Family and Community Engagement Charter resource kit has been developed that provides communities and schools with a range of tools to use to develop a Charter for their local school and community.

The resource kit includes a framework to guide how and what a school and community might do to strengthen their engagement with one another. The kit also includes a Charter template that schools and communities can work through and a poster that can be displayed in the school to reflect the commitment made by the school and community.

Regional Directors will work closely with schools to implement the Family and Community Engagement Charters in the first half of 2016.

Focus on Wellbeing

In December 2015, the newly appointed Wellbeing Engagement & Behaviour (WEB) team undertook a four-day workshop with a focus on system level approaches to promoting positive relationships and social and emotional learning in school settings at the University of Melbourne.

The course, facilitated by Professor Helen Cahill, was an exciting opportunity to work through the fundamental underpinnings related to student wellbeing and positive behaviour frameworks, curriculum development and participatory consultation tools.

Participants stated that the learnings from this course will assist them in their role in delivering the IERI strategy and that they look forward to continuing their relationship with Professor Cahill and the University of Melbourne as the whole-of-system approach to wellbeing and behaviour in the Northern Territory is developed and implemented.

More Teachers trained in Direct Instruction

Over 200 teachers and principals gathered in Darwin earlier this month for the second territory-wide training for the Australian Government’s flexible literacy for remote primary schools program.

The training, delivered by specialists from Good to Great Schools Australia and the National Institute for Direct Instruction in the United States of America builds upon the Indigenous Education Strategy’s commitments to students by providing Direct Instruction skills to more classrooms across the Territory.

In 2016 Direct Instruction teaching will expand to include Papunya School, Gillen School, Minyerri School and Wulugarr School.

Last updated: 27 April 2016