Yirrkalas Watershed ATAR

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At Yirrkala School this year, eight students will graduate with the NTCET, and in a first-time achievement for the school, four will score an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

The ATAR milestone comes from an Arnhem Land school with more than 35 years’ experience teaching Yolngu Matha and English.

First language Yolngu Matha is used to build students’ skills in English as a second or third language.

Co-principal Katrina Hudson said: “As a teaching model it has enabled the school to have an award-winning preschool at one end, and a consistent stream of Year 12 graduates at the other.

“Students build an understanding of English and high-level concepts by using their traditional language strength and cultural identity.

“It is a Transition to NTCET recipe for success because the Yolngu elders and the community influence the strategic direction of the curricula.

“They want foundational Yolngu knowledge to help students recognise their vision, deal with contemporary life, and analyse new ideas.

“Concepts from our Garma Maths curriculum, and the Yolngu Languages curriculum, are used in studies of the Australian Curriculum and the pre-university South Australian Certificate of Education.

The Year 12 graduation ceremony was held on Tuesday 1 December.

Yirrkala’s watershed ATAR

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