Stu­dents learn faster in Dou­glas

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - An­gelique Pat­ter­son

STU­DENTS in the Dou­glas re­gion are im­prov­ing at a faster rate than the rest of Queens­land, with six lo­cal state schools ranked in the top 100 im­prove­ment in the whole of Queens­land.

State pri­mary schools Ju­lat­ten, Miallo, Moss­man, Port Dou­glas and Wonga Beach and Moss­man State High School all had rel­a­tive gains that ranked them in the top 100 out of 1230 state schools be­tween 2010-2012.

Be­tween 2008 and 2012 NAPLAN scores in the Far North im­proved in 14 out of 16 test ar­eas and FNQ di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing Clive Dixon said it has to do with the method of teach­ing.

‘‘The method of ex­plicit teach­ing we of­ten re­fer to as ‘I do, we do, you do’,’’ he said.

‘‘When we teach this way we are con­tin­u­ally re­in­forc­ing and re­vis­ing core read­ing, writ­ing and maths prin­ci­ples and we also care­fully mon­i­tor ev­ery child in the class so no stu­dent is left be­hind.

‘‘The Dou­glas clus­ter is a shin­ing ex­am­ple of how schools can im­prove when there is a com­mit­ment to i mprove­ment from staff and stu­dents.’’

Miallo State School prin­ci­pal Anet Ri­d­ley said the whole Dou­glas re­gion is stronger be­cause of the struc­tured ex­plicit teach­ing method.

‘‘Our re­gion has four pri­or­i­ties that haven’t changed - im­prov­ing teach­ing through ex­plicit teach­ing and coach­ing, us­ing data to make de­ci­sions about kids, plan­ning and accountability in school and con­nect­ing par­ents to teach­ing and learn­ing and try­ing to get them on board.’’

Ms Ri­d­ley said the re­sults speak for them­selves, not just through the NAPLAN re­sults, with a real dif­fer­ence in lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy, Engl- ish and maths.

Port Dou­glas State School prin­ci­pal Ben­jamin Gaske said their stand­out was the school’s nu­mer­acy re­sults.

‘‘Next year our tar­get is for 100 per cent and get­ting at least 35 per cent of our stu­dents in the up­per two bands, which is a very high stan­dard and great goal for us - one we can achieve,’’ he said.

‘‘Our motto is im­prove­ment is not ne­go­tiable but the rate is.’’

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