Bran­don gets stuck in and im­proves lit­er­acy

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Bran­don In­ter­me­di­ate has staged a stun­ning turn­around from its trou­bled pe­riod three years ago, with its stu­dents leap­ing ahead in their learn­ing.

Ninety per cent of year 8 stu­dents jumped one, two or three years in their read­ing lev­els last year, and 77 per cent of year 7 stu­dents did the same.

While many of Bran­don’s 150 stu­dents are still be­low the read­ing Na­tional Stan­dard, they have pro­gressed from well be­low stan­dard, which is the mea­sure that mat­ters, says Nicki Stur­geon, who has been princi- pal of the Can­nons Creek school since 2010.

‘‘We do want to shout a bit from the rooftops. They’re mak­ing really sig­nif­i­cant progress from where they were.’’

Bran­don had re­ceived damn­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice (ERO) re­ports in 2007 and 2008, but the school has moved on from that time, Ms Stur­geon says.

A fresh bunch of teach­ers and man­age­ment have been slog­ging for three years to im­prove pupils’ learn­ing, Ms Stur­geon says.

‘‘ The teach­ers’ hearts and souls have gone into this. They work so hard and make sure the chil­dren are get­ting what they de­serve.’’

Learn­ing more about stu­dents’ needs and back­grounds and in­volv­ing their fam­i­lies in their learn­ing has borne fruit, Ms Stur­geon says.

‘‘It makes a dif­fer­ence, not just at school but for kids at home. More par­ents are coming in and ask­ing how they can help.’’

Stu­dents are now more equipped to go to col­lege, she says.

The school is not rest­ing on its lau­rels, how­ever. Deputy prin­ci­pal Kath­leen O’Hare says maths re­sults are the fo­cus this year.

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