Brandon gets stuck in and improves literacy
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.