When St Kevin’s Catholic School Dee Why made the Honour Roll of the 2017 NAPLAN results, no one was more delighted than the Principal, Lorraine Vincent. “I’m very proud of the children and the teachers – it’s a real achievement for us,” said Ms Vincent.
The Honour Roll recognises substantially above average gain in reading and/or numeracy achievement as measured by NAPLAN for all students from Year 3 to Year 5. This was a particular boon to the school given 68% of the student body comes from a non-English speaking background.
The school has a part time specialist EAL teacher on site to support those children who do not speak English as a first language.
“Language and deep understanding is an essential aspect of all learning. Problem solving is the foundation of mathematics, so using open-ended tasks addresses different students’ needs,” said Fiona Ngamu, the Assistant Principal.
“We put everything into real-life experiences. When we do decimals we talk about shopping and money, making links between mathematical concepts and the real world.”
The “open-ended tasks” allow students to reach the answer to a question in different ways, with the focus being on the journey towards the solution, rather than the solution itself.