Extra funding would mean extra teachers for Rockhampton State High
Rockhampton State High School Principal Kirsten Dwyer would invest any extra public school funding made available by the election of a Shorten Labor government into more teachers and additional STEM learning resources for the school’s students.
Rockhampton High, in the Rockhampton suburb of Wandal, stands to receive an extra $1,560,000 in funding as its share of Labor’s election commitment to invest an additional $3.3 billion into public schools in its first three years of government.
Ms Dwyer said that the majority of extra funding that Rockhampton High had previously received under the ‘Investing for Success’ program had been spent to great effect on human resources support for staff, teacher training to support student literacy and numeracy programs, and student resources to implement the new ATAR curriculum.
“Our spending has been in different areas of human resources support, infrastructure, including technology, some programs and teacher professional development to support literacy and numeracy,” Ms Dwyer said.
Ms Dwyer said that a major focus for extra funding had been investing in student wellbeing.
“In these socially complex times there is increasing demand to address all aspects of student behaviour, cyberbullying, health and individual learning needs,” Ms Dwyer said.
“Importantly, this funding has allowed the school to support at-risk students, whether by social circumstances or natural disaster, with uniform items, food and equipment.”
Rockhampton State High was founded in 1919 and moved to its present location in 1960. The school believes that student life is greatly enriched when students become engaged in life outside the classroom and take advantage of the full range of extra and co-curricular activities on offer. The school currently has about 1100 students.
Ms Dwyer said the extra funding Rockhampton High had previously received had made a substantial difference to students.
“It's been huge. Our writing trend data has overtaken national and Queensland school trends,” Ms Dwyer said.
“We’ve done a big job in lifting the bottom. In 2018 the school was in the top quartile of the state for improvement between year seven and year nine.”
“We've been able to buy books that students need,” Ms Dwyer said. “You can see that the writing is taken off, the reading has improved, and students are more interested in reading and engaged.”
“Money that the Parents & Citizens committee would normally put into buying books and classroom resources can now be used to improve student grounds and facilities including turfed play areas, seating, music and a professional outdoor art gallery of student work”. Ms Dwyer said.
“The school’s focus is about improving the resources, programs and facilities for teachers and students.”
Ms Dwyer said the school would use additional funding as the result of Labor being elected to government to hire more teachers and invest in resources to support differentiation and to expand teaching science, technology, engineering and maths.
“The school has heavily invested in STEM resources and in supporting our extension students. Additional teachers allows for increased differentiation to support under-diagnosed students and to challenge and extend the very capable students,” Ms Dwyer said.