Extra school funding would mean more specialist teachers at Kincumber public
For Trish Peters, principal at Kincumber Public School, any extra public school funding would be used to hire specialist physical education, art and music teachers for the school’s students.
Kincumber Public School, on the New South Wales Central Coast, stands to receive an extra $420,000 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 Peters said that the majority of extra funding that her school had previously received had been spent on more teaching resources for students with additional needs, as well as professional development for teachers.
“We invested much of our extra funding into implementing projects around social emotional learning for many of our students with additional needs,” Ms Peters said.
“We focused on skills for learning – such as persistence, resilience, organisation, getting along with others and confidence. It’s a curriculum program called ‘positive behaviour for learning’ and it is taught from kindergarten to year six by all teachers. We have universal lessons that our school developed to empower students with the expected behaviours that we want to see.”
“We have also dedicated a highly-qualified assistant principal to support some of those students who have significant needs in managing their behaviour,” Ms Peters said.
“I've used other funds to provide professional learning for the kindergarten to year two teachers in early literacy and numeracy pedagogy. And we have used extra funding to release an assistant principal to be an instructional leader in classrooms, to observe teachers’ lessons, work with students who have additional needs, and provide and develop professional learning for those teachers,” Ms Peters said.
Ms Peters said internal surveys showed Kincumber Public students had seen great outcomes as a result of these programs.
“We're above state average in terms of how connected our students feel, how successful they feel,” Ms Peters said.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of students, and particularly Aboriginal students, who have identified that they think that they can go on to university. We can see that our school is consistently improving. Our goal is for students to feel safe and happy, to be more engaged in learning.”
Kincumber Public is a co-educational public school which caters for students from kindergarten to year 12. The school currently has about 410 students. Ms Peters said any new funding the school received as a result of Labor being voted into federal government would be used to hire additional specialist teachers, and to provide administrative support to the school’s teaching staff.
“We could employ specialist physical education, music and art teachers,” Ms Peters said.
“We would also increase the number of office staff to take on the administrative and compliance tasks that teachers currently have to do, such as risk assessments for excursions.”
“We would love to be able to employ speech pathologists and occupational therapists at our school to support teaching and learning programs,” Ms Peters said.
“Public school teachers are continually dipping into their own pockets to provide resources for their students, even to cover lunches and stickers. So if we had the extra funding, then teachers would not need to pay for these school resources.”