Teach the Teachers and make a difference

FRRR’s REAPing Rewards program isn’t just focused on educational outcomes for students; it also offers funding for projects that benefit educators in rural and remote communities.

Tannum Sands is primarily a tourist and residential town on the Queensland coast, nearly 520 km north of Brisbane. Tannum Sands State High is a forward-focussed and dynamic young school comprising 945 students and 70 staff. The school believes that all-round and consistent success results from strong partnerships – student to student, students with staff, parents with teachers and school with the wider community.

The P&C Association received a REAPing Rewards grant of $9,750 funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to allow it to examine the transition to high school, and particularly how teachers teach, specifically targeting literacy levels rather than subject content alone.

Feedback from program very positive

Their ‘Teach the Teachers’ program aimed to give teachers strategies to improve literacy and numeracy skills in the student population. The training was accompanied by a range of resource kits such as ‘how to write’ guides which have been disseminated and used by staff.

Carol Shuttleworth, Community Liaison Officer and Vice President of the Tannum Sands State High P&C Association said that as a result of this funding, the school has now trained around 55 staff, with ‘Literacy Champions’ in each teaching department to ensure the longevity of the program.

“The feedback from participants was fantastic, and the program is now embedded as part of our school’s pedagogy review. Parents and staff use the resources constantly with very positive feedback,” she said.

The P&C worked hard to raise funds to contribute to this project, chipping in $10,000 to subsidise relief teaching while staff were engaged in training.

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