Relationship, Responsibility, Respect, Rigour Worawa Way We wish to advise that this presentation contains images of Aboriginal people who have entered the Dreamtime
We believe“Aboriginal children must be educated in the way of our people. They must learn their history, about their great ancestors, the language and the law. It’s time for them to know and understand themselves. They must also be educated in the ways of the society in which they live, in the very best of what it has to offer, so they can truly be part, not only of Australia’s past, but also its present and future.” Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls
“in this, the first Aboriginal school in Victoria, theeducational curriculum has been speciallydesigned to suit Aboriginal students to bring themto their full potential …Formal studies atsecondary level will include English, Mathematics,Science, Current Affairs, History, Geography,Languages, Domestic Science, BusinessManagement, Art/Craft, Music and PhysicalEducation…Aboriginal culture will be impartednot only as a school subject in each class’stimetable but as an integral part of everyday lifeat the school…” Hyllus Maris at the opening of Worawa 1983
Worawa School PoemI am a child of the Dreamtime People - part of this land like the gnarled gum tree I am the river softly singing chanting our songs on the way to the sea My spirit is the dust devils mirages that dance on the plains I’m the snow, the wind and the falling rain I’m part of the rocks and the red desert earth - red as the blood that flows in my veins I am eagle, crow and snake that glides through the rain forests that cling to the mountainside I awakened here when the earth was new… there was emu, wombat, kangaroo no other man of ‘differen’ hue! I am this land and this land is me I am Australia. Hyllus Maris (1934-1986)
Worawa is located on Culturally significant land, the site ofCoranderrk Aboriginal Station. The College caters exclusively forup to 65 young Aboriginal women in the middle years ofschooling, Years 7 – 10. It provides a quality education andboarding experience for Aboriginal young women and girls fromsuburban and regional Victoria and regional and remotecommunities interstate.Worawa provides a holistic program that develops theintellectual, social, physical, emotional and cultural wellbeing ofeach student through a combination of mainstream educationand Aboriginal Pedagogy – ways of Being, Knowing and Doing.
WORAWA ABORIGINAL COLLEGE Caring for Country LITERACY CREATIVE ARTS English Learning Centre Success Traditional and Contemporary NUMERACY for All Learning Centre Maths Individual Learning Centre Assessment Aboriginal Culture Individual Vision Spirituality, ceremony, Learner Profiles art, dance, law, land, people, history, values, music, Digital Folios Policy language, environment , Personalised story, ‘country’. Learning PlansProcedures SCIENCE WELLBEING Contracts SPORT, PE, HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT for Learning Learning Centre Learning Centre Commitment to -Participation in -Culture Copyright, 2008 Pam Russell & W orawa Aboriginal College -Community Respect, Relationship, Responsibility, Rigour
Learning CentresWorawa curriculum studies have beenorganised into ‘learning centres’ deliveringtuition and personalised tutoring, taking intoaccount the needs of students based on resultsof their literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeingassessments.
Learning on Our Land• Education for each Learning Centre is well supported using our land:• Aboriginal Astronomy camps• Water Science Classes testing our dams• Our Dreaming Trail - Reconstructed Aboriginal archaeological sites used to teach students to identify, record and interpret sites• Traditional cooking on our clay hearth
Student Health & WellbeingOn entry, Students have a thorough health and fitness.From this information a personal health and fitness regimeis designed for each student which is linked to the College’sHealthy Eating Plan. All students are involved in circuittraining, sport, Zumba, swimming and an OutdoorEducation program.•Sound technology•School Nurse•Wellbeing Worker•Weekly GP Clinic•Dental services•Optometry services
Community Engagement and AlliancesRelationships with students home communities are valued andare critical to students wellbeing and learning and the Collegeemphasises building relationships with students home communities. Strategies include visits to and from communities,community art exhibitions with visiting artists, involvement ofparents/families in school special events and in some learningareas, and communication through IT such as Skype.
Professional DevelopmentWorawa has an emphasis on professionaldevelopment for all staff and allocates a numberof days for professional activities each term. Allstaff has participated in the professionallearning activities organised by the College. Inaddition to in-house professional learningactivities, staff is released for professionaldevelopment activities provided throughaffiliate organisations.
Whole School Approach• Restorative Practice – a whole school approach to conflict management.• Positive psychology• Yarning Up on Trauma: A holistic approach to understand trauma that includes historical /cultural trauma.• Trauma First Aid
Pre-Service Teachers• Worawa regularly supports the training of pre- service teachers providing the opportunities to develop academic expertise while gaining cultural competence and skills in student health and wellbeing, before going to work in Communities.• Pre-service teachers are welcomed into all aspects of teaching life at Worawa including all professional development, excursions and school camps.
Staff Support• Appreciative Inquiry Model - valuing & affirming people’s contributions, whilst also leading the shared inquiry into the area of possibilities and potential.• Strong professional Development Program• Worawa Academic Reference Group• National Partnerships Program• Peer Support
Worawa Academic Reference Group (WARG)• Members of the WARG consist of highly respected Academics from seven Victorian Universities, who are specialists in the subject areas taught in the Learning Centres at Worawa.• We acknowledge two members of WARG here at this conference today, Mark Rose and Gary Thomas• The WARG curriculum is theme based for each term and offers teachers a range of references and support materials that are culturally appropriate for our students.• The four year curriculum prepared by the WARG team, is designed to accommodate students who orbit in and out of the academic program at Worawa, specifically those who may have to return home for cultural events such as Sorry Business etc.• This facility means students are able to pick up from where they left off as they rejoin the academic progam.
A Teachers View• The “Worawa Way” model offers teachers a specialist method of approach in dealing with Aboriginal student learning• The Worawa Way was created in response to the needs of the Aboriginal Community to educate our children. Over the last 30 years this ethos has been continually refined to become an integrated model of Education, Wellbeing and Culture
Aboriginal Values• Respect; every teacher can expect mutual respect and support from their colleagues, as well as collaborative approaches in the planning and implementation of the curriculum• Responsibility; teachers are responsible for their student learning, to the families & communities and their College
Relationships• As a boarding school the College becomes the girls “family” during the term.• We offer them a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where the students – teacher relationship is productive and essential for their learning
Rigour• Regular meetings with members of the WARG reference group offer teachers guidance with professional Academics in each of the College’s Learning Centres• This shared responsibility for academic curriculum and student learning ensures that rigorous education standards are expected and maintained for all students
Valuing Aboriginal Culture Through the Creative Arts
Why Worawa?• Worawa offers a unique opportunity for a pre- service teacher to gain varied experiences working with Aboriginal students, at one school.• Worawa helps to prepare resilient pre-service teachers with a spectrum of skills and knowledge of multiple Aboriginal Cultures• Worawa provides unique teaching models and experience in dealing with Aboriginal Specific student needs.