Reconciliation Action Plan

Wanganui Park Secondary College

2016-2017

 

1.  Our business

 

Our school is situated in Shepparton, Victoria.  It currently has approximately 1,250 students, including 70-80 Indigenous students.  It has approximately 140 staff

 

2.  Rationale for our Action Plan

 

We are committed to achieving the best possible educational outcomes for our students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.  We believe for this to happen we must have a culturally inclusive school that engages with our Indigenous students, their families, other community members, and their culture and heritage.  We wish to develop and implement this Action Plan to demonstrate the importance to us of cultural inclusivity, and of working with the community to achieve this. 

We believe that achieving greater cultural inclusivity will strengthen the engagement of our Indigenous students, and their families, in their schooling.  It will assist us with providing a culturally safe environment, into which these students wish to enter and then do their best.  We believe that a culturally inclusive curriculum, will demonstrate our respect and appreciation for their culture, and communicate to all students, especially non-Indigenous, its importance, complexity and significance. 

Ultimately this approach of cultural inclusivity and targeted support of students is no different to much of the day-to-day work of our College with regards to any of our students, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous.  However, this Action Plan recognises that there is particular importance with Indigenous students and Indigenous communities to make a strong statement to them, given past histories, about the school's commitment in this area.  This statement is reflected in this Action Plan.  Further, many of the actions identified within this document are widely considered important when working with Indigenous students and communities. 

To be meaningful and to have real impact, this Action Plan must go beyond key events like NAIDOC Week and represent the year round commitment of our school. 

This Action Plan will be championed by our principal, our Koorie Programs Leader, the teachers and staff on our Koorie Action Group, and our KESO. 

Our Action Plan Working Group is comprised of these people and a number of community members and students who have been involved with our Koorie Action Group. 

The Action Plan reflects an inclusive approach that incorporates the consideration, recognition and involvement of all different Indigenous groups from within our community.  ​

The items included within this Action Plan reflect the wishes of our community, as gathered through our work and partnership with them.  This is an ongoing partnership and a living document, and accordingly, the items included within it may change. 

 

3.  Our partnerships/current activities

 

Currently, our school has a number of existing initiatives in place.  We have our Koorie Action Group, which is run each term and is attended by a number of teachers, parents and community members.

In the past we have provided professional development opportunities to assist staff with how they include Indigenous perspectives within their curriculum.  This is also involved auditing our existing curriculum and providing time to staff to develop curriculum resources.  There are plans in the future to run similar PD sessions with all staff, and to require many staff to be incorporating perspectives into their curriculum in some way. 

Our school has also celebrated a number of cultural events over the past two years, particularly NAIDOC Week.  This involved a whole-school assembly and a number of other activities.  A number of community members, including elders, and cultural programs worked with us on this.  Recently a group of our year 8 Indigenous students produced a mural with indigenous themes and symbols with the help of a local Indigenous artist. 

We have a position of Koorie Programs Leader.  This person administers our Koorie Action Group, provides assistance to students with participating in cultural activities/Indigenous programs, works with our KESO, organises events (such as NAIDOC Week, our Graduation BBQ), and works with staff members to make our classrooms and the school generally more culturally inclusive. 

 

 

4.    We commit to:


 a. Relationships

 

Deliverables​

Responsibility​

Timeline​

Action 1: Hold regular meetings of our Koorie Action Group

​​

  • Hold meetings at least once a term. 

  • Continue efforts to increase the number of family members and staff members involved with this group. 

  • Ensuring that this Group is inclusive and has the involvement of community members from all Indigenous communities represented in Shepparton. 

 

 

 

Action 2: Increasing presence of Koorie community members in the school on a more consistent basis (e.g. cultural events, support of learning)

  • Encouraging staff to utilise the assistance of these community members when delivering content in their classrooms through upcoming professional development. 

  • Inviting community members in for schools events, such as NAIDOC Week. 

  • Organising cultural activities run by community members and organisations, such as performances and workshops. 

 

 

 

Action 3: Working with external organisations to provide opportunities for our students (e.g. Ganbina, The Aspiration Institute, Rumbalara, ASHE, universities)

  • Creating a register of organisations and opportunities, including information on the students accessing these.

  • Continue to improve how we advertise these programs to students. 

  • Communicating this involvement to relevant school staff (e.g. coordinators and House Leaders)

 

 

 

Action 4: Increasing the work between our school staff and our Koorie families and community to improve outcomes for our Indigenous students.

  • Meeting of key school parties to discuss protocols/processes of working with our Indigenous families (e.g. how they use our KESO)

  • Implementation of Individual Learning Plans for all Indigenous students in Years 7 to 9. 

  • Developing a system of keeping track of students' attendance and achievement levels and identifying at risk students. 

  • Working with our KESO to work on engaging parents who do not typically engage with our school events etc and whose students may be at risk. 

 

 

 

 

b. Respect

 

Deliverables

Responsibility

Timeline​

Action 5: Supporting both Indigenous students and the whole school to participate in relevant commemorations and celebrations (e.g. Sorry Day, Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week)

  • Organising NAIDOC Week activities through our Koorie Action Group.

  • Identifying other celebrations/commemorations we would like the whole school to participate in through the Koorie Action Group.

  • Organising these commemorations/celebrations, including bulletin notices explaining their significance for each. 

  • Supporting students to participate in these commemorations and celebrations outside of school (e.g. Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations). 

 

 

 

Action 6: Clearly and publically signify our commitment to reconciliation through key documents being prominently displayed on the school website, and an acknowledgement of the traditional owners being displayed in the entrance of the school. 

  • Development of a section of the website where key documents, including this Reconciliation Action Plan, are displayed.

  • Increasing awareness of these documents through our newsletter. 

  • Organising a plaque displaying the acknowledgement for the foyer of the school.

  • Including our commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and reconciliation more broadly, in key school documents (e.g. our strategic plan)

 

 

 

Action 7: Running professional development for all staff focused on cultural education and inclusivity

  • Inclusion of sessions for staff on cultural education and inclusivity as a part of our staff meetings and/or PLT time for 2017.

  • Organising and running these sessions. 

  • Ensuring they are then a part of ongoing induction sessions for new staff. 

  • Ensuring there is ongoing follow up sessions for all staff in 2018 and beyond

 

 

 

Action 8: Ensuring all teachers are incorporating Indigenous perspectives into their curriculum.

  • Providing time within domain meetings or PLT sessions for the efforts of staff to be checked and, primarily, to be further supported – areas of confusion, further clarification and assistance can be identified.

  • Organising further support of staff on an as needs be basis. 

 

 

 

Action 9: Providing opportunities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to participate in cultural activities. 

  • Making sure they are connecting with local stories, peoples and histories.

  • Advertising widely and to all students (or as many students as possible) the availability of opportunities (e.g. through Facebook, bulletin notices and text messages to parents)

  • Exploring the possibility of providing cultural activities as a school – e.g. organising dance classes for students, Buroinjin training. 

 

 

 

Action 10: Adoption of a school-wide protocols document (which sets out a timeline and responsibility list), with the relevant components communicated to the relevant staff.

  • Development of a draft protocols document.

  • Working with Koorie Action Group to refine and further develop this document.

  • Supporting relevant staff members with the adoption of this document. 

 

 

 

Action 11: Display of relevant cultural items and artworks in the school

  • Development of a plaque explaining the meaning and significance of the recently produced mural.

  • Exploring some further artwork being displayed in the school foyer. 

 

 

 

Action 12: Creating a record of students discussing their Indigenous identity and promoting this as a key school resource.  (this will of course depend on the students being happy to participate)

  • Organising for some student leaders to oversee the development of this resource.

  • Organising for the media-tech trainee to oversee the actual production of the resource.

  • Holding a launch event for this resource, potentially during Reconciliation Week

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Contact details


 

Ken Murray                                                     Tim Warwick

Principal                                                          Koorie Programs Leader

03 5820 9900                                                  03 5820 9900

murray.ken.j@edumail.vic.gov.au                   warwick.timothy.t@edumail.vic.gov.au
 


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