Your first school appointment

Map of Far North Queensland, with Assessment caption

Assessment objectives

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Work towards developing effective teaching strategies that are responsive to the local community and cultural setting, linguistic background and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

This objective can be attained through the following:

  1. Commence a research study based on the given scenario in this assessment.
  2. Structure the research according to the given suggestion.


The school has an enrolment of 40% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students spread evenly across the school from Kindergarten to Year 12.

For some time the school has struggled to engage both the students and their parents/caregivers. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ performance in NAPLAN is below that of their peers (although the school overall is below the ‘like school’ comparative data, so not performing very well at this level). There are two Indigenous Education Workers (IEWs) who work well in classrooms and have the trust and respect of all students, but who are not involved in school-wide activities.

The school has a tenuous level of engagement with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, but generally for specific events such as NAIDOC Week. The school flies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and from the positioning of several faded murals around the school it can be seen that in the past some attempts have been made to make it a welcoming environment.

Recently, the school executive decided that a concerted effort must be made to raise the level of engagement and outcomes of all students, with a particular emphasis on developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ participation and academic outcomes.

Consequently, a committee was formed and as you have recently completed an Indigenous Education course as part of your degree, you have been asked to participate. The committee is chaired by a newly appointed executive member, and has three classroom teachers who have volunteered, and one IEW.


Your response

AssessmentGiven this scenario, and what you have learned in this course, what are the key strategic approaches you would encourage the committee to undertake in order to ensure:

  1. The increase of student engagement and improvement of NAPLAN results overall in the school, but particularly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  2. The increase in participation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

In your response you should:

  • Define the school based on the above detail and geographical placement e.g. total enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students, staff size and expertise.
    • Follow this line of inquiry. Is the school in a rural or metropolitan context? What is the school size? What is the total enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students and staff numbers? What is the expertise of the staff in this school site?
  • Describe the community and the student’s socio-economic sets of circumstances.
  • Define the scope, skills and capacity of the committee membership.
  1. You can relate your answer specifically to your teaching expertise (early childhood, primary, secondary) and subject area.
  2. Critically analyse the study to identify and isolate the critical educational/social/cultural issues to be addressed (at least 5 separate issues are anticipated).
  3. Design strategies to address each of these critical issues and justify these through reference to theory or practice that works.
  4. Clearly identify and articulate the steps and timeframes anticipated to achieve your strategic approach and present it in a format that will best be useful to you as a resource in your future teaching.