St Bishoy Orthodox College in Mount Druitt has once again earned a spot in the top 50 most improved schools in NAPLAN tests in 2021.
Head of Primary Nancy Rezk said the achievement is even more impressive when you factor in months of remote learning, the fact that almost all of the students at the school are from a non-English speaking background and that more than half experience socio-economic disadvantage.
“There is a bit of a stigma attached to our area, and these results just make me so proud of our students and their families,” Nancy said.
“We are extremely happy with the results and how the children are just getting on with it, despite how long they have been in remote learning.
“We’ve been using the ORIGO Education Stepping Stones program. It fits really well with the direct instructional teaching style we use for maths at the school.
“Education and learning shouldn’t be a secret or a test. It’s all about proper modelling and explanations so the children get a really good understanding of what we’re asking them to do.
“Remote learning has been tough, especially with the extra workload for teachers and parents, but the children have been amazing, following the lessons and doing what they need to do.
“It’s just the most beautiful thing to see, the kids were absorbing the information and you can tell they’re so proud of themselves when it clicks.”
Nancy said the ORIGO Education books helped teachers step out their lessons where concepts from the NAPLAN tests are broken into manageable sections. Ongoing practice pages can be used each day, and there are options in each module for students to advance further if they get a handle on the concepts quickly.
“A lot of parents have enjoyed the journey too. They’ve told us they now know exactly what their children are doing in class, and are impressed with their level of knowledge,” she said.
“For teachers, it’s about doing everything you can to help them out.
“We know that every single one of these children has the potential to learn and do great things,’’ she says.