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Empowering students

By Robert Barakat on 5 June 2017Partner School StoriesNSWstaffroom

An Atomi partner school story: Balranald Central School.

The challenge

As a rural and remote school over 800km from Sydney, Balranald Central School prides itself on giving their students the utmost support and opportunity.

Having a small number of teaching staff and senior classes of less than 10 students, the challenge of offering a broad range of senior courses is met by embracing various types of delivery methods and supporting students with a common Stage 6 learning zone.

As a result of the much wider learning environment, Balranald Central School is able to cater for every student’s individual learning pathway.

"Our aim is to ensure that every student is provided with the tools and environment needed for success."
— Aaron Flagg, Principal

Strategy

As part of their involvement in the Broadening and Enriching Stage 6 project, Balranald Central School partnered with Atomi in 2016 and provided each one of their senior students with a full subscription so they had constant access to learning support such as revision, tutorials, catching-up on missed work and moving ahead at their own pace.

As an isolated school, the videos provide new teachers taking HSC courses for the first time a good foundation and reliable resource for their professional development.

"It’s an invaluable resource for a small school."
— Aaron Flagg, Principal

Several teachers use Atomi as part of a blended learning strategy that encourages students to engage more with their learning and further prepare for the state-wide HSC. Across different subjects, teachers show videos in class as an overview of each syllabus dot point, set videos for revision or pre-work, and minimise the disruption to learning if a teacher or student is absent.

Impact

Although it is early days, the response from students and teachers at Balranald Central School has been overwhelmingly positive. Teachers have been able to spend more time looking at the individual needs of each student, who is then empowered to engage with the content.

"Now, they know what questions to ask. They can take ownership of their learning."
— Aaron Flagg, Principal

Students are more equipped to prepare for their assessments and, as the fundamentals can be mastered more efficiently, their teachers are able to spend more time promoting deep learning through case studies, discussions and critical thinking exercises.


  • School type: Government (K-12)
  • Established: 1865
  • Students: 160
  • Teaching staff: 17

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