Yule Brook College and Sevenoaks Senior College – Aboriginal Innovation Schools

Yule Brook College and Sevenoaks Senior College
– Aboriginal Innovation Schools [Opens with images of the schools and people
with background music]>>Janette Gee [Principal, Yule Brook College
is speaking] Our students at Yule Brook College go from
Years 8 to 10 and then over to Sevenoaks for Years 11 and 12. At the moment, our students
feel a bit of a disconnect between Year 10 and Year 11. There’s quite a long distance
for them to travel and it’s very hard for a lot of them after being in a supportive
community like Yule Brook to make the transition over to the adult world where they’re really
quite responsible for their own education. So our idea through our innovation strategy
was to connect the two communities together and not just the students but the families
as well, because at Yule Brook we enrol our families as well as our students and we know
that Sevenoaks does the same thing. They work really well with their families but somewhere
in between we have this little bit of a loss where some students don’t make it over and
don’t make it all the way through out the other end into meaningful employment. And
so, as part of our Aboriginal Innovation Schools strategy, we want to fix that. We want to
plug that hole and make sure every student has the chance to be a successful student.>>Buffie Punch and Samantha Garcia [Girls’
Academy Coordinators] [Samantha is speaking]
With Yule Brook being such a close knit community they can sometimes have a bit of trouble moving
on to something else. It’s a bit daunting for them so I think it’s important to make
them comfortable going somewhere else and show them that link is still there between
us and the other school.>>Trevor Armstrong [past student is speaking]
Well the transition between Yule Brook and Sevenoaks was pretty daunting at first. I
mean you come from a small high school where you go from Year 8 to 10 but jump from Year
10 to Year 11 it’s pretty huge as in the workload just increases exponentially.>>Jennet Hansen [Follow the Dream Coordinator
is speaking] So with Yule Brook because we don’t have
the middle school students here we initiated this program with the students. We drive over
to Sevenoaks and do tutoring at Sevenoaks. It started in the early days when we went
out into the community and spoke to the Mamba Aboriginal Corporation because we felt that
the program had to be owned by the community and to get that community engagement in place
was absolutely vital so that parents and community members could feel an ownership of the program
and want their students to belong to Follow the Dream.>>Marcus Harold [from the Clontarf Foundation
is speaking] Our program’s about working with young indigenous
men. We use their passion, their existing passion for football to attract them to school.
And talking of transition, we found that when the kids finished here, the Indigenous boys
that were part of the program, they were actually dropping out of school when they finished
here in Year 10 because they didn’t want to go off to other schools. We soon learnt
that became a big problem, that bridge was blocked, so we started the program up with
Sevenoaks, the Clontarf program with Sevenoaks. We make it a big thing in Term 4 to make sure
that all of our boys that move across to Sevenoaks have met the teachers that they are going
to have the following year, have them all enrolled in the appropriate courses that suit
them and again gone across to visit our staff, work out how they might get to school next
year and work out any of that pastoral care issues that might happen before they arrive
there the following year.>>Kaylene Hayward [Teacher is speaking]
Well we got some transition processes into place at the moment where the students come
to me and before they leave Year 10 and I’m going to link up with them for a few hours
per week and I am also going to link up with their parents and at the end of each year
I’ll link up with the AIEOs from the school and we sit down and we go through all the
students and the ones that I don’t know I usually ring up and I usually meet them
before the next year. And it also gives us a good idea of what students are at risk.
It gives us a good idea as to what families we are going to be working with in the following
year.>>Karen Read [Principal, Sevenoaks Senior
College is speaking] We have common programs, one is Clontarf football
program, one is the Follow the Dream program and both of those have had success and took
a lot of notice of why they were successful and that was really important to see how the
students in those programs came from Yule Brook and then adapted into Sevenoaks and
it appears because we had common people working across the two schools on those programs I
think there was a sense of knowing from the perspective of the Aboriginal students and
they felt a lot more comfortable in coming into Sevenoaks and the families as well they
are really important to know that their children are coming into an environment that they feel
is safe. [Pictures of Yule Brook College]>>Ken Wyatt MP [Member for Hasluck is speaking]
The linkages between both schools now is a positive pathway. I think the other thing
too is what I’ve heard from some of the kids in talking with them is they see this
as the transition point of the foundation years of high schooling, but certainly then
having their final two years elsewhere but then the opportunity to go into either tertiary
pathways or training. So I think you have created a mind set that anything is achievable
and that it doesn’t stop here at Yule Brook it also crosses over.>>Eric Radice [Year 10 Head of Department
is speaking] And the big picture physiology of course is
all about that transitioning to adult life from the beginning where it’s about becoming
confident as a young person and then using those skills in different environments to
actually make a difference so when our kids go into workplaces we expect them to be a
part of the workplace and not to be someone in the background sweeping floors but actually
become a part of that environment.>>Samantha Garcia [is speaking]
The school was having issues with the attendance of the girls being quite low. In general it
was about half what the boys’ attendance was and so the Girls Academy was created to
draw the girls to coming to school. The Girls Academy is an attendance and mentoring program.
We concentrate on developing girls self esteem and a sense of belonging at the school.>>Carolyn Murphy [from Teachers Mutual Bank
is speaking] We were looking for a project that assisted
indigenous people in the community and also what we thought was so important about this
project was that it was transitioning young girls through from Year 10 through to Year
12 and it’s so important that they get that education to take them forward into the community.>>Caris Sugg [Coordinator of Extended Services
is speaking] So Girls Academy is working well for us but
I guess we want to extend it so it’s working as well as the Clontarf Academy where we have
one at both schools. So we need something to transition those girls once they have left
the Girls Academy at Yule Brook College, what do they have? So we want to extend that across
to Sevenoaks as well.>>Kaylene Hayward [is speaking]
Well we do have a young mums program operating and we have found that many, many of our students
come in pregnant and they leave, normally about Year 11, and we set this program up
with the principal and this is a program of ours. It’s an annex off site of benefit
to students and yesterday we had about eight parents, two grandparents, seven kids, eight
kids and we had two dads. So it is very successful at the moment.>>Karen Read [is speaking]
It is a complex world for them and times they don’t possibly have access, readily available
access to services which can support them. So this was something which we talked about
trying to get an extended services type of model between the two schools which can connect
in whether it be community agencies, health agencies but to have again a common set of
agencies which would be able to support the students. Or be it both schools have an extensive
range of contacts already that we use but it would be really nice to bring that all
together into a model that has a clear strategic purpose to support the students on their way.>>Peter McBain [from Brierty is speaking]
We undertook this project that we have to come out and do a project with the school
each year going forward and this ones to reticulate this football oval which you can see is pretty
dry and pretty hard. It’s really good for us because it means that we can give back
a little bit to the community and also it gives some of the younger guys that work with
us, like Mark who’s going to project manage it and Brandon who’s going to be our community
relations manager on the project the opportunity to get some really good experience in projects.
So for us it’s a great opportunity and it’s a good way to contribute and give back to
Yule Brook.>>Cheryl Bettridge [Student Services Manager
is speaking] There’s just a lot of organisations but
I look after quite a lot of them but there’s other people who are involved with different
ones as well. So some of its a bit all over the place and it means that sometimes one
person doesn’t know what another persons doing and so perhaps we’re not being as
efficient with those resources as we could be or tapping into them as much as we could
be.>>Helena Tassone [Coordinator of Extended
Services is speaking] We’ve probably got over 100 agencies that
we have used and our staff use. What we are looking at there is creating a database that’s
going to be consistent across the school. We are going to be writing to all our agencies
before the end of this term inviting them to provide some services and finding out what
they can do. What we found with our communities when they
were surveyed, they were very clear, and probably the top priority was their children having
greater access to delving into their Aboriginal heritage and their culture and having a place
where that can be done.>>Caris Sugg [is speaking]
A common theme was the cyber bullying. It seems to be a big problem at both the schools
at the moment. So that’s where we are actually going to start, we are going to start running
a cyber bullying and a computing course just in one of the buildings at Yule Brook College.
Obviously we haven’t been able to find a place yet or a centre. We are looking into
that. So we are going to start running workshops to see how they go while we are still trying
to work out where we can place our cultural centre.>>Janette Gee [is speaking]
And these are the bits where we have got stuck, the tricky bits. There’s quite a distance
between our schools so it takes about 20 minutes to drive to Sevenoaks or to Yule Brook depending
on where you are starting so that’s an issue we have getting kids and families to different
places. Sevenoaks has other feeder schools. We are small fish in their big pond so they
have other things to worry about apart from us, so time is an issue. Staff at both schools
don’t know each other very well and we don’t know what we do. We’re sure that each of
our other school does a good job but there’s always that little bit of uncertainty in not
knowing. Finding the right services and organisations to connect to because we haven’t got the
problem that, or finding them as the country towns do. We’ve got thousands and thousands
of them in Perth we just have to find the right ones that work for us that work with
our community.>>Karen Read [is speaking]
I think this year has been a planning year but certainly the services, the coordinated
services type of concept to help it has been valuable because obviously there is a lot
of planning has to go into it and it has to be done well because if we don’t connect
communities in and get the families on side it will fall apart. [Picture of a snake on the wall of a school]>>Shirley Thorne [an elder is speaking]
I want to see more schools combined together so that they can all use their ideas both
in educating, training and development and opportunities for our children. If they can
all follow the one stream or another but know that there was different opportunities and
places they can go to to do it, look at the avenues that are going to open up and the
advantages. Too many of them believe they don’t have family and they’ve got the
biggest families around in our Aboriginal community. They stretch from down here to
the top end and right around. I’m very proud of that fact and I can claim all of them. [Music and acknowledgement screen appears.]
With thanks to Principals, Janette Gee and Karen Read, staff, students and community
of Yule Brook College and Sevenoaks Senior College who participated in this video.

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