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Inside Teaching : April 2011
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS 49 in brieF f1 in Schools ‘Pentagliders’ and teacher Murat Djakic from Brooks High School in Launceston, Tasmania, won the National Champion professional class award as well as the fastest car and best energy efficient design awards at the F1 in Schools Australia Grand Prix at Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Raceway in March. It was the first time a Tasmanian school has won. National runner-up in the professional class was ‘Ace Pace Racing’ from Mirani State High School in Mackay, Queensland. The National Champion development class winner was ‘Lightspeed’ from Ballarat South Community Learning Precinct in Victoria. National runner- up in the development class was ‘Velocity’ from Newington College, Sydney. arts education good for students New research suggests a correlation exists between arts education and the improved school attendance of students, academic achievement, and social and emotional wellbeing. Funded by the Macquarie Group Foundation, the report, Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts, by Brian Caldwell for The Song Room – a national non-profit organisation that provides free music and arts-based programs for children in disadvantaged communities – shows that Song Room participants: • had significantly higher grades in English, mathematics, science and technology, and human society than non- participants • achieved significantly higher results in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy as measured in the Year 5 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy • had significantly higher attendance, and • were more likely to be resilient and demonstrate positive social skills, good work management skills and engagement. Besides such extrinsic benefits, the research also recognises that the arts have intrinsic value. My School The revamped My School website of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority went live in March, attracting 248,000 unique visitors in its first week. Visitors clicked on more than six million page views, checking school performance on National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy tests, and visiting school financial data pages and pages used to make comparisons with similar schools. Cross also advocates intervention at the classroom level in terms of teaching and learning activities to increase understanding of ways to counter and prevent bullying, and at the school level in terms of clear policies and a school’s ethos. ‘To initiate change, we believe the most important actions are to get a good understanding of the bullying behaviour in the school through a student/staff/ parent needs assessment and then involve the whole school community in policy and actions to address this problem,’ Cross said. All state and territory education authorities, along with the National Catholic Education Commission, the Independent Schools Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, have collaborated to develop resources, called Take a Stand Together, to support positive bystander behaviour. For more on the National Safe Schools Framework and supporting resources, visit www.safeschools.deewr.gov.au For more on Take a Stand Together, visit www. takeastandtogether.gov.au For more on the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, visit www. bullyingnoway.com.au