Johanne Spek

Biography

Jo Spek has a background in counselling, with 15 years’ experience in Education working with families across 44 schools in the Broken Bay Diocese. Jo is the Aboriginal Education Coordinator for the Diocese working alongside Aboriginal Education Workers to support and implement Personalised Learning Plans (PLP’s) for Indigenous students. These meetings include all stakeholders building rapport and relational trust with the student and families to support their wellbeing, academic outcomes and community involvement.

Abstract

Personalised Learning Plans – Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families (Oral Paper Presentation)

In our workshop we will demonstrate successful strategies implemented in Personalised Learning Plans to create trust and strengthen the relationship between school and Aboriginal families. Acknowledging every child as individual gives parents a voice to support their child’s educational needs. Personalised Learning Plans identify the need to close the gap and maximise parent engagement.

These interviews involve working in genuine partnership with the child’s parents/carers, Aboriginal Education Worker, Office Representative, child and teacher. In these interactions, all stake holders have the opportunity to gain valuable information to support and nurture the child’s health and wellbeing as well as an opportunity to be actively engaged in the teaching and learning of the student to address identified gaps. It requires sound, precise information on student achievement and targeted attention to specific needs.

This holistic approach to the child’s individual learning needs is made possible by understanding the complexities of the family, their heritage and the family’s cultural values. When the teachers are able to implement culturally appropriate traditions, programs and Indigenous celebrations in a school community there is evidence to show that children feel valued and that they belong to an inclusive community. Children develop a sense of self-worth that impacts on their growth emotionally, spirituality and academically.

Evidence from these interactions tells us that when a child feels valued, loved and supported they become proud of their cultural identity, which reflects in their wellbeing and learning. Regular monitoring and reviewing of a student’s progress ensures successful outcomes for all.

CO-PRESENTER: Rebecca Leahy

 

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