15 Sep 2014

Early childhood work twice distinguished

Hand SigingThe Barkly Mobile Preschool Service, and its manager Doris Johnson, have been honoured with an Excellence in Building Inclusion Award, one of the prize categories in the 2014 HESTA Early Childhood Education and Care Awards. The service was acknowledged for working with Indigenous families to enhance children’s preschool attendance in the communities of Canteen Creek, Epenarra, Corella Creek and Murray Downs.
Doris regularly tours these communities to help assistant teachers deliver a daily preschool program for four-year-old children.

My work is an opportunity to support young children in the region by encouraging their families to become more involved in their child’s education,” she said. “I’ve built strong relationships with the families in these communities.”

“Attendance data shows early signs that our attempts to build inclusion are successful, and feedback from school staff is that our preschool children are more familiar with what’s expected of them at school, and that they arrive ready to learn.”

“I carry resources for the preschool classrooms, such as pens and paper, books and puzzles, and change them for different communities. It means that sometimes there’s something new for the kids and they’re so surprised by them, and happy to see me come.”

Doris has been managing the Barkly Mobile Preschool Service since 2010. She received the awards at the Early Childhood Australia National Conference in Melbourne on 6 September 2014.

 09 Sep 2014

Territory schoolchildren shine in brain bending battle

Two Territory government schools have scored first places in the problem-solving Tournament of Minds held at Charles Darwin University on 7 September, and will go to represent the Territory at the 26th Australasian Pacific Final in Melbourne.

Primary and secondary students were challenged to shine in the Language Literature and Maths Engineering categories.

Darwin Middle School eclipsed competitors in Language Literature Secondary, and Parap Primary School was twice distinguished, emerging victorious in the Language Literature Primary and Maths Engineering Primary divisions.

Nakara Primary School garnered honours in Maths Engineering Primary, and Kormilda College won the Maths Engineering Secondary contest.

The annual event attracted 29 teams from 15 schools across the Territory, vying for a place at the Trans-Tasman trial on 18 October.

The tournament aims to help students develop enterprise, creativity and time management skills, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a competitive environment.

Last year, Kormilda College, The Essington School, Darwin Middle School, and Wulagi Primary School were NT Regional Final winners.

 08 Sep 2014

Music spectacle set to start

Beat FestivalThe 35th Beat Festival – a major musical fixture in the arts calendar of Territory schools – begins 10 September 2014.

The annual festival includes a 300-voice choir, dancers, an orchestra, instrumental ensembles and vocalists 9 to 18 years old, and will this year involve more than 1100 students.

The event - produced by the Northern Territory Music School (NTMS) and the Beat Foundation – draws on the talents of primary and secondary students.

Principal of the NTMS Andy Mison said: “It is three nights that show the best of performing arts in government schools.”

“The Beat was designed to show students and school communities a pathway to future performing arts careers,” he said.

“Many students begin rehearsals for the event at the beginning of the school year, proving the exercise to be both a participation and training event.

“The theme for this year’s performances is ‘Rise’ where much of the content will relate to being the best that a person can be.”

The festival will be held at the Darwin Entertainment Centre on 10, 11 and 12 September.