NTCET Completers Celebrate across the Territory 18 Dec 2014

Senior secondary students across the Territory received their Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) results today. In 2014, 1315 students completed the NTCET, an increase of 60 students compared to 2013, the greatest number of certificate completions since its inception.

Events were held concurrently today at Casuarina Senior College and Alice Springs Town Council to celebrate the students who achieved results in the NTCET Top 20 (link to Top 20 students). The students were congratulated and recognition was given to the support and guidance provided by student’s families, teachers and friends during the demanding senior secondary years.

The Territory’s top scoring NTCET student, Anna Miers from Centralian Senior College, obtained an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.9. The top performing Indigenous student, Asha Tonkin-Reeves from Katherine High School, one of the 171 Indigenous students who have completed the certificate.

The Top 20 results were determined from the university aggregate scores of 20 students from five schools - Casuarina Senior College (7), Darwin High School (6), St Philip’s College (4), Centralian Senior College (2), and The Essington School (1). This year, 21 students achieved the top two per cent in Stage 2 subjects and were awarded 30 A+ merit awards.

NTCET Top Students 2014

Innovative communications researcher rewarded 08 Dec 2014

Henbury School teacher Paul Drewitt has been honoured with the Excellence in Improving Learning and Development award for his work with eye gaze technology at the school. The tribute was one of several bestowed at the recent Northern Territory Disability Services Awards.

The interactive technology helps children with multiple or profound disabilities, or both, communicate more independently by transforming eye movements tracked on a screen into speech.

The High Support teacher began the project in 2012, convinced that certain students in his class could communicate independently, but “lacked a suitable augmentative tool”.

“I researched the Tobii I-15 eye gaze module, and the school instituted a three-month trial that lead to the permanent installation of the units,” he said.

“The impacts and applications of these devices for students with a severe intellectual disability and poor motor control cannot be overstated.

“For us, communicating our choices, needs and desires is commonplace, but speaking to their families, making selections and going shopping are first time experiences for these students.

“In the Territory and across the nation, Henbury School is leading the way in the use of this technology. Our vision is to influence special schools throughout Australia to follow this example.”
The senior teacher was nominated for the award by the school’s principal, Carolyn Edwards.

Excellence in Improving Learning and Development Award


Local schools challenge for fitness funds 08 Dec 2014

In a Trans-Tasman competition comprising 33 shortlisted programs, Durack Primary School and Nakara Preschool have a chance to share a $600,000 prize to promote health and wellbeing.

The schools are vying for the funds under the 2015 Medibank Community Fund Grants initiative, encouraging ‘healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness’.
Assistant principal of Durack Primary School, Heather Stedman, said the money would be used to attract schoolchildren into golf and tennis, increasing the range of sports available and options for physical fitness.

“The school recognises the need to foster healthy living to prevent childhood obesity and resultant chronic health problems,” she said.

“The funds for our Getting Fit for Life initiative would be used to employ local golf and tennis coaches as instructors of our younger students, encouraging them to adopt these sports after school.

“We find the older children already have sporting commitments, but the younger ones are just moving into sports, and since a golf course and tennis courts are within walking distance it seems sensible to exploit these facilities.
“The sports programs will generate ties to local community programs and clubs.”

Nakara Preschool teacher Shontelle Heard said the school’s project Our Sustainable Healthy Preschool will help develop healthy children by encouraging them to “eat nutritious foods and keep physically fit”.
“We’ll expand the school garden with help from students, parents and the community, and that will include planting healthy multicultural foods to cook,” she said. “The garden will be an ongoing sustainable program, and a tool for teaching children about global environment issues.

“And we’ll introduce outdoor equipment such as climbing frames, a rock wall and balancing beams to help the students keep fit.”
The winners of the contest will be announced on 11 December.

Nakara Preschool Garden