I would capture the picture of the Dakabin school community as a Band 11 High School which accepts students from ten feeder primary schools, and works to ensure that all students have the opportunity to pursue the educational outcomes of their choice, whether academic, vocational or a combination of both, says Peter Fanning, Principal. To ensure this, the school participated in the Murrumba District 'Schools with IDEAS 2000' using the IDEAS Diagnostic Inventory and analysis to consider alignment, focus thinking and address future planning with regard to a Junior Curriculum Review and community reculturing.
In Maximising Pathways for students some key features exist in the design of the Junior Curriculum across Year 8 and 9, incorporating electives and extension opportunities, leading to Year 10 as the transition year to Senior School, and with final implementation planned by 2004. An example of student choices include cross curricular projects and extensions.
Patrice McEwen from the Survivor extension course (HPE/Outdoor Ed/Science/SOSE) says, "This project is a great challenge mentally and physically through activities like navigation and hiking or canoeing. It's also fun to meet people and chat around the camp fire at night".
The Junior Curriculum also includes innovative ICT projects in Year 8, and a Gifted and Talented project in Years 8 and 9. Sandy Kane, a teacher of the Gifted and Talented group commented, "This course allows students to extend their knowledge and skills in areas of interest and challenge to them. A recent photography unit involved making cameras and producing photographic images without cameras" - just one example of Dakabin State High School 'student directed learning'.
Includes offerings in academic and vocational fields. Jacinta Doocey, an OP1 student in 2002, studied Discrete Maths through University of Queensland and is now studying Medical Engineering at Queensland University of Technology on scholarship. Jacinta reflected "the advantag for me studying at Dakabin was that it gave me an insight into the expectations of university study and taught me the need to be more self sufficient".
Other students complete vocational certificates as part of their studies in Early Childhood Practices, Business Communication Technologies, Hospitality, Tourism, Agriculture, Engineering, Furnishings and other areas. One student completed Certificate Level 2 in Year 12 and commenced work once her senior studies were completed. She saw this as a "definite advantage that saved a year of TAFE studies".
Many others complete traineeships, BIGA apprenticeships and other work skills through their work placement of one day a week. This is organised through the Jobs Pathway Program that successfully services four local high schools and the local Special School in the area in conjunction with local business, the shire councils and other post secondary education connections.
The school also offers: Excellence in Sporting Programs in Cricket, Volleyball and Baseball, allowing students to develop the skills and personal attributes necessary for success in these fields, and Extension Music for Year 12 advanced music students.
Extra curricular activities that support and extend classroom learning include:
A new focus for the Dakabin community was the opening of the SLI Unit (Speech Learning Impairment) Unit in 2003, which allows specialist staff to support students and community in this area.
Robyn Somerville, Deputy Principal and a member of the school team of Murrumba 'Schools with IDEAS 2000', believes that the school community is well placed to successfully address Education Training and Reforms for the Future. In order to produce Quality Student Outcomes, 'Productive Engagement' is the key to success - a concept supported by policies across the school. Students at Dakabin State High School have and will continue to choose Multiple Pathways to achieve their aspirations.