The Outback Advantage started as a network of nine one-teacher schools, which worked together through IDEAS and with the Staff College to enhance the quality and sustainability of initiatives in their schools. We are now an alliance of 13 one and two teacher schools that have created an active, support and challenging network. Our journey has not always been pleasant, has always been challenging and has been incredibly rewarding.
Having spent a large degree of time on developing the alliance itself and our approach to pedagogy, we have now started actioning our focus on literacy. Ensuring that all of our children are literate emerged as a common vision of our parents desired future. This is already reflected in our shared Curriculum Plan, which organises our curriculum into four areas: literacy, numeracy, integrated units and specialist subjects. Our Curriculum Plan also defines acceptable standards that all children are expected to achieve, whilst acknowledging that many children will achieve beyond them.
We are now embarking on developing a comprehensive literacy program across our schools, which will ground our pedagogical practices in the research underpinning Early Years program. This program will reflect our unique ability to really cater for the individual needs of every one of our students, whilst ensuring that the standards they achieve are comparable with if not exceeding what children are achieving elsewhere. It will incorporate class teaching programs, targeted intervention programs, involving parents as educators of their children at home as well as extensive professional development for and ongoing discussion amongst all involved.