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2004 project

Quirindi 2004

The primary and high schools from Quirindi had not worked together on any major projects prior to 2004. The primary school had several parents and community members who were part of the school’s in-class tutor program. They also had two AEAs. The high school had an experienced AEA and an Aboriginal Teacher's Aide. The regional Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO), who is also a parent of the school, provided a very supportive link to the community.

Initial meetings involved teachers, AEAs and tutors from the primary school and the Maths head teacher, AEA and Teacher's Aide from the high school in developing a working relationship to clarify the goals for the project. Two mentors, a Maths teacher and two staff members from the Board of Studies (a seconded Aboriginal education consultant and the project officer) also joined the team. Timetabling at the high school meant that the Year 7 teachers were unable to be present for the planning sessions. The head teacher of Mathematics attended meetings and then liaised with his staff.

Discussions took place to establish an understanding of the difference between developing context-based activities and activities with only an Aboriginal perspective. These discussions provided an opportunity to engage the community members in sharing aspects of the culture and the local context.

BST and SNAP analysis identified a range of areas that could be targeted for the learning activities. Community Elders indicated that there was not a particular area of significance in Quirindi. There were sites around Caroona and Walhallow that had been visited previously by the primary school that did have significance. The team decided that it was not practical to use these sites for this activity.

A focus day was chosen to showcase a range of successful learning experiences. Activities were planned using a range of cultural artefacts and contextual activities. The focus day was held in the grounds of the primary school. The community attended in large numbers and a barbeque provided a climax for the day.

In 2005 the Stage 3 teachers at Quirindi Primary School continued with the project. The planning day with the mentor and new AEA developed a series of lessons for Measurement and the Space and Geometry strands.

Each teacher developed and taught a sequence that their colleagues later used. The lessons were designed both to incorporate aspects from the previous year’s focus day that had engaged the students, and to structure the steps of each lesson.

On each visit one of the participating teachers would teach a lesson, observed by a peer, mentor, AEA and project officer. Each lesson was scaffolded to make the teaching explicit and was then followed by a debriefing to analyse the teaching elements, student engagement and performance. The debriefing provided an opportunity to refect on the importance of identifying the particular teaching steps for each skill and to identify the appropriate scaffolding for each lesson.


  • Develop a range of activities with an Indigenous perspective for Stages 3 and 4.
  • Develop links with the community.

The team developed a range of ideas from which the focus day activities were developed. The large number of students led the team to develop a system of rotation for the 6 activities. The stage two groups ran parallel with a teacher and in some cases a community member with each group. Large numbers of community members also came on the day to observe the activities.

Quirindi Focus Day


Mathematics in Indigenous Contexts Day
Thursday 14 October 2004
At Quirindi Primary School

10.35 am

Year 7 students arrive from high school. Recess for Years 5 and 6

10.50 am

Welcome to Country
Introduction to cultural importance of activities
Students in pre-arranged groups to move to first activity

11.15 am

First set of activities

11.45 am

Rotation to second set of activities

12.15 pm

Rotation to third set of activities

12.45 pm

BBQ lunch with community, provided by ASSPA

1.30 pm

Rotation to fourth set of activities

2.00 pm

Rotation to fifth set of activities

2.30 pm

Rotation to sixth set of activities

3.00 pm

Close and farewell

3.15 pm

Year 7 students return to high school

Activity stations

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