A big success at small school

IT would be easy to think that a small school education lacks big thinking, big ideas and big experiences. Not so for principal, Debbie Barratt, who is flipping this myth to deliver "a small school education with big experiences", to the students and parents of Sofala.

Ms Barratt describes the setting of the school as "the town's piece of educational paradise", perfect for students and their families to focus on learning in a peaceful and highly resourced educational environment of unlimited potential.

"Unlike a large school where I only see a child for a year, in a small school setting I can be with them from Kindergarten to Year 6.

It enables me to develop a relationship with a child positively, individualise their learning, so it is authentic, rich and ultimately successful."

Mrs Barratt believes easing her children out of their 'comfort zone' and into their 'challenge zone' is essential and accessible in today's world. "As a small school, we are agile and nimble.

If we believe in an educational experience, we can put our kids on a bus and deliver the experience to them.

"Our P&C share this value supporting our students to connect with other schools, high schools and educational networks. There are no boundaries for us and our students."

Learning frameworks and the regular assessment of skills and knowledge establish the building blocks for students and encourage them into new learning frontiers.

Mrs Barratt and her staff believe that learning is not just for the students. "To build a successful learning environment for our students means we must learn, model and continue to develop as educators."

Mrs Barratt is introducing the Swivl project which uses video capture technology in the classroom, enabling teachers to capture themselves and their students in action.

In 2020 the staff of Sofala Public School will continue on this quality teaching venture and join with others school networks to reflect on their learning and teaching practice using this innovative technology with the ultimate goal of greater success for their students.

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