Welcome to the 2022 Central West Schools on Show special publication. This magazine hopes to share with the wider community just what the schools in our region have to offer, while also offering plenty of education hints and tips. So click here to read the magazine in full and take in stories like the one below.
Access to excellence for regional students
Central West Leadership Academy is an independent co-educational school catering for students from years 1 to 10, year 11 will open in 2023.
"I am from a rural area myself and am very dedicated to equity and access to excellence for regional students. I opened the school to try to address the regional achievement gap and open up doors to higher education for Dubbo's youth," says principal Mandi Randell.
"We offer Future Problem Solving as a course in our critical thinking classes. Students from Year 5 and up engage in the critical and creative thinking involved in Global Issues Problem Solving," said Ms Randell.
"We also expand that offering to our year 9 and 10 students to include Community Problem Solving where they can enact real-world leadership and change as a part of the required course work at school.
"We have been very successful in this program and came first in Australia in 2021 in Community Problem Solving and 6th in the world. These amazing results show that local kids can be the world's best when given the right opportunities and support.
The school offers a range of extra-curricular activities including debate, drama, STEM, da Vinci Decathlon, creative writing, art and chess.
"All students are on personal learning plans crafted in partnership with teachers and parents where together we make data-driven goals and help each student take their next step each day.
We have very high standards for both academics and behaviour and that enables us to focus on the learning. We explicitly teach social and emotional skills such as grit, tenacity, determination, self-regulation and perseverance so kids are able to develop agency and autonomy as they take responsibility for their own learning and investing in themselves.
"We already harness the digital world to be able to give our students differentiated instruction. Our home readers in primary are retested and re-levelled by a software platform so students can move at their own pace instead of waiting for teachers to get time to retest," said Ms Randell.
"Our teachers are still able to deliver the class remotely if they are able while home caring for a sick child so we can get the best continuity of learning. At-home learning was easy for our school environment as we already harness the digital and data-driven resources to differentiate for our students as a part of our daily practice.
"We are offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme starting next year. This world-class end-of-high school qualification is the only pathway besides the HSC that can get an ATAR in NSW. We are the only school west of the Blue Mountains to offer this program and it will allow students to locally access a world-class program without having to board at the cost of $65k per child," said Ms Randell.