Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell today to visit Young North Public School and learn about their wellbeing and leadership programs.

The school launched the Department of Education’s ‘Every student is known, valued and cared for’ program last week and Ms Cooke hosted the Education Minister as they learned what this means for students.

“This program has launched its ‘Young North Stars’ initiative, which are care groups where the students are organised into groups, each aligned with a staff member, so that the school can ensure that every student knows they are known, valued and cared for,” Ms Cooke said.

“The groups meet once a week and they discuss strategies to ensure wellbeing with all students at the school.

“Research has shown that if students’ wellbeing is not as good as it could be, then their focus on schoolwork can diminish, so Young North Public’s focus on this area is a fantastic win-win for students’ personal development and their education.”

Young North Public Principal Ange Gay said the school is focusing on coaching and mentoring staff based on what student needs are.

“We have invested in Learning Sprints, a system developed by education thinker Dr Simon Breakspear, which identifies an area of need for students which we build teacher expertise in,” Ms Gay said.

“Every five weeks we look at the evidence of impact on student learning from the changed approach to teaching, which is an ongoing process.

“We prepare as a team in the first week what the teacher is going to focus on, then for the next three weeks the Sprint happens and we check in with the teacher and make classroom observations, and then in week five we review the impact that the teacher has had.

“We showed Minister Mitchell and Ms Cooke our Booster Rooms where we track learning data for all students. We also demonstrated a sprint in action, which we hope allowed them to get an insight into how we are implementing the ‘Every student is known, valued and cared for’ program.

Minister Mitchell said she was highly impressed by the efficient way the school had implemented the program.

“We are using evidence-based practice to inform our strategic decisions, and it has been delightful to see this in action at Young North Public School,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We know that when students’ wellbeing and needs are taken into consideration, they show improvements in how they learn at school.

“I am so pleased to have seen so many happy faces enjoying their lessons, and I would like to thank Ms Gay, her staff and all the students for making us feel so welcome.”