Students literacy and numeracy are above the national average by year 9, compared to other schools, despite playing catch-up in year 7.ELAINE COONEY March 11, 2014 11:50am
Front: Rochester Secondary College students Austin Glass, Jemma Mcnair and Wallace Green with their humanities teachers (behind) Kate Taylor, Shelly Nichol, Annette Bolitho and principal Bernie Altmann.
Rochester Secondary College is one of Australia’s best schools for improved numeracy and literacy, according to its NAPLAN results.
The results of the numeracy and literacy test showed students were below the national average in reading and grammar and well below in spelling when they joined the school in year 7.
The students left those titles behind and excelled in reading and numeracy by gaining ‘‘above the national average’’ when they sat the test in year 9.
Spelling was still a little below average but reading and numeracy jumped by about 60-70 points compared to a national rise of 40 points.
Principal Bernie Altmann was thrilled by the news.
‘‘I’m very proud of what our teachers and students do and the community is very supportive,’’ he said.
He said the family environment within the school was a definite advantage.
Mr Altmann said many of the teachers had children at the school and because the community was small, they knew about individual children’s achievements.
He said such individual attention made the students realise the teachers really cared about them.
Mr Altmann said students had the same teacher for all humanities subjects in year 7, which aided the improvement.
Humanities teacher Annette Bolitho said teachers volunteered to take on the year 7 subjects, which ensured the students had a passionate teacher.
Humanities teacher Shelly Nichol said because the school and community were so tightly knit, it was easier to spot and help students who were struggling with a particular subject.
Humanities teacher Kate Taylor said most of the teachers sent their own children to Rochester Secondary College which proved they had faith in the school.
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