and Remote Education - WA
Fitzroy Crossing student meeting,
19 May 1999 - notes
The meeting of students
at Fitzroy Crossing included children from both the Fitzroy Crossing School
and from the Walkajungka School. The students were from Year 7 though
to Year 11.
When asked about
the most enjoyable aspects of school education, almost without exception
the students nominated socialising with other children, using the computers
at school and using the sporting facilities. At Fitzroy Crossing the children
have access to the computer rooms once per week for either a morning or
an afternoon session.
Students from the
Walkajungka School spoke of their enjoyment at playing sport in the undercover
areas, cooking classes and art and craft. They also enjoyed using the
computer. All students learn how to cook at school. The students play
sport against other local community schools in the region.
The children expressed
enjoyment in studying their languages. The languages include Goondayindi,
Walmajarri and Walkajungka. All students and the teachers at the school
learn at least one Aboriginal language. The language group of the family
will determine the language learned by the student at school. Most students
speak Kriol at school with their peer group regardless of whether they
are Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal.
Some of the children
complained that their fellow students do not respect the Aboriginal language
teachers. As elders of the community and relatives of many of the students,
these teachers are able to use corporal punishment in the classroom.
NAIDOC week and participate in story writing competitions. This is a very
important school event at Fitzroy Crossing.
The learning environment
The students prefer
to have two teachers in the class because they are able to get help from
the teachers. At the Fitzroy Crossing School there are two teachers per
class at the secondary level.
Afternoon tea is
provided for students who stay back for homework classes. It is generally
the primary school students who stay back for these sessions.
Teasing at school
The Fitzroy Crossing
students complained of teasing at school. They felt that the school policy
was not strict enough and there was not enough follow-up of 'offending'
students. The students also described fighting at the school. They claimed
the fights were petty and could be started over cigarettes. Children visiting
the school caused some of the disputes; these children would be described
as very irregular in their school attendance.
for senior secondary education
Of the 9 students
attending the meeting from the Fitzroy Crossing School, most wanted to
finish school to Year 12 level. (This student cohort is not representative
of the majority of students at Fitzroy Crossing. The Fitzroy Crossing
community meeting notes give some indication of school retention rates.)
Almost all of the students at the meeting thought that they would continue
their schooling away from Fitzroy Crossing. They planned to study in Broome
or Perth where they would find greater subject choices.
updated 2 December 2001.