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Rural and Remote Education - WA


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.

Positive aspects

of education

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.

Language learning

and culture

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.

Students celebrate

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.

Alternative schools

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.