Redlynch State School, Queensland

The School

Redlynch State School LogoRedlynch State School is located approximately 15 minutes from Cairns. The original school has been replaced with a new school out of the centre of Redlynch, towards the new estates. The school caters for infants through to Year 7 students. Intended to accommodate 350 students, the school now has 621 students and another 100 preschoolers. It has grown rapidly and a middle school is being proposed.

There are 28 Aboriginal or Torres Islander students and a small and committed Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness (ASSPA) group. Anzac Palmer, a Djabugay elder, is on this committee and attended the 'old' Redlynch school. The Yarrabah Aboriginal Community is some 37 kilometres south of Cairns.

The school has a Special Needs Unit attached and all students are taught inclusively.

Contact details

Redlynch State School
Jungara Road, Redlynch 4870
(PO Box 16R, Redlynch 4870)
Tel: (07) 4039 1899
Fax: (07) 4039 1737
Email: the.principal@redlynchss.qld.edu.au
Website: http://redlynchsc.eq.edu.au/wcmss/

Program overview

In 2001, three teachers new to Redlynch noticed racist and negative comments about Yarrabah (from some Year 7 students), the Indigenous community and anyone with difference. One of the teachers, Kathy Street, had previously taught and lived at Yarrabah Community.

The three teachers attended 'Under the Skin', an anti-racism professional development program. This motivated all Year 7 teachers to address racism, stereotyping, harassment and discrimination through the curriculum.

The Years 6 and 7 teachers developed a cross-cultural program with School-Based Rich Tasks (pdf format) to cover all key learning areas, which are in the New Basics. Each unit lasts for approximately ten weeks. The overriding aim of this program is for the students of Redlynch to become more tolerant towards 'difference' and develop a deep knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. The main activity is to take students to Yarrabah to develop relationships with the students there.

The hope for the program is that when Redlynch students return from Yarrabah with positive feedback and informing others of their great time, this will create a 'ripple' effect that will shape future attitudes towards Yarrabah and the Indigenous community.

The students

The program has been designed for three classes of Year 6 students and three classes of Year 7 students. The majority of students are of white Anglo-Saxon sociocultural background. Some students show zero tolerance towards difference, despite the school's inclusive Special Needs program. The students involved had not been to Yarrabah before and they had stereotyped the residents of Yarrabah and believed many myths.

Learning outcomes

Key learning areaStrandOutcome
Studies of Society and EnvironmentCulture and Identity3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
ScienceScience and Society3.1
Health and Physical EducationPromoting the Health of Individuals and Communities3.1
Health and Physical EducationEnhancing Personal Development3.1
3.2
The ArtsDrama3.2
The ArtsMedia3.1
3.3
The ArtsVisual Arts3.1
3.2
3.3
TechnologyTechnology Practice3.1
4.2
TechnologyInformation4.1
4.2
ScienceScience and Society3.1
Health and Physical EducationPromoting the Health of Individuals and Communities3.1
Health and Physical EducationEnhancing Personal Development3.1
3.2
The ArtsDrama3.2
The ArtsMedia3.1
3.3
The ArtsVisual Arts3.1
3.2
3.3
TechnologyTechnology Practice3.1
4.2
TechnologyInformation4.1
4.2

Student outcomes

Students will:

  • accept difference and value the culture of Indigenous Australians;
  • understand how racist attitudes and intolerance towards a group can develop;
  • reflect on their own and society's perceptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures.

At the NAIDOC Day celebrations, students will demonstrate their knowledge of Indigenous history and culture and their attitudes towards it.

Program outline

'Tolerance: Valuing Difference – Towards Reconciliation' (a cross-cultural program)

The aim is to educate the Redlynch school community, including students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff, about Indigenous history (with a focus on the last 200 years) culture and the people. This program specifically focuses on the local Djabugay tribe and closest Indigenous community, Yarrabah.

Teachers will plan and implement a School-Based Rich Tasks incorporating Productive Pedagogies, authentic learning and assessment tasks, building relationships and Partners for Success.

Students will plan an educational experience, which includes a persuasive speech highlighting their understandings and attitudes. They will present such things as: PowerPointTM Presentation, Slide Show, Play, Bush Tucker Trail, Art Exhibition, Teaching Kit, and a Mural at a NAIDOC Day celebratory event.

Teacher Plan for 'Tolerance: Valuing Difference – Towards Reconciliation'

Timeframe

Two-year cyclic plan: Each unit will be studied over a term as a School-Based Rich Task:
1st Year – Year 6 students study a unit of work focusing on 'Tolerance' from an historical perspective.
2nd Year – Year 7 students formulate an 'Action Research' Plan focusing on 'Reconciliation'.

Opportunities for learning and development

Teacher learningDemonstrated by
Cross-cultural awareness programInvolvement in the program
Professional development in SOSE outcomes, Discovering Democracy, Productive Pedagogies, Middle Schooling, School-Based Rich TasksPlanning and implementation of School-Based Rich Tasks incorporating outcomes, Productive Pedagogies, Citizenship Education, and Middle Schooling philosophy
Student learningDemonstrated by
Knowledge of Indigenous history and culturePersuasive speech, presentations, discussions
Tolerant attitudes towards differenceReflective journal
Outcomes (as outlined)Assessment tasks

Partnerships

PartnersCommitment
School 
RedlynchCross-cultural program, planning School-Based Rich Task, professional development
YarrabahBuilding relationships, pen pals, planning visits, camping, tours of Yarrabah
Non-school 
1   Djabugay Tribe1   Oral history, cultural talks
2   ASSPA2   NAIDOC celebrations
3   Yarrabah Menmuny Museum3   Visits, cultural talks
4   Tjapukai Cultural Park4   Cultural education and experts to help with Rich Tasks
5   Indigenous Unit – Parramatta SS5   Cross-cultural awareness program
6   Parramatta Dancers6   Performing and experts for Rich Tasks
7   'Djengi–Buai' Performing Artists7   Performing, cultural workshops, experts for rich tasks
8   Yarrabah Sport and Recreational Centre8   Activities for visits, arranging camps, and trip to Chillagoe caves

Photos from the trip to Yarrabah

Learning to throw a spear
Learning to throw a spear.
Courtesy Kathy Street
Bush tucker
Bush tucker.
Courtesy Kathy Street
Items at the Menmuny Museum

Items at the Menmuny Museum
Items at the Menmuny Museum.
Reproduced with permission

Links to Discovering Democracy

Discovering Democracy 'topics' addressed in unit:
  • Discrimination and human rights
  • 'What Sort of Nation?' – change (timeline of past 200 years)
  • Basic equal wage
  • Women's positions
  • Non-Indigenous Australia – racism and democracy
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Aboriginal people and policies
  • Stolen children
  • Citizenship
  • Assimilation
  • Multiculturalism
  • Civil rights of Aboriginal people
  • Land rights
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
  • English laws
  • Terra nullius
  • Murdered Aboriginal people
  • Reserves
  • Right to hunt
  • Myall Creek murders
  • Wik and Mabo
  • Community and individual rights
  • Freedom Rides
  • 'People Power'
Discovering Democracy resources used:

After using the following resources in the unit, students write a persuasive speech explaining why their Indigenous educational experience is so important and how it promotes tolerance and understanding of Indigenous people and culture.

  • A Guide to Government and Law in Australia: p 107, links to 'The Law Rules'.
  • Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Middle Primary Collection: 'My Girragundji', pp 28–9; 'Everybody Had Something', p 39; 'I Have a Right', pp 40–1.
  • Australian Readers Discovering Democracy Upper Primary Collection: 'Different Laws for Different People', pp 4–5; 'The Story of Tjirbruki: A Kaurna Story', pp 16–17; 'The Land Is My Backbone', pp 18–19, 'From Little Things Big Things Grow', pp 38–9.
  • Discovering Democracy Middle Primary Units: 'Rules and Laws', pp 37–54.
  • Discovering Democracy poster: Timeline of events for the past 200 years.
  • Discovering Democracy Primary Video: 'Freedom Rides' segment (in 'People Power').
  • Discovering Democracy through Research, pp 147–60.
  • Discovering Democracy Upper Primary Units Assessment Resources: 'The Law Rules', pp 21–40.
  • Discovering Democracy Middle and Upper Primary Units: Aboriginal law, NAIDOC, Myall Creek, Freedom Rides, equal opportunities.
  • Stories of Democracy CD-ROM: 'Freedom Rides'.

Reflection

The main obstacles were the parent barrier – not letting students go to Yarrabah – and fellow staff not being interested in the program.

The ASSPA committee wanted to record Anzac Palmer's history, and we thought this could be part of our Rich Task. After consideration we decided that until students have a deep understanding and knowledge about Anzac, the Djabugay people and Indigenous history, this task would not be done with the respect it deserves. We hope that after the Year 6 students have completed their second unit on Indigenous studies, they will be ready to conquer this task.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Kathy Street and the other classroom teachers who developed this program.

Word Document Download

PDF Download

  • Redlynch School TasksThe Years 6 and 7 teachers developed a cross-cultural program with School-Based Rich Tasks to cover all key learning areas, which are in the New Basics. File:45kb pdf.