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How we did it

In our first year we commissioned Dare to Lead to conduct a ‘snapshot’ in each school.   This involves completing an external, independent review of Indigenous Education in the school with the aim of improving learning outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and to improve the curriculum in each school about traditional and contemporary Aboriginal history and culture. 

We then set about to implement strategies:

1.  Numeracy competencies and staff culutural awareness
Recommendations from the review process were incorporated into the strategic goals of each school.  Schools also trained staff in First Steps in Number and conducted their own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness professional development for staff. 

For more information go to Significant Episode Aboriginal educators take First Steps.

2.  Indigenous student maths and culture camp
The main focus in the second year of the project was planning and coordinating an Indigenous Students Maths Camp.  This involved bringing together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff from each school to plan a three day camp for students with a key objective to align mathematical learning with cultural understanding. 

Professor Chris Matthews from Griffith University worked with staff from each of the schools to develop and implement the math’s camp program.

Download the following to find out more about the camp:

  1. Make It Count Newletter

View the video below (6min), and the presentation below that by Brad Jarro and Kate Naughtin (includes Healesville Cluster Big Day Out).


3.  Leading from the middle
Our third year focus concentrated on enabling middle leaders and key teachers in mathematics to take ownership of the Make It Count agenda.  The ‘Leading from the Middle’ program was tailored to each school under the direction and guidance of our Cluster critical friend Associate Professor Peter Grootenboer. 

Essentially each school implemented an initiative where middle leaders and key teachers provided support and leadership around engaging maths teachers to develop quality teaching practices. This occurred through Action Learning Cycles.

See the presentation below by Nerang State School about Leading from the Middle:

View the presentation by Cluster Critical Friend Associate Professor Peter Grootenboer on action learning cycles for the Nerang Cluster.



For even more information got to:

  1. The  with timeline
  2. Two of the Cluster significant episodes:
  3. An inspiring story from St Brigids PS Action learning cycles.

4.  Culturally responsive mathematics
The final year of the project was launched with a two day conference bringing the entire staff from each of the cluster schools together for the first time.  The theme of the conference was Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching. 

Keynote speakers included Mr Ian Mackie, Assistant Director General Indigenous Education and Training Futures, Queensland; Dr Tyson Yunkaporta, Education Consultant and Associate Professor Peter Grootenboer, Convener Master of Education Program, Griffith University.

Various workshops were conducted and each school gave a presentation.  The year ahead saw each school design a Math Teacher Collaborative Pedagogy Program (MTCPP) in consultation with our critical friend.  This took the form of teachers working collaboratively to design, observe and evaluate maths lessons based on a specific indigenous methodology. 

Download the following to find out more about the conference: