Home' The Bunyip : January 18th 2017 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 18, 2017 Page 19
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THE South Australian Department
of Education and Child Development
(DECD) has denied claims the teaching
practices it promotes are out of date,
particularly for students with learning
Last week, The Bunyip reported concerns
Australia was falling behind other countries
with its NAPLAN scores primarily because
teachers weren't being trained with cutting-
edge, research evidence-based teaching
DECD executive director of learning and
improvement Susan Cameron responded
this week by saying the department
regularly published contemporary theories
and research evidence-based practices for
teachers and leaders.
"We are continuously working with
academic partners to ensure the best
teaching methods are used in our schools
and preschools," Ms Cameron said.
"We provide professional advice on learning
and teaching strategies that aim to lead to
higher student achievement."
Ms Cameron highlighted a number of
examples of current research it was
undertaking on teaching practices, saying the
department published a set of 'Best Advice
Papers' last year to support teachers and
leaders with up-to-date advice.
The department will be undertaking further
research and trials aimed at improving
literacy and numeracy in 2017, to be
announced shortly, Ms Cameron added.
Ms Cameron's comments came in response
to calls from Dyslexia SA Northern Adelaide
and Barossa chairwoman Janice McPhail
for better funded evidence-based teaching
practices at a dyslexia forum at Immanuel
Lutheran School earlier this month.
"To my knowledge, we don't have any
access to research evidence-based funding in
SA," she told The Bunyip.
"In Australia, we have a lot of models that
we base our research on that are not research
evidence-based...That is why our NAPLAN
results are not improving, they have flatlined
for lots and lots of years."
Teaching research ʻup to dateʼ
FIGHTING fires, waking up at
odd hours and hastily leaving
work and family functions
-- these are just some of the many
challenges local Country Fire
Service (CFS) volunteers face
every single day.
Often, CFS volunteers are hailed as
the heroes of our community after
they've contained fires, but the
reality is our firies are prepared and
waiting for that call 365 days a year.
To get an insight into the life as a
firefighting volunteer, The Bunyip
caught up with Hamley Bridge
CFS captain Steve West, who
detailed how a fire call-out would
"Essentially, the equipment is always
ready to go, so generally somebody
will make arrangements to make
sure there is cold water on board,
fuel and all that sort of stuff," Mr
"The first person to respond is
generally our group officer, and
they have to be across the board,
really, and they are going to be
be well ahead of any trucks."
In between the group officer's call-
out, Mr West continued, the brigade
members will start receiving pager
messages to identify who's available
to attend the incident.
"People who are available will make
themselves available and let me
know," he said.
"Then essentially we just wait for
a pager message and we get the
relevant information that you need
to know; what you are dealing with,
where it is, who you're responding
with and what communication
channels you need to be using.
"Most of my members live in
Hamley Bridge, so we can usually be
out of the door within three or four
"Then, as soon as we get out there,
we get onto the radio and they (the
group officer) will be giving us
Depending on the type of fire to
which the crew is responding, the
volunteers will know how they
will need to position themselves,
with each crew member having a
particular role on site.
The majority of the time, volunteers
go in blind as to how long they will
be at a site -- although, 12 hours is
generally the maximum for one shift
-- depending on the fire's size and
how stretched services are.
Mr West said he is fortunate
his brigade volunteers are very
committed and he has never failed
-- or "defaulted", as the CFS
terminology puts it -- in getting a
minimum crew of four together.
He also said he was very lucky
his volunteers' employers were
very understanding of their
"The CFS does make recognition of
employers that do support volunteers
in that way," Mr West added.
Aside from the need for employer
flexibility, Mr West said another
major challenge for CFS volunteers
was family support.
"When you join the CFS, really
your family is committed, too," he
"When that pager goes off at 2am,
you aren't the only one awake."
Hamley Bridge CFS captain Steve West (left) with some of his hard-working crew members, Nark Nappa, Paul Clark,
Colin Sellars and Jodie Petersen.
PHOTO: Laura Collins
We are continuously
working with academic
partners to ensure the best
teaching methods are used in our
schools and preschools.
- SUSAN CAMERON
NEW ARRIVALS The information we require includes:
• Date of Birth • Where the baby was born
• Names of the people in the photo • Suburb of the family
• Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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