2022 WA International Education Initiative of the Year – Schools
The CISWA WA International Education Initiative of the Year – Schools Award recognises the work of an individual or team in a Western Australian school that has contributed to the welfare, support or academic success of international students. The initiative should enhance the student experience in the school and/or in the wider community.
Joe Bontempo (left), Manager, International Education, Department of Education WA presented the WA International Education Initiative of the Year – Schools Award to Kate Simeon, Deputy Director, ASC International and Todd Flanagan, Director, ASC International.
Joe Bontempo, Manager, International Education, Department of Education WA presented the WA International Education Initiative of the Year – Schools Award to Mishayla Webber, International and IEC Student Coordinator, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus.
2022 JOINT WINNER: ASC CONNECT EALD, Anglican Schools Commission International
ASC Connect EALD is a remote learning program, enabling international students in any of the twelve Anglican School’s Commission (ASC) high schools to access the ATAR English as an additional language/ dialect (EALD) course in Year 11 and Year 12.
In line with ASCI’s core values of inclusion and excellence, ASC Connect EALD was developed to allow the inclusion of all students. The students are able to join the class from their main school, accessing the most appropriate English course to meet their needs. The course consists of three live lessons and two self-directed lessons per week.
The benefits of ASC Connect EALD have proven to be more than just academic. It is reported that students feel safe in the EALD classroom to give their opinion and engage more in discussions and activities, as they are less self-conscious of being judged for their English by their classmates. This leads to them gaining confidence in speaking English and sharing their ideas. They also are more likely to ask general questions about living in Australia and Australian schooling in this context, which has led to interesting discussions about Australian life and culture.
As students participate in group work and activities with students from other schools, it has provided social benefits too. ASC international students are now making friends with students at other schools, and the course is providing more opportunities for social interactions.
As the course is taught remotely, international students who may still be offshore are also still able to participate and continue their Western Australian educational journey. ASC Connect EALD has allowed students to demonstrate their academic ability. On average, students who have transferred in from ATAR English have seen their marks increase by over 10% by being able to access the most appropriate course for their needs. Further, teachers in other curriculum areas have also reported increased marks and confidence in the students through access to this course.
2022 JOINT WINNER: Dedicated International Student Coordinator, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus
The work done was born of the realisation by Mishayla Webber, International and IEC Student Coordinator at Cyril Jackson Senior Campus, that that the social and emotional wellbeing needs of our international students were not always being met, especially during the transition from Intensive English Centre into mainstream Year 11/12. Compounding factors were that many of CJSC’s students are over 18 years of age by Year 11, independent and with fewer external supports, and a lack of understanding by course counsellors and students themselves regarding appropriate post-secondary pathways.
To address these challenges Mishayla has undertaken a range of measures. These include
– Becoming a qualified facilitator trainer of the BRiTA program Building Resilience in Transcultural Australian
– Establishing a more active relationship with TIWA
– Developing clearer lines of communication, greater shared knowledge and deeper understanding of student issues and needs.
As Cyril Jackson Senior Campus is a senior campus, access and continuity is extremely important to provide stability in a student’s life at a time where they face a variety of significant changes. This was invaluable during the 2020 – 2021 school years, as the pandemic resulted in extensive mental and physical health challenges for international students. Being able to support students who were unable to return to their home country or to Australia in the maintenance of their academic pathways and social relationships was a privilege. The improved connection between the IEC and mainstream has led to sustained benefits for both staff and students. This connection also led to international students being included in the School’s Campus Mentorship Program. The program requires a designated teacher meeting with the mentee a number of times each term, providing a range of support around goal setting and achievement, both personal and academic.
International students at CJSC have access to all the benefits of being a student here, including Ethnic Education Assistants who speak their languages and our many well-being initiatives. Yoga classes allow a space for students to practice mind/body connection with a teacher who is also a trauma-informed yoga and meditation instructor. Benefits to students include improved mental health, understanding of their body and dealing with exam/study stress.