For the people of South Australia’s northern Flinders Ranges, Hawker Area School offers comprehensive education for students from Reception to Year 12. The school is approximately 400km away from Adelaide. Their mission is to help students achieve the best possible outcomes in a nurturing and inclusive environment. Small classes enable the school to closely monitor student progress and tailor the teaching program to suit students’ individual learning styles. They have a particular focus on literacy, numeracy and science but also teach Indonesian and the Adnyamathanha language.
The school has a strong focus on literacy and numeracy. These are supported by a range of practical based cross-curricular subjects such as Tech Studies and Home Economics across all year levels which allow students to incorporate these basic skills within wider learning situations. As with many rural and remote communities the population of Hawker has declined in recent times. This has caused a corresponding decline in the student population. The school became a Senior Secondary by-pass school in the early 1990s.
In recent years the school has been working hard to re-establish a Senior Secondary curriculum, reintroducing face to face subjects, brokering school-based apprenticeships, and investigating the use of ICT and Shared Delivery to increase the number of subjects offered. The school is part of the Pichi Richi Trade Training Centre Consortium and offers Certificate I in Cookery and is offering Certificate II in Construction to students from other schools within the consortium.
Facilities: The school has a varied range of playground equipment complemented by the installation of ‘soft fall’ surfacing. Large shaded areas have been established throughout the school yard. There is an irrigated grass playing field and a well-developed playground area. The school is attractive, clean and well cared for. Classroom and work areas in the school are air-conditioned. Specialist teaching areas include a Science Laboratory, a Technical Studies/Art complex, a Home Economics centre and a Computer Room. Modern telephone conferencing equipment and internet facilities are used for the delivery of Distance Education lessons from Open Access. Classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, printers, digital cameras, and refrigerators.
Subjects/Electives Years 7 to 10: English, Maths, Science and History. SACE Stage 1 and 2 subjects are offered face to face.
Sport: The school organises a Sports Day and Swimming Carnival annually. Sporting events are occasionally organised in conjunction with cluster schools. Students can participate in WASSAC, SASSA and SAPSASA sports competitions. Senior students participate in an Aquatics’ program run in Port Augusta at the Yacht Club. A sports complex adjacent to the school offers facilities for tennis, basketball, netball, golf, cricket and bowls.
Extracurricular activities: Students contribute to the creation of the school’s annual magazine. Assembly is run by the students twice a term. Presentation Night (Term 4) includes the students acting as MC’s, presenting awards and performing. Students may be involved in Religious Instruction delivered by local church personnel.
Welfare and personal development: Hawker Area School has a small but diverse student cohort. A third of all students live on properties outside the town and travel to school either by private vehicle or school bus. Approximately a third of the students identify as Aboriginal with approximately half of these having Aboriginal English as their first language. Four students are identified as Students with Disabilities. The small cohort means that there is a lot of room for individual attention for these students. Students are in multi-level classes which allow teachers to extend or further support students as the need arises.
Special features: Individual programs developed for students with special needs. VET offerings include Certificate I in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations), Certificate I and II in Construction via the Pichi Richi Trade Training Centre at Quorn. Indonesian and Adnamatna languages are taught face-to-face in Years R-9. The school is establishing a Horticulture program, which involves all students participating in the creation and maintenance of a traditional kitchen garden and a native (edible) garden. PLP and Research Programs are being taught face-to-face. Instrumental music is taught by video conferencing. Joint programmes include School Based Apprenticeships; the Pichi Richi Trade Training Centre Consortium Certificate I in Construction; Australian Sports Commission, Active After School program; Stephanie Alexander National Kitchen Garden Program; and Active Play, Country Health SA.