STUDENTS who don’t get the necessary investment in their early years at school will be behind the eight ball for the rest of their education, according to NSW Education Department director-general Michele Bruniges
And intensive teacher training is equally important in giving students the best chance at school.
“We know if we put the investment in for the early years those children are in for a great start for those fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy,” Dr Bruniges said.
“If we don’t do that, we’re always in catch-up mode.
“If we don’t get it right at the start, what you see in some students is a disengagement in learning, challenging behaviours, they don’t see the relevance of schooling and they basically tune out.”
Dr Bruniges, a former teacher and Riverina student herself, yesterday cast her eye over Hume Public School’s kindergarten students during a trip to Albury.
The school, which Dr Bruniges endorsed as a leader in early learning, develops its student using a range of methods including computers, interactive whiteboards and iPads.
Principal Russell Graham said the appointment of an “instructional leader” six months ago to help develop staff had proved a masterstroke.
He said having a speech pathologist screen students for any learning concerns had also proved a big help in children’s development.