Holistic Approach

The core purpose of the Worawa model is the growth and development of students particularly in the context of Aboriginal Culture. In over three decades in Aboriginal education Worawa has gone from strength to strength. Delivering a holistic and rigorous ‘Two Way’ education program incorporating Western knowledge and Aboriginal methods of teaching and learning.

Worawa Aboriginal College is located on the culturally significant land of great natural beauty. Aboriginal culture is embedded in the College’s operations. Observance of cultural protocols and Aboriginal values is a requirement for students, staff and visitors. The Worawa Cultural Standards provide a means of assessing a student’s observance of cultural protocols.

The culture curriculum allows the students to come into contact on a daily basis with inspirational leaders from the Aboriginal community which in turn helps foster the students’ pride in the community and community involvement. Units of work are developed that align with or reinforce key cultural understandings such as Connection to Community, Exploration of Place, Celebrating Past and Future. The culture curriculum is designed to provide students with understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal values, history and how they as Aboriginal people are valued members of Australian society whilst recognising the uniqueness of their position in that society.

Each term the College holds a Cultural Celebration where students are involved in all aspects of the event including planning, meal preparation, cultural activity, performance and hosting guests. The end of year Presentation Day combines the acknowledgement of students’ academic success and cultural learning, highlighted by student cultural performances. Involvement in Indigenous cultural activities, events and arts festivals along with partnerships with Bunjilaka at Museum Victoria and the Koorie Heritage Trust, augment cultural learning.

Integrated Education, Culture and Wellbeing Model

The integrated model evolved from the experiences of Aboriginal people themselves and is informed by research into teaching and learning methodologies that work best for our Indigenous learners so that they can successfully access learning now and in the future.

The curriculum and teaching and learning strategies foster habits for lifelong learning and successful engagement in the workforce of the future. Students are exposed to current information technologies and critical thinking and conflict resolution strategies as well as relevant skills and attitudes that provide platforms for educational success.

Indicators of curriculum integrity include the manner in which the College harnesses an understanding of the challenges presented to students with experiences detailed above and with EAL/D status in the development of Standard Australian English literacy. It also places intrinsic value on cultural pride.

The incorporation of financial literacy into mathematics programs provides all students with skills and knowledge required beyond the classroom. Senior students’ transition to adulthood is addressed in programs designed to support healthy transitions to adulthood including the College’s unique Pathways to Womanhood program. There are many similar examples of a responsive and rigorous educational model that is designed to meet the needs of its students and the present and future demands they will face in education and employment settings.

Cross-curriculum priorities and General Capabilities are mapped across subject areas and, like many of the learning areas, form part of an integrated approach to curriculum delivery at Worawa. This is in keeping with current global best practice education theory and practice. Similarly literacy, numeracy, information technology and Aboriginal perspectives are threaded through all subject areas. The Worawa pedagogy is learning from the land.