A student from Beenleigh State High School has become the first in Australia to achieve ASDAN Bronze. Kaleb Bierge received his certificate from Federal Member of Parliament Bert van Manen after completing the programme.
The school runs ASDAN programmes with 30 disengaged students. They have taken part in a number of projects as part of their course, including a Halloween-themed open classroom to enable family, friends and teachers to see what they have been doing. Students made decorations, scary sandwiches, cup cakes, shortbread fingers and a fruit punch. For the school’s Cultural Day activities, the ASDAN group promoted Wales. Students made Welsh cakes and tiny Welsh flags, showed visiting students how to make paper leeks, design castles and taught them basic Welsh phrases.
The principal, Matt O’Hanlon, said: “Beginning last summer, we introduced ASDAN to 30 of our at-risk disengaged students. It was a great opportunity to trial the ASDAN scheme. It has encouraged, engaged and motivated these reluctant learners. Almost immediately, the signs of potential of the scheme became apparent.
“The students have become involved in their learning; they have, among the many challenges, studied the geography and history of Beenleigh and its surrounds, joined their local library and visited their local health centre. We have also noted improvements in student behaviour, attitude and results outside of the pilot area. Attendance of the group has significantly improved. We have found that students are often reluctant to leave at the end of their ASDAN class and will complete work during break times and after school. ASDAN is an excellent program for our school.”
Following Kaleb's success, a further 17 students have achieved Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates. The school has also been celebrating the news that the ASDAN programmes have been given a credit rating to contribute towards the Queensland Certificate of Education.
Beenleigh is one of 54 state schools in the Logan-Albert Beaudesert district of Queensland. The school has 960 pupils on roll, attracting students from a wide and diverse geographic area, stretching from Eagleby in the north, Mount Tambourine in the south, and extending east to the rural areas of Woongoolba and Jacob’s Well.