Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School celebrated their first birthday last week. Picture: Contributed.
Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School celebrated their first birthday last week. Picture: Contributed.

How teaching culture is enriching students’ lives

A MACKAY teacher concerned about the home life of some students said she believed school could be a safe environment for them.

Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School English and HASS teacher Bianca Fewquandie said she worked with children and provided alternative education.

She said they taught in a classroom environment but worked around the individual needs of each student.

"But in saying that, we do our best to work hand-in-hand with the families around that," Ms Fewquandie said.

Students were taught resilience, self-confidence and to not be ashamed, some of which aligned with the recent NAIDOC theme of always was, always will be.

An important area of her job was to connect with the students and do her best to work around them to impact and inspire them to do their best.

The school was meant to celebrate their first birthday back in July 12 but was paused due to COVID-19.

She said the school had to change the date of its birthday celebration to November 12.

Ms Fewquandie said the move to NAIDOC week was a coincidence for the school.

"It's been a rough year for the school, obviously being its first year and I know it has been a rough time for everyone with COVID," Ms Fewquandie said.

"We've managed to keep the students engaged, keep them at school, so the atmosphere around the school at the moment is really a positive one."

More stories:

School gives connection and hope to alienated students

Traditional owners take stand against NAIDOC celebrations

While the school taught the Australian curriculum, a main focus was to teach Indigenous culture.

She said some of the boys would learn how to dance while the girls learned how to cook cultural dishes.

"Our school motto is knowledge, culture and respect," Ms Fewquandie said.

"So we've tried to implement into all our classes through the curriculum.

"They're learning the Australian curriculum, but we like to embed culture into that."

The school's first birthday included some of the students demonstrating Indigenous culture for the ceremony.

The ceremony was an invitation only event for staff, school families, board members and local politicians.

For more information on the school, visit Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School.

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