This is the clearest example I have found so far of one of the weaknesses of the My School site. According to the information on that link, a naive reader would conclude it must be one of the worst schools in Australia. It has 0% Indigenous students and only 301 enrolled, but can only scrape up “Selected school’s average is substantially below [statistically similar] schools’ average” in ALL areas of literacy, though substantially above the average of all Australian schools in Mathematics. On the other hand the opening description of the school does attend to its special nature.
Listed as “statistically similar” are a whole host of schools**. Now whatever “statistically similar” might mean, there is no way any of the listed schools is “similar” to Cleveland Street.
This is a very special school here in Surry Hills and it is excellent in what it does.
Cleveland Street Intensive English High School’s mandate is to:
- provide intensive English language tuition to secondary-aged, newly arrived permanent, refugee, long-term temporary resident and international students;
- develop innovative new arrival English language, orientation, settlement, welfare and transition programs;
- provide English as a second language (ESL), key learning areas (KLA), outcomes-based, transition to high school programs. ESL is taught through the content areas of the English, Mathematics, Science, Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE), Creative Arts (including Visual Arts, Music), Technology and Applied Studies (TAS) (including Information Communications Technology, Food Technology) and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) KLAs;
- develop and deliver online program support to new arrival ESL secondary students and teachers in rural and isolated schools;
- create and implement community programs for parents;
- develop program links with tertiary educational providers;
- develop program links with the Sydney Secondary College.
Cleveland Street Intensive English High School (CSIEHS) is a new type of school within the NSW Department of Education and Training’s system of secondary schools and was created within the revitalization of inner city schools strategy, June 2001.
Students attending the school can come from as many as 100 different countries, bringing with them a great diversity of languages, customs and beliefs. Our students are all newly-arrived, non-English speaking background students of high school age. They spend approximately three to twelve months at the school. When they are ready to leave our school most students transfer to other government high schools in order to complete their studies in the school certificate or higher school certificate. Some students will choose to begin other courses of study at other institutions, such as Technical and Further Education (TAFE), and some may go directly to work.
The My School stats read badly until you recall that some of these students don’t speak English at all when they arrive in Year 7. The wonder in fact is that the NAPLAN results are so good!
Newspaper league tables ignore the special nature of this school – and no doubt of many others.
Taking them as a guide to Cleveland Street would be very silly indeed. My advice to parents trying to derive useful information from My School, or far worse from the context-free newspaper lists, is to dig deeper, and go to the school.
That all the schools below score better than Cleveland Street means absolutely nothing, given the facts of Cleveland Street’s clientele and mission.
** Statistically similar schools
|Year 3||Year 5||Year 7||Year 9|
|Cleveland Street Intensive English High School, Surry Hills NSW 2010||477||479|
|Alphington Grammar School, Alphington VIC 3078||562||599|
|Amaroo School, Amaroo ACT 2914||549||581|
|Ballarat & Clarendon College, Ballarat VIC 3350||600||636|
|Beacon Primary School, Beacon WA 6472||499||–|
|Beaumaris Primary School, Ocean Reef WA 6027||548||–|
|Bowenville State School, Bowenville QLD 4404||555||–|
|Box Hill High School, Box Hill VIC 3128||594||628|