Our News
1 April 2017

Southern River College

A school environment where everyone can learn and be inspired by one another, including the school's staff.

This article is part of a series related to the SBS documentary Testing Teachers. To find out more about Testing Teachers click here.

“Highly effective schools have teachers who have a deep understanding of how students learn. We want all our students to be successful students. Our curriculum targets the diversity of our students and our ability to inspire them to reach their potential.”

– Everal Miocevich, Principal at Southern River College.

SCHOOL LOCATION: METROPOLITAN
TEACHING STAFF: 73
STUDENT ENROLMENTS: 950
SCHOOL ICSEA VALUE: 937
ENROLMENT GROWTH OVER LAST FIVE YEARS: DOUBLED
DISTRIBUTION OF STUDENTS: 52 PER CENT IN BOTTOM QUARTILE
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN STUDENTS: 9 PER CENT
STUDENTS WITH A LANGUAGE BACKGROUND OTHER THAN ENGLISH: 20 PER CENT

Everal Miocevich, principal at Southern River College in Perth and former student of the school, recognises that relationships are the currency of change in schools.

Southern River College is in the working class suburb of Gosnells and like other schools in similar communities, it faces obstacles that can impact educational outcomes. Everal believes that positive student-staff relationships and meaningful curriculum that targets students’ needs are the necessary foundation to drive towards student success.

“First year teachers need to understand as soon as they can who and what is sitting in front of them. There are many complexities in the classroom and the sooner the teachers engage and appreciate the challenges, the quicker positive relationships build.”

Everal is committed to a school environment where everyone can learn and be inspired by one another, including the college’s staff.

To this end, the school staff room is being converted into a learning space to provide an environment for teachers to share and learn from each other. Teachers work together to engage multi-faceted programs for the varying needs of the students, from those that are highly academic to those still learning to read and write.

“One of our biggest challenges is the literacy rates of our new Year 7 cohort each year – at least 40 per cent are reading at well below Year 7 level.”

 To support the learning of all students, the school focuses on differentiating learning for students. This involves tailoring classroom content so that it can be accessed by all learners while maintaining high student expectations.

Enrolments at Southern River College have almost doubled in the last six years.

Everal reflects that this enrolment jump is due to the strategic direction of the school in offering a range of learning opportunities to cater to the needs and complexities of all students. Meeting the needs of students supports them to engage with learning and develop long-term aspirations.

Southern River College has been a Teach For Australia partner school since 2015, hosting 12 Associates to date.

This article is part of a series related to the SBS documentary Testing Teachers. To find out more about Testing Teachers click here.