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​Defence School Transition Aides

 
The school is fortunate to have two Defence School Transition Aides (DSTA) on staff to assist Australian Defence Force (ADF) families. The DSTA's help all defence children at the school should they seek or require assistance. It is not intended that the DSTA work with one child on a long term basis.
 
Mobility has been identified as a key issue impacting upon our students. Approximately 30% of our students are from Defence Force families and many others come from families working in occupations requiring relocations.
 
The school has introduced a range of programs to support defence families and mobile students and to address issues relating to disruption to learning, curriculum differences and lack of family support networks.
 
While results still show ongoing needs with these groups, intervention and support programs have led to improved individual standards if the students remain at the school for a sufficient period of time.

Why do we have DSTAs in school?

 
Sometimes children have difficulties making new friends, understanding and adjusting to the routines and different ways in the new school. The DSTA will assist the children and family become part of the school community more quickly. They will answer basic questions about the school and link families with the right person to provide assistance.

What does a DSTA do?

 
A DSTA is like a teacher’s aide but they are employed to assist families as they relocate to a new school. They may:
 
o    Organize activities which welcome and farewell ADF families and help them settle into the new school community;
 
o    Assist the school to understand the needs of ADF parents and their children;
 
o    Inform the school and support families if ADF members are deployed;
 
o    Help families with special needs;
 
o    Assist families collect work portfolios and academic records or reports for the new school;
 
o    Act as a point of contact for ADF families in the new school.

Kids’ Club

 
Kids’ Club is for children of ADF families who attend our school. Kids’ Club is held each Monday at first break for children in Prep to Year 3, and Tuesdays at first break for students in Years 4 to 7. Its aim is to help children of Defence families settle into the school by providing a place and time to meet with other defence family children, the DSTAs, and other members of the school community. Students may bring a friend with them to Kid’s Club.

Defence Morning Tea

 
Twice a term, the DSTAs organize a Defence Morning Tea for ADF families at the school. The morning teas are a time to meet other defence families. Guest speakers may include both school and Defence Community Organisation staff as well as representatives of the wider community.
 
Defence Morning Teas are advertised in the school newsletter and on the Defence noticeboard in the Junior Covered Play Area (near A and B Pods). Families are also notified by letter through their children.

Defence Community Organisation

 
The Defence Community Organisation (DCO) works closely with the DSTAs and other school staff to assist defence families in the Townsville area. DCO provides a range of professional services for defence members and their families. For further information, call:

DCO Defence Family Helpline:  1800 624 608

 
This service is available 24 hours

Welcomes and Farewells

 
To assist students of ADF families settle into the new school the DSTAs work with the students during class time in their own class setting, thus helping the student to stay on top of a possibly different state curriculum from what the child has experience in the past.

Tutoring: Education Assistance Scheme

 
If the children experience educational disruption as a result of a posting, reimbursement may be provided for tuition for primary and secondary children within the first 18 months of enrolment at the new school.
 
The entitlement is 14 weeks at 1 hour per week per subject.  Please contact the DSTAs for further details of the scheme.

Deployment and Exercises

 
Defence families are asked to inform the DSTAs and their child’s class teacher if they are being deployed or on exercise or other training. This enables the school to best support your child during a potentially stressful time.

Digital Portfolio

 
The digital portfolio can assist defence families to prepare a portfolio of your student’s work. This will assist with the transition to a new school when an ADF family is being posted. Please contact the DSTAs for further information.
 
For more information on the Defence School Transition Aides and support programs for children of ADF families in the school, please contact the DSTAs through the school office on (07) 4799 1333 or by e-mail:
 
Correna Wheeler      cwhee36@eq.edu.au