Family Support Project Evaluation
Semann & Slattery has been engaged by Mission Australia to evaluate the Schools as Banks of Social Capital project in two Victorian primary schools (Dandenong West and Noble Park), on an ongoing basis since 2013. The aim of the project is to strengthen the way the schools worked with each other and with community partners (local services and programs), and to support families in the local community. Semann & Slattery’s role is to evaluate the project across a four-year period. The evaluation has included literature reviews about different models of school-community partnerships and how they were evaluated, and surveys of families, school staff, the project workers and community partners at regular intervals. The Schools as Banks for Social Capital program has been added to the Australian Institute for Family Studies list of Promising Programs, having met specific criteria that represent minimum standards for a quality program.
Jindi Woraback Children’s Centre
Semann & Slattery is developing a curriculum framework for Jindi Woraback Children’s Centre. Jindi Woraback is an early education and care centre in St Albans, Victoria. Twice awarded an Excellent Rating against the National Quality Standard, the service has a clear commitment to continuous improvement. The new framework will not replace the national Early Years Learning Framework or the Victorian Early Years Learning and Developmental Framework — it is intended to be an additional (and complementary) framework, which will ensure that the curriculum and pedagogy practiced is specifically relevant to the Jindi Woraback community. A series of professional development sessions will ensure the framework, once completed, is embedded in practice.
Semann & Slattery has been contracted by C&K, the largest provider of early childhood education and care services in Queensland, to review their Building Waterfalls curriculum teaching guidelines. Building Waterfalls is widely recognised in the sector and is one of the earliest curriculum guidelines developed in Australia. The review, happening over five months, will examine current curriculums in early education in Australia and internationally to determine best practice. Semann & Slattery researchers will conduct focus groups, interviews and surveys with C&K’s educators to determine the strengths, challenges and gaps of Building Waterfalls. A final report will synthesise key findings and recommendations to enable C&K to update the curriculum to ensure it remains a usable curriculum document that will assist C&K to continue to deliver high quality pedagogical practice.
Educational Consulting and Community Development
BHP Mining Minds
Semann & Slattery won a national tender by BHP in 2014 to work with Roxby Downs, a small mining town community in South Australia to improve learning outcomes for students, build educational capacity and transform education and in doing so, the local community. Semann & Slattery has based a team member in the community to oversee the program. Mining Minds crosses all age groups from early years to adult education. The program combines educational research with community consultation and engagement. Semann & Slattery has put in place a range of projects to support educator development, student learning and wellbeing, and parent partnerships. Due to the project’s success, our contract has been extended for another three years. This project has won two awards including the Premier’s Award and an international award for its outstanding approach to community development.
City of Yarra Connie Benn Centre
Semann & Slattery has been working with the Connie Benn Centre in Fitzroy, Victoria since 2015, to assist the centre to plan services for children and their families, now and in the future. We are charged with looking at the services Connie Benn currently delivers — do they meet the needs of families with young children or are there gaps? We speak to families using the centre as well as people providing the services. We ask families what they like, and more importantly what could be improved? We are also researching integrated practice — what the literature says about it — to assist Connie Benn consider how integrating with other services may help better serve the needs of families in Fitzroy.