Eungai Public builds on attendance success

The Mid North Coast school’s 'Bush, Bowl and Bounce Back’ program continues to be embraced by students and the community. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Students holding up drawings. Students holding up drawings.
Image: Eungai Public School students show off their artwork.

For the second year in a row, Eungai Public School has started the year with a big lift in attendance.

In the first half of Term 1, the school had an attendance rate of 93.5 per cent, 5.6 per cent above the state average.

For the first seven weeks of school, 75 per cent of Eungai’s 52 students attended more than 90 per cent of the time.

Relieving Principal Dylan Harry said in 2022, that figure was just 47 per cent.

“We have effectively engaged the whole school community and worked with our families in partnership to engage, excite and engineer high attendance success for all students,” he said.

In 2023, Eungai Public introduced the ‘Bush, Bowl, Bounce Back’ program, taking advantage of the school’s proximity to the bush.

On Fridays, students go on nature walks, grow food in the garden, get busy in the kitchen, and learn about local culture from Aboriginal Elders.

Teachers have also worked to connect with students in the classroom, in a sustained effort to improve engagement over time.

The efforts are strongly supported by Macleay Valley Network Director, Educational Leadership, Emma Jeffery, who regularly visits her schools to recognise students with excellent attendance.

“We know attendance is the building block for all other facets of school life. With high attendance rates our students are being set up for success,” Mrs Jeffery said.

Students holding books sitting behind two hoops on a floor. Students holding books sitting behind two hoops on a floor.
Image: Students participate in various activities as part of the school's 'Bush, Bowl, Bounce Back' program.
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