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Kingston-ECU partnership to continue in 2010

Thursday, 19 November 2009

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Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Kingston Primary School have indicated that their innovative internship program will continue in 2010.

The confirmation by the Department of Education, of $300,000 in funding for 10 intern places in 2010 has been praised by Kingston Primary School Principal Alan Kidd.

"The innovative program has provided a great learning experience for the students, as well as providing additional support for our students," Mr Kidd said.

"I can't speak highly enough of it".

In the program, the only one of its kind in Western Australia, final-year education students are selected to work as student teachers in a school environment for the full school year, rather than a one term placement.

Ashleigh Boobyer, a 2009 intern, said the program completely immersed the participants in every aspect of school life.

"We were a part of the staff; we all have duty, we are involved in our class assemblies, attend staff meetings and social events, and have roles at sports carnivals, swimming lessons and other events held throughout the year.

"We were seen as teachers. Just ones with a little more learning to do," she said.

Interns in the program combine work in the school with their university course work.

Selected through a competitive process they receive funds through a scholarship and are available to work as paid as relief teachers in the second half of year. The scholarship also requires the students to work in rural and remote areas during their first few years of teaching.

ECU South West's Cheryl Rowlands, who coordinates the ECU side of the project, says Kingston Primary School and ECU work together to support the students through what is an exhilarating and demanding year.

"They are gaining valuable industry experience and knowledge that will assist them in their career, but it can be a challenge as they also have to manage a full academic load as well. It's great preparation for their first year as graduates." she said.

Intern Sarah Boddy feels her year was definitely one well spent.

 "I feel that this experience has really prepared me for my teaching career. I feel more confident and prepared to face my first year as a teacher," she said.

Mr Kidd said he was looking forward to welcoming a new group of students in 2010.

"Ideally we will have a mix of Perth and ECU South West students, with a majority from the South West region," he said.

- ends -

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