Rapid growth for Aboriginal language school

The Giingana Gumbaynggirr Freedom School believes being on country reinforces classroom learning.

BEGINNING with just fifteen students, the Giingana Gumbaynggirr Freedom School (GGFS) is finishing its second year with 53 Aboriginal students and has 72 enrolled for next year, with a waiting list.

The school is now seeking partners to support the school for the long term as it grows.

Sawtell Golf ClubAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us – media@newsofthearea.com.au

GGFS is the first bilingual school of an Aboriginal language in NSW and is based on revitalising the Gumbaynggirr language whilst offering high quality education to its students.

It aims to be the first ever full immersion school in the nation, because, around the world, research shows that language immersion schools lead to success for First Nations students, and have done so for many decades.

GGFS says its students are currently achieving outstanding results culturally, socially, emotionally and academically and the school has plans to continue to grow K-12.

“Our mob know what to teach, and how to teach our junuybin (children),” a school spokesperson said.

“Our barrmarrany (family) connect to our values of wajaarr (country), guunu-warluuny (culture) and gala miindalay-gam (wisdom), through our cultural curriculum, which centres our wajaada (on country) learning, and (puts) our junuybin first.”

GGFS students are regularly taken out on country and are highly-motivated learners inside and outside school.

“At Giingana Gumbaynggirr Freedom School we position First Nations knowledge at the forefront of teaching,” said Fiona Webb, the school’s Secondary Education Development Manager.

“GGFS is the first bilingual school of an Aboriginal language in NSW and we are committed to striving for academic excellence among all students by developing and implementing innovative practices through language and education.

“We believe that children who are strong in their identity engage better in education.”

The school is currently at capacity in its current building, and, with the aim of growing by two grades every year, more space for its ‘junuybin’ to learn is critical.

The school has designed a four-classroom demountable to ‘future proof’ it until 2025, but needs financial support.

To support GGFS, go to chuffed.org and search ‘Giingana’.

By Andrew VIVIAN

Leave a Reply