Master

About Us

Who we are

Blackburn English Language School (ELS) is part of the New Arrival Program (NAP) and provides intensive English language programs to primary and secondary aged newly arrived students from language backgrounds other than English (LBoTE).

What we do

Blackburn ELS provides:

  • focused learning environment that supports all students to reach their potential in English language development and aims to prepare them for the academic, behavioural and social challenges of mainstream schools or alternative learning pathways.
  • a school environment that encourages students from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to become confident and active participants in the wider Australian community.
  • a supportive and stimulating work environment for all staff that encourages commitment, innovation and excellence
  • learning opportunities for newly-arrived families that broaden their knowledge of the Victorian schooling system and prepare them for involvement in the school community.

Where we are

Blackburn ELS delivers intensive English language programs to newly arrived students across the North-eastern Victoria Region (NEVR). The school provides an environment that encourages students from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to become confident and active participants in the wider Australian community.

The school operates across three locations, two metropolitan and one regional. The main site, Whitehorse, is located in Burwood East, the Maroondah Campus is in Croydon North and the Wodonga campus is in the north-east of the state in Wodonga. Each site attracts newly-arrived students from their respective geographical areas.

Wellbeing

Settlement of newly arrived students from wide-ranging cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds is the major planning focus in the school. Resources are targeted to support the development and delivery of a stimulating learning environment in which all students are expected to reach their potential. Student learning is focussed on English language achievement and preparation for the academic, behavioural and social challenges of mainstream schools. The school acknowledges that student engagement is influenced by a wide range of factors and, given that newly arrived students are unfamiliar with the Australian education system and have varied needs and vulnerabilities, provides a comprehensive and high quality approach to student welfare.

School Values

Our beliefs as a school are based on the following core values:

Future Making
Teacher Practice

Explicit focus on:

  • learning how to learn
  • learning how the English language works
  • personal responsibility
  • resilience, problem solving and social skills
  • goal setting
  • cooperation and collaboration
  • understanding of mainstream system
Learner Behaviours
  • independent learning
  • taking responsibility for self and supporting others
  • setting learning goals
  • adapting to new environments
  • organisational capacity
  • confident and active learners
  • striving for personal best
Parent Behaviours
  • attending relevant meetings
  • providing a space for learning at home
  • showing an interest in their child’s learning
  • following school procedures
  • openness to learning about the Victorian schooling system
Embracing Diversity
Teacher Practice

Explicit focus on:

  • students working collaboratively and across varying learning styles
  • acknowledgement/celebration of school/class cultural and linguistic diversity
  • students’ personal journeys
  • inclusive classroom environment
  • choosing texts that reflect a range of perspectives
  • MEA’s assisting with communication and/or issues
  • multiculturalism in Australia
Learner Behaviours
  • working collaboratively with all classmates
  • showing respect for others backgrounds
  • encouraging others to do their best
  • inclusive of others during learning tasks
  • embracing opportunities to learn from others
Parent Behaviours
  • participating in school events with other families
  • providing a positive model for their children by interacting with those from other cultures
  • encouraging their child to use their first language at home
  • seeing difference as an opportunity
  • respecting all members of the school community
Building Communities
Teacher Practice

Explicit focus on:

  • strategic management of group composition in learning tasks
  • individual identity within the group
  • collective responsibility
  • celebrating success and being motivated by challenges
  • strength of team-work
  • understanding that our attitudes and behaviours have an impact on the people around us
Learner Behaviours
  • feeling safe in the classroom and school environments
  • respecting all members of the school community
  • engaging with school and having a sense of belonging
  • involvement in whole school activities
  • participating in the wider community with confidence
  • making good choices about how to treat others
Parent Behaviours
  • showing interest in their child’s learning
  • encouraging their child to be positive about all members of the school community
  • providing a positive role model for their child by engaging with the community
  • facilitating active participation by their child in the wider community

Links

A.C.T.A
Vic TESOL (VATME)
DET – Department of Education and Training
DET EAL Unit
VITS – Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service
MIC
EMR – Eastern Metropolitan Regional Office for DET

Upcoming events

School Policies

Please feel free to download any policy PDF for more information below.

Secondary

Classes

When placing a student in a class, consideration is given to their age and English language stage. Secondary aged students are given a placement test at enrolment. Teachers regularly review the English knowledge and skills of each student and class placements are revised at the beginning of each term. This ensures that students are offered a program that supports their stage of English language.

Domains (subjects)

Secondary students learn English while studying different subjects.
Below is an example of a sample secondary timetable:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Period 1

English

English

English

English

English

Period 2

English

English

English

English

English

Period 3

English

English

English

English

English

Period 4

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Period 5

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Cheese

Humanities

Period 6

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Humanities

Homework

Students are given homework appropriate to their age and English language stage. Students borrow books from the school Library and should read these at home. Students should also revise work done each day and complete any unfinished work. Specific homework tasks are regularly given to students in the advanced language groups.

School excursions

Excursions provide valuable English language learning experiences for students. Excursions are a planned and important part of the curriculum and all students are expected to fully participate. In term one, all students visit the zoo to support their Science studies and in term three students visit Sovereign Hill as part of the Humanities program. When an excursion is being organised, detailed notices will be sent home to inform parents and guardians.

School camp Burwood (younger students) and Maroondah campuses

At the end of the year, the younger secondary students at the Burwood campus and all Maroondah students participate in a three-day residential camp. This camp is fully integrated into the curriculum, with a clear focus on English language and social development. Parents and guardians are notified well in advance and have opportunities to discuss issues and concerns.

City Experience program Burwood Campus (older students)

The senior secondary students participate in a five-day program in the city of Melbourne once during their program at the school. This program is fully integrated into the curriculum and aims to develop students’ English language skills as well as independence, problem-solving ability, time management and organisational skills. Parents and guardians are notified well in advance and have opportunities to discuss issues and concerns

School Term Dates

2020
Start Date
Finish Date
Term 1

29 January

31 March

Term 2

4 November

4 November

Term 3

11 November

9 November

Term 4

27 November

30 November

2021
Start Date
Finish Date
Term 1

2 November

9 November

Term 2

5 November

9 November

Term 3

14 November

16 November

Term 4

17 November

23 November

2022
Start Date
Finish Date
Term 1

3 November

3 November

Term 2

10 November

17 November

Term 3

16 November

10 November

Term 4

16 November

10 November