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Student Services and Support Programs

Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA)

The Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) is a well established position at McDowall State School. Working with the school’s administration team, the DSTA provides assistance to Australian Defence families and students - before, during and after enrolment. As well, the DSTA supports Defence children and families during their transition into and out of the school setting.   

Mrs Chris Jones is the DSTA at McDowall State School. Our defence families feel reassured knowing that Mrs Jones is available to support their children to manage changes arising from parental absence for service reasons and/or location. Likewise, parents report that they feel comforted by the knowledge that their children are being supported by someone at school who understands the complexities associated with defence families’ lives.

The role of the Defence School Transition Aide includes the following:

  • helping defence parents and students during the enrolment process, and with transitioning into the new school setting
  • supporting defence students and their families to quickly develop a sense of belonging in the McDowall State School community
  • assisting students to manage ADF parental absence from home, through the development of activities to help students stay connected to their parent;
  • organising activities and developing strategies to assist the integration and/or departure of mobile dependants of ADF personnel
  • providing a communication link between families of ADF personnel, school staff and the wider school community
  • working closely with the school leadership team to involve Defence students in significant cultural events such as the ANZAC day assembly.

Reading Flying Gang

The Reading Flying Gang (PDF 273 KB) is a group of parents and grandparents, who volunteer their time, to hear P-7 students read and assist students master skills relating to reading and reading comprehension. Early in the school year, this may involve reading to Preparatory Year students.

Reading Flying Gang members work as a team, attending a designated year level together, at teacher pre-agreed times to hear children read. It is therefore essential that the Reading Flying Gang is made up of as many members as possible, each time it engages with a Year Level. This is what makes this initiative worthwhile, beneficial and effective. Every 15 minutes members of the Reading Flying Gang may work with up to three children as selected by a Class Teacher. The more Reading Flying Gang members we have, the more frequently students can practise their reading with members. Reading Flying Gang members are provided with an honorary badge to wear within the school.  

Religious Instruction

Programs of religious instruction (PDF 260 KB) are available at McDowall State School.  Students from Year 1 can elect to participate.