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WA’s peak parent group has slammed a plan to test pre-primary students next year as a waste of money, saying it’s “ridiculous” to assess children as young as four.

As part of its strategy to improve literacy and numeracy across WA, the Education Department will start to roll out the 30-minute assessments in the first term in public schools. The Sunday Times can reveal some of the sample questions likely to be used in the so-called “on entry assessments”, which are aimed at picking up early problems.

Pre-primary students in public schools will be asked to: Speak about a certain topic, such as friends or favourite games, for two to three minutes. Estimate how many teddy bears are in a cup. Put objects, from smallest to tallest, in order. Count backwards. Match dots with a number on a page.

WA Council of State School Organisations president Rob Fry attacked the $2 million plan, saying he expected parents to be angered by the “ineffective” results.

“I just find this truly remarkable when you’re dealing with children of such a young age,” he said.

“If you get an exceptionally shy child, you’re asking a four-year-old to talk on a subject for two minutes and some of them won’t want to say anything at that age. Does that mean they’ve got a literacy problem? No, they might be shy.

“It’s ineffective and you are going to get such diverse responses between a child coming from an indigenous community to a child living in a Perth suburb with a highly socially active family.”

School Support Programs executive director David Axworthy said the Education Department based its tests on the Victorian model because it was the “best tool to meet the needs of WA children”. It would also enable shared resources between the states.

“It will leave WA well placed for the introduction of the national curriculum when it is produced in 2011,” he said.

WA Primary Principals Association president Steve Breen supported the plan because it would allow teachers to set benchmarks and adapt their programs to suit children’s needs.

Education Minister Liz Constable said children at risk of falling behind would be identified earlier, allowing urgent action to be taken.

Under the plan, students in 50 schools will be tested in term one before all public schools will have access to the assessments in the final term. From 2011, each pre-primary student will be tested at the start of the year.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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IMMIGRATION officials are preparing a 50-year migration plan to ensure that intakes consider a range of long-term issues such as climate change, water needs and national security.

The Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Andrew Metcalfe, said yesterday the department was conducting a review of the nation’s migration needs to ensure a more rounded and visionary approach.

”In terms of the future, we are trying to lift ourselves away from year-to-year decisions to a 50-year vision,” he told the Australian and New Zealand School of Government conference in Canberra.

”We are trying to move away from an immigration department that is responsive to one that can help the government achieve long-term objectives … A long-term planning framework … is something whose time has come.”

Mr Metcalfe said a well-planned skilled migration program could contribute to Australia’s long-term economic, demographic and environmental goals.

”We want to ensure our skilled migration programs are responding to longer-term skill needs which cannot be addressed through domestic training and skills development,” he said.

”The question then is how we can best address shorter-term labour market requirements … It will be important that the skilled migrants we choose are not only young and healthy but also have a high level of education, language proficiency and other skills. This will ensure that skilled migration contributes both to labour force growth and to the productivity of our labour force.”

Mr Metcalfe said the review will include an examination of the points system used to select skilled migrants, known as the Migration Occupations in Demand List.

”The MODL is not as flexible as we would like to address a rapidly changing and uncertain global environment. In my view, one of themes of this century will be the increased mobility of people around the globe, and we need to manage this adroitly.”

But the Government has denied it has adopted a new policy towards asylum seekers in the wake of a decision this week to process a group of 10 Afghan children on the mainland rather than on Christmas Island.

”These are 10 unaccompanied minors and therefore what’s happened is that they’ve been transferred from Christmas Island to the mainland on September 2,” he said

Asked whether there had been a change of policy, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said: ”Absolutely not.”

He told 3AW yesterday the group of 10 children had been transferred to the mainland because unaccompanied minors were given priority in processing.

”That’s what’s happening in the case of these minors,” he said. ”That’s why they’re treated separately.”

Source  :  www.smh.com.au

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1920s charm of North Perth home retained                                                                                                                                                                                           north perth home

RENOVATIONS were completed less than a year ago on the 1920s home owned by Karina and Chris Hiller for five years.

“We fell in love with it and we didn’t plan to renovate,” Mrs Hiller said.

“We loved the location, but realised it was getting a bit tight for space when we had a baby.”
So the couple demolished the rear half to allow for an open-plan extension.

They installed a new kitchen, plus an al fresco area because they enjoy entertaining.

Mrs Hiller said they wanted to achieve “retreat-style living” as a change of pace for her husband, who owned a busy cafe in Burswood and wanted the chance to unwind in a tranquil villa-style house.

They combined elements from the old and the new to suit their lifestyle and they think the location is golden because it’s only a 20-minute walk to the city.

Mrs Hiller said she loved the house because of its originality and charm.

“It has ornate and dome ceilings that we never wanted to touch because you can’t find homes with beautiful old things like these any more,” she said.

Other features include a pool, open fireplace, airconditioning, bore-water reticulation and double carport.

NORTH PERTH
$999,000
189 Grosvenor Rd

Three-bedroom, two-bathroom, single- storey house with airconditioning, covered al fresco area, high ceilings, tropical gardens and open-plan living area.
Agent: John Parzycki 0418 923 226, L.J. Hooker Willetton 9457 9955  Source  :  http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25867487-5013239,00.html 


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The Concept Plan and Structure Plan that details how the Ocean Reef Marina site should be developed and how it should look in the future.

The concept plan has been developed using feedback and input from the Community Reference Group, Ocean Reef Marina Committee (of Council) and the Ocean Reef Marina Steering Committee.

Based on input from the above, the key issues identified in developing the Ocean Reef Marina site were the provision of: 

• An iconic marina development accessible to all residents                                   ocean reef marina plan 
• First class boating facilities and infrastructure
• Quality marine recreation facilities
• Best practice environmental conservation and preservation 

The Ocean Reef Marina development has the potential to provide the City’s residents with a world class recreational, residential, boating and tourism marina, development that encapsulates high levels of environmental sustainability, community amenity and delivers economic growth and social benefit. 

Preliminary studies and research in the areas of environmental impact and sustainability, structure planning, coastal engineering and hydrology, and financial and commercial viability have been completed and indicate that the site does have the potential for a development of this nature.

Source   www.joondalup.wa.gov.au

 

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The expo is at The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.  The Australian government are working to plan some big reforms in the health care system.Perth_Convention_Centre

Over the next few years there will be far more opportunities to develop your career in the health sector.  If you are thinking of training in a nursing career then this exhibition will give the the opportunity to see for yourself.

Make sure you visit the Department of Health WA booth at the expo.  You can meet other nurses and midwives and ask them any question about a career in the public health system.

You can work in hospitals, in  community centres, schools or in the home.  There are full time, part time or casual positions available and plenty of opportunities to develop new or existing skills.

Applications for all 2010 graduate programs, including mid-year intakes, opens Monday 22 June and close 7 July 2009.  To apply visit www.gnc.health.wa.gov.au

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When choosing your land and house package think carefully on how you live before choosing the right house for you.        House%20-%20Paddington%20finished%201%20interior 

Make sure the floor plan fits the way you live.

Design your house for you and your life style, you’d be surprised at how many houses don’t fit the way people really live.

I remember when people actually used their living rooms and wouldn’t have dreamed of sitting in the kitchen, much less thinking of it as the centre of the house now 

But that’s exactly what’s happened over the last three decades.  Other changes have occurred too: home offices have become increasingly important, as have master bedrooms, en suites, activity rooms, alfresco’s and pools.

 Any well-designed house must be functional ,  people define their space needs as ‘informal and formal’ or ‘public and private’ rather than thinking of their plan as a series of rooms.

 So think about the way you really live, design your floor plan accordingly, and you’ll be taking the next step towards a well-designed house.

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