Our academy

We are determined to ensure that our younger generations achieve their full potential, talent and creativity and have the confidence and capacity for hard work so they can orbit between two worlds and enjoy the best of both.

The Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy is part of the Good to Great Schools Australia network and the premier showcase of our full 21st century reform model.

Our aim is to close the academic achievement gap between students and mainstream children. This will ensure that every child has their academic, emotional, material and health and wellbeing needs addressed. The goal is for students to successfully transition into high-quality, high-expectation secondary boarding schools and later on successfully graduate.

Taking a school from Poor to Good and on to Great is a 10-year journey. In 2019 the Academy is in its ninth year. We have improved these schools from Poor to Fair and are advancing towards Good.

Good to Great Schools Australia is in a unique innovative partnership with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to deliver the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA) in state primary schools in the remote North Queensland communities of Hope Vale and Coen.

GGSA provides school improvement implementation support for its school improvement model, including the 6C education program, 8 cycles of practice, and student and family welfare support. DET operates the school campuses as per normal Queensland state schools, including the employment of all school staff, management of school finances, operations and facilities, and the health, safety and well-being of all students and staff.

The goal of the partnership is to support the school and the community to achieve the mission of CYAAA. CYAAA aims to close the academic, health and well-being gap between its students and mainstream children by addressing the needs of every student case by case, and supporting them to successfully transition into high-quality, high-expectation secondary schools.

CYAAA offers a comprehensive 6C education model which incorporates the early years development domain of Childhood, the learning domains of Class, Club and Culture, and the Community domain to support student attendance and school readiness. Civics is the sixth domain, where students’ are prepared for informed and effective participation in democratic society.

Our education model is based on extensive research supported by international evidence. We invest substantially in innovation and continuous improvement through co-design with students, families, teachers, school education systems and education experts.

CYAAA has an extended school day and operates after school care to ensure these disadvantaged students have more time to close the education gap. The additional time is spent on literacy and numeracy, and other areas of the curriculum, including rich curriculum activities in music, art and sport through the Australian curriculum.

Results so far…

  • Pre-prep complete a full literacy program so they start Prep with English language and ‘Prep-ready’ literacy skills
  • Majority of Preps across Academy are at / above year level
  • Coen Preps start reading before mainstream average.

  • Students are making nearly twice the literacy and numeracy gains against the national average rate of progress
  • Each year students are attaining consistently higher scores on NAPLAN
  • All Coen Year 5 students achieved above the national minimum standard in all NAPLAN test areas in 2018.

  • Half of Year 3–6 students are learning instrumental music, regularly perform as a band and are at higher than or comparable national music levels for their age
  • Students regularly compete at district and regional sporting carnivals
  • Students are on representatives teams, including representing Queensland in rugby league and North Queensland in AFL.

  • Local rangers support Culture lessons
  • Year 3–6 students participate in annual homelands camp
  • Students in Hope Vale learn their ancestral language
  • Students can articulate mainstream and Indigenous perspectives.

  • Coen campus has had the highest attendance of all majority Indigenous schools in Queensland from 2013 to 2018
  • Teachers regularly meet with families to discuss child’s progress
  • Students have had their individual needs assessed using psychometric testing
  • Resources for identified students are being acquired
  • Coen and Hope Vale Year 6s all transitioned successfully to secondary school.


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