Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Direct Instruction improving Northern Territory student outcomes

Today the Minister for Education Peter Chandler visited Minyerri School, where Direct Instruction has been running since the start of 2016.

Minister Chandler said Direct Instruction in Literacy was introduced into 15 government schools in 2015 for students from Transition to Year 7. This has now increased to two non-government schools and 19 government schools including Minyerri School running the program in the Northern Territory.

“Progressive Achievement Testing data indicates that the government schools that have implemented Direct Instruction in Literacy have seen positive results, particularly for students in Years 1 – 4. On average, Direct Instruction students have had an improvement greater than that of similar schools who are not participating in the program.”

Direct Instruction is a model for teaching that emphasises well developed and carefully planned lessons, designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks. A clear teaching script and student prompts eliminate misinterpretations and can greatly improve and accelerate learning.

“Direct Instruction offers curriculum continuity and stability in remote schools where it is acknowledged that there is a significant impact on engagement and achievement because of staff turnover, student mobility and attendance.

“The successful implementation and increasingly positive student outcomes in literacy in schools delivering the Direct Instruction program has resulted in further expansion of the program throughout the Northern Territory, with up to eight schools set to include Numeracy into the program by the end of 2016,” Mr Chandler said.

Neil Gibson, Principal, Minyerri School says “test data highlighted a need for improvement in literacy and the school community particularly our parents and guardians were looking for a way for this to happen.

“In 2012-13 Minyerri School had an attendance average of around 65% this has now 85% and above for 2016,” Mr Gibson says.

“Direct Instruction gives our students, parents and staff a clear and accountable pathway to literacy improvement. We’re only a semester into the implementation of Direct Instruction but already we are witnessing literacy improvement in over 95% of our Transition to Year 7 students.

“It has also created empowerment for our local teachers and Indigenous Assistant Teachers who have completed the Direct Instruction learning and are themselves teaching the program in our classrooms,” Mr Gibson said.

Minister Chandler said “In addition to improved literacy outcomes, Minyerri School recorded 88% attendance in Term 1, 2016; a pleasing increase in comparison to 76.8% attendance in Term 1, 2015.

“To support Direct Instruction, Minyerri School has adopted a school-wide behaviour system whereby students earn “Good Work” tickets for behaviour/academic success. This good work is acknowledged at a weekly celebration involving the school community at Minyerri.

“The Northern Territory has a strategic approach to education that is forward thinking and as a result student outcomes are improving,” Mr Chandler said.


Media Contact: 

James Perrin - 0447 826 918