the achieve difference
the ACHIEVE STORY
ACHIEVE began in 1994, when as an Arts/Law undergraduate and HSC High Achiever, Dr Tamara Jones-Hood began to tutor high school students in a variety of subjects. By 1998, she was involved in teaching Sociology and Psychology in the Humanities faculty at Charles Sturt University and she found that she enjoyed teaching so much that after completing her Honours degree she decided to change her focus to Education. While completing her Graduate Diploma of Education (for which she received the First in Degree prize), Tamara was invited by her university to begin a PhD in Education and she commenced teaching within the Education faculty in 2000. She taught across all degrees - Primary Education, Secondary Education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Masters of Education - teaching a variety of subjects including English and HSIE curriculum, Technology and Applied Sciences (TAS), Sociology and Practicum subjects as well as teaching at the Masters level specialising in Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods and other research subjects. During this time, Tamara also taught in many local secondary schools, teaching a variety of subjects including English, Mathematics, Economics, Society and Culture, Legal Studies, History, Geography, TAS and other subjects as needed including French. This passion and extensive teaching and research experience allows her to comprehensively guide her staff as they provide innovative learning support for our many students.
Tamara left full-time teaching and lecturing in 2005 to prepare for the birth of her daughter Aviva and focus on building ACHIEVE. While she continued to teach at the university level in a part-time capacity, ACHIEVE began to rapidly grow and by the end of 2007, the extensive waiting list for places at ACHIEVE meant Tamara needed to look for the right people to join the ACHIEVE team. One of these people was Shannon Fisher who is now ACHIEVE's Assistant Director. Within 6 months, the ACHIEVE team further expanded to include primary teachers and it has continued to exponentially grow since then, resulting in a teaching team of 12 in 2017. Shannon joined the ACHIEVE team in a full-time capacity at the end of 2015 and has just completed her Graduate Diploma in Psychology specialising in Adolescent and Educational Psychology. This will allow ACHIEVE to further serve the diverse needs of our students as we continue to to develop individualised programs that foster not only their educational but emotional and psychological growth. The ACHIEVE team will continue to grow and expand in 2018 as we welcome new members who are deliberately selected due to their teaching excellence, ability to foster relationships and their shared teaching philosophy that places the student at the centre of all learning. We are excited to begin Term Four 2018 in our new premises located at34 The Esplanade which will allow us the space to continue to grow and support the learning of more students.
At ACHIEVE, each student is treated as an individual with specific learning needs. They are never part of a 'group' that has to work within a set curriculum. They learn at their own pace, using resources appropriate to their particular needs, enjoying teaching strategies designed specifically to enhance their learning gains. At ACHIEVE, you become a member of our family. We deeply care about each individual and foster relationships that support quality teaching and learning. This is why ACHIEVE will never sacrifice these relationships and teach in larger groups - we strongly believe that individualised attention supplemented by the opportunity to work independently with our support is the only way to effectively teach our students. Our students are encouraged to build these relationships through open communication and can contact us at any time via email, text message, phone or visiting our offices between their sessions in order to maintain their learning momentum. Our students are our primary focus at ACHIEVE and we believe we are privileged to be involved in their education. Our aim is to create a solid foundation on which to build the skills necessary to enjoy lifelong learning that will support students after they leave ACHIEVE and throughout their lives.