Fabulous Start to the School Year
Our students settled in extremely quickly this year. Learning Programs were up and running immediately. Our new Prep students Paige Anderson, Meila Cupples, Elise Patrick, Matthew Andrews, Quin Aveling, Maddison Smith and Dara Kendall-Jones were well supported by their grade 6 buddies and seemed very relaxed and comfortable. The transition program we conducted at the end of last year, along with the super job their parents and other family members did getting them ready for school clearly paid off!
We will operate 4 small classes, two grade P 1/2s, a grade3/4 and a 5/6. All will have fewer than 20 students, allowing us to provide individual programs for students with special needs and extra talents. Our Reading Recovery program will again operate to ensure our high student literacy levels are maintained. Ms Karen Twomey will provide an Arts program whilst Ms Leanne Emond will conduct Personal Development sessions to promote social skills, self assurance and resilience. Computers will be an essential learning tool in all classes.
As we lost 4 students we were not expecting to lose and some funding formulas changed, we will struggle to maintain our 4 grades for the whole school year. We had until the 28th February to obtain some more students or work out a way to prop up our budget. If necessary we will reconfigure our grade structure in the second half of the year to have 3 classes. This is not ideal but at least our children will have had the benefit of small classes for the first two terms.
We are delighted to welcome Ms Tammy Estcourt, who joins us from Liddiard Road PS and will teach our 3/4s. Ms Finley Smith is another new addition to our staff and is commencing her teaching career with us taking a P/1/2 class, which is very exciting. Both these teachers were able to spend time with us last year getting to know their students. They, like all our staff, spent many hours over the holidays setting up their classrooms so they are stimulating and well organized learning centres. They are very lucky to be working with the exceptionally talented Ms Cheryl Hilton, Ms Karen Twomey and Ms Liz Tingay. We will employ male replacement teachers whenever possible to provide male role models for our boys. Mr John Duck is already booked to help train our students for the forthcoming Athletic Sports.
New Building Arrives!
After a long wait, work finally commenced on our new building late last year, with trees felled and concrete ripped up. This was highly entertaining to our students. Early in the new year, Boolarra folk probably saw 8 big trucks deliver our building in bits which were lowered from the car-park by a massive crane onto the prepared concrete foundations. Work was underway fitting out our building but this stopped once school resumed and we’re not sure when it will commence again. Even in its incomplete state, the building looks fabulous. It is far more spacious than we anticipated and very modern with cream and green corrugated iron cladding that matches our existing building colours really well. There are verandas on two sides, lots of windows and a great many ceiling fans. We’re not sure when it will be completed but anticipate that it will be during this term. We hope to relocate our Library, Computer Lab and grade 3/4 and 5/6 classes into our new facilities, which will allow all our classes to operate in very large, spacious classrooms. This is a very exciting time for us. Last year our parents fundraised $5,000 which we will use to add lots of extra goodies to our new learning space.
Steve Shultz again worked with our students to develop the drumming routine performed to kick off the musical program. We also had an Art Display in the Boolarra Bowls Cub Rooms. Our Art teacher, Ms Karen Twomey, along with one of our parents, who is a celebrated artist, Abbas Mehran, helped our students develop portraits on display. With free entry, lots of people passed through and admired our students’ artwork. A midday auction was held to raise money to get solar heating for our school pool
Later this year Matt and Melissa Pavey, the artists who helped us to develop the large murals on our Art room / Budgeree Building, will help us to create lots of
smaller murals to go along our front school fence. Each of our families will have the opportunity to work with Matt and Melissa to design and develop a mural. The first mural will be created by the Hassett family who have 4 daughters who have attended our school; the youngest Eden is in grade 6 this year.
Adult Computer Classes
Thanks to funding we obtained through the Boolarra Community Development Group we are able to continue our adult internet access and computer classes at the school. Highly experienced and very patient computer teacher Pauline Garood provides lots of support and encouragement. At the same time visitors can borrow books from our extensive community library. Everyone is welcome. Classes will be on Tuesdays from 3:30 pm until 5:30 pm (unless we are busy moving into our new building!).
Welcome Get Together
It was wonderful to see so many of our families take the opportunity to meet one another at our Get Together staged in the first full week of school in Railway Park. It was great to see our parents making themselves known to newcomers to the school – this highlights what a friendly community we have. It was also fabulous to observe how well our past and present students played together. This reflects what we see at school every day: children happily socialising across different age groups.
Congratulations to Our 2011 Student Leaders:
Our School Council President, Mandi Peter, presented badges to our Student Leaders at our Welcome Get Together. Our School Captains ar
e Lauren Alexander & Erin Hoghton. House Captains are: Irving (Blue) Bella Papa & Mia Cornell, Vice Captain: Siobhan Hall. Morrow (Red) Lauren Alexander & Kayla Napier, Vice Captains: Mitchell Schelling & Daina Howard. Penaluna (Green) Erin Hoghton & Ella O’Kane, Vice Captains: Eden Hassett & Lydia Reiske. Strzelecki (Yellow) Darius Mehran & Alannah Green, Vice Captain: N/A. Our Junior School Councillors are: P/1/2S Darius Mehran & Rhianne Cameron, P/1/2H Daina Howard & Mia Cornell, 3/4 Lydia Reiske & Rivan Aveling, 5/6 Lauren Alexander & Samuel Birkbeck. These students are already showing that they are worthy of their special roles