CARRYING packed lunches, stationery and textbooks, and clad in crisp uniforms with squeaky new shoes, students from Prep to Year 12 arrived at Corner Inlet district campuses on Monday January 31 for the start of the 2022 school year.
Fish Creek and District Primary School
Fish Creek and District Primary School thoroughly enjoyed greeting students and their families as they either returned for another year of learning or came in for the first time on Monday January 31, 2022.
“We have 116 students at the school this year, with 16 new Preppies!” principal Dale Banks said.
“Our new Prep teacher, Shelley Sriraksa, who is known to her class as ‘Miss Shelley’, is very excited to be teaching the youngest members of our school community this year,” he said.
“We have also got a new Grade 5 teacher, Tiarnie Ellingworth, who has come to us from Melbourne as a Graduate.
“Miss Ellingworth is looking forward to getting to know her students as well as the rest of the Fish Creek and District Primary School community.
“Holly Dubois is also a new staff member at Fish Creek, who is doing a teaching traineeship, and is already fitting in with the school community really well,” Mr Banks said.
“Lucy Parkinson has taken on the Before and After School Care Program and we are really excited to see what she has planned for the students in this program.”
Toora Primary School
Toora Primary School has had “a fabulous start to 2022, with 58 students, including eight new Prep students, coming into school and all eager to learn”, according to principal, Luke Haustorfer.
“The school yard looks great with its new shade sails and a fully-enclosed bike shed for every member of the school community to use,” he said.
“Students were excited to find our kitchen garden overflowing with tasty treats, and our Year 4 to 6 class created a delicious salad to enjoy from the produce.
“In the classrooms students are getting to know their new classmates, while building a learning community and sharing with their new teachers what they know and understand,” Mr Haustorfer said.
“This year we’ve welcomed Chelsea Tuckett to our teaching team, and she is working with our Year 2 and 3 class, with Sarah Lind guiding our Prep and Year 1 class, and Greta Fullagar the Year 4, 5 and 6 class,” he said.
“Molly Crawford has also joined our teaching team, and she will be focusing primarily on Inclusive Education.
“While our Prep students don’t attend school on a Wednesday, they do come in for an hour-long session with their teacher so that we can really understand what they know and how we can best tailor a program to meet their learning needs,” Mr Haustorfer said.
“The community at Toora Primary School have been really supportive and considerate of each other throughout the COVID pandemic.
“Air purifiers arrived and were installed prior to students returning to school, and when Rapid Antigen Test kits arrived at the school, families were quick to collect their supplies,” he said.
“Our calendar is already filling fast, with our students to begin a four-week swimming program at the neighbouring Toora Pool the third week back, and Year 4 to 6 students will be undertaking time trials for the district swimming carnival next week.
“Our students’ swimming capabilities are supported throughout their time at primary school, with weekly swimming lessons during Term 1 and Term 4,” Mr Haustorfer said.
“Leongatha Gymnastics has started afterschool sessions in our hall, and our Year 2 and 3 students are enjoying a weekly session to build their skills, with smiles and encouragement abounding!
“Our Before and After School Care Program is back running again for the 2022 school year, and we look forward to seeing our program being used to its full potential,” he said.
“Everyone at the school is looking forward to gathering for the Community BBQ to be held on Wednesday February 16 from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm to welcome our new families and to celebrate the progress of our stadium mural led by artist Kaff-eine.
“Kaff-eine will be working on the mural through the week, and all students will have the opportunity to contribute to the mural on Wednesday,” Mr Haustorfer said.
“With workmen busily landscaping the front of the hall, our entry there is going to be awesome!”
Mr Haustorfer and his wife Cassie had a piece of very significant news of their own to share with the school and the Toora district community after welcoming their first child Mason into the world on Sunday January 30, 2022, weighing 3.42 kilograms.
Toora Primary administration staff member Elissa Jackson summed up the collective feeling of the school about this much-anticipated announcement with a clearly delighted “we are just so excited for them both!”
Welshpool and District Primary School
Welshpool and District Primary School saw 36 students, including five Preps, march into class for the first day of 2022.
“The academic year has begun really well for all of our students and for our team of teaching staff, which has remained the same as last year,” principal Gabbi Boyd said.
“Our whole-school swimming program has also started with all students from Prep right through to Grade 6 attending swimming lessons at the Toora Pool,” she said.
“We were fortunate to secure some funding, and the preliminary works for a new access ramp leading into the main classrooms are scheduled for this term, with the ramp itself to go in during the Term I holidays.
“The toilet facilities are also going to be upgraded, and new concrete footpaths will be installed around the buildings and in the grounds, again to help improve accessibility for everyone,” Mrs Boyd said.
“The school community is continuing to redevelop our wetlands area located beyond the oval and up to the Great Southern Rail Trail to create natural waterways and habitat for indigenous plants and animals,” she said.
“We’re also aiming to establish what you could describe as a bush camping ground, which will be a peaceful, shady area where we can have picnics and maybe even student sleepovers!”
Mrs Boyd said the school had received four air purifiers ahead of the start of the school year, with three placed into classrooms and the fourth into the staffroom.
“The school’s RAT kits arrived on Friday January 30, with every student getting a packet of five tests, and we anticipate the next lot of kits in time for our third week back,” she said.
“The kids have been really great about doing the RATs; they tell us the tests ‘tickle our noses!’”
FOSTER PRIMARY SCHOOL
Foster Primary School has recorded one of its highest enrolments ever with 224 students across 10 grades in 2022.
“Our new year started with a wave of excitement and 24 new Prep enrolments, too,” principal Scott Moorhouse said.
“There were only a few tears and also lots of laughter on the first day of school as these new students embarked on their learning adventure.
“This group of children will be exceptionally special after having had two interrupted years of kindergarten and now they’re embarking on their primary schooling having weekly Rapid Antigen Tests,” he said.
“Foster Primary School would like to acknowledge the outstanding work done by the Prom Coast Centres for Children educators and the students’ parents in preparing them so well for their first day of school given the difficult circumstances.
“We’ve also welcomed some new teachers, with Mrs Fiona Moldrich joining our Grade 5/6 team, and Miss Emma Charlton who has become a member of our P/1/2 team,” Mr Moorhouse said.
“Miss Sue Duggan also steps up as our new Assistant Principal and her expertise will be invaluable in guiding our school to success.
“The school itself has welcomed six new families, in addition to our Prep students’ families, and we wish them the greatest success in our community,” he said.
“There are many exciting activities planned for the school year and we look forward to a relatively interruption-free year to provide our students with new and exciting experiences that allow our students to grow in every aspect, with the school’s motto ‘Our Best Always’ in front of mind.”
Foster Secondary College
Returning to Foster Secondary College (FSC) for 2022 has been “a smooth and seamless transition for all staff and students,” according to the College’s acting principal Dean Duursma.
“Last year, 2021, certainly was a bumper one at FSC, with the school achieving the equal highest Victorian Certificate (VCE) results in all of Gippsland, including private schools,” he said.
“Amid the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the threats it poses to the school, and with the local community functioning relatively normally, FSC has had very little interruption so far.
“Our 257 students are already well into the curriculum for 2022, and we’re excited about our 54 new Year 7 students who are settling in well with their new year level coordinator, Kyle Materia,” Mr Duursma said.
“By the time of printing, the Year 7s will have spent two days of activities this week, building peer relationships and getting to know the staff.”
Foster SC has welcomed four new staff members for 2022, including Carron Forwood who has come from Wonthaggi SC as a teacher of Applied Computing and Mathematics.
Mr Duursma said “Carron has built a new curriculum in computing for us and is working with students from Year 8 to Year 10 as we build the subject into VCE in the next couple of years.
“Carron’s expertise comes from many years in the industry, bringing wonderful experience to share with our students,” he said.
“Lauren Redpath also joins us this year, and many will already know Lauren from her sporting expertise in the local area.
“Lauren is a dedicated and highly skilled teacher who is delighted about teaching in our community after coming to us from Traralgon SC to teach senior Health and Human Development, and junior Physical Education / Health classes,” Mr Duursma said.
“Foster SC is also pleased to see Peter Williams take over the Technology building this year and we know he will be a great addition to our school.
“Peter hails from Wodonga where he has been teaching Wood and Metal successfully for many years.
“Peter prides himself on an organised and orderly workshop and has helped students from Year 7 to Year 12 produce some extraordinary pieces,” he said.
“Finally, Justin Abicare joins us in the Instrumental Music space where his finely-honed skills in woodwind are shared with students from Year 11 down to students from Foster Primary School,” Mr Duursman said.
“Foster SC is looking forward to more success in 2022.
“Both the teaching and administration staff at FSC are excited by our successes and aim to maintain a positive culture of teaching and learning, recognising that all students are individuals with specific attributes and needs, requiring encouragement, inclusion and support to reach their potential,” he said.
“FSC thanks staff members Kiarna Smith, Anna Stefani, Derek Bassed, Brodie Prain, and Alasdair Campbell, for their wonderful work and contributions to the school.
“We wish our former student Kiarna all the best in Melbourne with her teaching career, which continues at Trinity Grammar School in 2022.”