School of thought for all those preps

By McIvor Times

MALACHI, Willow, Cooper, Angus, Leisel, Brodie and Finnegan started prep this week, along with 81,600 other students across Victoria.

Vanessa Wiltshire from the McIvor Times visited three schools in the district to find out what preps and grade sixes thought of school – and their teachers!

Tooborac Primary

THE TINY rural school on the McIvor Highway was our first stop. There is just one student in prep (foundation) this year, Malachi. He’s four years old and one of eight boys in his composite class of nine. Grade one student Niah is the only girl, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Art is her favourite subject and she loves writing, too. In fact, the entire class is creative. We spend 10 minutes talking about the wonderful stories they write.

Cheryl Ward is the teacher and has a trainee Seeing Eye Dog that she brings to school every day. Although Malachi is softly spoken, he is relaxed and curious. “When I grow up, I want to keep on wearing my new shoes,” he says, pointing at a new pair of black runners on his feet. “How are you going to keep them as you grow? a grade two student asks. Malachi shrugs. “I will,” he says. Cheryl has been teaching for 15 years and loves the atmosphere of Tooborac Primary. “We’re very small,” she said. “That means that we really can give a lot of individual focus and attention.”

Holy Rosary Primary

WHEN we arrive at Holy Rosary Primary School in Heathcote, the prep (foundation) students are busy having a disco dance and sing-along. It’s very noisy, so we step outside with Cooper, Willow and Angus. The three take a wonderful photo, but it’s clear they’re keen to get back inside. “Can we go now?” Cooper asks. No doubt the disco is way more fun.

Then three grade six students come along; Jack, Chloe and Hunter. They’re all excited – if not slightly overwhelmed – that this is their last year at primary school. It’s a great year to develop leadership skills, Chloe says. ‘‘Yeah, I can’t wait for high school,’’ Jack says. Hunter also agrees.

Eppalock Primary

A FEW kilometres down Axe Creek Road is another rural school, although this one is larger with 50 students. Jason O’Neill is the principal. We meet with three prep students, in a class of around 10. They are in a composite with grade one and the teacher is Diane Lindhe. We speak to Leisel, Brodie and Finnegan.

Brodie is a little uncertain of this “school stuff”, but says that he’s already made lots of friends. “Playtime is my favourite part,” he says proudly. He’s wearing a fabulous pair of bright blue runners which he says he got at the shop where ‘‘everyone gets their shoes’’. Leisel tells us that she loves to draw and paint. “I’ve already done a drawing,” she smiles. “It was using oil pastels.” In addition to becoming an artist when she grows up, Leisel says that she is looking forward to ‘‘getting better in maths’’. Finnegan seems like a happy lad and may just be the class clown, because he loves pulling faces for the camera.

The McIvor Times didn’t get to your school? We would still love to drop in and find out what your students are up to this term. Please get in touch by emailing [email protected]