Deciding where to send your kids to school can be agonising, especially if you’re moving to a new town. In the Mount Alexander Shire we offer everything from state to Steiner education and from tiny one class schools to large contemporary colleges.
We thought we’d drop in and ask the schools to share what makes them unique. First up, Maldon Primary.
“Maldon Primary is a warm and friendly place to send your child,” says Principal, Jodie Mengler.
Jodie has been at Maldon for 19 years, five as principal, and says the school, which currently has enrolments of 94 students, is strong in both academics and student wellbeing.
In 2016 Maldon was named in the top five most improved primary schools in Australia based on data shared on the Federal Government’s, My Schools website.
“We’ve been on a huge improvement journey over the last three years implementing programs to ensure every child is able to reach their full potential and thrive,” she says.
The Kids as Catalyst Program, an innovative, child-led social change program for grades 4 – 6 children, is one she’s particularly proud of.
“The kids work like mini philanthropists, developing partnerships with community groups, working out what they need and implementing a project,” she says.
“Children often find it hard to step into the shoes of others,” Jodie adds. “With Catalyst they identify and solve real problems and learn how rewarding giving back can be.”
The school has recently worked with the Maldon Men’s Shed, Maldon Pre-School and the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). A group this year is working with Maldon Hospital to introduce animals for therapy.
When you visit the school you can’t help but be wowed by the grounds. Whether it’s AFL, soccer, playing in sand, in the music garden, feeding the chooks or the fish, working in the vegie garden (where the children regularly harvest and cook meals to share), using the fitness equipment or just dragging branches to build cubbies, the opportunities for play are vast.
The school buildings reflect the heritage and history of the town (Australia’s first Notable Town) but look inside and you’ll discover thoroughly contemporary learning spaces thanks to over half a million dollars of building upgrades which have just been completed.
“It’s all about creating an environment where the children love coming to school and where parents know their children will be happy and safe,” says Jodie.
“The partnerships we have with parents and the wider community are so important to us. We want families to be part of the school community and know that we value their input into their child’s education.”