WA School wins award for linking kindy and home for Aboriginal students
Brookman Primary School has received recognition this week as recipients of the WA Primary School of the Year 2018 in the WA Education Awards. The school works with children and families as young as three, with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) being firmly embedded in the curriculum for children in Kindergarten, as WA children attend school from four years of age.
The school is located in Langford, a suburb of southern Perth, Western Australia.
Working with families and communities to embed and respect the Noongar culture and language is of special significance to the school because of its Aboriginal population.
The school uses KindiLink – a play-and-learn initiative for three-year-old Aboriginal children in the year before they start Kindergarten at the school at four. Children attend KindiLink sessions with their parents who are actively involved in activities with children, building strong relationships with the school, and supporting a sense of belonging – an important feature of the school and of the EYLF.
“I would hope students leave with a strong sense of belonging and fond memories of their years at Brookman,” Principal Hans Geers said. “I would also wish that they have developed a love for, and interest in, the benefits of ongoing education.”
Mr Geers said there is a strong sense of pride felt by staff and students in the school and its many successes and partnerships with external organisations have helped contribute to this.
Brookman is one of just 54 schools in Australia to develop an indoor open area called a ‘Maker Space’ room with Federal Government funds. The interflowing space provides a large ‘one stop shop’ for STEM materials and projects, giving all students hands-on experience in design, technology and entrepreneurship.
School staff drive this innovation and Mr Geers spoke highly of his 47 staff members. From the longest serving teacher who has worked at the school for 22 years, to the support staff – everyone matters and works as a team to achieve goals.
“For a number of years we have supported group approaches to gaining professional learning,” explained Mr Geers “Our leadership team has invested heavily in building staff capacity in groups to get the best out of everyone rather than skilling a single staff member, a strategy where skill sets can easily be lost to schools should the staff member leave.
“Staff are passionate and excited about their work – they inspire and motivate each other. Every available opportunity is taken to affirm and celebrate the work of staff whether in the staffroom at morning tea, at a school assembly, via Instagram, at a school development activity or in a public forum – recognition of educational excellence is a priority.
“Most importantly, staff are highly committed and supportive of their students. Each, in their own way, gives something extra.”