Richard Gill School collaborates with five local preschools while waiting for build

by Freya Lucas

August 25, 2020

A proposed new primary school with a special focus on developing a love of music in children is making the most of the time between bureaucratic stages by planning a complementary early childhood music program at five local preschools.

 

The Richard Gill School is founded on the vision of late conductor and passionate music educator, Richard Gill, and is due to open in 2021. Initially the school will open as a K-2 facility, catering for 50 students, expecting to grow in successive years to become a K-12 site with a capacity of up to 400. 

 

Based on the motto “through music and movement, we flourish” the school will be a full curriculum school with music and physical education as special areas of focus. 

 

Founding Principal Chris English emphasised the importance of linking up with the broader community, outlining the complementary early childhood music program which will launch shortly for five local preschools. 

 

“We are working hard to give back to the local community through all that we do, and know that this program will be a lot of fun for the children and of great educational value for both the children and the educators,” he said. 

 

Mr Gill devoted many hours to establishing the school in its early stages before passing from cancer in October 2018. His view was that every child in Australia should be given access to a high-quality, fully sequential program of musical learning, and to that end this founding school says its mission is to “see our students grow musically, physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually, developing life foundations of responsibility, confidence, resilience, purpose and performance,” to quote from its prospectus.

 

The school was expected to commence in 2020, however development approval delays in relation to the initial refitting of the Muswellbrook Shire Council administration building, which will house the school, have meant that the opening has been pushed to next year. 

 

Work on the new spaces is expected to begin in October, with the project being selected for fast tracking by the NSW Government, who have counted the school as a major project. While being selected as a major project does not guarantee DA approval, Mr English said it is “a positive step in the right direction” and will lead to the employment of many local contractors throughout the construction phase. 

 

There are preliminary plans to create a documentary about the school, which currently has eight students enrolled for 2021, a number which Mr English expects to increase over the coming months. 

 

Information sessions will be held for prospective students as well as those already enrolled, and their families, on Wednesday 2 September 2020, with registration essential and available here

 

A prospectus, as well as further information, may be found here

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