School of the Air partners with isolated schools to bring quality preschool education
Flexible learning programs in the remote New South Wales towns of Ivanhoe, Louth and Pooncarie are now underway thanks to a new partnership between School of the Air and isolated schools in those towns under a flexible approach that will allow bespoke delivery of programs for children in remote parts of the state, including engagement through School of the Air and partnerships with local schools.
“This is a win for our little ones in the regions and I am excited that they will have the same opportunities as their city counterparts, despite living in some of the most remote parts of the state,” said Deputy Premier Paul Toole.
“We know that this will have enormous benefits and long-term impacts for the rest of their lives and help to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning.”
Ivanhoe, in the far west of NSW, has a population of around 200, and is now home to one of the state’s newest preschool programs, with additional communities expected to take up the opportunity in 2022.
Two days per week, preschoolers at Ivanhoe participate in both face-to-face learning and online learning through School of the Air.
Ivanhoe Central School principal Greg Edwards said the concept of the preschool program on site had been embraced by the small town and said he hoped it would attract more people to live there.
“Having access to preschool is essential for our kids and helps them to start their first year of school with a strong foundation,” Mr Edwards said.
“Parents have told me how excited they are for the program to begin and how easy it will make their lives having it located right here on school grounds.”
It is important that every child in NSW has access to a quality early childhood education, no matter their background or location, Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said.
“The flexible learning programs are part of the Rural and Remote Education Strategy we established to ensure that all children in rural and remote communities have access to quality early childhood education in the year before school,” she added.
The program is also available to children in Pooncarie and Louth who commenced learning at their new preschools this week.
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