Ellenbrook Primary School is different, and that difference is based on how we respond to parents’ desires to make certain that their children get a first-class education that will optimise learning opportunities. If I were to summarise our operational style:
- We get the relationships right. We need the students to develop happy learning relationships with staff, and for parents to feel welcome in the school.
- We ensure our learning program will be focussed, of a high standard, and joyful.
- We make certain our students with different needs are accommodated, within the school’s capability. We are very aware of the achievement gap and the opportunity gaps that affect our students and we work hard to bridge those gaps.
- We act to make certain that students who want to learn can do this without unnecessary interruption. Misbehaving students receive controlled counselling.
- We believe that the moral purpose of schooling is to develop good, happy and productive citizens.
Just a couple of clarifying points:
- We work hard on developing a calm, caring environment in which everyone has equal rights. The principal and deputies are always available in the school grounds before and after school, and parents use this to solve minor problems before they become big issues. Teaching staff cannot be disturbed while they are teaching, so parents will need to make appointments.
- We push for the students to achieve high standards. We require high standards of presentation, and all students are required to do their best work. We were not happy with the standard of the Australian maths curriculum so we brought in the first copies of Prime Maths, which used Singapore standards. This resulted in a quick lifting of students’ maths performances.
- We are a part of the Teaching Action Group schools (West Beechboro, and Brabham), which is developing programs based, on research, to maximise students’ learning.
- Our school gets visitors from other schools in Australia, who come in to see how staff work to get such good results.
As a school, we think that the future is promising for our school and our students.
Dr Neil MacNeill, BA, BEd (Hons), M.Ed.Admin, M.Ed, PhD, EdD. FACEL. Principal