Middle Kinglake Primary School is situated 63km north of Melbourne in the Kinglake Ranges. We have a current student enrolment of 64 students. The school has 3.4 full-time teaching staff and 4 ES staff. We also have a school chaplain 0.4. For the 2020 school year we operated three classrooms- a P/1, 2/3/4 and 5/6.
Our staff work together to provide a quality and engaging curriculum to all students. Our three classroom teachers plan together and share ideas to ensure that there is consistency across all three classrooms.
Our inclusive curriculum incorporates specialist Music, Library, STEM and Auslan (LOTE). Teacher expertise is used in rotation to provide all classes with Phys Ed, Sustainability and Art. Students receive an hour of these specialist subjects over each week. We also have two music teachers who provide singing and instrumental music tuition to students.
A whole school buddy system is embedded and our whole school social skills program “Middle Mates” focuses on social skills with weekly Students of the Week awards recognising students demonstrating targeted social skills and following our 3 school rules of Be Safe, Be Responsible and Be Respectful. Extra-curricular opportunities include Boite chorus, instrumental music, interschool sport, Kids Teaching Kids and a developmental school camp program. We were awarded a 5 Star ResourceSmart award from Sustainability Victoria recognising the work of staff and students in regards to our school’s Sustainability focus. Our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program enhances our already terrific Sustainability programs. Students are involved in cooking sessions on a fortnightly basis, encouraging growing, harvesting and cooking our own produce. We continue to build links with community groups such as The Connected Garden, Landcare and the Arts Alliance. We have continued to develop the grounds at our school setting and included landscaping to make the gardening areas more accessible.
Leadership roles for students include School Captains, House Captains, Junior School Council and Sustainability Leaders. Student Voice is encouraged with students running weekly assemblies, ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services and fundraising opportunities through Junior School Council.
Our onsite Outside School Hours Care program has received high praise across all of the National Quality Standards, meeting most of them and exceeding two of the standards. Our After School Care program incorporates a Sporting Schools Program on Mondays and Thursdays.
In previous years we have worked hard to provide opportunities to improve the Resilience of students and families. Additional programs including Youth Out Loud and Ellimatta Youth have been incorporated into the curriculum. These programs were important as we embarked on the Covid situation of 2020.
The Covid pandemic impacted on many families, many lost jobs and struggled to juggle working from home and assisting their children with remote and flexible learning. During the first lockdown we didn’t have many students on site, but during the second lockdown we invited some students to come to school three days a week to assist with their emotional and academic wellbeing.
Although 2020 was a very trying time I was very proud of my staff and how they cope during this period. They remained professional, provided excellent remote and flexible learning programs, communicated with families and students, learned new skills and supported each other. They were constantly reflecting on their practice, wanting to make it better.