“Our vision is to inspire a joy of learning in children, and instil the courage to succeed as global citizens,” Barbara Iffla, principal Jolimont Primary School.
Set in the school’s original 1905 buildings, the lessons, classrooms and opportunities on offer for students are far from dated. We caught up with Mrs Iffla to find out why her school has been named one of four finalists for WA Primary School of the Year.
How you would like a parent and child to feel as they walk through your school for the first time?
“I would like them to feel welcome, peaceful and supported,” Mrs Iffla says.
“I think our students would say Jolimont Primary School is fun and that staff and other students are kind and friendly.”
Which school event sums up your community values?
Mrs Iffla says the school’s annual grandparents’ morning tea is a fantastic event that is organised by staff and the parents and citizens committee.
“During the morning, over 160 grandparents visit their grandchildren’s classrooms and delight in the activities put on by staff,” she says.
“They then enjoy morning tea while watching the Jolimont’s Got Talent competition.
“The whole day brings our community together, celebrates students’ talent in the arts and showcases our classrooms and student work.
“This year, the Year 4 students brought along school robots to showcase their coding and programming skills. Grandparents were amazed by their abilities!”
What is something that your school specialises in?
“Over the past two years, we’ve been a Teacher Development School that specialises in humanities and social sciences as well as early childhood education,” she says.
“In this role, we’ve supported more than 300 teachers from around the State through hosting classroom walk-throughs, presentations and professional development.
“Our staff enjoy sharing their learning with others, working collaboratively to support each other to better our teaching.
Mrs Iffla says the school also focuses on strategies to cater for academically gifted students.
“We’ve worked with many schools to devise strategies to challenge our most able students.”
What are your greatest achievements so far at Jolimont Primary School?
“I would have to say one would be successfully applying for and becoming a Teacher Development School, meaning our teachers mentor other teachers,” she says.
“We’ve been able to share our practices across the State. We’ve even had delegates visit from Singapore’s Education Department – that was definitely a highlight.
“Being a finalist in the WA Education Awards has also been a great achievement!”