| 15 November 2017
You can’t help but feel a sense of pride among staff and students as you walk through the grounds of Narembeen District High School.
Located 280km east of Perth in the eastern Wheatbelt region, the school has become the gem of the local community.
With just 76 primary school students – and 39 secondary school students – what this school lacks in numbers, it makes up for in grit according to principal, Christine Arnold.
“We have built an incredible culture where we are driven by students who see success, pride and teamwork as the norm,” she says.
“Our location in no way disadvantages students and it is used to provide a locally relevant and rich educational experience.”
Joining the school in 1992 as a science teacher, Mrs Arnold says the school has developed high standards across the board.
“We are a specialist school within the Wheatbelt area in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths),” she explains.
“Students are able to learn from a highly skilled STEAM teacher and we have invested a lot in equipment to run activities like robotics, cinematography, game design and digital fabrication.
“Our students have gone on to become doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and mining engineering surveyors.”
As well as academic performance, the school focuses heavily on positive behaviour, helping students develop the virtues and values to become committed community members.
In fact, the school’s end of year concert and presentation night is the community’s most popular event.
“We are a small rural town and on one night of the year our town hall is filled,” Mrs Arnold says.
The crowd cheers with excitement as students provide entertainment and are recognised for their outstanding achievements.
“It is the culmination of a year of hard work, but it is a celebration of the efforts of the students and our whole community is involved.”
Staff’s persistence in ensuring students achieve their personal best and develop a sense of pride in themselves, their school and their environment is paying off.
Narembeen District High School is a finalist for WA Primary School of the Year at the 2017 WA Education Awards. Winners will be announced at a gala event next Friday 24 November.