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01 February 2017

Students flock to public schools

A record number of students started the 2017 school year in public schools today.

Across Western Australia almost 300,000 students headed to public schools this morning.

The inaugural class of Year 7 students at the brand new Harrisdale Senior High School stepped inside one of WA’s most technologically advanced secondary schools.

The first class of Year 7 students at the brand new Harrisdale Senior High School.

Foundation principal Leila Bothams, who forged a first-class reputation as a leader at the helm of Rossmoyne Senior High School, said Harrisdale Senior High School would provide students with a modern education with a global outlook.

“Our team of experienced and graduate teachers will nurture students’ problem solving and creativity, with learning programs built around extension, challenge and enrichment,” Ms Bothams said.

“Most importantly, I hope to establish a sense of belonging, community and connection.

“I will work with teachers and support staff, our parents and community to create an environment where every child can enjoy success at school.”

Students have a technology and enterprise centre, food technology laboratory, textiles studio, gymnasium and fitness centre – with wireless technology throughout the school.

Ms Bothams was one of 20 Independent Public School principals selected in 2016 to be part of the Independent Public School Principals’

Harrisdale Senior High School opens its doors for the first time today.

Fellowship Program.

She is a strong supporter of professional learning, making connections with universities, community organisations and schools overseas to benefit her students.

Woodland Grove Primary School in Byford also opened for the first time today.

Principal Ashley Mottershead said her vision for the school was to foster a strong sense of learning and wellbeing for every student.

“We will look at the development of the whole child – their academic, social and emotional development,” she said.

She says she has recruited an enthusiastic team that brings a mixture of experience and energy to classrooms, with a strong education program in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Woodland Grove Primary School principal Ashley Mottershead and students checking out the new school's play areas.

Woodland Grove Primary School principal Ashley Mottershead and students checking out the new school's play areas.

Mrs Mottershead, who has previously led schools in regional Western Australia, said working in country schools fostered innovation.

“When you are more isolated, you come up with creative solutions and ways of doing things to benefit children’s education,” she said.

“I’m used to being part of a tightly-knit local community and that’s going to be my approach here, building a new community at Woodland Grove alongside the traditional Byford community,” she said.

Another three schools opened this week: Baldivis Gardens Primary School, Alkimos Beach Primary School and Carnaby Rise Primary School in Landsdale. Honeywood Primary School in Wandi also opened with Kindergarten and Pre-primary students.

Check out Channel Nine's coverage of the technology trends parents can expect to see in their children's classrooms.


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