Prep students begin school journey

Twins Jack and Leo Bawden started at Moe’s South Street Primary School on Monday. They were among thousands of fresh-faced youngsters across the Valley to begin their school journeys. photograph alyssa fritzlaff

Alyssa Fritzlaff

MOE’S South Street Primary and Churchill Primary School were buzzing with excited
energy when they began the new school year on Monday.

The Moe school has two classes of Preps starting this year, made up of 21 students including twins Jack and Leo Bawden.

Big smiles: Darcy Platschinda, Brielle Kidd and Leo and Jack Bawden at Moe’s South Street
Primary School. photograph alyssa fritzlaff

Both boys were full of smiles as they took the momentous step into primary school, each
supported by the other.

South St Primary School’s assistant principal Sandi Kilpatrick said all staff and students were excited to be back from holidays.

“We look forward to this year with our students in classrooms, building relationships with their peers and our staff,” she said.

“We know the children will engage in wonderful learning opportunities inside their classroom and in our specialist classes – Digitech, Art, Music and PE.”

Churchill Primary School had a slightly larger intake this year, with a total of 24 Preps
starting, along with a few new students in other year levels.

First day: Billie Whykes, Nate Mulder, Matilda Burke and Robert Pearce were excited to begin prep.

School principal Jacquie Burrows said a major priority for the staff is to keep the school year as normal as possible.

“We want to keep the kids at school. We will hopefully start planning some excursions and
things that the kids have missed out on. We are having an extra camp, because we were in lockdown last time.”

“We are just trying to give the kids a normal year and make up for some of the fun and exciting things that they missed out on.”

While last year was a challenging year for all schools, Ms Burrows said all the new students
are happy and excited to be there, and others are excited to be back on school grounds.

Fun: Matilda Burke, Billie Whykes and Robert Pearce play on the monkey bars.

All over the campus kids were seen in their classrooms, learning face-to-face among their peers.

Loud laughs and happy giggles could be heard through open classroom doors.

New prep students Billie Whykes, Nate Mulder, Matilda Burke and Robert Pearce were elated to be at the campus, and enjoyed playing on the play equipment together.

Ms Burrows said that despite the rocky last few years, the new prep students began their first day with big smiles.

“I think the kids are resilient, they’ve all come in with smiles and they are all very happy,” she said.

The school is taking many measures to ensure all staff and students are safe, in line with government recommendations.

“We have masks in Grades 3 to 6, and we are trying to keep the kids in cohorts when they go out to play and obviously the kids have to do rapid antigen tests twice a week,” Ms Burrows said.

However, neither staff or students appear to mind the extra measures, they are just happy to be back in the classroom and out on the playgrounds.

“Everyone’s used to it now, so they’re all excited – maybe a bit nervous – but everyone’s been really positive,” Ms Burrows said.