New Anglican school starts to take shape

Adrian Pree is the principal of St James Anglican School, due to open in 2015. Picture: Emma Reeves d420865
Adrian Pree is the principal of St James Anglican School, due to open in 2015. Picture: Emma Reeves d420865

The St James Anglican School principal and an enrolment officer moved into their temporary site office near the future school campus at the end of last month.

Mr Pree said they had 60 enrolments in the first week, with numbers climbing as he met parents and students who will become part of the foundation school community.

Located on Graceful Boulevard, beside Marmion Avenue, the first school building is starting to take shape while earthworks continue for the secondary and primary buildings.

The first building, which will include eight classrooms, a music room and central area, will house all the students in 2015 then become the early learning centre.

Mr Pree said they would construct primary school buildings during 2015, with hard courts, a soccer pitch and all landscaping done next year.

‘Once that is done we will start to build the secondary buildings which are all two-storey,’ he said.

Currently recruiting teachers and education assistants, Mr Pree said he would appoint ground and canteen staff at the end of the year.

‘There will be about 12 to 15 (teaching staff) to start off with ” that will double every year after that,’ he said.

He has started accumulating furniture donated by other Anglican schools.

‘It makes it very easy to do your job when you know there’s a network of support,’ he said.

‘They want you to succeed ” it’s a pretty comforting environment to be in.’

Mr Pree said he hoped to foster strong relationships with parents as well as create a positive school environment for students.

‘The relationship between parents, kids and teachers is critical,’ he said.

‘We expect them to say ‘I went to St James and I loved it’.’

Enrolment picking up: Principal
ST James Anglican School foundation principal Adrian Pree says many families from Yanchep and Alkimos, and even Carramar, have been enrolling their children at the school.

‘Seventy per cent are either building in here (Alkimos) or have moved into the area,’ Mr Pree said.

‘Most of their houses are going to come on line this year or next so it’s perfect timing.’

Surrounded by construction sites in the northern corridor, Mr Pree said he was looking forward to the school community having access to nearby facilities in Alkimos Beach estate, including parks featuring gym equipment.

He said an indoor pool was proposed as part of a commercial development across the road, and the state primary school, due to open in 2017, would include an oval and running track.

While the former outdoor and physical education teacher said he had missed seeing students daily since taking on the foundation principal role, he was enjoying the logistics involved in building a school.

He said Anglican Schools Commission chief executive Peter Laurence highlighted the opportunity when he said there would be plenty of principals, but ‘there’s only ever one foundation principal’.

‘It’s exciting because it’s a blank canvas,’ Mr Pree said.