New schools a hit with students

Amy O'Reilly with (from left) daughters Sophie (8), Holly (9), Katelyn (11) and son Alfie (4) arrive for their first day at John Butler Primary College.
Amy O'Reilly with (from left) daughters Sophie (8), Holly (9), Katelyn (11) and son Alfie (4) arrive for their first day at John Butler Primary College.

Yanchep Beach Primary School started the school year with 317 students and three sets of twins, principal Matt Jarman said.

Year 5 twins Brooke and Tara Arlow, aged nine, are in a combined Year 4 and 5 class led by graduate teacher Peter Axton.

Mr Axton, a former commercial building project manager, said his first morning as a teacher flew by and went well.

‘Kids are smaller but tradies are much the same, just better paid ” same behaviour management,’ he said.

Mr Jarman said although there were still some site works under way around the school, the buildings themselves were finished.

‘There’s some external site works to do with parking (but) everything has been done internally since December,’ he said.

‘We have started with (almost) 320 kids, which is a fair bit more than I’d anticipated.

‘They have all come from the local area.’

Mr Jarman said the students came from about seven other schools and mostly from Yanchep District High, which caters for children from kindergarten to Year 10.

He said the school community of teachers, parents and students had put in a lot of effort into preparing for the first day.

Farther south, the first stage of John Butler Primary College also opened to its first cohort of students, welcomed by principal Brett Lewis and his staff.

‘The school has started day one with 371 students in a range of year groups,’ Mr Lewis said.

‘The biggest group of students is in kindergarten ” 78 students.’

An Education Department spokeswoman said the first stage of construction finished last month and the second stage was scheduled to wind up in April.

Education Minister Peter Collier said they were two of seven schools opening across Perth this week, and featured top facilities and innovative teaching.

Mr Collier said John Butler Primary College was the second WA public primary school to use the ‘one school model’.

‘This means all children, including students with disabilities, are under the same school leadership,’ he said.

‘The school has specialist facilities for students requiring education support and will cater for up to 40 education support students.’

North Metropolitan MLC Peter Katsambanis said the two independent public schools would serve the rapidly growing north metropolitan area and ease pressure on existing primary schools, including Yanchep District High, Butler and East Butler.