Waddington PS celebrates 40 year milestone

Jason and Sandra Simm of Koondoola with their children Christopher (11) and Rebekah (6). Pictures: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d495884
Jason and Sandra Simm of Koondoola with their children Christopher (11) and Rebekah (6). Pictures: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d495884

WADDINGTON Primary School will celebrate its 40th anniversary this month.

Principal Adrian Keenan said the Henniker Way school would hold an official celebration on October 19 from 11am to 2pm to mark the milestone.

“Waddington Primary School has been serving the Koondoola community since 1979 and continues to move from strength to strength,” he said.

“At the celebration we will have memorabilia, sausage sizzle, food trucks, ice cream van, coffee, fun and games.

“For those who attended the school in the past, we hope they will come along and check out their old classrooms and connect with past staff and students.

“In preparation for the event, students are making posters to put around the school and community and our staff are organising past photos and memorabilia for all to enjoy.”

Waddington Primary School library officer Marilyn Scott.

Library officer Marilyn Scott has been part of the school community for 38 years, initially as a parent before she started working there on relief in 1986.

“It’s a nice little school,” she said

“It’s changed a lot over the years.

“At one stage we had about 450 students; we’ve had enough kids to fill every nook and cranny; it was packed to capacity.”

“It’s always had a good sense of community.

“There’s always been a lot of parent involvement.”

In 1989, Ms Scott took over the library job, working in the old narrow library before they built the current facility 11 years ago.

“I got to move the library up to here,” she said.

“I moved all the books, everything from the old library on trolleys up to here.

“Every book that is here, I purchased.

“I do all the IT now too in the school.”

Ms Scott, who splits her time between Waddington and Boyare Primary School in Mirrabooka, said she was a foundation staff member at the latter and part of a pilot IT program for schools.

“The computers were huge clunkers,” she said.

An old photo of Waddington Primary School from the year that it opened.

Ms Scott has seen technology change over the decades, with current students using computers, iPads and robotics.

“I still have my original typewriter here in the library,” she said.

“I kept it because I thought that’s something the kids should see; ‘what is it?’ they say.

“It hasn’t got a ribbon; I really want to be able to get s ribbon for it and for them to be able to use it.”

“I didn’t realise how hard it is to type; you’ve really got to thump the keys.”

Ms Scott said the school demographics had changed over time, with more families from different cultural backgrounds joining it.

She said they expected student numbers to grow again as Koondoola evolved and subdivision increased.

“We have lots of people bringing their kids back,” she said.

Sandra and Jason Simm with library officer Marilyn Scott.

One of those is Jason Simm (42), who attended the school in the 1980s.

He and wife Sandra have sent their children to Waddington since 2011, with eldest son Alexander (14) now in high school, Christopher (11) in Year 6 and daughter Rebekah (6) in Preprimary.

“They probably like the idea that I came here,” Mr Simm said.

Looking back, the Koondoola resident said school was “always fun”.

“I always wanted to go to school,” he said.

“There was a lot more kids back then; we had heaps of fun.”

A 1981 photo of the Pre-primary class at Waddington Primary School.

Mr Simm said although the school was smaller now, teachers were really involved and helpful.

“It’s like a little country school but it’s in the suburbs,” he said.

Mrs Simm, who is the P&C vice president, said it was a good school, close enough to home for their children to walk to it.

An old photo of Waddington Primary School from the year that it opened.

Waddington Primary School principals

Allan Bellman 1979-1981
Basil Jones 1982-1987
John O’Brien (acting) 1988
Mike Berson 1989-1992
Delphene Threlfell (acting) 1990
Bob King 1993-1995
John Mason 1996
Graham Sassella-Ottley 1997-1999
Steve Pash 2000
Stephen Ker 2001-2003
Peter Mulcahy 2004-2005
Stephen Blechynden 2006
Leanne Alderman 2007-2008
Philip Chaloner 2009
Gary Bryant 2010-2016
Lynne Anderson Semester 2 2016
David Ball Semester 1 2017
Vanessa Blythe 2017-2018
Adrian Keenan 2019