St Arnaud Primary School is a small rural primary school situated in North Central Victoria, midway between Bendigo and Horsham. Most students walk to school from within the township and others travel to school by bus from their farms each day.
St Arnaud Primary School aims to provide a rich, well-resourced learning environment in which all students are valued. The school community believes that every child should be given the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential in a safe and caring environment. The cultural safety of Aboriginal children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse cultures (CALD), children with a disability and vulnerable children are all a priority for our school. The physical environment and school resources are enhanced by a committed and active Parents Club, and their fundraising and support of various school programs. Our School Values are Respect, Resilience, Kindness, Honesty and Aspiration.
Our teachers aim to personalise the learning for the students in their classrooms with Individual Learning Plans (ILP’s) and the setting of learning goals identified by students and teachers, and reflected upon regularly. Our teachers believe that effective learning occurs when committed and compassionate teachers provide a wide variety of tasks that actively engage students, who are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. The expectation is that students will be successful and enthusiastic learners capable of building positive relationships.
St Arnaud Primary School firmly believes that every child can and will learn in an environment of dignity and respect. It is the role of the school and its community to build on a child’s individual strengths and talents to ensure that each child reaches their full potential. The school aims to develop motivated, creative and independent students whose leadership, resilience and self-esteem is evident when interacting with the community.
At St Arnaud Primary School, we provide a commitment to two hours of uninterrupted Literacy and one hour of Numeracy each day; with Science, Art, Music, PE, Health and STEM programs based on the Victorian Curriculum also implemented. Students have access to class sets of laptops and iPads, a Junior Lab of desktop machines, as well as the opportunity to participate in BYOD of specified devices. Our students engage in enhanced learning opportunities through the use of online programs and platforms. St Arnaud Primary School is an eSmart school. The school curriculum is enriched by a camps and excursions program, visiting cultural arts performances, School Chaplaincy program, annual swimming program and wide variety of sporting and cultural opportunities across the school year. A complement to our performing arts program is an annual excursion to a live performance in Melbourne where children have seen the live stage shows of Aladdin, The Wizard of Oz, School of Rock and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Student voice is heard through active participation in several groups and in every classroom. The Junior School Council group are elected students from each class P-6, which meets 3-4 times per term; Student Leaders (School Captains and Vice Captains; House Captains and Vice Captains; Value Captains); the Green Team (Environmental Group) and the Leadership Class.
A Student Leadership group is available for interested Year 5/6 students, which meets every week to raise and discuss issues identified by students. Student leaders run weekly school assemblies; present awards, introduce and thank guests, as well as provide reminders and announcements to students and the school community. Student Leaders are eligible to attend the annual DOXA Leadership camp with the Leadership Cluster including students from Avoca PS, Ararat West PS and Pleasant St PS which aims to further develop teamwork skills.
Students in yrs 4-6 at St Arnaud PS participate in the annual Student Attitudes to School Survey. The data is used to review and refine school and classroom practices in order to increase student engagement and to continue to develop a learning environment that is inclusive, supportive and encouraging.
Our school is proactive in supporting students with re-engagement and offering alternate opportunities to students at risk of disengaging from their education. Our school actively works to educate students and parents about the importance of regular attendance at school and to reduce student absences.
Our students are actively involved in our community, volunteering their time on a regular basis to deliver Meals on Wheels, visiting the nursing home and hostel each week and performing gardening tasks for elderly community members. Students are also regular visitors to the Children’s Precinct where they read to the 4yr old preschool students, and to the Town Library where they enjoy being read to and borrowing from the wide range of books available.
Volunteers are exceptionally important to the implementation of our programs and the opportunities available to our students. Our Breakfast Club is run by volunteers, and we enjoy a number of classroom volunteers who give their time to work in the class and with small groups or individual students to enhance learning. Sporting events, the swimming program and excursions also enjoy the support of volunteer helpers.
St Arnaud PS is an inclusive school, valuing all members of the school community. Each member shares responsibility for the development of an inspired, educational community of independent citizens. There are connections to and support from the wider community.
Our school is represented on both the Strengthening Families Response team and St Arnaud Learning Alliance groups which meet regularly and aim to improve learning outcomes and the welfare of the students and families of St Arnaud.