Pri­mary pur­pose

North Coast Times - - FRONT PAGE - Lucy Jarvis

YANCHEP’S old­est school has rein­vented it­self as it un­der­goes changes in stu­dent num­bers and fa­cil­i­ties.

Yanchep District High School, which started with pri­mary classes in 1975 and ex­panded to Year 8s in 1980, is now called Yanchep La­goon Pri­mary School.

The change aligns with last week’s open­ing of Yanchep Sec­ondary Col­lege for years 7 to 11.

Prin­ci­pal Alan Cur­tis said the school was go­ing through a “re­birth” with its stu­dent num­bers halved to about 320 as a re­sult of high school stu­dents mov­ing out.

Mr Cur­tis said given the school’s his­tory of more than 40 years, there was sad­ness as the high school stu­dents and teach­ers fin­ished at the end of last year.

How­ever, he said staff were look­ing for­ward to this year.

“It’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic to have a ded­i­cated pri­mary school,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to change the feel of the school a lot.”

Mr Cur­tis said the school held a par­ent sur­vey to help choose its new name, which now caters for kinder­garten to Year 6 classes.

He said Yanchep La­goon Pri­mary fit­ted well with the school’s lo­ca­tion near the la­goon.

“It’s an iconic piece of Yanchep his­tory,” he said.

“It seemed to be log­i­cal; we are on La­goon Drive.

“It dis­tin­guishes us from the other school (Yanchep Beach Pri­mary).”

The prin­ci­pal said the school motto was now ‘Dream, be­lieve, achieve’ and par­ents helped choose the new uni­forms, which fea­ture blue tones.

He said the Year 6 stu­dents had a leavers shirt that they would wear all year so they would “stand out as a year group”.

To help cover the cost of the new uni­form, the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment pro­vided a $250 sub­sidy to stu­dents en­rolled in Kinder­garten to Year 5 at the school last year.

Part of the school’s re­birth in­cludes a $15 mil­lion project to de­mol­ish and re­build the pri­mary school build­ings.

“We have got the new build­ing pro­gram to look for­ward to in 201920,” Mr Cur­tis said.

“We are los­ing 14 trans­porta­bles – we’ve lost the three sci­ence labs al­ready and the rest of the trans­portable rooms will go dur­ing the year.”

Mr Cur­tis said the re­de­vel­op­ment would give them more space on the school grounds, with the whole site set to re­main part of the school.

“The kids will en­joy the ex­tra space; it was get­ting pretty crowded,” he said.

He said they would use a State Gov­ern­ment grant later this year to con­vert the for­mer sec­ondary home eco­nom­ics class­room into a sci­ence lab­o­ra­tory, as it al­ready had wa­ter and gas sup­plies.

Deputy prin­ci­pal Delva Rus­sell said they had a “fan­tas­tic open­ing day” on Jan­uary 31 and stu­dents en­joyed hav­ing the ex­tra room to play.

“The kids looked mag­nif­i­cent in their new uni­forms,” Mr Cur­tis added.

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