For what has been three hard years of community work, the amalgamation of Gladstone and Georgetown Primary Schools is official and a product of their collaborations was opened on Thursday afternoon.
Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan officially opened the Gladstone Primary early years centre which serves several communities around Gladstone, which will now provide an easier transition for students before they start school.
The new building and outdoor nature play area cost $1.3 million and was provided through an initiative from the Government which saw the savings of closing the school, tripled and put towards the new building.
Liz Hughes, Gladstone Primary School principal is thrilled with what was achieved and says that there have been benefits all around for teachers and students.
“The building was something that we wanted to get right and as early years teachers we were able to make a lot of changes to the building and to the yard”, Liz said.
“Already the primary school children are looking for the little kids at the centre, there is a real connection already.”
Throughout the amalgamation process, the schools combined and created a new logo which represents the local area and features that are unique to each school.
Nat Hodgson the governing council chair at Gladstone says they had to re-brand because a name change was out of the picture for it all to be inclusive.
“The problem was that we tried to come up with a name that encompassed everything but there is actually no name for what we have done”, Nat said.
The overall shape of the logo is a G, which is the former logo of Georgetown Primary, it also shows the iconic horn of a merino ram, in addition to the curl of the gum tree leaf.
Beck Crawford, the director during the amalgamation process and pre-school teacher has been a large voice for the project going forward.
There is now a larger staff community throughout the school which allows Beck to have 100 per cent of her time, made available to teaching.
“Research has shown that having an early childhood trained teacher and support educators with the children, is the best for early learning”, Beck said.
The students have been included throughout the whole process from playground equipment choices to the stages of development.
“We have worked really hard with the students to keep them informed and last term we would walk over every fortnight. We spoke to them about moving and what play equipment they would like. We have made a book about the moving and the development element.”