Gooseberry Hill Primary School (5551)

School Overview

Gooseberry Hill Primary School is located approximately 20 kilometres from the Perth CBD on the boundary of bush reserves and the nearby Kalamunda National Park. The school was established in 1972 and over the years has created an enviable record of being a nurturing school, committed to excellence and supported by a caring community. The school became an Independent Public School in 2012, which has given the school community some measure of autonomy to steer its path in the WA Government School System.

The experienced school staff members have developed a real sense of community and commitment to the school and promote and develop programs which assist students to learn. The classrooms are well equipped with Interactive white boards and some with Interactive TVs, which are connected to the internet. Student learning is well supported by a purpose built library.

The school has Literacy and Numeracy, currently, as its two priority areas and is working on whole school Literacy and Numeracy blocks to strengthen the skills of all students in these vital areas. Literacy and Numeracy Blocks have been implemented across all Year levels in the classroom timetable.

The Western Australian curriculum is being embedded at the school. A range of professional development sessions ensure staff members are well informed in the new curriculum and current teaching practices. The timetable provides opportunities for staff to collaborate and discuss strategies to raise student achievement. A number of students in Years 5-6 are involved in the Region's Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) program and Kalamunda SHS Academic Extension Program.

The school has a distinctive focus on Environmental programs. The Solar Engineers' Club prepares students for the school's annual Solar Model Boat Challenge. The challenge is guided by Engineers' Australia for the Australian International Model Solar Challenge (AIMSC). The school has competed over the years in the National Competition held on the eastern seaports after successively winning a place in the State Finals. Classes at the school have taken on the responsibility for the care of Huntley Street Nature Reserve, supporting the Ledger Street Community Group and entering into an agreement with the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to assist injured native animals. The students also take responsibility for raising native plants from seeds and planting these at Whiteman Park. The Solar Schools' Program promotes solar power as an alternative energy source and the students' responsibility to the environment is considered through a commitment to the school's Waste Paper and the battery recycling program. The school has a 10kW solar power system which is a practical opportunity to engage in renewable energy at work.

The Performing and Visual Arts Program is a highlight of the school. Students have successfully participated in (a) the prestigious Government Schools Music Festivals held at the Crown Theatre and (b) at the Hills Stirk Festival in singing, mime and dance. The school hosts the School of Instrumental Music teachers to present a variety of musical instruments. In recent years we have been developing our School Band which has played at public performances in the wider community. The Junior and Senior Choirs have performed at assemblies throughout the year and at community functions. The Visual Arts Program is an integral part of our whole school program with activities being arranged to support class themes. Students with skill and a passion for Art/Craft continue to have success winning scholarships to the GATE Arts program at Kalamunda SHS. The school also has a recently constructed, purpose-built performing and visual arts building.

A feature of the school is the number of after-school activities that the students can attend for personal development. Photography, Solar Engineers' Club, After School Sport, assistance for mathematics and science competitions, Coder DoJo Club and School Choir are some enjoyable ways for the students to learn new skills. Photography students have won places in the Chevron, Focus: Environment photographic competition which reflects the importance the School places on environmental studies and visual art.

There are numerous opportunities for students to learn and participate in a range of sports. For example interschool events including, triathlons basketball, netball, soccer, and football as well as the opportunity to participate in swimming, cross country, athletic carnivals. As part of their sport and physical education programs students are involved in a range of clinics which include cricket, soccer, football, golf, rugby and basketball.

A feature of this school is the collaborative partnerships developed between the parents and the school community which provide a spirit of enterprise when working on school projects. The school community is proactive in providing amenities for the students and there is the expectation from parents that they will contribute to the fabric of the school.