Primary school has changed a lot since the late eighties and early nineties.
I mean, I knew it would be different. But with relaxing music wafting from large computer screens while the little ones learn to sound out words in special sand boxes, I learned at the official completion of the new Curl Curl North Public School today that school had changed a lot more than I had realised.
“We have a bespoke chicken coop,” principal Donna Blatchford tells Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Manly MP James Griffin this morning. “We really pushed for a vegie garden because we are a school big on sustainability,” she said.
“Our chickens are all named after the builders who worked on our school,” an adorably articulate student adds. The principal assures us this is a compliment to the builders, not a slight. I make an “aww” noise and feel gently annoyed I am looking at a state of the art classroom next, taking me further away from this notorious bird palace.
The upgrade hasn’t been an easy process of course. P & C chair and project reference group member Andrew Whitaker – also an ethics teacher at the school and a Manly Observer reader no less – details how they continued to educate the 870 school students throughout construction, just operating out of the one half then the other
“It was worth it,” he says confidently.
As a student who suffered through the early days of the demountable era, I must say it was pleasing to see none in sight. What is that smell demountable have? Like a melting pot of plastic and ennui.
No, Curl Curl is now a desirable a school catchment area.
This, the final stage of the project, has delivered a new hall, a new canteen and upgrades to external play and sporting areas including new futsal courts. And the chicken coop, of course. It follows Stage 1 of the project, delivered in April 2020, which saw 40 new permanent learning spaces, a new library and a new administration area.
Funding was allocated in 2016/17 financial year and kicked off in mid 2018.
More info here.
For further reading we recommend you read our friends at the Northern Beaches Advocate who took a closer look at the new style of teaching (co-teaching), which the school has adopted with its new space. Read it here.