Wales Street Primary School is situated in Melbourne's northern suburbs and since 1891 has played a pivotal role in educating young children living in the Northcote-Thornbury area and beyond. Major renovations and refurbishments have occurred to all teaching spaces in the past 5 years. The local area surrounding the school is predominantly housing. The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) has changed very significantly in recent years with the school community becoming increasingly well educated and affluent. The current enrolment is 622 students.
The school offers a broad and comprehensive range of curriculum programs which reflect the scope of “AUSVELS” as part of a mandated national curriculum. Alongside this curriculum framework, Wales Street Primary School is currently in the formal process of becoming an authorised International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) school. The PYP provides a scaffold structure for inquiry learning from Prep through to Year 6 and through the learner profile a focus on developing the ‘whole child’ which mirrors our values and approach. The program provides a structured way of doing this as it is pedagogically aligned and well supported through an international organisation with a global perspective and ongoing professional development for staff.
The school is organised into five Professional Learning Teams (PLT)s; Year levels 5/6, 3/4, 1/2 and Prep and the specialist areas of Visual Arts, Performing Arts , Physical Education and Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program of Italian. All staff are expected to be professionally reflective and open to new ways of thinking, sharing and working closely with all their colleagues.
Our school purpose states: Wales Street Primary School strives to develop students who enjoy learning and to be engaged, creative and self-motivated. Students at our school will acquire knowledge, values, and academic and life skills to become reflective thinkers who are socially, environmentally and globally aware.
In practice the school promotes academic excellence and in nurturing each student's talents whilst developing community minded individuals who enjoy learning and embrace diversity and are respectful of each other and themselves.
The school employs a qualified nurse and a student welfare officer to enhance student engagement and wellbeing. All students have access to the ICT Centre and at least 4 computers in their own classroom and in the 3-6 year levels interactive white boards.
The Visual and Performing Arts form an integral part of the Wales Street curriculum and specialist teachers provide classes to children in Years Prep to Six and classroom teachers use the arts as a process area across the curriculum for encouraging confidence, artistic expression and appreciation. Music is valued by the school community and students have the opportunity to join a school choir and learn a range of musical instruments including the Violin, keyboard, drum and guitar lessons as an extra curricula option.
Physical Education is a regular timetabled program for all areas. The Year 5/6 students also have opportunities to participate in intra and inter-school sport program. The Prep - Two students undertake a swimming program in term 4. Students from Year 3-6 are given the opportunity to participate in the Triathlon, Swimming Sports, Athletics and Cross-country. The recently turfed school oval and playgrounds provide a means for students to enjoy and take part in regular informal playtime activities.
The school community is very involved in a wide range of school activities and there is a very strong sense of community and they played a key role in the development of the 2013- 2016 School Strategic Plan. The key goals of this plan are to:
- Continue to develop the capacity of teachers, with a particular focus on embedding a culture of inquiry learning across the curriculum.
- Continue to build staff capacity in the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy concepts through inquiry to enhance student achievement.
- Continue to develop a whole school approach to ongoing assessment and the use of data to improve teacher practice and student outcomes.
- Continue to improve teacher effectiveness, teacher empathy and stimulating learning through the delivery of a consistent Inquiry learning model.
- Build attributes of a PYP Learner and social skills which improve student connectedness and motivation.
- Continue to plan and develop strategies to meet the needs of all students as they transition through their academic and personal development stages of growth.
- Continue to improve and develop a whole school approach to Inquiry learning and a commitment to the implementation of the Primary Years Program.