School's back for Tatura kids

More than 110 children in the region started school for the first time last week.

BOB NICOL February 6, 2013 11:20am

John Davison accompanies daughter Jade to Sacred Heart School for the first time last Thursday. Picture Bob Nicol

It was a big week for local youngsters last week with more than 110 children starting school for the first time in the region, and there were plenty of tears — mainly from parents.

Tatura Primary School welcomed 39 preps, Sacred Heart 28, Dhurringile four, Harston five, Toolamba 18, Murchison 14 and Merrigum six.

Principals the Guardian spoke to said it was an exciting time and they, along with teachers, were looking forward to the year ahead.

Dhurringile principal Jenny Bannister said she would be joined this year by experienced teacher Jenny Naughton and business manager Joyce Caiafa.

‘‘We have 17 students this year and are excited to welcome twins Tayla and Ellie Merriman as two of the four new Preps,’’ she said.

Most schools resumed classes for the higher grades on Wednesday, with the Preps facing their first class on Thursday.

Victorian Principals Association president Gabrielle Leigh said this year promised change, challenges and increased autonomy as schools implemented the ‘Towards Victoria as a Learning Community’ vision.

She said as the year progressed, the Victorian Government, in particular the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, would finalise the details in key changes in the compact and governance structures.

Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon said the first day at school was an exciting time, even though parents and Preps felt nervous.

‘‘Heading to school for the first time is a wonderful milestone in a child’s young life, and one that parents and students will remember forever,’’ Mr Dixon said.

He said about 2500 new graduate teachers would take up posts in Victorian public schools for the start of this school year, while 880800 students would attend Victorian schools.

Meanwhile, the RACV, local police and school communities are reminding motorists to exercise care near schools.RACV public policy acting general manager Dave Jones said primary-school-aged children, in particular Prep students starting school, were vulnerable in traffic. ‘‘Drivers should look out for and comply with parking restrictions that apply on school days, especially those near flagged children’s crossings,’’ he said.

‘‘Motorists should slow down and be alert around pedestrian crossings and car parking areas, where small children can be hidden from a driver’s vision.

‘‘Motorists also need to remember that school speed zones are back in force, with reduced speed limits outside most schools during the morning arrival and afternoon departure times.’’

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