Small School has a big Impact.

When it comes to choosing a school for your child, bigger is not necessarily better.

Single-stream schools such as Holy Spirit Primary School in City Beach are leading the way in flexible, tailored
learning and student well-being, according to Holy Spirit principal Steve Versteegen.

“Relationships flourish in small schools,” he said. “There is a strong sense of community for kids across all age groups. “Our children enjoy strong rapport with not only their teacher but also all the staff at the school.”

At Holy Spirit Primary School, small class sizes ensured more one-on-one time for each student and made it easier to tailor the curriculum to allow for each child’s individual needs, he said.

Any academic or social problems could be identified early and addressed promptly.

Mr Versteegen said the fun part of a school such as Holy Spirit was the flexibility they enjoyed.“Hands-on learning is easy to organise and manage and learning outcomes are great,” he said.

Excursions could happen quickly and without fuss. Students at Holy Spirit had off-site excursions at least once a term. “It is easy to put the kids in our bus and share meaningful, real-life learning with them,” Mr Versteegen said.

Small schools also attracted a special kind of teacher. “In a small community teachers are highly visible, so they have to be particularly confident and capable,” he said. “These teachers also tend to be drawn to small schools because they are community people.”

Parents also loved the high level of involvement and partnership they experienced. Mr Versteegen said: “When solid research into play-based learning demonstrated its immense power, the Holy Spirit community responded by creating their own nature play area. “Staff worked side-by-side with parents and students, wheelbarrows and shovels in hand, to build a custom-designed space.”

Mr Versteegen said the greatest testament to small schools was their alumni, and Holy Spirit was proud of its past students, who entered high schools academically prepared, self-assured and equipped with leadership skills. “The fact that they return to visit us often shows the sense of belonging they experienced here,” he said.

The Post Newspaper, 22nd June 2019.

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