The Principal’s Report

Host: Kimberley School of the Air
Written by Paul Noble – Principal, Kimberley School of the Air.

The Kimberley School of the Air has been associated with the Kimberley Pastoral Industry for over 50 years. Therefore it is really fitting, in my opinion, that it should take a turn as a host on Central Station. Our school is very much a part of the Kimberley. Based in Derby, north of the Fitzroy it has been a part of the fabric of the Pastoral Industry of North West Australia and it continues to this day to be a part of the life of the remotest people in WA.

The teachers who work at KSOTA usually thoroughly enjoy the experience. It is a little bit “different” to teaching in a mainstream school. Teachers at KSOTA have a working day that looks different to their colleagues in other settings, but their job remains the same in that they are charged with delivering the current curriculum in the best way they can to the children in their class. Teachers at KSOTA have a great chance to develop their curriculum knowledge and to fine hone their organisational skills in an office environment. They have smaller classes than they would encounter elsewhere so hence they have the opportunity to really “drill down” on each child and use the resources available to them to tailor the curriculum delivery to best serve each child in their class.

1.1 copyStudents enjoyed game activities together at Home Tutors Seminar in Broome.

The school year at KSOTA is punctuated with opportunities for the whole school to come together. It is hard to see the full value of such events until one understands the level of isolation that some of our students experience in their daily life. Just having a chance to work with the other children in their class and their teacher at the same time in a face to face setting is so valuable and so important.

The first whole school event in the school calendar is the Home Tutors Seminar (HTS) which we hold in the great surroundings of the Broome Camp School. In a sense this seminar is a celebration and a public commitment to the great work our Home Tutors do. They are the people on the ground, face to face with the students every school day. HTS as we know it is certainly a chance for the Home Tutors to catch up and share ideas but it is also a chance to deliver Professional Development to these important people. HTS runs two timetables across the week. One for the Home Tutors and one for the students. Swimming lessons form the backbone of the students’ timetable. Across the week the students get the required number of lessons that will enable them to “gain a level” if they display the required level of skill. Lots of fun events fill up the week.

1.2 copyStaff in 2015 with U.S. Consul General Cynthia Griffin. David Felstead, Trent Cremin, Cynthia Griffin, Clare Stack, Cathie Bonner, Amanda Ogg and Paul Noble.

Mini Camps are another feature of the year. Each year seems to bring a new shape to the camps. In the past we have held “East and West Kimberley camps”, which take the mini camps to a point in proximity to where the school population lies or sometimes “base camps” which utilises the facilities of the school in Derby or camps held at Pastoral Stations. Wherever they may be they provide another great opportunity for the students to come together and learn and socialise.

Our last gazetted gathering for the year is the combined ECE camp and Muster. Once again we utilise the Broome Camp School, which is an Education Department of WA facility, as our focal point. The whole school come together for Year 6 and 7 graduations then after that important event Santa usually finds the students at the P&C Christmas Party. The students under Year 4 stay in Broome while the older students head to Perth to meet up with senior students from the four other schools of the Air for an exciting week of interesting activities in Perth. This is the Muster.

Of course in between these events there are base visits, home visits, and good hard working days in the classroom. KSOTA students have a professional and rewarding service available to them. The students sometimes find the challenges overwhelming but most get through the day and achieve good things.

1.3 copyU.S. Consul Cynthia Griffin visited the school and conducted an on air assembly with our students. She told them about her job in WA and they got to ask her some interesting questions.

Our school has a rich heritage and a great sense of spirit.

Paul Noble
Kimberley School of the Air