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Early years excellence

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March 17, 2017

Principal Damien Keel and Assistant Principal Jo McCarthy are thrilled the once weed-infested oval now has drainage, a complete irrigation system and has been re-seeded.

The new P-4 and administration buildings are well on the way.

Construction has started on Yarrawonga College P-12’s new Prep to Grade 4 campus at the Gilmore Street site.

College Principal Damien Keel, who has taken over the role after the retirement of previous principal Kim Stewart, spoke with the Chronicle recently saying the future is definitely looking bright for the college as a whole with this next development stage up and running.

“Our enrolments to date have increased right across the board, our Naplan results are consistently above the state average and 75 per cent of our year 12 students received their first round university offers last year all of which is due to the outstanding efforts of the teachers here at Yarrawonga College,” Mr Keel said.

“We are expecting the new Prep to Grade 4 campus to be up and running for the start of the 2018 school year.

“With the continuing development of the college we want to work in with the whole community and the school is part of the Yarrawonga Mulwala Strategic Development Group.

“We are also working with YARC Inc to push for the development of an indoor aquatic centre and basketball stadium.

“The Prep to Grade 4 main building has flexible spaces which can be manipulated to be private but then open up for collaborative work.”

It is not just the buildings that are getting an upgrade, the programs at the school are being revamped as well.

“We are constantly working on developing positive mind sets, resilience and good mental health, not just for the students but for the teachers as well,” Mr Keel said.

“If you feel good about yourself then you will feel good about learning.

“This collaboration and consistent approach is across the board from Prep through to year 12.”

The middle years campus has also undergone some upgrades particularly in terms of the turf and irrigation for the main oval.

“This has been a fantastic development with the students doing a lot of fundraising work over the past 12 months,” he said.

“The irrigation has been laid, not just for the oval, but also for the entire grounds which will allow for more economical and efficient watering.”

The majority of Yarrawonga College’s redevelopment came from a state government funding commitment of $7.616 million in 2014 and Mr Keel said the school community was mindful of the historical importance of the old Prep to Grade 4 site.

“Money from the proceeds of sale of the Tom Street site will go back into Treasury to fund further capital works projects across the state of Victoria,” he said.

“This year our highly successful Community Workshop program will focus on the school’s history as a theme so our students will learn about the past and its connection to this new development.

“With the new development we are constructing a purpose-built building to accommodate the Community Workshop program so it will continue to grow and thrive.

“We are working closely with Sacred Heart College particularly with the Allied Health subjects and we are aiming to foster closer ties with all community groups.”

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