Principal’s Message

Anne McDonald
Acting Principal

Balnarring Primary School is proud of the reputation it has earned in the local and educational community for providing a safe and supportive learning environment for its students. Our vision is to develop students who are lifelong learners, equipped with a strong voice and the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need now and to successfully meet the challenges they will face in the future.

Our hard working and enthusiastic staff are committed to providing an optimum educational program and learning experiences which will support the development of the whole child academically, emotionally, physically, and socially. Our core purpose is to provide an inclusive, rigorous learning environment that challenges and engages young people to grow. We aim to develop competent, curious learners who strive to do their best and respect and care for themselves, others and the environment. There is a strong emphasis on student well-being and active engagement, respect for the individual and for others, and the development of positive relationships.

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The core curriculum focuses on the achievement of high standards in literacy and numeracy skills, throughout all classroom activities and in all areas of the learning program. This includes our diverse specialist program, consisting of science, sustainability, music, physical education, performing and visual arts and First Nations. The learning program is further enriched by a variety of extra-curricular activities which are offered during lunchtimes and after school. Students can be involved in the instrumental music program, join our choir, play in a band, be part of the Junior School Council, the Yard Leaders’ program or be a dedicated member of the Balnarring Environmental Action Team. Students can follow their interests and join one of the Lunchtime Clubs including cooking, singing, drama, mindfulness, art club, chess, dance, bike club, runners/active club, junior football club, card games, Lego club, speed stackers, iPad club and a student initiated rubbish club.

At Balnarring, we want to build three active cultures that intertwine to create an environment that encourages success in student learning and academic results as well as high standard student interactions and behavior.

The first culture is one of high expectations of the students. High expectations by teachers of their students translates into high expectations of the school by parents. The Balnarring community has high expectations of our school that reflect their high aspirations for their children. This is a key ingredient in our success as a school. Building on our aspirational community engenders a culture of high expectations and high achievement.

The second culture is one of high expectations by teachers of each other. We believe that, to all members of our staff, it should mean something significant to work at Balnarring PS. We strive to engender a community that respects and admires the commitment of the members of staff and this, in turn, builds an environment where all members of staff feel appreciated and thus more willing to add discretionary effort. In a culture such as this, there is an expectation amongst staff that all will contribute in a significant way to the accomplishments of the school and that all will share in the pride of the resulting success.

The third critical culture is one in which students have high expectations of each other. This essential element is crucial in maintaining an orderly learning environment and encouraging high levels of achievement. There is a high standard of behaviour that is not only expected of the students but that students have a right to expect of each other. There are standards of interaction that are respectful and courteous. There are standards of commitment to their schooling and motivation to learn that are constantly in evidence.

Balnarring is a school that provides support, encouragement, and growth opportunities for staff and which is characterized by high student motivation to learn and high teacher motivation to teach and to continue to learn. This is a school in which the whole community is involved as a learning community witty a collaborative learning approach. This results in new learning, and new action that educators, learners, their families and involved community members gain the confidence , insights and mindsets required to continually design powerful learning systems creating innovative learning environments.

There are many opportunities for parents to contribute to activities and programs and the staff warmly welcome such participation. Parental involvement is vital in other areas of school’s life as well i.e. School Council, Parent’s Club: Working Bees, Wetlands Committee classroom support programs, , camps and excursions.

Balnarring Primary School has a very active school community, keen to work with and support the school’s endeavours, and do whatever they can to help their children have a positive school experience, which is everybody’s goal!

School Profile

Balnarring Primary School is situated in a semi-rural area, close to Western Port Bay, in the Mornington Peninsula Shire, south-east of Melbourne.

The school was opened in 1990 on its existing site and has always been a very important part of the Balnarring community. It enjoys an excellent reputation for its comprehensive curriculum, enrichment programs and its unique natural environment. All reflected in the school’s motto, Where Nature meets Nurture!

The school is set in open spaces amongst native vegetation and adjacent to an environmental wonderland! The Balbirooroo, Pun Pun and Korra Bun Yun Wetlands have been developed by the school and local groups. The concept was started in 1993 by the school community with the official opening in 1995. They are a great asset, providing a treasure trove of learning experiences for the Balnarring Primary school community!

We have an absolute commitment to maintaining and enhancing the health of our local environment.

Balnarring Primary School takes the responsibility very seriously of being an accredited 5 Star Sustainability School, having successfully completed the requirements of the Core, Biodiversity, Energy, Waste and Water modules.

There is a special place in the school grounds called Bimblemeer. The name means Mother Earth which is an apt name because as you step through its distinctive gates, you see it is an earthy little oasis. It has a thriving veggie garden, fruit trees, chooks scratching around, ducks waddling about, rabbits, budgies and sometimes baby goats. All of which the children are responsible for looking after, with some adults joining in the fun! There is even an outdoor pizza oven!

As well as the natural ‘playgrounds’ in the school, there are a number of areas with colourful and imaginative play equipment for the children to enjoy.

During play times, they are abuzz with children climbing, sliding, swinging and practising their physical skills together. All ages are catered for, with different types and levels of equipment set up around the school. There is also an oval, basketball courts, 4 square courts, a fitness track and a gymnasium.

The distinctive modern Senior School area of Balnarring Primary School caters for students in Years 4 to 6. It is called Kirinari which means ‘place of learning’. Classrooms are set around a spacious, multi-purpose hub which facilitates shared activities and meetings, active hands-on experiences and a space to proudly display student’s work.
The senior students are given many opportunities to take on responsible leadership roles within the school. This contribution is excellent for their personal and leadership development and is greatly valued by the school community.

The Balnarring Way

At Balnarring Primary School, we aim to develop competent, curious learners who strive to do their best and respect and care for themselves, others and the environment.

Hence the ‘Balnarring Way’ is to….

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Respect and care for self

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Respect and care for others

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Respect and care for the environment

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Always do our best

The ‘Balnarring Way’ underpins the ethos of the school and is intertwined in all teaching and learning programs delivered across the school.

Each week the children participate in a variety of activities in our ‘We Care’ hour. These sessions help to support the development of healthy, happy and resilient young people.

The ‘Balnarring Way’ is evident when watching our students at work and play!

Children participate in activities that focus on:

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Emotional literacy

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Personal strengths

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Positive coping

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Problem solving

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Stress management

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Help-seeking

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Gender and identity

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Positive gender relations

School Staff

At Balnarring Primary School, all staff members are dedicated to providing a caring learning environment for all children entrusted in their care. They are committed to the preparation and presentation of an innovative and engaging learning program throughout the school. They work collaboratively as Professional Learning teams to differentiate learning for all students and embrace opportunities to further their own professional learning. They are very mindful of their important role in fostering positive relationships between all members of the school community.

School Council

The Balnarring Primary School Council plays a key role in the governance of the school, and in supporting the Principal and Staff to achieve the best possible learning environment for the students.

The School Council is made up of 5 elected parents, 4 DET employees including the Principals and 3 co-opted community members. Generally, the term of office is two years. The term of office of half the members expires each year creating vacancies for the annual School Council elections.

The school community is very appreciative of the amount of time and commitment generously given by the School Council!

READ The key functions of school council with regard to the school
  • to establish the broad direction and vision of the school within the school’s community
  • to arrange for the supply of:
    • goods
    • services
    • facilities
    • materials
    • equipment
    • other things or matters required for the conduct of the school, including the provision of preschool programs
  • to raise funds for school related purposes
  • to regulate and facilitate the after-hours use of the school premises and grounds
  • to exercise a general oversight of the school buildings and grounds and ensure they are kept in good order and condition
  • to provide for the cleaning and sanitary services that are necessary for the school
  • to ensure that all money coming into the hands of the council is expended for proper purposes relating to the school
  • to provide meals and refreshments for the staff and students of the school and make charges for those meals or refreshments
  • to inform itself and take into account any views of the school community for the purpose of making decisions in regard to the school and the students at the school
  • to generally stimulate interest in the school in the wider community
  • to prepare the School Strategic Plan and review the Annual Implementation Plan — to be signed by the president and the principal
  • to report annually (the Annual Report) to the school community and to the department on:
    • the school’s financial activities
    • the School Strategic Plan, and
    • any other matters that are determined by the Minister
  • to manage the hire, licence and shared use of school facilities
  • to determine the dates for the school’s student-free days:
    • in accordance with the number of student-free days each calendar year specified by the Secretary of the department
  • to perform any other function or duty, or to exercise any power conferred or imposed on the council by or under:
    • the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, or
    • any regulations made under that Act
    • a Ministerial Order made, or direction issued, by the Minister under the Education and Training Reform Act.