Principals Message

Principals Message



Chatham Primary School is nestled in the leafy and inviting eastern suburb of Surrey Hills. Chatham is approximately twelve kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. It is situated predominantly at the northern end of Benson Street surrounded by and complemented by well cared for and established homes, parks and recreational facilities. The school exudes an enduring sense of community and belonging.


The school is situated away from main roads and busy traffic.


It is a school with significant traditions of a respect and regard for past endeavours, contributions and achievements together with a highly engaged, expectant and aspirational culture seeking development and improvement for the wonderful times ahead. In essence, it is an engaging and exciting place for children, their parents and staff to be. It is also a place with connections to immediate community, past parents and grandparents and others immersed in the diversity and opportunity afforded by community life.


The life of community is central to our sense of selves and belonging. The achievements and celebrations of our students on their journey through school life is supported and cheer led by a focussed, committed and inspired teaching and support staff and an ever enthused and engaged parent community. The school is led with an active and engaged Principal who together works with staff and parents; a School Council that is focussed and aspirational in its governance and intent and a Parents Club that is a centrality in the metaphor of community. Our School Council is further supported by the active leadership and goals of five Committees of School Council. The contributions of our parents and alumni clearly set Chatham apart and have been most recently reflected in the magnificent school grounds masterplan currently underway and being progressively realised.


These are unprecedented times of expectation, aspiration, celebration and belonging for our established but burgeoning community.


Our students learn and grow in an environment of support, belief, high expectations and opportunity commensurate with their changing development, needs and experience. Our students work both independently and collaboratively and experience a wealth of teacher orientations, skills and aptitudes, together with an expansive curriculum and extra curricula program. Chatham is a school reflecting significant academic and cultural achievements over an extended period of time. This continues consistent with high expectations and a belief that all students can and will achieve across a myriad of pursuits and focus. Importantly, there is a focus upon each of our 361 students and the diversity of opportunities, established, present and developing that will widen their horizons and potential. Literacy and Numeracy skills and understandings are of prime importance in ensuring access and capacity building in other areas of the Victorian Curriculum. Throughout the process of educational and social immersion the development of the entire child is of continuing and focussed thinking and review.


Specialist programs currently provided include Physical Education and Sport; Visual Arts; Music and Japanese. These areas form the core of specialist programs and are of continuing focus for enhancement and development at each step of school focus and improvement. Typically these programs create a plethora of related extracurricular experience for our students.  Students actively participate in a Physical Education program across all levels and take part in a wide range of interschool sporting competitions in Years 5 & 6, alongside District and Divisional Swimming, Athletics, Cross Country and Basketball. Through both Summer and Winter Sport and the work of the Kooyong District Sports Association students are also immersed in a variety of major games. It is not uncommon for a number of our students to extend to State level representation.


Importantly, is the focus and development we expect and strive for in relation to all specialist programs. This is continuing through the celebration of Performing Arts, the demonstration and acknowledgment of student Art and the extension of language based opportunities in Japanese. Progressively the school has an abiding focus upon sustainability, taking pride and expanding daily actions that support a sustainable future. This includes various levels of awareness regarding recycling and biodiversity and a commitment to the development of a comprehensive kitchen garden and associated facilities on our northern boundary. Often the connectedness with government and philanthropic grants furthers our objectives in these areas.


Additionally, Chatham has a fabulous library facility that is well utilised by students and staff and supported by positive and thoughtful stewardship by current and past parents.


Officially opened in 1927, Chatham now reflects an eclectic mix of buildings, including heritage school buildings combined with a more recent two storey Junior School building. In early 2018 the school received a Building Maintenance Grant and in conjunction with the Victorian School Building Authority progressively is undertaking the maintenance of the facilities. It is expected that this will continue in the coming period, together with a focussed and ambitious plan to enhance and develop the entire school grounds.


The school has expressed values of respect, responsibility, resilience, learning, honesty and partnership. These values and their associated behaviours are inculcated across the school in a manner commensurate with the development of students and their intellectual, social and emotional growth. Additionally the motto, Be Safe, Be Fair and Be Kind is extolled continuously through the interactions that occur on a continual basis at all levels of school community life. These expectations and behaviours are further developed through the Leadership experience provided to all Year 6 students and the individual teachers who are assigned to a group of students and further support their work and involvement. This results is a high level of student participation and leadership modelling for others in areas such as School and Sports House Captains; Environmental Leaders; Peer Support Leaders; STEAM; Visual Arts; Music; Japanese and Junior School Council.


Importantly we look with enthusiasm and anticipation to the sustainable development and enhancement of our school in 2019 and beyond. We have much to achieve and even more to celebrate.


Welcome to our school!



Christopher Cotching


Language Translator