The vision for Chatham Primary School is that of a dynamic and supportive learning environment, which enriches students and enables them to fulfil their academic, social and physical potential.
We celebrate the efforts and achievements of each student, and aim to develop confident, critical and creative thinkers with a lifelong love of learning.
A strong community spirit is deeply entrenched in the school culture. This allows a connectedness to the past by the present community and builds optimism for the future.
The Chatham Primary School community values:
Learning – developing critical, creative and reflective thinking skills and knowledge to maximise each child’s potential as independent, motivated and ongoing learners.
Respect – valuing the difference, beliefs and abilities of others by displaying tolerance, compassion and care. Having regard for oneself and others, as well as the community and our environment.
Self-Worth – having a belief in yourself and your own unique abilities and recognising that you are valued by others. Developing resilience, flexibility, initiative and persistence.
Partnership – acknowledging the development of cooperative, inclusive and supportive relationships between students, parents, teachers and the wider community to achieve common and shared goals.
Responsibility – being accountable for the decisions you make and the actions and words you use.
Honesty – being dependable, truthful and fair, while being true to yourself and others.
Chatham Primary School is located in Surrey Hills in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs with students drawn from a relatively small catchment area. The school’s current enrolment is approximately 372 and indications are that enrolments will remain stable over the next few years.
Chatham Primary School’s main facility is a two storey red brick building with a three-arched entry. The school opened with an enrolment of 212 students on the first of August 1927. Many students came from over-crowded surrounding schools. Surrey Hills was once the home of an older retired population, but more recently the area has become attractive to young professional families. As families have moved into the area, school enrolments have steadily increased.
Over the last 10 years the school has completed 4 major works projects which have included the refurbishment of the administration area, new Art room, staff room, Library, canteen, offices, toilets, multi-purpose hall, 6 new classrooms and the refurbishment of 5 others. BER funding provided us with a new double storey early years centre with 8 flexible learning space. The school now boasts 19 permanent high quality teaching and learning spaces.
The school grounds have been landscaped creating new playing spaces including the installation of new playground equipment. All hard surfaces have been re-asphalted with extensive playground marking and the installation of 2 basketball/netball courts.
The school community formed a Cooperative in 2005 to enable funds to be borrowed to support these major works and playground improvements. The servicing of this loan is the major fund raising priority of the whole school community each year.
There are currently twenty teaching staff, three Disabilities and Impairment Program aides, a computer technician, a Business Manager and an Office Administrator.
Students are grouped in sixteen home groups and work together as part of Junior and Senior School Units. Class programs are supported by a rich array of special programs as well as specialist teaching support. All curriculum planning is based on the Victorian Essential Learning Standards with a one year Prep-6 cycle of integrated concepts of work. Each student attends specialist Art, Japanese, Library, Physical Education and Music lessons. Early literacy and numeracy support and intervention is made available by the provision of Reading Recovery and Early Years teachers. The transition of Preps to Primary School has been assisted by the introduction of the Australian Developmental Curriculum.
The music program at Chatham Primary School is extensive and highly valued by the school community. Students have the opportunity to participate in Junior or Senior Choir, the Recorder Group, the Vocal Ensemble or the Orchestra. Students may also access private instrumental tuition, which is organised and administered by the school. The Orchestra provides extension for students learning an instrument. A biennial school concert involves every child in the school and is strongly supported by the community, as are other days of celebration.
Chatham Primary School acknowledges the diversity of learning styles, interests and talents and provides an array of enrichment opportunities. Students with special talents have the opportunity to participate in the school organised University of N.S.W. Competitions and ‘Maths Olympiad’, Trivia Challenge, Public Speaking competitions and in the externally offered G.A.T.E.WAYS Programs. The Thinking Orientated Curriculum is used extensively in all grades to develop student’s higher order thinking skills and strategies.
Year 6 students are trained each year as peer support leaders for the Year 3 students. Each student in Year 6 has a leadership role such as Peer Support Leader, Junior School Councillor, School Captain, House Captain or a Science, Envvironment, Japanese, Library or Art Leader takes the weekly Friday afternoon assembly. The leadership training provided to older students is highly valued by parents and at the Grade 6 graduation each child prepares and gives a speech. Year 5 & 6 students also participate in a 'Speaking with Confidence' program to improve their public speaking skills.
Our Year 5 students are involved in a Prep ‘buddy’ program, which begins as part of the orientation program for Preps in the year before they commence school. As a school community we are committed to maintaining these extra-curricular activities, which allow a unique preparation of our young leaders as they ready themselves for transition into secondary settings.
The Out of School Hours Program is run by Camp Australia. It operates with a Breakfast Club from 7.15am to 8.45am and an After School Program that begins at 3.30pm and operates until 6.00pm each evening. The program is located in the old school caretaker’s house which was refurbished and extended last year to accommodate the increasing attendances at the program.
Over the last few years the school has been working through the Aussie Resource Smart Schools program in sustainability. We have been awarded our 5th green star. We have also received federal government funding through the Solar Schools Grant to install solar panels, water tanks and improved lighting. Many initiatives are visible around the school in the core areas of Waste, Water, Biodiversity and Energy. This includes a vegetable garden, a 3 bin system including compost, rubbish and recycling bins, recycling points for a range of items, rubbish free lunch days, indigenous plantings, walking school buses, “shut down” monitors in each room and Yr 6 Environment Leaders.
The school values underpin all decisions made in the school and form the framework for our student management and welfare programs.
Parents of students have considerable involvement with the school in a range of ways. Each classroom has a parent coordinator who acts as a liaison between the teachers and parents, organises social events for students and their parents and provides support for excursions, classroom assistance, etc. Parent coordinators also work to support concert performances, working bees, social service sponsorship and welcoming new families. The Year 5 parents do the catering for families, students and staff at the Year 6 Graduation. Working Bees at the school are extremely well attended and parents assist with newsletter compilation, student banking, library processing, as coaches and umpires for Sport and Physical Education, in the school canteen and with Uniform Shop and Book Club. The parent participation rates in activities such as ‘Family Maths’ evenings are extremely high. In addition to the School Council, parents who are not on Council are encouraged to participate in School Council Sub Committees. Families of students at Chatham Primary School actively support fund raising activities with the major fund raising event being the biennial fair.
The staff at Chatham Primary School are characterised by enthusiasm, collegiate support and dedication to professional growth. Our approach to teaching and learning ensures every student experiences success through a broad curriculum and a variety of learning styles. This enables students to work independently and collaboratively whilst developing their skills, confidence and the ability to define values, express ideas, formulate opinions and enjoy a love of learning.
The goals that are set for the next four years as part of our Strategic Plan are:
- To improve learning outcomes for students from Prep to Year 6 in English and Mathematics
- To improve student engagement, connectedness and resilience.
- To create improved learning pathways in, out and across the school