In Parliament

Adjournment - Elwood Primary School



Thursday, 4 March 2021.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:26):

My adjournment is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the State Labor Government to commit funding to assist Elwood Primary School realise their vision of refurbishing their outdoor environment through their landscape master plan.

Elwood Primary School is an exceptional school. It is also a community school in the truest sense. They are one of the largest primary schools in the area, currently educating almost 760 students. One of the school’s unique features is that it prioritises development of the whole child, and there is no doubt that the school’s teaching staff, led by principal Nicole Richards, are model educators. Elwood Primary School is a community hub in every sense. Their gates are always open to Elwood and it is a treasured community space, with the school’s bimonthly markets being a calendar fixture.

The school have a vision to refurbish their outdoor space and have formalised that vision through a $1.3 million landscape master plan. It is the final step in completing their full school vision.

Their vision is based on achieving three outcomes that enhance connectedness and best use of available space.

The first goal is to install a nature play space on the grounds nearest to the neighbouring children’s centre. The school is situated next to Poets Grove Family and Children’s Centre, a not-for-profit community-owned kindergarten. The two sites are interconnected, and the space will serve existing schoolchildren and provide a welcome space for the kindergarten children, who will one day join the school community.

The second goal is to redevelop both the Scott Street and Poets Grove entrances. As a community hub, thousands make their way through the school entrances, and both are not fit for purpose. In fact, when the school hold their fortnightly assembly, hundreds of parents struggle to file through a small gate.

Finally, the school plan to enhance their play equipment, install shedding, reduce hard surfaces, consolidate their hard play spaces and create new outdoor learning spaces. These enhancements will be game changers for the deserving school community.

As the Minister will know, the Government recently completed urgent structural upgrades at the school. These improvements address leaking roofs, cracked walls and unsafe ceilings held up by nailed-in wooden planks. But the school deserves more than the completion of urgent works. Minister, Elwood Primary School is exceptional, and I seek support from the State Labor Government to help the school complete their full school vision through their landscape master plan.