A TREND of diminishing enrolments has prompted staff and parents at Airly Primary School to undertake an enrolment drive, amid concerns about the school’s future.
Nestled among dairy farms, the school was originally established to cater for children of returned servicemen and their families when Airly Estate was formed in the 1920s.
Since then small landholdings have amalgamated, the farms have grown in size and fewer people live within walking distance.
Because the school is slightly hidden and there is no dedicated bus service, families rely on driving and car pooling.
School council vice-president Hans Simon said one of the problems appeared to be people in the district didn’t know the school existed, even though Airly was less than a 10 minute drive from Sale and Stratford.
“Because the school is down a quiet country lane, people could be driving by everyday without knowing it is there,” he said.
“My family has been involved with Airly for 10 years now and for some reason the number of children enrolled has gone down in recent years.”
School council president Judi Connors said the school offered everything a school in town offered and, in some ways, more, including the ability to tailor learning to suit individual students.
Laptops are available for each student, there are electronic ‘smartboards’ in each classroom and video conferencing facilities, allowing students to connect with other schools locally or further abroad.
The ethos of the school encompasses solar power, recycling, rainwater collection and a vegetable and sensory garden which has seen the school recognised in the school garden awards.
The school is seeking more student enrolments with teachers and parents pleased to show families around, or answer any questions about the school.
For more information phone the school on 5149 8251 during business hours or visit www.airlyps.vic.au
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.