New Catholic school in Lismore

IEU Organiser Steve Bergan made a visit to St Ambrose Primary School which opened this year at Pottsville on the far north coast of NSW. Foundation Principal and IEU member Brian Laybutt provided Steve with a tour of the new school facilities and an opportunity to meet with staff and IEU members to form a new IEU Chapter and elect an IEU Rep.

St Ambrose is a part of the Kingscliff parish. The new school sits on land behind the St Mary and Ambrose church. The school started with enrolments in classes K-5 and currently has a student population of approximately 140. Next year will see Year 6 commence. In future the school seeks to have two streams of classes from K-6 reaching a student population of 420. The school is set in a strong growth area drawing students from Ocean Shores, Casuarina, Cabarita, Hastings Point and Pottsville. There is currently 14 staff with seven full time teachers and seven part timers, which includes support staff , with plans to expand as the school grows. The new IEU Chapter rep is Carlie Parsons who is enjoying the opportunity to teach in an architecturally designed school with state of the art facilities. The IEU thanks Carlie for taking on the IEU Rep role this year.

The school has been designed to incorporate the natural landscape with environmentally friendly buildings that have wide covered walkways and shady outdoor areas. Classrooms flow out onto these areas and have natural cross air ventilation with lots of natural light from the highly located windows. The classrooms have flexible work areas that allow for opening up of single rooms into larger work areas. All walls are pin board lined allowing for full display coverage of students’ work. There are side rooms that allow for withdrawal for individual, small group and artwork spaces when required. The school is wired to allow teachers and students to work via Apple TVs, ipads and smartboards which are centrally located in each classroom. There is also a media room whereby students can film their work for later visual presentations to teachers, classmates, school assemblies and parents.

There is no doubt that St Ambrose Primary has been designed to meet the education revolution requirements for both teachers and students learning for the 21st century. The IEU thanks the Principal and staff of St Ambrose for their welcome and wishes them well as the school continues to develop