Kangaroo Ground Primary School is on the north-east edge of the metropolitan area in a semi-rural environment where it has provided a continuous service to the community since 1853. Students at KGPS come from a variety of social, economic and religious backgrounds. Many students live in the immediate vicinity, residing on larger allotments of 8 to 15 hectares. Many people are professionals working in Melbourne or Eltham, with their holdings mainly hobby farms. Our extensive grounds have many interesting areas for creative play and we also have formal courts and playing areas, including an oval, grasses areas, a synthetic turf area and hard court areas. The school is organised into composite classes.
At Kangaroo Ground Primary School we provide a safe, secure, stimulating learning environment where individual differences are valued, and risk-taking, co-operation, effective communication and problem solving are promoted. It is a culture that fosters student confidence and encourages students, staff, parents and other members of the community to display a sense of pride in the school. We provide a broad and comprehensive curriculum which optimises student achievement and success by ensuring that each student is challenged, extended and motivated to reach his or her potential. The school and community function in a highly valued partnership and are actively involved in projects to sustain this culture. Parents are involved in many different aspects of school life such as classroom help, school camps and excursions, sporting activities, cooking classes, gardening activities and chess club, through to School Council, its sub-committees and their related activities.
The dedicated and hard-working teaching staff are highly committed to providing a comprehensive, sequential and engaging VELS-based curriculum that recognises that individual students have different learning styles and develop at different rates. Our teaching programs help students to develop inquiring minds and critical thinking skills. Specialist programs include Art, PE, Science, Italian LOTE, Music, and Music Groups where students learn keyboard, guitar, flute and recorder. A variety of extra-curricular programs is offered, including chess (this year we had 8 students make the state finals), and electives for grades 4, 5 and 6, with activities such as hatha yoga, Indian beading, bike safety and decoupage. All students have the opportunity to be involved in gardening, cooking, cross country, swimming, interschool sport, sports days, and gymnastics and dancing in alternate years. This year, we offered an art extension program for students from all levels, as well as G.A.T.E.WAYS for interested families. Our extension programs are regularly evaluated and developed in response to students’ needs and interests.
We monitor student attendance and promote a variety of positive strategies to encourage regular student attendance. We have a late book and a proforma for parents to complete if their child is absent from school. On reflection, many of our student absences for a period of time are a result of families taking the opportunity to travel in off-peak times or take extended school holidays.
Kangaroo Ground Primary sees community awareness, Health and Drug Education and the development of self-concept as important aspects of the school curriculum. Programs that encourage and develop positive interpersonal relationships include the Friendly Families and Schools program, the buddy program, Junior School Council, School Council and programs where members of the community share their skills such as the electives program, chess club and guest speakers. The small-school environment allows students to mix freely with all age groups and provides opportunities to take on responsibilities and leadership roles in a caring and sharing manner.