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Truth, Pride and Friendship

Principal's Message 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of our student community and Friends of Riverside ESC,

Welcome to the 2020 school year. It is 25 years since the founding of our combined Primary and ESC schools in 1995.

Mandurah is growing and so is our school -- we have a record enrolment of 76 students with several more inquiries in various stages of processing. Of course, part of the growth is demographically explained, but it is much more than that. With pride in our staff, our programs and our whole school, we can justifiably say we are good at what we do -- nurturing your child's potential for a meaningful and contributory life. “[My child] has done so well since moving to Riverside ESC” was an observation shared by a grateful parent at reception today.

Parents often have to reassess learning pathways for their child, particularly when indicators shine forth that mark your child as unique and in need of a specialised learning environment. New enrolment inquiries are welcomed. At Riverside, every child is valued for their unique expressions and abilities; every child has the best possible opportunity to flourish. Provided you meet Department-approved criteria for enrolment at an education support centre, your journey with RESC can begin.

The increased enrolment has raised the demand for accommodation and we have been able to increase the number of classrooms to nine for the first time. Of course, that means changes to our staffing as well and we welcome new teachers and education assistants to our wonderful team, now numbering more than 60. Stability and high morale mean attention can be properly directed to enhancing school programs and activities, to the benefit of all students and families associated with us.

Recognised as an Independent Public School, our school undertakes regular reviews overseen by the Department of Education. Our most recent review was conducted in 2019, details of which can be seen on our Annual Reports and Reviews webpage. Described by past reviewers as an exemplary school, we adhere to a program of regular internal evaluation of our effectiveness to maximise student learning, supported by the School Board and our parent community.

In 2019 we are guided by FOCUS 2020 and STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2020 - 2024, both of which are initiatives of the Director General of Education’s Classroom First Strategy which promotes effective leadership and teaching while maximising the care and development of each and every student. Key statements in the focus document, held to the fore by our school, include:

  • Provide every student with a pathway to a successful future
  • Strengthen support for teaching and learning excellence in every classroom
  • Build the capability of our principals, our teachers and our allied professionals
  • Support increased school autonomy within a unified public school system
  • Partner with families, communities and agencies to support the engagement of every student; and
  • Use evidence to drive decision-making at all levels of the system

Behaviour management is a professionally refined and caring part of our program, through which we seek to provide a safe learning and working environment for all who attend our campus while guiding children toward self-management of their emotional state. Occasionally, a student has an 'off' day and needs a little time out, and we are pleased to advise a room is now specifically dedicated to de-escalation, enabling them to quickly and respectfully regain composure before returning to class.

Our website continues to be a tool that supports communication with our school community and beyond. It is the primary source of new enrolment inquiries and receives thousands of page visits every year. We were surprised to learn that it was a key component of an overseas family's decision to choose Mandurah as a place to migrate to.

In closing, we remind parents and carers our door is always open to discuss educational matters relating to your child. For our mutual convenience it is always worthwhile ringing first to set up an appointment.

All the best for 2020.

Jim Douglas, Principal                                    Tamarra Rekman, Deputy Principal