In 2017 Forbes North Public School marks the 60th year of quality teaching and learning programs being delivered to students. Forbes North was gazetted in 1957 after a number of local residents petitioned to have a school established to service the growing area to the north of Forbes’ town centre.
This year’s 60th birthday will be marked by a number of events spread throughout the calendar year. The first of these was the Forbes North Public School 60th Birthday Fair, an expanded version of the school’s usual annual fete. The fair was held in the school grounds on Saturday, 4th March. A large crowd enjoyed the stalls, rides, food and entertainment on offer. It was wonderful to see so many past students and staff members in attendance.
Forbes North’s dedicated staff and energetic and supportive Parents and Citizens committee made sure that there was plenty to see and do for all. A very comprehensive display of memorabilia including class photos, newspaper clippings, old school plans, teaching and learning resources, text books and readers proved to be the biggest drawcard. Many ‘old boys’ and ‘old girls’ took the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and relive the glory days of their primary school years.
Former Forbes North school captain, and now Mayor of Forbes, Cr Graeme Miller was on hand to cut the 60th birthday cake with current captain Kobe Quirk in a fitting celebration of the past 60 years.
Forbes North Public School is on a journey – a quest for continual improvement, for the school as a whole and for each and every individual that walks through the gates each day. The school’s mission statement: learning for life through quality teaching in a safe and caring environment, is supported by the simple mantra of being better today than we were yesterday.
The dedicated staff at Forbes North work tirelessly to identify the individual learning needs of every child and to provide the most effective learning opportunities to address these needs each day. The level of support provided to the students at Forbes North is virtually unsurpassed, as the school has made significant investment in providing expert personnel to work with the children and to support the development of learning programs that target areas of need identified in individuals, groups and whole cohorts.
The students and the classroom teachers are supported in quality educational delivery by two learning support teachers, an intervention teacher, a reading recovery teacher and a speech pathologist. Coordinating this team approach is Forbes North’s instructional leader, who not only works with the students, but also identifies the best available professional learning for staff to access so they are well-equipped
to address their students’ individual needs.
Further support for the students and teachers is provided by Forbes North’s equally dedicated team of learning support officers – there are eleven in total – who work in every classroom every day, and the school’s Aboriginal education officer who provides a vital link to support
services for our Aboriginal students and their families.
Our learning support team are equally adept at providing extension opportunities for students who are working beyond their expected stage level in any number of key learning areas, or subjects. The primary extension program (PEP) focuses on the development of higher order thinking skills and include students in both stage 2 and stage 3 (years 3/4 and 5/6). Students are also able to access the Lachlan Enrichment
and Engagement Program (LEEP) through Forbes High School in conjunction with other neighbouring public schools.
The recent addition of a sensory room at Forbes North also allows our learning support staff to work with students who will benefit from activities that stimulate and improve their fine and gross motor skills.
For the past 60 years Forbes North has been recognised for the quality programs it provides to educate the whole child. As a foundation school in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, Forbes North promotes a healthy lifestyle encompassing the preparation of meals from the paddock to the plate. More than just planting, harvesting and cooking, the kitchen-garden program also provides students
with real world experiences in mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry, as well as opening up a wide variety of literacy-based activities to enhance reading and writing skills.
Class teachers are supported by a fully qualified and experienced chef and a garden specialist in providing high quality learning experiences. The focus on healthy living and, in particular, maintaining a healthy diet is further emphasised through our daily crunch and sip fruit break.
A strong focus on the academic, social and cultural well-being of the students is complemented by providing access to 150 minutes of structured physical activity throughout each school week. All students participate in the school’s structured daily fitness program, developing skills and learning the rules of a variety of sports through fun, progressive, modified games. K-6 vertical sport groups, which run
every Friday, further enhance the level of skill development as the older students have the opportunity to mentor and coach
their younger school mates. Forbes North also provides access to a range of expert coaches in a variety of sports through their involvement in the sporting schools program.
The opportunity to influence future planning and the direction of teaching and learning at Forbes North is a responsibility not taken lightly by the school’s Student Parliamentarians. The nine Ministers and eight Shadow Ministers play an important role in ensuring that the students’ voices are heard when it comes to establishing programs and activities that will enhance the educational opportunities for all students.
With portfolio areas including sport and recreation, entertainment and fundraising, communication and technology, and environment, health and safety, our student leaders have vital roles to play in planning, assessing and evaluating many aspects of school life at Forbes North. Focusing such importance on all aspects of student development can be quite a challenge for the staff at Forbes North Public School, but it is a challenge eagerly accepted every day.