Hundreds join new school for its first day

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More than 300 Pakenham students have had their first day of school at the brand new John Henry Primary School.

Headed by principal Tanya Roberts, the Pakenham primary school has been established to meet the surging student enrolment numbers in the region.

“Our vision is to provide the highest quality teaching and learning opportunities to our community,” Ms Roberts said.

“It’s a long time in planning to open a new school and now we’ve really been able to celebrate all of that hard work.

“It’s great to see the children walking out of school all smiles, telling their parents about what an amazing time they’ve had.”

Features include a competition-grade gymnasium built to Netball Victoria standards, and conference and meeting rooms for community use.

It also has a multi-purpose space that will be used by the YMCA after school hours to provide a range of community services and programs.

A YMCA-operated Early Learning Centre will facilitate transitions from early childhood to Prep.

The school ran a weekly transition program throughout term four last year with teaching staff, parents and students.

“The relationships between the teachers and the children were well and truly built before today,” Ms Roberts said.

“It’s like they’d all been here at the school for a long time.”

Minister for Education James Merlino and Eastern Victoria Region MP Daniel Mulino officially opened the site on Thursday 2 February.

“Melbourne suburbs like Pakenham are booming, so we are investing in the school infrastructure needed to support growing enrolments,” Mr Merlino said.

“It was inspiring being here today and watching first-hand the learning journeys that are about to begin.”

John Henry Primary School is one of 10 schools to open this year in the growth areas across the state.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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