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Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and principal of St Andrew’s Christian School Janelle Rowe, proudly display the plaque to commemorate Mr Hogan officially opening new classrooms and buildings as part of a $1.42 million education project at the school on April 27. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Classy classrooms officially opened at St Andrew’s Christian School

Emma Pritchard

Students at St Andrew’s Christian School in Clarenza, were so eager to use two newly completed classrooms, several of them wrote to Principal Janelle Rowe, asking her to allow their classes to occupy them.

Fitted with interactive whiteboards, breakout spaces and flexible learning areas to encourage student engagement, the new classrooms, along with a primary school amenity block and a secondary amenities block, were officially opened on April 27 by Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

After partaking in a guided tour through the new classrooms, which he described as “impressive and fantastic assets for our local students”, Mr Hogan said as a parent, he felt proud to be involved with a project aimed at improving education in the Clarence Valley.

Mr Hogan secured a $500000 Federal Government grant to help St Andrews Christian School successfully acquire more classrooms for their pupils.

The school also raised $954,405 towards the $1.42 million project.

“St Andrew’s Christian School is a great community school, and it needed more classrooms to continue growing,” Mr Hogan said.

“The new building has two primary classrooms with attached learning support areas.

“Students and teachers thrive when their schools have modern and up-to-date facilities, so it’s great to see this new building completed.”

In acknowledging Mr Hogan for his support, Ms Rowe said the school appreciated the Government’s contribution as “it meant that our dreams could become reality.”

Ms Rowe said the new classrooms provide light, open, and engaging spaces, and added once students become engaged, it’s easier to teach them.

“Students who are engaged want to be at school,” she said.

“They want to learn, and they are going to learn they can get knowledge from anywhere, and then we teach them how to work with that knowledge and how to apply that knowledge in everyday life.

“Our new classrooms have boosted us with safe spaces, technical spaces, as well as a safe and inclusive environment which is what we’re aiming for as a school, and spaces where we can support our students.”

Ms Rowe has been principal at St Andrews Christian School for almost two years and said the addition of the new classrooms and the facilities they offer students will better equip them as they progress in their education. 

“Our students are future adults, and we want to teach them skills for the future and give them skills like collaboration, communication, literacy, numeracy and social skills, and all the things which will aid them in the future,” she said.

“We now have the additional resources to help us to do that.”