At Kerry Street, we include in our curriculum the various activities, topics and specialist subjects that suit our school, our values and our students. Where possible, these additional programs and opportunities are integrated holistically into our students’ learning experiences. If more appropriate, they are offered as separate subjects.
Our physical education program is delivered in partnership with the BluEarth Foundation. Schools are supported by BluEarth through sessions to increase physical activity, and more importantly to make that physical activity inclusive and enjoyable through a range of programs and resources. Students also participate weekly in a variety of sports through the Sporting Schools program.
Sporting Schools Program
Kerry Street continues to benefit from the Sporting Schools program, which is part of a $100 million Australian Government initiative designed to help schools to increase children’s participation in sport, and to connect children with community sport. The aim of the program is to introduce our students to a variety of sports and connect them with community sporting clubs to develop a lifelong love of physical activity. Through exposure to different sports and qualified coaches, we hope that students’ participation in community sports will increase as they develop a love for, and understanding of, what their young bodies can achieve.
Over the years, we have participated in Soccer, Basketball, Rugby, Netball, Athletics and AFL Football. The enthusiasm and engagement of our students has been nothing short of fantastic.
Gardening and Environmental Education
Gardening and environmental education is always a focus for Kerry Street students with initiatives that get us outside and our hands in the Earth supported and planned for by our classroom teachers. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have access to the “wild space” adjacent to our Administration Building on Forrest Road. The fencing off of this space occurred in late 2019 and we have spent the majority of 2020 to date working to increase the amount of space our children have to play in.
As we believe in nurturing the whole child, we invest in mindfulness programmes, resources and professionals. Each week, we kick things off with our Mindfulness Monday sessions which offer students and their families the choice between yoga classes, martial arts lessons, Art activities and whole-body awareness practices.
At Kerry Street Community School we promote children’s agency and recognise that our students have a right to make choices and decisions. All students contribute to creating classroom and whole school agreements. Students are actively involved in making decisions, solving problems, working in teams and taking shared responsibility in a variety of settings:
- Classroom agreements
- Class meetings
- Kids Council Meetings
- Student RAP working Group
- Community Gatherings
Our Child Friendly Complaints procedure supports students to voice their concerns. It has been designed by students for students. Images have been included to ensure it is accessible by all students:
“Complaints systems are a fundamental part of ongoing organisational development to meet the needs of its intended consumers. They are also an important mechanism for correcting mistakes and for protecting people from abuse and mistreatment. Independent inquiries into child abuse, in Australia and internationally, consistently cite the same reasons children and young people give for not reporting abuse. These include not knowing how or who to complain to, and fear of not being believed or other repercussions if they do make a complaint.”Commissioner for Children and Young People WA 2013
Kerry Street’s resident Well-being Coordinator, Stewart Pryor is onsite Thursday’s and Friday’s, providing students with additional social and emotional education.
Stewart holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from Newcastle University and a Bachelor of Social Work (with Distinction) from Curtin University. Having graduated as a social worker in 2009, Stewart has worked for over a decade in mental health and family services and comes to us following a five-year tenure with the national youth mental health service Headspace.
Stewart is a recent addition to Kerry Street having joined the school community in July 2020. He brings with him a broad range of skills and attributes that are a culmination of his early career as a school music educator, his ongoing commitment to social work values and practices, extensive counselling experience in mental health settings, and a fortunate upbringing in a nurturing family and community.
“I get such a strong sense of community when I arrive at Kerry Street in the mornings. Community, equality and unconditional positive regard are at the core of my personal and professional values and I whole-heartedly enjoy being part of this community of staff and parents who are committed to a holistic educational experience.“Stewart Pryor
Stewart believes wellbeing is multi-faceted and community driven. He focuses on strengths, and not just challenges, to aid resilience building and uses an empathic and educative approach as the foundation for supporting children’s social and emotional wellbeing.
Drama and Music
Every year, we teach Drama and Music for a semester each as distinct subjects. Our current Drama teacher, Sebastian Steed, has been teaching at Kerry Street since late 2019 and is well-regarded by our student community. Over the years, our students have been fortunate to be exposed to a number of musical experiences including African drumming, didgeridoo, ukuleles, piano and singing, and in Drama have written and performed a number of Kerry Street-original theatrical pieces.
Hello! I’m Sebastian. I hold a Master of Arts in Novel Writing from Manchester University and a Graduate Diploma in Education and Certificate in Theology from Murdoch University.
I love being creative, whether that be in drama, music, art, photography or writing, and in addition to my teaching career, have been a self-employed artist since 2018. After 13 years of teaching as a class teacher and music specialist in government schools in Perth, my desire to teach in alternative schools ultimately brought me here to Kerry Street where I really enjoy the friendly and informal environment.
Visual Arts Program
We are very proud of our visual arts program at Kerry Street and consider ourselves lucky to have had such dedicated art teachers over the years, including former staff member Ariane Roemmele and our current Artist in Residence, Caroline Colliss. Caroline works with all of our classes as we believe the visual arts have the ability to engage, inspire, and enrich the lives of students, encouraging them to reach their individual potential through developing imaginative and innovative thinking. Some of our students’ best works have been in response to topical provocations like the scourge of plastic in our oceans and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Caroline shares news of the students’ creations in our weekly school newsletters, which you will find on the Newsletters page of this website.
Language Other Than English
Our Year 1 to 6 students are currently learning Italian as their Language other than English subject. Our language program is underpinned by the diverse backgrounds of our families and provides opportunities for students to engage with linguistic and cultural diversity. Caroline Colliss, who is our Art teacher also leads our Italian classes. We are really lucky to have such a multi-talented person on our team!
Caroline Colliss holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Movement and Italian Language and a Diploma of Education in Physical Education, Health and Italian, both from the University of Western Australia. Caroline has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, having taught the subjects of health, physical education and outdoor education in addition to art and Italian. She has also mentored pre-service teachers at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.
Caroline joined Kerry Street as our Language other than English teacher in 2016 and has worked diligently to adapt her teaching methods and materials to meet individual student’s needs. In 2019, Caroline took on the additional role of Artist in Residence and has introduced our students to a range of topical and thought-provoking artists, providing the impetus for whole school participation in movements such as Plastic Free July. From time to time, she supports our school even further by stepping in as a relief Education Assistant.
Caroline first visited Italy as a 10-year old, which resulted in her life-long love of the country and its culture. She has visited many times since, each time coming away with a renewed appreciation for the country’s history and traditions.
“After school, I lived in northern Italy for two years which completely changed my life.
In addition to teaching Italian, I have always wanted to teach art and so now I am rather fulfilled having the chance to do so at Kerry Street. Kerry Street kids are often a huge source of inspiration, as they reveal their sense of the world to me.”Caroline Colliss
When Caroline’s not at school, she loves spending time outdoors, cooking, taking care of her family, and running her part-time business selling reversible bicycle seat covers.
Our whole school goes on camp every year and all family members, young and old, are encouraged to attend. Camp is an ideal place for families to get to know each other and feel part of the wider school community. Our camps are organised by both parents and teachers and provide many educational and social and emotional benefits.
As we know it can be financially challenging to participate in camps, each year we reach out to local businesses who kindly assist us with food donations. We thank and acknowledge IGA Hamilton Hill, Woolworths Melville, Kakulas Sister, Scarvaci’s IGA, The Galati Family, Coles Beeliar Village, Wild Bakery, Tony Ale, Peaches Fresh Food and Hamilton Fresh Fruit and Veg for their generous contributions in previous years.
In 2018, our school community travelled to Dwellingup and stayed for three nights at the Dwellingup Chalets and Caravan Park, run by Rosemary and Ross Bryant. On check out, we received feedback from Rosemary and Ross that our school group was a pleasure to host, and our students exceptionally well behaved. We had a wonderful time in Dwellingup, and highly recommend considering Rosemary and Ross’ caravan park as an accommodation option, the next time you’re in the area.
In 2019, we travelled up to Camp Leschenaultia and spent four action-packed days learning Bush Wisdom survival skills including how to make damper, courtesy of Vanessa Paget, and whittling and flag making courtesy of our friends Daniel and Trudi from Educated by Nature.
We were planning to visit Wadjemup (Rottnest) this year but unfortunately had to take a rain check as a result of COVID-19. Here’s hoping we will make it back there in 2021!