The brand new, state-of-the-art Murrumbateman Public School had students attend their first week of classes last week across all grades from kindergarten to Year 6.

Smiling, nervous and excited students all hit the school grounds in their new blue and black uniforms and looked very sharp in Week One.

Murrumbateman Public School Principal Liz Beasley spoke to The Times about the opening week and both students and staff settling into the new school. 

“It’s been fantastic. All the students have settled in very well. They’re all happy and smiling and it’s nice to see the smiling faces when they’re dropped off and when they’re going home. It’s been a pretty smooth start really,” Principal Beasley said.

Beasley also touched on the outstanding facilities that Murrumbateman Public School students and staff have access to.

“It’s a privilege for me. And it’s been, for me a really good opportunity with the staff to really consider education and use the spaces, according to latest research and using pedagogies that suit the co-teaching spaces.


Murrumbateman kindergarten students delighted to use VR goggles

“We’ve spent a lot of time doing research around co-teaching collaborative practices, to really think about what we want for our students, and align it to the spaces as well.

“We’re using the spaces in a way where we use learning zones, so the kids work out of campfires, waterholes, caves, and they have these zones that they can move around. You have the teachers teaching in a campfire. And the kids will listen and learn that way, then they may move to the waterfall areas, and they can actually collaborate and discuss the learning.

Murrumbateman school staff with Principal Liz Beasley at front – 5th from right

“We’ve really placed a high value on collaboration and those critical thinking skills, we want kids to be able to problem solve together and learn from each other.

Entering the new school grounds

“That’s the way we’ve set it up. We’ve based it on Thornburg zones of learning. We’ll have things like pop-up classes where kids can come and revisit something they didn’t understand, or teachers can actually identify kids that need that extra support, and let them go over that content again.

“We’re making sure the kids actually really understand what we’re teaching them and get the concept.

“The teachers do collaborative planning every week together with a look at what they’re teaching and what the assessment showed. They’ll actually plan for the next week or so around that to make sure all the students are accessing the content.”

With a project cost of 38 million dollars, the school is set to service many generations of future families and currently has 97 students enrolled for the first year, with Beasley explaining the enrollment criteria. 

“We’re only kids zoned for our school. The school is for the kids of Murrumbateman and we have our intake area,” she said.

“We have our enrollment zone, so some of the kids have been at Berinba and have come back because they have been travelling each day, some kids have been travelling to Canberra and have come back to their local school.

“That’s fantastic for them because they get to socialise with kids in their area. That means on weekends and after school, they’ve got a friendship group that they can really connect with.”

Learning and playing spaces

The new Murrumbateman Public School Principal said above all else that there has been one highlight that stood out during the first week.

“The highlight has to be the kids at the school. We’ve built up to this, and we’ve got buildings, but once the kids are in, it’s what makes the school. On Tuesday or Wednesday last week I was thinking “wow, it’s a real school” because the kids are finally here.

“It’s really lovely to hear them playing and just, you know, the laughing and the learning going on. We were really sort of hanging out for the kids, all the staff are the same, so that’s been the highlight for all of us.”

Congratulations to all involved at Murrumbateman Public School who are gearing up for a happy school year.

Tim Warren