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Purpose-built school a labour of love

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At Wentworth Point Public School, the paint is fresh on the classroom walls and the desks are spotless. The new school, in Sydney’s Olympic Park, has been purpose-built to accommodate 400children in an environment that embraces the future of learning pedagogy.

Finishing touches were put in place this week, ahead of the school’s official opening at the end of the month.

Wentworth Point Public School principal Rose Manousaridis says it is ?incredibly exciting? to open a new school. Wentworth Point Public School principal Rose Manousaridis says it is ?incredibly exciting? to open a new school. Photo: Picasa

Principal Rose Manousaridis has been working hard for months to prepare the school for opening day.

It’s the kind of challenge that comes along perhaps only once in a teaching career and must be committed to with the kind of energy that seems to come naturally to Manousaridis.

In between liaising with architects, project officers and the local community, she has been recruiting staff and managing the enrolment process for hundreds of students transitioning over from other schools.

“The opportunity to focus from the very start on building exactly what we know will benefit children, the staff and the community is incredibly exciting … a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Manousaridis says.

“There is an incredible amount of energy around this process and to be at the helm of harnessing this energy is a real privilege.”

Incorporating the latest thinking on what works best in education environments, the school will feature flexible learning spaces and customised furniture. It will also offer a support unit for students with disabilities.

Principals are always required to demonstrate leadership, and perhaps never more so than in a new school where the culture must be created from a blank slate.

Manousaridis says her vision for 2018 is to expect nothing less than personal excellence through the provision of a challenging curriculum which places children at the centre of their learning and wellbeing.

“I need to model the values, beliefs and behaviours which I expect to see in those around me by pushing for perfection, knowing both the big picture and the details, building the leadership capacity of those around me, caring for them and being willing to learn,” she says.

By the end of 2018, Manousaridis says she will know she’s done a good job if the children are highly motivated and passionate about their learning, if the staff love coming to school to work together purposefully, and if the parents are actively engaged in the learning and wellbeing of their children.

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