Imagine a magical school where all the children are well-behaved, love reading, respect their teachers, support each other and generally learn at a level above their age.
Welcome to Binya Public School – one of the smallest primary schools in Australia, with a total population of eleven children. According to student Sam Conlan, it’s also “the smartest school in Australia, or possibly the world”.
The Area News spent a morning there during the week, and found it hard to disagree. The students are all bright and enthusiastic, engaged with the community and have poise and style in front of the camera.
Principal Jaimee Damini said, “our school has a real individual focus, we cater for each and every child and their learning abilities”.
I love books because I really like looking at the pictures and finding out how funny the story is.Greer Geddes, aged 10
The school is located near the centre of the small town of Binya, about half an hour from Griffith. Nine of the students are from surrounding farms, while two are located near the town centre.
For many years, Jan, the bus driver who runs the local post office, has picked up the students and dropped them home.
“We don’t have any difficult students here. They are all really bright. If someone happens to struggle, the other students rush in to help, ” Ms Damini said.
Helen Foy, who has taught at the school for 20 years, is also adored by the students. But she didn’t like the camera as much as the children.
There are two kindergarten students, one Year 1 and two Year 2s who make up the infant class; and one Year 3 and five Year 5s who are the primary class. There are no Year 4s or Year 6s. They learn in the same classroom.
Many families also participate in the Kidz Konnect preschool program, likely to boost school numbers by up to 20 percent next year.
All students were extremely polite and well-behaved, and loved answering questions. When they were asked to do something – be it to read, write, code or recite a play; they ran to do it.
Sam Conlan, who won a regional creative writing competition earlier this year, asked his classmates to introduce themselves to the camera. All students did so showing their creative flair, ability to think on the spot and willingness to help each other.
Sam asked the students to give themselves a name, starting with the same letter of their first name, that described their personality.
In the school there is: Magnificent Millie Rowston, Creative Claire Burcham, Brilliant Bailey Drinkwater, Silly Sam Conlan, Lion-like Leo Geddes, Generous Greer Geddes, Cheerful Charlie Kite, Mad Max Conlan, Exciting Ella Rowney, Nice Natalie Kite and Jolly Jonty Conlan.