The school opened in 1971 in what was a largely rural area. Manjimup accommodates a robust community and supports a wide range of services and infrastructure associated with a mid-size southwest town. Farming, forestry and timber milling were the traditional mainstays of the town but issues such as the Regional Forest Agreement have made in-roads into the more traditional economic support structures. Eco-tourism and horticulture could be seen as growth areas.
The school has grown somewhat, as has the town, and enrolments are steady. Currently our enrolment is 223 students from Kindergarten to Year 6. Approximately 75 percent of our students are town children who live east of the railway line. The remainder come from farms or smaller communities out of town and from other areas in town outside of our catchment area. The most common reasons given for these 'extra' enrolments are 'East Manji's' positive reputation for inclusivity, quality education programs, behaviour management and pastoral care. The school's wonderful gardens, rural aspect and many mature trees provide an enviable ambience.
Teachers are organised in teams - Early Childhood (K-2), Middle Primary (3-4) and Upper Primary (5-6) - and meet regularly to address planning and curriculum issues. Teachers also have significant leadership roles addressing curriculum improvement and pastoral care programs. Staff turnover is minimal and this helps provide stability and enthusiasm.
We enjoy a warm community partnership with a very supportive P & C Association who have been instrumental in providing many resources including play equipment, air-conditioning classrooms and even a Specialist Classroom. Parents and caregivers also demonstrate their support through their involvement at a classroom level in the school's learning activities. A sizable parent presence is always part of the school's sporting carnivals. Induction evenings, learning journeys and 'sausage sizzles' also attract significant parent support.
The school is well resourced with a new art/craft room, computer laboratory and library. All buildings, including existing classrooms, have been fitted with air-conditioning and electronic whiteboards are fitted in most classrooms. These resources provide our students and staff with a wonderful learning environment.
Our challenge is to incorporate system initiatives with our own goals and dreams and make them part of a flexible, workable approach to education.