Dandenong South Primary School is a medium sized primary school, with an enrolment of 628 students in 2019. Historically, the enrolment at the school has been relatively stable. However, in recent years the school enrolment has increased. At the beginning of 2019 there were 101 Foundation enrolments. Demographic studies of the City of Greater Dandenong indicate that the school will continue to grow over the next few years. The school has a Kindergarten on site.
The school is situated in an area, which is bordered by residential, commercial and industrial zones. There are no other schools in the immediate vicinity. The school has a substantial Muslim/Islamic population. Some children from the area attend Islamic schools at primary or secondary level. Less than 10% of year 6 students transfer to independent secondary schools. Most of the students elect to go to Dandenong High School.
Approximately 85% of students have origins outside Australia and represent in excess of forty different nationalities, speaking approximately thirty five languages other than English. There is a large proportion of Albanian Families in the school community with a growing number of Sudanese and Afghani students now enrolling. Although approximately 85% of students have backgrounds other than English, many are born in the local community with family members who, for several generations, have attended Australian schools.
The school has a proud history of involvement in Research and Development, working with the Department of Education, Melbourne and Sydney Universities, and the Australian Council of Educational Research.
To facilitate management, the school is divided into five sub-schools: Foundation, Year 1, Year 2, Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6. In 2018 the staff profile consists of 29 classroom teachers and a number of specialist teachers for Art, Music, Indonesian, Dance and P.E. There are 5 additional support teachers, 2 EAL teachers, 4 substantive Leading Teachers, Assistant Principals and Principal. The 15 members of the ES team, which includes Office Staff, Integration Aides and Multicultural Aides, greatly support all aspects of the functioning of the school. Although the profile varies from year to year, the school has always had a similar profile, enabling a broad curriculum and additional assistance for students to be implemented.
The school promotes excellence in all aspects of learning and strives to cater for students’ individual needs, developing the total child. The development of Literacy and Numeracy skills is emphasised. This thrust is well supported by focused Literacy and Numeracy programs, Reading Intervention and the EAL Program. Incursions and excursions, special events, intensive swimming and transition programs with the local secondary college and kindergartens enriches the curriculum. The core subjects of English and Mathematics are carefully timetabled to ensure that uninterrupted learning time is available. Small group focused teaching and the use of Learning Technologies in all subject areas are features of the curriculum. A comprehensive lunch time activities program is in place and provides a range of extra curricula activities. The school concert is highly valued by the whole school community and is held every two years.
The staff work and plan in teams to reduce ‘between class differences’ and to maximise the contribution and expertise of all. The school has an ethos of ongoing improvement and Professional Development of staff ensures that professional standards remain high. The school encourages the involvement of the community through open days, information sessions and classroom helpers. Community support for the school is high. The school is always mindful of the differing cultural views concerning the degree of parental involvement with the school.
Dandenong South Primary School has a holistic approach to learning where the academic, physical, social, and emotional needs of all children are fostered through the school’s values of:
- Resilience - Having the capacity to cope with change and bounce back in difficult times
- Empathy - Using our personal experiences to feel for and relate to others
- Challenge - Persevering and remaining focused when faced with a difficult situation. Being a risk taker with learning
- Respect - Respecting ourselves, and recognising and accepting the differences in ability, race, religion and beliefs of others
At Dandenong South Primary School the wellbeing and safety of all children is at the forefront of all we do and every decision we make. We have a zero tolerance to child abuse. Our school actively promotes the safety and wellbeing of all students, and all school staff are devoted to protecting students from abuse or harm in the school environment in accordance with their legal obligations including the Child Safe Standards. In keeping with this approach, we are committed to using a Restorative Practices approach, which focuses on developing positive relationships between students, and between teachers and students.
The school has a structured and caring learning environment and is dedicated to promoting each student’s confidence and self-esteem. The school’s programs offer the opportunities to develop cooperation, respect, honesty, friendship and responsible attitudes. There is a solid appreciation of cultural diversity and multiculturalism and the school works towards building shared values and developing an attitude of tolerance towards each other.
Several major upgrades of the school buildings have been undertaken in recent years bringing significant improvements to classroom, staff and administration amenities. Facilities include a Library, Art Room, Performing Arts Complex, and Gymnasium. Air conditioning has been installed throughout the school. The school has excellent ICT and Music facilities. These enable the school to utilise computers and technology to enhance students’ learning and provide opportunities to develop and enhance musical development and understandings. The school grounds have been extensively upgraded and contain soccer and football ovals, a tennis court/netball court and a basketball court. Playground equipment and sandpits provide engaging areas for play. There are a large number of quiet shaded areas.
In 2019 the school intends to upgrade the Library building.