CLIFTON HILLS PRIMARY SCHOOL (CHPS) was first opened in 1972 and is located on the slopes of the Darling Escarpment, approximately 25km South East of Perth. The school has an enrolment of 380 students in Kindergarten to Year 7. Student enrolments have been increasing with each year due to the large number of cross boundary applications that the school receives. Over 43% of students in the school come from beyond the school's catchment area or boundary. Parents choose for various reasons to bring their children to the school. This has happened following recommendations and commendations from parents whose children have attended or are presently attending the school. In the past two years a number of parents have chosen to enrol their children after viewing the school's results on the 'My School' website.
The school has on site, Kindergarten and Pre Primary transportable buildings which are currently being replaced by a new modern purpose built facility which will be in use some time in the current school year. As well as the new Early Childhood Facility a new Art Room and General Purpose Classroom are being constructed and will come online at about the same time. Other school buildings include a Senior Block, replaced in 1992 due to fire, Junior Block, Library/ICT Centre, Undercover Area and a Canteen, which was officially opened at the end of 2005. Recently the buildings have all been refurbished - exterior and interior surfaces repainted, new carpets and vinyls to the floors and children's desks replaced in each of the classrooms. Toilet blocks within the school have also been repainted with some having also been tiled. In the current year 11 of the classrooms will be fitted with the latest Interactive White Boards. The rest of the classrooms will have these fitted in 2012
The school has Specialist LOTE (Languages Other Than English), Art, Physical Education and Instrumental Music Programmes. Japanese is the School's LOTE language for Students in Years 3 to 7.
Art is conducted for each of the classrooms for seventy minutes per week. The classroom Music Programme, which is taught by the school's Deputy Principal, is supplemented by the Department of Education School of Instrumental Music Studies (S.I.M.S) Programme. Flute, Trumpet and Violin are the instruments currently available to children through this programme at the school. There is both a Junior and Senior Choir within the school. These Choirs perform at school functions, Dalefests and at special events that are held both inside and outside of the school.
There has been a strong Sports Programme within the school. In 2010 a Physical Education Specialist was appointed to the school three days per week. All children now participate in sixty minute per week lessons designed to improve their fine and gross motor physical skills. The children, each year, participate in a daily Physical Education Programme, a School Sport Programme and an Inter School Sport Competition. Apart from regular interschool fixtures (Cross Country and Athletics) the children in Years 4 to 7 also engage in interschool sporting fixtures on a Friday afternoon during the winter months. In all competitive sporting endeavours, children are encouraged to do their best and demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship.
The school has a dual stream Kindergarten and two Pre Primary classes. In the past three years there has been increased demand for these two programmes, with numbers increasing from sixty five (2007) to the current level of ninety two. This is the optimum number of children for the school and facilities and will not grow any larger. All children entering these programmes are tested using the Teacher Assisted Communication (TAC), kindergarten, or in 2011 the new compulsory 'On Entry' Test, in pre-primary. Data collected is used to inform parents about areas of concern or to make referrals to other agencies. Testing at the point of entry has been in place in this school for the past 9 years. The internationally developed 'Primary Movement' Programme was begun for all children in Kindergarten and Pre Primary in 2009. This singing, beat and movement programme was implemented to assist children with; movement, dexterity and concentration. Feedback from parents has been very positive. Teachers have indicated children have shown improvement in each of the targeted areas. This programme will continue in 2011 and be extended into the Year 1 area.
The school priorities this year are Literacy with special emphasis in the areas of spelling, reading and Grammar, Numeracy and Science. Improvement Plans for these areas have been developed via staff consultation and analysis of school based and system based data. Quality, Students at Educational Risk (SAER) Programmes exist within the school with a specialised Direct Instruction method of teaching used in the areas of reading and spelling with identified children. Identified children in Years 5 to 7 participate in extension programmes offered through Kelmscott Senior High School and via the PEAC programmes at District Level.
The school has a highly effective Pastoral Care focus. The School Volunteer Programme, together with the School's Behaviour Management and SAER Policies cater for the needs of all students. The Pastoral Care programmes have been enhanced with the addition of a School Chaplain. The School Chaplain has offered improved and additional services in the areas of counselling (for parents, staff and children), self esteem and values at a level, that in the past, the school has been unable to offer. In conjunction with the school psychologist, the chaplain runs the very successful 'Rainbows' programme. This programme has been developed in assisting children to deal with different types of grief. This grief may be due to the loss of a family member, the break up of a family or even the loss of a beloved pet.
Students within this school display a very positive attitude and are friendly and caring towards each other, which is a further reason why parents elect to bring their children to the school. These types of behaviours are promoted, encouraged and reinforced by; parents, staff and the wider school community. Incidences of any major student misbehaviour that would result in extreme sanctions or suspensions are practically non existent. Most incidences of poor behaviour are of a minor nature and are dealt with via the school's Behaviour Management strategies. All of these strategies are strongly supported by parents and usually have a very quick resolution.
Every three years the school conducts a detailed survey of parent, student and teacher satisfaction. Most parents take this survey and the opportunity to express their opinion very seriously. With a return rate of 72% this survey is seen by the school and its administration as clearly reflective of parent views and opinions. In order of priority parents rate the following as the most positive aspects of the school: school staff, school community, school programmes, the students at the school and the grounds and physical appearance of the school. The survey results also demonstrate that the school community view Clifton Hills Primary School as a close knit, safe, caring and effective learning environment for their children.