The Cayzer Community

The Albert Park Way

How a strong Community sets this popular primary school apart.

If you live in Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park or St Kilda West, you are likely to be zoned to a first class primary school.

But there is one primary school in particular, that is as much a part of its community as its community is part of it.

“Albert Park Primary is a friendly school that has students at the heart of everything we do,” explains Elaine Mills, the Principal.

“It is also a community venue. Our playgrounds are open for local people to use until 8pm every night. We have great relationships with all traders in Albert Park Village.”

Albert Park Primary prides itself in its “Albert Park Way” which underpins everything the school does.

“At its heart is treating others the way we would like to be treated,” Elaine explains.

“We have high expectations of our students and our teachers, while at the same time we are developing the whole child.

“We offer French, music, sports and arts programs. The school has a close relationship with the Australian National Academy of Music, based at the South Melbourne Town Hall. Our students go to concerts there and the Academy students work with ours.

“We also have a strong relationship with Gasworks Arts Park. Our students have created and displayed artwork there and we use their kiln to fire our pottery.

“We value our community’s work and they value ours. That’s at the heart of our school.”

In an area where space is a luxury, the school has been very clever with how it continues to develop its spaces. A mindfulness for its position – in thinking by staff and action by students – means the “Albert Park Way” extends to students’ behaviour within the relatively limited school grounds.

“This year we had three-storey temporary buildings built to replace the two-storey buildings, so we were able to keep the play space the same,” Elaine says.

“Our students are so beautifully behaved that there are very few incidences in the playground.”

While relationships within the school and wider community are strong, so too is the relationship between learning and home life. Elaine explains that this is something the school is always working to strengthen.

“In addition to regular open classrooms, we are introducing a new app to photograph work that can then be sent to parents in real time,” she says.

It is a strategy that appeals to parents. Mother of two Albert Park Primary students, Kelli Browne explains the sense of community is what drove her to send her children to the school.

“There is a supportive, positive and collaborative culture that encourages a true sense of community,” Kelli explains. “It's an inclusive friendly caring environment.

“But the biggest reason I choose to send my children to Albert Park Primary School is the close ties between the school and parent community.”

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