Builyan State School off to a new start for 2018
SCHOOLS around the Gladstone Region began welcoming children back through their gates yesterday as the 2018 school year officially kicked off.
But while it was a fight for parking and a return to Monday morning madness for many, children in Gladstone's more rural areas have life a bit easier.
Builyan State School in the Boyne Valley has just nine enrolments this year, an increase from the eight students who attended last year.
The school employs a multi-age setting where prep students through to year six students are in the same classroom, a set-up that teaching principal Kaylee Fechner said had its pros and cons.
"It's really great for the kids because they get lots of one-on-one teaching,” she said.
"Being in a multi-age setting allows kids to move up and down when needed in different areas of the curriculum.
"The disadvantage is they don't have other kids the same age to compete against or to push them.”
The school does, however, work with two other local schools in the Boyne Valley from Nagoorin and Ubobo for cluster days where same- aged children can work together.
Ms Fechner said although the three small schools were close together, there was never a thought that three might become one.
"I think the communities in each three of the towns are very strong advocates for their schools,” she said.
"At the moment we're all very small, but there's not a chance that they'll close.
"I think the communities would back these schools to stay open.”
Year 4 student Vanessa Manley said she was excited for her first day back.
Along with her best friend Libby Hudson, Vanessa said her favourite part was seeing everyone again.
"I like being back with all my friends,” she said.
"My favourite subject is maths.
"I like solving equations.”
Ms Fechner said the small community was also excited for the return of the school year.
"It's good to start the new year fresh with positive new intentions,” she said.
"All the parents turned up this morning which is good to see, but I think they quite enjoy having the kids home as well to spend some time with.
"But they're all excited for them to start back and get back into some routine.”
With only four years to go until Builyan celebrates its centenary, the school will be hoping it can stay open for many years to come.