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Golden jubilee: 50 years of Norville to be celebrated

Norville State School
50 YEARS: Stacey Ford, Trevor Green, Robert Long, Laura Coates, Penelope Lester, Helen Lester, Angela Baxter and Wendy Smith at Norville State School in the early years.

Past and present students, teachers and families of Norville State School will gather later this month to celebrate 50 years since the education facility opened.

A golden jubilee event will be held on Saturday 20 November from 9 am to 3 pm with a range of festivities planned for attendees to enjoy.

Carol Wood, who is not only the event organiser but also a past teacher and deputy principal, said the jubilee would feature the opening of a time capsule buried in 1995, the creation of a new time capsule, student performances, rides, food stalls and more.

She said the event was a long time coming, with COVID restrictions cancelling initial plans to host the jubilee last year.

“The event was to be held in 2020 which was the 50th year of the school’s operation but COVID caused that to be postponed until this year,” she said.

“There has been quite a lot of Facebook activity from different class groups from the past who are now really looking forward to catching up on the day.

“We are expecting many past and present families, students and teachers to attend the celebrations.”

Norville State School
Norville teacher Carol Wood with Ben Dorron, Nicholas Clarry, Sarah Edwards and Caitlyn Findlay in 1994.

History of Norville State Primary School

Carol said Norville was one of the first open-plan state primary schools built in Queensland.

She said the school was distinctive at the time, being low-set with large double-space classrooms with two or sometimes three teachers, withdrawal rooms for small group activities, courtyards, extensive grounds and a bushland area.

“Classes had up to 80 children in the first few years while additional classrooms were built progressively throughout that time,” Carol said.

“When the school opened, not all classrooms were completed, so teachers and students had to be very flexible and adaptable fitting in to existing rooms.

“The school initially created some community conjecture because of its different design and co-operative teaching approach.

“However, it soon became recognised as a very positive educational facility which offered great opportunities for the children who attended Norville.”

Norville gold jubilee
Principal Ron Lester traces the development of the school since children first attended on 25 January, 1971.

Plenty of change in Norville State School 50 years

Over the years, Carol said modern technology and various changes to the curriculum had shaped the school to what it was today.

“The school has embraced technology as an integral aspect of learning,” she said.

“Norville has a computer lab and a focus on digital technology is part of the curriculum.

“Teachers also facilitate a ‘Coders Club’ during lunch breaks to encourage students with an interest in digital technologies and coding to experiment and learn.”

Carol said school students also had keen interests in other unique programs including choirs, instrumental groups and more.

Norville State School jubilee
Norville State School music specialist teacher Anthonie Meerman conducts the students during a Music Count Us In event in 2019.

“Programs such as ‘Thinkers Club’ have been created to prepare children for participation in the Optiminds program and enhance creative thinking and problem solving,” she said.

“An extension writing group ‘Quills’ encourages students to develop and refine their written language skills.

“As part of the Japanese language program, the Japanese teacher started a group of Taiko drummers.”

Carol said the golden jubilee event would be an opportunity for the community to further explore the history, current achievements and upcoming plans of Norville State School.

The event will be held on Saturday 20 November at the school in Dr Mays Road Svensson Heights from 9 am until 3 pm.

For more on how Norville State School 50 years will be celebrated follow the Facebook page for more information.

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