Real Life

We’re the only two kids in school!

We're the only two kids in school!

In gold rush days, Taradale Primary had 200 students. Now there are just two.

Whether they’re playing tag in one of the playgrounds, kicking a ball around the oval or raising a hand to answer a question in class, seven-year-old Mollie McCarthy and eight-year-old Tim Grant never have to compete too hard for space or attention.

They are the only students at their school! Taradale PS, on the Calder Highway in rural Victoria, is one of the most spacious schools in its region in terms of size and numbers of classrooms. It boasts an historic building that houses three of the five classrooms, a new kitchen, new furniture and a bell tower. There’s also an art studio, a multi-purpose room, two playgrounds, an oval, a basketball court, lovely landscaped gardens, including a vegie patch, and even a hobby farm with five chooks, two lambs and a calf.

But there’s never any danger of Mollie or Tim getting lost in the expansive grounds, with Taradale’s acting principal Chris Burgess and teacher Michelle Law watching over them. “We think it’s a really nice, friendly school with nice children and nice teachers,” Chris reflects. “The kids get one-on-one education, and we can really cater for what they need educationally and their individual areas of interest. We don’t have any problems with wagging – the kids are very keen to come.”

With seven computers and a state-of-the-art whiteboard each, not to mention all the room they could ever desire, it’s easy to see why. There’s never any issue with bullying either, although the kids don’t always get on perfectly. “They still have the odd barney every now and then,” laughs Michelle. “They have a bit of a love/hate relationship, but we do lots of different things in the playground to keep them happy.”

Read more about the school in this week’s Woman’s Day on sale Monday April 9, 2012.

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