Throsby School in Gungahlin – Canberra’s newest school – will welcome 195 preschool to Year 6 children for the first time when Term 1 commences on Monday.
Throsby is the 90th public school in the ACT.
Teacher and school leader of 26 years, Annamaria Zuffo, has taken on the role of founding principal and says all the staff are excited to greet the new faces.
“Developing relationships and connecting with people is the best part of the job,” she said.
“Education is the single most important part of a child’s life. Teaching is such an incredible privilege and the best vocation in the universe. Leading a school as the principal is a huge responsibility and a job that I take very seriously.”
Ms Zuffo began her teaching career at Fraser Primary School, inspired by pioneers “who work tirelessly towards positive outcomes”.
“One of my passions in education is learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. I am looking forward to learning about the local land and people around Throsby.”
Construction on the $43.9 million school began in late 2020. Children, families, teachers, local organisations and the broader Canberra community were then given the opportunity to vote for their preferred name and uniform option on the ACT Government’s Your Say Conversations website in October 2021.
A eucalyptus Leaf was chosen for the school logo, while the name honours Charles Throsby, an English surgeon who migrated to New South Wales in 1802. His explorations opened up a lot of land beyond the Blue Mountains for colonial settlement.
The new campus also becomes the ACT’s third zero-emissions school, building on the ACT Government’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2045.
A vast array of solar panels generates renewable energy onsite, while a 220,000-litre in-ground rainwater tank will provide plenty of water for irrigating the grounds.
The school can also go into ‘bushfire mode’ for short periods of time in the event of heavy pollution thanks to its airtight design.
COVID-19 and wet weather took their toll on the initial construction timetable, so there is still more to be done on the oval, outdoor courts and an indigenous garden. The last construction fences are expected to come down in March.
All up, the school can accommodate 132 preschool students and 450 Kindergarten to Year 6 students, with space available for future growth.
It features a large community room and kitchenette, multipurpose double gym, sports courts, change-room facilities, library, as well as clever features for creative learning such as desks that double as whiteboards and indoor treehouses. The playground features in-ground trampolines and handball courts.
Like all ACT public schools, Throsby School delivers the Australian Curriculum, with specific facilities to enrich learning in the arts, music, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
The opening represents another step forward in the ACT Government’s attempt to satisfy the explosive growth in Canberra’s north. Over the last 10 years, the population in Gungahlin has almost doubled from 46,971 to an estimated 84,684.
Year 7 to 10 students living in Throsby currently fall within the ‘Priority Enrolment Area’ (PEA) for Harrison School. A new high school in Kenny will open in 2023 and cater for up to 800 students, while capacity at Franklin School, formerly Franklin Early Childhood School, has been increased to 600 primary students. Work is also underway on a new northside college.