Merrimac State School is a state primary school located on the Queensland Gold Coast between Broadbeach and the Hinterland. The school was established in 1917 as a one-teacher school and has grown over the years to a school catering to students from Prep to Year 6. Merrimac is an inclusive coeducational learning environment.
The school is characterised by its original one-teacher school building, set amidst a bushland environment neighbouring international level golf courses. The school maintains its natural setting whilst developing up to date learning environments catering to world class educational opportunities for all students. The Prep environment is exclusive for Prep learning. Students in Years 1 to 6 access the rest of the school.
Merrimac is staffed by according to enrolment numbers with class teachers. Merrimac provides specialist learning in the areas of Health and Physical Education (HPE) , Music (including instrumental music - strings, woodwind, brass and percussion) - and Choirs (Junior and Senior), Japanese (from Prep to Year 6), Technology (Digital and Design), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and The Arts (Dance and Drama). As an inclusive school all students have access to Learning Support, Guidance Officer, Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and School-based Psychologist (as needed). The Leadership team consists of a Principal, Deputy Principals, Business Services Manager and two Administration Officers. The school has teaching assistants working across classrooms to positively impact student learning outcomes. School cleaners and the School's Facilities Officer maintain the physical environment of the school. THe school prides itself on the reciprocity of its networks - P&C, School Council, Local Community Groups, Feeder High Schools. All teachers and staff play an integral role in the strategic management of the school.
The teaching staff is developed professionally with ongoing learning aligned with the school's strategic direction.
The student clientele is characterised by a mix of middle class and sole supporting families. The majority of the school population is stable with many families passing local schools to attend Merrimac. The school services a wide area including the communities of Merrimac, Merridown, Cararra, Worongary, Nerang, Clear Island Waters, Robina, Mermaid Waters and Mudgeeraba. There are an increasing number of students from southern states and New Zealand. Thirteen students currently identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Approximately 12% of the student population access a range of educational services and support such as:- Levelled LIteracy Intervention; Guidance Officer; Speech Language Pathologist; Educational Adjustment Programs and English as a Second Language.
An active Special Needs Committee caters for learning support students and students on Educational Adjustment Programs in the area of intellectual impairment, autistic spectrum disorder and speech and language impairment. A small group of students are supported by a visiting English as a Second Language Teacher.
At Merrimac State School we place a great deal of emphasis on student leadership. Whether it is at a class level, in the playground, at sporting activities or at a whole school level, we try to develop leadership skills and responsibility in all our students. Our student leader positions consist of four student leaders, eight sports captains, Year 5 and 6 Student Council members, Years 4 to 6 Class Captains, Band Leaders and our Years 5 Playground Pals.
Curriculum offerings from the Australian Curriculum include English, Mathematics, Science, HASS. The curriculum also covers the Arts including Music and Physical Education. Japanese is taught to all students from Prep to Year 6. Swimming is offered to all year levels with interschool sport available to Years 5-6 in Semester 1 and Semester 2.
The school has ample physical resources and a very well resourced school resource centre. Information Technology is a major systemic priority with a Local Area Network completed in 1999. Wireless internet is available in all classrooms. Approximately one third of the computer hardware within the school is leased through Education Queensland. This ensures the most up to date equipment possible for the students. In 2009 all classrooms were air conditioned and interactive whiteboards were installed in all major teaching areas. These are ugraded with the support from the P&C.
Supportive school environment
The school’s Responsible Behaviour Plan focuses on the provision of a safe and supportive environment. It encourages students to strive to improve their behaviour through rewarding and acknowledging positive behaviour. Behaviour management procedures are common through all classrooms with a level system based on timeout and responsible thinking. Individual Behaviour Management Plans are implemented for children who need additional support.
Major priority areas include a focus on developmental learning, the development of student self esteem, the integration of learning technology, improved literacy skills, the provision of recreational programs and the enhancement of the physical environment.
Overall, parent support at Merrimac State School is very good. We believe strongly in parent involvement and parents are invited to develop a close link with the school. Good communication between home and school is essential. Communication is promoted through fortnightly newsletters, class newsletters each term, formal and informal parent/teacher interviews, parent/teacher nights, student folios and report cards, open days and special school activities. It is the practice at Merrimac to invite parents and other interested community members to help as voluntary aides within the classroom. This is outlined at the parent/teacher evening early in the school year. Parents are also invited to be actively involved in the P&C Association, who look after our Tuckshop and Uniform/Bookshop.
The school has a total annual budget in excess of $400 000 comprising of funds from Education Queensland, parent contributions, P&C Bookshop, school tuckshop, the P&C Association and special purpose grants. The P&C Association is active in the school with a Bookshop operating throughout the year. Income generated through the tuckshop and bookshop provide significant capital input into the school.