Office Cubby

Welcome to Spirit of Play where our office is a little wooden cubby with a tin roof and a verandah. Inside you will find our helpful office staff Sandra, Zoe and Rene who’ll be happy to help with anything you might need.

We hope you can find everything that you are looking for on this page; information and downloads on:

Otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact us.

2021 School Fees

Due to the climate of economic uncertainty  we have introduced two discounted rates for Pensioner concession card holders (20% off Term fees) and Health Care Card holders (10% off Term fees).  Those families who are entitled to a discounted rate should present their cards to the office to receive a discount in 2020.We have also introduced differentiated levies for Stationary supplies and Excursions/Incursions to more accurately represent the costs incurred by each year group. Please note that discounts do not apply to levies.


3 full days (not compulsory attendance)

$525/term plus once off levies of $25 to cover Stationary and $20 to cover incursions and excursions.
Total of $2145 per year without discounts.


$679/term plus once off levies of  $45 to cover stationary and $50 to cover incursions and excursions.
Total of $2811 per year without discounts.

YEAR 3 and 4

$679/term plus once off levies of $75 to cover stationary and $100 to cover camps, incursions and excursions. An optional fee of $150 to cover surfing lessons in Term 1 may also apply.
Total of $2891 per year without surfing lessons or discounts.

YEAR 5 and 6

$679/term plus once off levies of $75 to cover stationary and $140 to cover camps, incursions and excursions. An optional fee of $150 to cover surfing lessons in Term 1 may also apply.
Total of $2931 per year without surfing lessons or discounts.

Discounts available for 2nd and 3rd child enrolled and for early payment

If you have a second child attending the school, 25% is deducted from the fee, with a 50% discount for a third child.

The school also offers a discount of 5% off the student term fee, where the student term fees are paid for the whole year, prior to the commencement of the school year.

Invoicing and payment arrangements

Fee invoices will be sent to parents in the second week of term and payment should be made by week 3 unless an alternative arrangement has been made. Payment can be paid to the office or by online banking. Centrepay can be arranged by request.

Bursary Relief

Families experiencing financial difficulty are asked to contact the School as soon as possible to discuss their options, as a limited number of special arrangements for reduced tuition fees are available for families in difficult financial circumstances.  This bursary relief will be negotiated on an individual basis and the outcomes of such discussions will be kept completely confidential.

Notice of withdrawal

Please note that one full term written notice is required if you intend to withdraw your child from the school or the next terms fees will be charged and payment required.

If you have any queries regarding fees or other matters of administration please contact us today.

Contact us today

School History

The History of Spirit of Play Community School

Spirit of Play Community School began as a playgroup at ‘The Wolery’ Community Centre, 1999.

The program was then extended to include Kindergarten, Pre-Primary classes, and a Year 1 Curriculum in 2001.

In 2003, the school moved to the historic Old Post Office Building on Inlet Drive, with a secure, long-term lease with the Shire of Denmark. The Old Post Office Building was moved to it’s current location in 1987 and from 1991 served as the main Kindergarten in Denmark until 2003 when the early learning centre at Denmark Primary was established.

Through the support and generosity of the Denmark Historical Society ( and the Denmark Shire, our School has been fortunate to be able to continue the tradition of teaching in this lovely old building.

In 2015, our program was extended to Year 2, and from 2018 we were able to offer a full primary educational journey, Playgroup through to Year 6.

The founding principles of the school were, and remain today, to offer a nurturing play-based program for early years and primary school children, which encourages respect for each other and the beautiful environment we share.

While we are not bound to any particular ideological approach, our open and holistic educational philosophy is based on sound principles of early childhood and community-based education.

Spirit of Play Community School attracts parents and families who care deeply about the education of their children. Our program is conducted by qualified and experienced early childhood teachers.

Hear more from the present day staff at Spirit of Play.


We believe in building a strong school community through family involvement and commitment. The talents, energy and knowledge of all school community members are valued. Parents help to govern the school, offer input into policy and curriculum development, and grant writing, and help to develop playgrounds and other resources for the children’s ongoing use.

Click here to read more about Parent Involvement at the school.

Celebration & Events

A thriving school community comes together for celebrations and events

At Spirit of Play we hold regular seasonal celebrations at the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes and at Winter Solstice.

These events bring together the extended School Community to celebrate the changing of the seasons and provide an opportunity to have fun!


Children look forward to these days with much anticipation and the older members of the school enjoy passing on the seasonal songs and rituals to the younger children.

While the repetition of the main themes and songs is important, so is the creative input of all of those involved. In this way each celebration is different.

Parent involvement

Parent involvement at our Community School

Spirit of Play Community School attracts parents and families who care deeply about the education of their children.

“I love the inclusion of family and community in the whole school”
Parent 2015

We believe in building a strong school community through family involvement. The talents, energy and knowledge of all school community members, are valued and incorporated.

Our School Council

The School Council is made up of an elected body of parents, who convene regularly as a committee, with delegates of School Staff, to make and implement decisions.

As with all independent schools, our Council is assigned with the governance of the school.

Areas of responsibility include:

  • Providing a forum for the involvement of the parent body in decision-making.
  • Overseeing the financial management, strategic planning and policy development of the school.
  • Direction of the school’s unique educational approach to the Australian curriculum.

Photo of Spirit of Play students learning outdoors

As a community school, we encourage all parents to have input into our program, and support the efforts of our Staff to create the best possible school life for our children.

This involvement may be through School Council, assistance in the classroom or on excursions, at Busy Bees or in organising School events.

Spirit of Play teachers helping prepare an outdoor meal

Photo of Spirit of Play parents sitting with their children by a tree

Many hands make light work, and family participation helps to weave together a stronger school community, and a deeper sense of belonging for parents and their children, alike.

I like the fact that everyone has a voice and feel that being involved as parent is important.”
Kindy Parent, 2015

Contact the School Office if you would like to be involved.

Spirit of Community

All my children attended the school and I was actively involved in the parent management committee. As a parent, I was attracted to the school because of the holistic, environmental and cultural education. The school community was very inclusive and had a welcoming feel. It was like an extended family. I loved that input from parents was sought into the running of school. All staff work together towards a shared vision.
Angela Dickinson, ex-parent (Educational Assistant, 2015).

The School was founded on a spirit of community participation, which is alive and well today.

Find out more about:

  • » School Community Celebrations and Events








Hear more from the school’s dedicated teachers and staff.

Photo of the community gathering at a Spirit of Play celebration/event

I hope Denmark continues to be a connected, small community that questions the way of the world and does things in its own way.
Ingrid Jansen-Neeling, School Principal, 2015.

Roles and processes for guiding behaviour at our school

Teachers, supported by Education Assistants, are responsible for overall classroom management and discipline of individual children, using the guidelines outlined above.

Due to the nature of the school environment, it is important to note that the needs of the whole class group is of considerable importance. Therefore, at times, short and clear instructions, devoid of anger or judgement, may be given to individual students, after continuous disruption, to enable the learning needs of the whole group to be honoured and maintained.

Consequences will be relevant to the student and the situation. For example, if a child is constantly disrupting the learning of the other children, and they are taking away time from the other students, they will be required to ‘give back’ to the group in their own time. This may include:

  • Shadowing the teacher or education assistant, particularly for unsafe behaviour
  • Finishing required work before going out to play
  • Not participating in games, excursions or other activities

Teachers ensure that their classroom is calm and supportive and that the learning program is engaging for all students.

We believe that all behaviour indicates a need, or several needs. Questions a teacher will ask include:

  • What is the child / class trying to tell me with this behaviour?
  • Is the general feel of my class calm and conducive to learning?
  • Is the learning environment organised and free from clutter?
  • Do I ensure that the children are not being asked to ‘sit still and listen’ for long periods of time?
  • When I do require children to sit still and listen, do I ensure that it happens?
  • Do the students have the opportunity to be heard?
  • Are the students extended / supported as needed?
  • Do I make teaching and learning adjustments to suit individual children?
  • Have I developed Individual Education Plans for each student?
  • Are all staff members aware of the details of these plans?
  • Do we regularly meet with individual children to help them to challenge themselves and achieve their goals?
  • Do I have high expectations for student learning and behaviour?
  • Do I follow through on what I have said?
  • Do I regularly monitor the class and make adjustments to the learning program as needed?
  • Do we regularly discuss and review our class agreements?

Teachers and children work together to develop the class agreements, which are then displayed in the classroom and referred to regularly. Each learning space has a designated cool off space, to allow the children to calm down when they are managing big emotions. An adult will help the child to work through their emotions before returning to the group. Sometimes the child just needs some space and they are able to return to the group by themselves.

The classroom teacher of Year One and above works through lessons from the No Fault Classroom program, based on Non-Violent Communication. These lessons help to develop the social and emotional skills of the children and improve communication.

Children are never asked to leave the classroom for misbehaviour. As recommended by Mindful Awareness Parenting, we believe in ‘time in’ rather than ‘time out’ during times of distress. On some occasions, the teacher may decide that the child should spend some time in the other classroom to cool down. The student will take work with them and be accompanied by an Education Assistant.

If extra support is needed, the teacher asks the EA or two children to go to the cubby (office) to ask for help. The Principal or Admin Assistant will go to the classroom immediately upon request.

The cubby is a positive, safe place for the children. Some children require additional support and time in the cubby can help to develop positive connection with more adults at the school, helping them to feel emotionally safe. Only on very rare occasions after the teacher has made every attempt to connect and redirect, will the Principal be involved in consequences for behaviour.

Consequences for more severe misbehaviours such as hurting someone, leaving the school grounds or damaging property are at the discretion of the Principal. In such cases, parents / guardians will be required to meet with the Principal and a behaviour plan will be made before the child is allowed to return to the class.

We believe that by working together, we can help the children to feel more calm and connected and return to positive behaviour, which allows them and the other children to fully participate in learning.

Please note:

Parents are encouraged to speak with the Class Teacher if they have concerns about behaviour management or their child’s particular needs. If they continue to have concerns, they should speak with the Principal.

The teacher is always the one to make the decision to seek further support with behaviour management.

Detailed notes are kept by teachers regarding the behaviour of the children. The Principal will ask for these notes from time to time as part of the whole school positive behaviour program.

Our Approach to Discipline in a Nutshell

Various philosophies and programs influence our approach to discipline. These include Relational Learning, Non-Violent Communication, No-Drama Discipline and Mindful Awareness Parenting.

We offer courses and reading material to staff members, families and community members to help adults to help children.

Discipline comes down to one simple phrase: Connect and redirect. Our first response should always be to offer soothing connection, then we can redirect behaviours. Even when we say no to children’s behaviour, we always want to say yes to their emotions, and to the way they experience things. As part of connecting and redirecting, we often give a choice: “Would you like to do this, or this?” – thus giving the child a part in the decision-making.

Here are the eight basic principles that guide us, from ‘No Drama Discipline’, by Siegel and Payne Bryson.

  1. Discipline is essential. We believe that teaching our kids and giving them what they need includes setting clear and consistent boundaries and holding high expectations for them – all of which helps them achieve success in relationships and other areas of their lives.
  2. Effective discipline depends on a loving, respectful relationship between adult and child. Discipline should never include threats or humiliation, cause physical pain, scare children, or make them feel that the adult is the enemy. Discipline should feel safe and loving to everyone involved.
  3. The goal of discipline is to teach. We use discipline moments to build skills so kids can handle themselves better now, and make better decision in the future. There are usually better ways to teach than giving immediate consequences. Instead of punishment, we encourage cooperation from our kids by helping them think about their actions, and by being creative and playful. We set limits by having a conversation to help develop awareness and skills that lead to better behaviour both today and tomorrow.
  4. The first step in discipline is to pay attention to kids’ emotions. When children misbehave, it’s usually the result of not handling big feelings well and not yet having the skills to make good choices. So being attentive to the emotional experience behind a behaviour is just as important as the behaviour itself. In fact, science shows that addressing kids’ emotional needs is actually the most effective approach to changing behaviour over time, as well as developing their brains in ways that allow them to handle themselves better as they grow up.
  5. When children are upset or having a ‘meltdown’, that’s when they need us most. We need to show them we are there for them, and that we’ll be there for them at their absolute worst. This is how we build trust and a feeling of overall safety.
  6. Sometimes we need to wait until children are ready to learn. If kids are upset or out of control, that’s the worst time to try to teach them. Those big emotions are evidence that our children need us. Our first job is to help them calm down, so they can regain control and handle themselves well.
  7. The way we help them be ready to learn is to connect with them. Before we redirect their behaviour, we connect and comfort. Just like we soothe them when they are physically hurt, we do the same when they’re emotionally upset. We do this by validating their feelings and by giving them lots of nurturing empathy. Before we teach, we connect.
  8. After connecting, we re-direct. Once they’ve felt that connection with us, kids will be more ready to learn, so we can effectively redirect them and talk with them about their behaviour. What do we hope to accomplish when we redirect and set limits? We want our kids to gain insight in to themselves, empathy for others, and the ability to make things right when they make mistakes.

These guidelines, which summarise our approach, are taken from “No-Drama Discipline: the whole-brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind”, by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. The school has purchased several copies of this book. These, and others, are available for loan by parents and guardians.

Developing Independent Learners

“Go to the people, live among them start with what they KNOW.
And when the deed is done, the mission accomplished, of the best leaders the people will say,
we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC.

At Spirit of Play we focus on supporting children to develop the ability to be self-directed in their learning.
By providing a more coherent, flexible and enriched natural curriculum, we are advocating children not as sole leaders of their learning but within an equilibrium where children and adults together negotiate the learning experience. This creates a space where children are listened to and encouraged to apply their own logic to any given situation, rather than us trying to impress upon them our adult intellect. The word respect surfaces often as does consultation, respect for the child as a natural, active learner who should be consulted throughout the ongoing process of learning.

Children need a connection to the learning and should be inspired, engaged and motivated by the process. Adults need to truly listen and respond to children. Children have opinions from an early age on and we as adults should pay credence to them since they enable us to provide a close match in provision.

We encourage children to take responsibility, because ownership increases their engagement and their confidence to communicate. We teach to the knowledge of the children and add strategies to document their learning.

Through Outdoor Education and our Walkabout program, learning occurs for both the adults and the children within the context of a real-life situation. The children are seen as both teachers and learners, collaborating with each other in their learning journeys. The teacher takes on the role of facilitator and observer, supporting and interpreting the experience, where needed, but allowing the environment to speak directly to each child’s imagination.

I love working with children. They have an amazing perspective of the world around them and always help me to see things in new ways. They are and will always be my teachers.
Oliver Watkins, Teacher, 2015.

Click here to learn more about our teachers and staff.

Connection to Nature

Revisiting special places regularly during the different seasons, allows an ongoing deepening relationship with Country that reflects each child’s development. Through reflective review as a group, individual learning becomes contextualised, personal and real. The children learn about the history of places through visiting elders of all cultures and inviting cultural facilitators to teach their stories to our children. We connect to others within our community, who are linked to these places, and particularly groups such as GreenSkills and the Denmark Weed Action Group, to share knowledge.

Contact with nature is calming, stimulating and healing. By creating things with and from nature children are learning sustainability and creativity. In a world overloaded with virtual distractions the children are given time and space to come down to earth and engage with the peace and wonder of the real world.

Nature is not always calm and soft but it will always offer us the chance to learn about ourselves and the world around us. The guided experiences and challenges our children have in the natural environment nurture the whole child, building high emotional resilience that they can use throughout life. Natural environments offer emotional harmony and visual calmness that can diffuse the stresses of everyday modern life. The open ended experiences presented are affirming and with that framework, all other aspects of development may move forward more easily.

More specifically, a connection to nature allows us to teach the importance of our collective eco-footprint, through actively caring for the places we go to. We teach and learn about each environment and discuss the impact of human activity with the hope of creating respectful custodianship. Our three overarching principles remain ‘Care for people care for land, and care for things and places’.

My hope for the upcoming generation is that they can leave the materialistic and hectic-ness behind, and balance productivity with looking after themselves, their community and their environment, to have healthy and fulfilling lives.

Pat McCarthy, Teacher, 2015.

Outdoor Education and the Walkabout Curriculum

Outdoor education is part of every day at Spirit of Play, as the children are engaged in their environment within and outside of the school grounds.

Years 1 to 6 each spend one day a week on Walkabout, an opportunity to integrate all the curriculum areas in a meaningful exploration of the local environment and visiting community organisations.

We explore the world and look for occasions and ways of giving back to the land, saying thank you and appreciating this beautiful country.

The children are encouraged to help those younger or less capable than themselves. We have sharing circles aimed at deepening the connections within the group and strengthening the children’s communication and their understanding of the occasions we share. The children have a walkabout diary that allows them to keep a record of what we did each week, reflect and share with each other what was good and what was hard. These books provide the basis for further explorations as we go to the library and internet to research any queries or anything that they have been inspired by out in the bush.

I believe free imaginative play and connection with nature in childhood plays a significant role in developing children’s sense of awareness and attentiveness. I feel privileged to work at Spirit of Play where I see these things being realised.

-Kanae Jones, Educational Assistant, 2015

Academic Learning

Visitors to our school sometimes ask if we teach ‘the normal’ curriculum. The answer is YES! Our student’s learning goals are based upon the Western Australian Curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework. We are guided by the Curriculum and Assessment Outline of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority of Western Australia. (

The subject areas taught as part of this curriculum are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Languages (Noongar)
  • The Arts
  • Technologies
  • Health and Physical Education

It is HOW we deliver this curriculum that sets us apart from other schools.

We teach the core curriculum subjects within a content rich and purposeful program, which strongly focuses on:

  • Music, skills and appreciation
  • Culture and Language
  • Nature and environment
  • Emotional wellbeing and respect

We have specialist staff employed to provide dedicated classes in Art; Music and Drama; Physical Education; Woodwork; Outdoor Education and Languages.

Teachers incorporate the following seven general capabilities into all aspects of the program. The general capabilities are:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding
  • Intercultural understanding

Photo of students sitting on a yarn mat paying attention to the teacher reading to them

In a small school such as ours, we know each student very well and adjustments of teaching and learning happen all the time, as part of day to day teaching.

Documentation of these adjustments is important to ensure that all staff, and parents are aware of modifications that are being made.

Information about students requiring support or extension are noted daily by the teachers and education assistants. These modifications form part of the individual education of each child.

While the curriculum documents are our guide, Spirit of Play also responds to the needs and interests of the students, parents and local community.

Our students are inquisitive and often make comments or ask questions that can lead us off on an unexpected tangent. Some call it a ‘teachable moment.’ These teachable moments are recorded by the teachers in the children’s books and Possible Lines of Development (PLODs) are written next to them. In this way, the kids have a part in the planning of their own learning.


Photo of Spirit of Play student, Fin, enjoying a surfing lesson

Nurturing positive behaviour and inspiring respect

Everything we do at Spirit of Play is about nurturing kids and adults. We do this by connecting with ourselves, with each other, with our community and with our environment. We believe that creative, caring, resilient kids will enjoy their present and be prepared for any kind of future.

Our play-based curriculum provides a holistic education that respects each child’s individual learning style and is strongly rooted in Denmark’s community and natural environment. Children are encouraged to explore their own physical, intellectual and emotional capabilities. They are challenged to set their own goals with their teachers. Spirit of Play Community School promotes a positive and supportive school community and provides an imaginative and aesthetic learning environment.

We support creative, connected and capable kids through our commitment to:

  • High staff to student ratio
  • Small class sizes
  • Multi-Aged grouping
  • Exceptional Staff
  • Indoor and Outdoor Learning

At Spirit of Play we focus on supporting children to develop the ability to be self-directed in their learning. This fosters inspiration and independence.

Through a curriculum, which is organised and flexible, children and adults together negotiate the learning experience. The word respect surfaces often as does consultation. We respect the child as a natural, active learner, who should be consulted throughout the on-going process of learning.

“Effective discipline depends on a loving, respectful relationship between adult and child.”
Siegel and Payne Bryson.

When I first came to Spirit of Play I was really taken by the caring and creative teachers and children. I could tell that they were fully alive, with their eyes and minds open and that they enjoyed being at school.
Oliver Watkins, Teacher, 2015.

See the articles below regarding the Spirit of Play approach to guiding behaviour, inspiring self-discipline, and respect.

Cultures & Languages

We teach both Indonesian and Noongar language and culture

Spirit of Play has always prided ourselves in playing a strong role in supporting the promotion of Aboriginal culture and language – specifically that held by the Noongar peoples from the South Coast of Western Australia. Our school site is located on the boundary of the Minang and Bibbulmen tribes and we regularly invite elders from both of these peoples to come and share their culture with us.

Children of all ages are taught Noongar language through songs and stories and the exploration of the rich bush tucker that surrounds the school.

We celebrate the six Noongar seasons and teach the children how to observe the changes around them at each time of year.Children are assigned into “seasonal groups” based on the season in which they were born and these groupings act as factional groups for our sporting carnivals and multi-age weekly gatherings.

Studying Cultures and Languages at Spirit of Play, children learn about diversity and interconnection.

Through the presentation and exploration of different languages, songs, stories and traditions, the children learn to appreciate and respect cultural diversity, as well as to recognise and celebrate cultural interconnection.

In particular, we look at how our custodianship over the natural world, and our needs and abilities to observe and commemorate seasonal change. Both of these aspects of cultural expression, connect us, as humans, across boundaries.

We understand that the learning of a new language is the doorway to another way of viewing the world, as each culture has a unique viewpoint and way of expressing the human experience.

We are fortunate in having multilingual staff who are able to integrate their languages into the everyday experience of learning at the school. Specific languages that the children are exposed to include, Swiss German, Italian, French and Japanese.

I was fascinated by how the children learned through nature, making the most of Denmark’s dynamic environment, and impressed by the school’s emphasis on aboriginal culture.

-Kanea Jones, Playgroup Parent 2010, (Educational Assistant, 2014).


Photo of Spirit of Play parents sitting with their children by a tree 

Like much of Denmark, we have a strong contingent of parents who have migrated here from the four corners of the globe. We regularly invite our families to share language and culture with the whole school, focusing on a particular region for a period of three weeks or more. We are also developing a multilingual library with books, from simple word and pictures to novels, in a range of languages.


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Photo of Spirit of play students sitting on the floor during music class

Music Sessions

Each class has a specific music session once a week with our specialist music teacher Lena Grayson. These lessons are structured to reflect the changing seasons. The lessons seek to deepen the children’s skills and understandings of the key songs for each season, as they come across them year after year.

In music we do a lot of singing (many songs are learned using sign language) and movement to music, combined with activities that focus on particular components of making music.

The emphasis in these sessions is on learning and building skills through enjoyment and fun and nurturing an appreciation and love of music – a gift and opportunity that every child deserves.

Through dance (folk as well as freestyle), the children develop basic concepts of social, creative, physical, emotional and musical skills. It also has a very multicultural aspect in exposing children to other cultures and nations. The main purpose of folk dance with young kids is to have fun, dance as much as possible in time to the music and develop love of dancing.

Some aspects of music we explore include repeating rhythm patterns, distinguishing between rhythm and beat, high notes and low notes, moving from the pentatonic to the diatonic C Major scale, loud and soft and appreciating a wide range of musical styles and instruments.

In the process we build stronger foundations for the children’s future musical education, by developing skills in the basic musical concepts such as beat, rhythm and pitch

We also participate in national programs such as “Music Count Us In” and regional events such as the annual Music Aviva program.

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Kanae Jones

I have been working at Spirit of Play as an education assistant, since 2015.

I was first attracted to the school in 2010 after moving to Denmark from Japan and joined the playgroup with my children. I was immediately charmed by the school surroundings, nestled amongst the lush bush and beautiful river.

I was fascinated by how the children learned through nature, making the most of Denmark’s dynamic environment, and impressed by the school’s emphasis on aboriginal culture.

My past working experiences in a cross-cultural environment, first at a pharmaceutical company as an international liaison person and then as an exchange student coordinator at one of the universities, help me to appreciate and respect the diversity in each individual, and to understand that respect, kindness and compassion binds us all together beyond any differences we may have.

Each day I am inspired by how the children are one hundred percent present at all times, and by the beautiful expressions of wonder I see on their faces.

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Serena Kirby

I have been fortunate enough to be an Education Assistant at Spirit of Play since the start of 2014. The experience has been life changing and life enriching.

My first impression of the school was that of a warm hug – where children are nurtured, guided and encouraged. I’ve always believed in building resilience in children (including my own), fostering problem solving and learning life skills. Many of these come from leaning about nature and taking calculated risks, and the manner in which Spirit of Play integrates this into everyday learning was very appealing.

I am qualified EA, who as worked on contract with numerous other local schools. I have a love of literature, art and culture, have travelled extensively and worked for many years in the high pressure corporate world, before relocating to Denmark in 2004 and retraining as an EA. Away from school life, I am an author of a reference and self-help book for women who become first time mothers later in life entitled Better Late Than Never Baby. But my greatest achievement is becoming a mother and raising a vibrant, sensitive and happy young son.

Lessons have been many, during my time at Spirit of Play, but what I have learnt about Noongar culture has certainly enriched my life.

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Angela Dickinson

I have been an education assistant at Spirit of Play since February, 2014. Prior to this I have worked with children with special needs. I have a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management and have worked as a bush regenerator and as a ranger in Kakadu National Park. I have a degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry and have worked in research.

All my children attended the school and I was actively involved in the parent management committee. As a parent I was attracted to the school because of the holistic, environmental and cultural education. The school community was very inclusive and had a welcoming feel. It was like an extended family. I loved that input from parents was sought into running of school. All staff work together towards a shared vision.

At Spirit of Play children are nurtured and happy. I believe that education should be holistic and more than just ‘academic’, that children need skills to carry them through life. They need to be encouraged and supported to do their best. I hope to install a love of learning that will continue through life. I love the way that the environment surrounding us is incorporated into learning. Also, that the children are free to “experiment” and learn through experiences.

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Oliver Watkins

I started at Spirit of Play in 2014. It has been a really enjoyable experience for me. Every day I get to spend time with an interesting, creative, fun and growing community of children, their families and staff.

Before I lived in Denmark, I had heard of Spirit of Play and was inspired to hear of a school that has focuses on environmental education, play, creativity and respecting for Aboriginal culture, knowledge and connection to land. It is inspiring that this innovative school is growing. It shows what small groups of committed people can do.

When I first came to Spirit of Play I was really taken by the caring and creative teachers and children. I could tell that they were fully alive, with their eyes and minds open and that they enjoyed being at school.

Throughout my life I have been drawn into teaching roles as a result of my passion for sharing music and environmental awareness. As a musician, I became the musical director of Junkadelic, a junk percussion multi-arts collective that taught in schools all over Western Australia. As an environmentalist I found myself teaching at community gardens, and working with a wide variety of groups to engage in positive environmental action.

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