Ripley Valley State School principal Naomi Meerwald.
Ripley Valley State School principal Naomi Meerwald.

Teachers put in hard yards before first day of school

SOME of the teachers at Ripley Valley State School might have been feeling just as nervous as their students for the first day of the school year.

Four graduate teachers are part of the 44 staff members at the new South Ripley primary school.

Principal Naomi Meerwald said staff had worked hard over the holiday period to get everything in order.

The first few days are set to be a blur as everyone gets settled but she was eager to get started.

"Up until last week we've been working off personal mobile phones and emails to get the school open," she said.

"People have been very patient and we've been grateful for that.

"(Staff have) given up their holidays. I'm very grateful to the staff here and the parents."

Ms Meerwald said the new teachers would be paired up with colleagues with plenty of years under their belt.

"I didn't want to take on any graduates but the calibre of the teachers we've got that are experienced … we've been able to put the high performing graduates with them," she said.

"Our focus will be having children that are independent and strong and know how to be capable learners for themselves and advocate for their own learning."

The primary school's facilities include an admin building, canteen and resource centre, a multipurpose hall and oval, as well as areas for prep and general learning.

Ripley Valley State Secondary College's facilities include an admin building, robotics centre, business, fashion and graphic design centre, plus flexible general learning spaces.

The school is also home to a sports field, hospitality centre, art and design centre, senior technology centre and indoor and outdoor sports courts.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said the schools had been planned for the Ripley Valley since 2012.

"We were waiting for the population to catch up because we always knew it was going to be a big area," she said.

"We're expecting over 1000 students by 2024 (at Ripley Valley State Secondary College) which means they'll have a real wide breadth of curriculum with such a big school."

Mrs Miller said Ripley's farming and mining heritage should not be forgotten, as new houses go up and new families move into the area.

"I think we should never forget the fact that Ripley town has been here for many, many, many decades and certainly there are traditional families of Ripley," she said.

"It's got a really rich history and rich cultural history.

"There's no doubt the expansion of the RAAF base is important for the Ripley Valley. It's just down the road.

"The government and the department generally is ahead of the pack. We try to be ahead of the growth. This is only stage one of the secondary college and we've got stage one of the primary school.

"There's a lot of growth ready here."