It’s been less than four months since flood waters tore through Darraweit Guim, inundating the school and several homes, leaving them uninhabitable.
But as the 2023 school year begins, the children have returned to campus, learning from demountables and happy to be back after the summer holidays.
Darraweit Guim Primary School principal Carol Booker said even though they were still unable to learn out of their old classrooms, and while some of the playground and oval was still unusable, the pupils were excited for a new year of learning.
“We’ve started this year with our five new grade preps and all the others and although the school is still under construction, we’re not in our original building, we’ve got the temporary buildings and we’ve started off on the right foot, so to speak,” Ms Booker said.
After the flooding, the 46-pupils spent six weeks learning from Wallan Primary School, but it hadn’t felt quite right and they were keen to get back to Darraweit Guim.
Ms Booker said when they returned to their campus for the final three weeks of term four in 2022, it felt “a little bit like fish out of water – getting used to new buildings, new tracks, the playground”.
“Coming back last year the kids got used to that, so they’re ready and they haven’t missed a beat this year,” she said.
The work on the school to get the pupils back into their old classrooms should be complete by the end of the first term.
Ms Booker said she was proud of both the pupils, and “extremely proud” of the staff, who supported the kids through all the changes and difficulties.
“The first priority was about keeping the kids learning programs going and everything else could wait and everyone chipped in, everyone was flexible and the kids were quite resilient,” she said.