Baynton West Primary School opened its doors to almost 400 students on Monday.
The school was the first to open in the State as an Independent Public School.
Principal Lisa Ledger said the first day ran as smoothly as possible and students had taken to their new school well.
Students came to the school from different Karratha and Dampier primary schools as well as from across the State, country and overseas.
“It’s really exciting. Six months of planning has gone into this. I started in the end of July — it’s been a long time coming,” Ms Ledger said.
“I’ve been really excited about starting and seeing these students.
I know all their names from enrolling and talking to their parents, but really excited about meeting them.”
Ms Ledger said the school was starting bigger than expected and she would need to hire more staff before long with all classes apart from kindergarten full already.
“Most schools open their doors (with) between about 140 and 200 students,” she said.
“Two hundred is a lot, so we have sort of rewritten history — I predict by the end of the week we’ll be over 400.
“Of course with that we will need to start up another class.”
Pilbara Education Regional Office executive director Sue Cuneo said the Department of Education would continue to monitor enrolment trends throughout all schools in the Pilbara.
“Baynton West Primary School will provide education for students living in the new developments of Baynton West and the Madigan area into the future,” she said.
“The new school will enable other schools in the area to effectively accommodate all local enrolments, reducing the need for additional transportable classrooms.
“Student numbers at Tambrey Primary School are expected to grow following new building developments in Tambrey, Nickol and Nickol West.”
Baynton West currently has enough space to cater for about 500 students, but has also been built on land which can hold more permanent buildings and therefore more students. Ms Ledger said being an
independent school made all the difference to starting the school year on the right foot.
“For me, I think it’s been awesome,” she said.
“I don’t get a number of teachers I can employ based on my enrolments.
“I get the money, which means I can put extra money into staffing my school. I was prepared, and that’s why it (opening day) was smooth.”
Ms Ledger said parents also deserved much of the credit for making opening day as smooth as possible.
“Everyone has been so understanding.
I really take my hat off to the families because they have just been wonderful,” she said.
“There is a lot of excitement out there — you can feel it around the school grounds.”
Parent Raelene Minchin said she couldn’t wait for the school year to start and for her children to begin attending Baynton West.
“The reason we changed was because it was down the road,” she said.
“I can’t wait. I’m very excited.”