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Rural and Remote Education - WA


and Remote Education - WA

Secondary students meeting

in Halls Creek - 18 May 1999

Students from Years

7, 8, 9 and 10 participated in the meeting at Halls Creek District High

School. The District High School offers classes to Year 12. Most of the

children at Halls Creek speak Kriol and English. This includes the Aboriginal

and the non-Aboriginal children. (Kriol is an English-based Creole that

has expanded and developed from the more simple pidgin that was used as

a first contact language between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people

in Northern Australia. Kriol is a full language and is now the first language

of many Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.) Other languages spoken in

the Halls Creek area include, Jaru, Kija, Gooniyandi and Walmajarri.

Sports carnivals

Sport is an important

part of the school life at Halls Creek. Students enjoy the opportunity

to compete with other schools including schools from Kununurra and Fitzroy

Crossing. Students play basketball, T-ball and football at the sports

carnival once each year. Girls and boys play the same sports at school

with the exception of football and netball that is played by boys and

girls respectively.

Music program

The students have

the opportunity to learn drums, guitar, bass guitar and keyboard. Students

are able to try out options in Year 8 and must then select an option (this

may be music) for Year 9. Students do not have to have their own instruments.


Halls Creek students

without exception described the importance of excursions. These excursions

are usually to local water holes or creeks as there is no creek in Halls

Creek. The horse-riding program is also very popular at Halls Creek. Students

learn to ride and to fix fences as part of the school curriculum. The

horses are owned by the school.

Some students have

had the opportunity to travel to Darwin for sporting events. These opportunities

have also been highlights for the students.


"The classrooms are

too small." "We don't have enough room." "The air-conditioning is too

cold and noisy and then when you turn it off it is too hot"

"We need a bigger

playground. There is not enough space." "We want a swimming pool. Some

schools have pools and we need one here because it is so hot."


"Three years at the

max is as long as the teachers stay in Halls Creek."


"We don't have a

public swimming pool at Halls Creek. The creeks are 10 kilometres out

of town. The swimming pools are at the caravan park and at the hotels

and we can't use them."


Music, horse riding,

art, computing, home economics, physical recreation are included. Students

would like to do gardening and swimming and driving lessons as part of

their options.

"We are tested at

the end of the year at the end of Year 7 and then we get put into either

General Studies Foundation Studies or Mainstream Studies. General Studies

is Years 8, 9 and 10. Year 7s do the test at the end of the year. There

is another test at the end of the year and it is possible to change streams."

"In Year 12 we can

do Vocational Maths and Vocational English and Station Skills and Office

Skills. Station Skills teaches you how to work on a station and do things

like welding."

Students have access

to the Internet though not all students have had the opportunity to use

it due to high demand. The cost of the Internet means that students must

go through their teachers when they want to have access.

Teasing at the school

Teasing is a big

problem at the school. Students swear at each other and tease and hit

each other. This happens in the school ground and in the classrooms. The

teasing is usually about fighting between families which is then carried

on by the children at school. The students find the fighting and teasing

at school to be very distressing.

Work experience

In Year 12 students

can do work experience for 2 days per week. The work experience is generally

at the hospital in Halls Creek. Students do not leave Halls Creek for

work experience.


"We all live at the

same station and the bus picks us up at 7.30am in the morning and we get

home at 2.30pm in the afternoon."


"We get no homework

here in Year 11 and 12. In grade 7 we have homework classes after school

for one hour."


There is very little

to do in Halls Creek after school. Sport is offered at the youth centre.

There are occasional discos at the youth service though these have been

postponed due to the refurbishment of the Shire Council Hall. Other discos

have been cancelled because the CDs were stolen.

Students find that

there is little to do after school but hang around the town.

Boarding school

A number of the Halls

Creek students tried to board in other cities and towns though they had

returned to Halls Creek to complete their school because they were homesick.

The students had decided to board at schools in Perth and in Darwin to

increase their curriculum options.

Indigenous languages

Almost all the students

at the meeting wanted to learn an Aboriginal language through school though

none is currently available. There are 2 half hour language sessions per

week for Grades 1 and 3 at the school but no other language learning is

available to the children.


updated 2 December 2001.