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.
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
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
"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
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.