12 May 2017 Community-backed program gives kids confidence in the classroom

Thornton Public School is trialling a new initiative that prepares its pupils for the transition from preschool to kindergarten, with the support of its newest neighbour Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

DHA is behind the residential development, Wirraway Thornton, and contributed $1,300 towards the program.

The school recently launched the first of three ‘Tadpoles’ programs; a school readiness program that aims to familiarise students with their teachers and campus prior to starting school.

‘Each of the six-week programs are fully booked and the program continues to grow in size,’ said Thornton Public School Relieving Principal, Graeme Oke. ‘The generous sponsorship from DHA and Wirraway helps make our pre-kindergarten orientation program one of the best in the Hunter.’

Mr Oke said that the benefits of the program far exceeded a simple orientation as it builds and fosters relationships between the children and gives them confidence in the classroom.

‘They just love wearing their ‘I’m going to big school’ t-shirt to show that they are a Tadpole,’ a local parent said. ‘They feel just like a big kid who goes to Thornton Public School.’

DHA’s Wirraway will one day be home to more than 500 families, many of which will have children attending Thornton Public School.

‘With hundreds of new families expected to call Wirraway home, DHA is committed to giving back to the community,’ said Development Manager, Gully Coote.

‘At Wirraway we are proud to help create a special place that promotes wellbeing, happiness and education.

‘Our commitment to the local area is long-term, supporting Wirraway’s residents as they move into their new homes and settle into the community.’

Offering a close-knit community feel, Wirraway is characterised by acres of parkland, shared amenities and an abundance of wide-open spaces for residents to enjoy and explore.

Thornton Public School 'Tadpoles'


For further information, contact:
DHA Media Manager, 0421 040 098 or media@dha.gov.au