St Johns prep students: Ezekiel Garvie, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and William Stevens.
St Johns prep students: Ezekiel Garvie, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and William Stevens. Madeline Grace

REVEALED: Fastest growing schools in the South Burnett

SOUTH Burnett schools have experienced a boost in enrolment numbers of up to 32 per cent over the past five years.

An analysis of federal government data has revealed the South Burnett schools where student numbers have risen the most in the past five years.

Enrolment numbers at St John's Lutheran School increased by 32.9 per cent, faster than any other school in the region between 2013 and 2018.

 

St Johns prep students in art class: Sienna Kenyon and Beau Fuller-Sandys.
St Johns prep students in art class: Sienna Kenyon and Beau Fuller-Sandys. Madeline Grace

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority figures are the most up to date enrolment numbers that include all state and private schools nationally.

According to the latest public data, including public and private schools, student numbers have grown from 325 to 432, the fastest growth in the region.

The second fastest growing school for the same period was Kilkivan State School, where the student body increased by 28.3 per cent.

Their enrolment numbers grew from 99 in 2013 to 127 in 2018.

 

St Johns prep students: William Stevens, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and Ezekiel Garvie.
St Johns prep students: William Stevens, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and Ezekiel Garvie. Madeline Grace

Over those five years Saint Mary's Catholic College had the third biggest enrolment boom in the area, with 62 more students at the school in 2018 than in 2013, a 14.8 per cent increase.

Kingaroy St John's Lutheran School principal Karyn Bjelke-Petersen said several things impacted their growth in enrolment numbers.

The Prep to Year nine school in Kingaroy added on their secondary school years during the 2013 to 2018 period where the school grew 32.9 per cent.

 

St Johns year nine students and preps: Emma Wilks, Chloe Black, Hugh Wyvill, Isaac Jones, Ezekiel Garvie, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and William Stevens.
St Johns year nine students and preps: Emma Wilks, Chloe Black, Hugh Wyvill, Isaac Jones, Ezekiel Garvie, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and William Stevens. Madeline Grace

"Especially over the last five years we've almost doubled, even with the number of staff 10 years ago now," Mrs Bjelke-Petersen.

"We have had a lot of growth in the primary years and Prep years, with three classes of Years 1 and 5."

In 2015 Year 7 was added to high school, which shifted the numbers and growth of both high schools and primary schools across Queensland.

 

St Johns year nine students: Emma Wilks, Chloe Black, Hugh Wyvill, and Isaac Jones.
St Johns year nine students: Emma Wilks, Chloe Black, Hugh Wyvill, and Isaac Jones. Madeline Grace

St John's Lutheran School then progressively added Year 8 classes and then Year 9 classes.

The first intake of Year 8 was not a big impact with 16 or 17 students.

The school aims to continue building on their secondary school by introducing subjects which make the learning practical and hands on.

"There's always a possibility of adding Year 10 in the future," said Mrs Bjelke-Petersen.

 

St Johns prep students in art class: Deegan Zemek and Ezekiel Garvie.
St Johns prep students in art class: Deegan Zemek and Ezekiel Garvie. Madeline Grace

Enrolments for especially Prep next year are already looking good, with only a few more students needed to make up three Prep classes.

Mrs Bjelke-Petersen said the school's reputation had spread through word of mouth which led to most of their new enrolments and interest.

"We don't market anything different that we do, we just keep on doing what we do and keep doing it well."

 

St Johns prep students: Ezekiel Garvie, William Stevens, Eva Allen, and Sophie Johnson.
St Johns prep students: Ezekiel Garvie, William Stevens, Eva Allen, and Sophie Johnson. Madeline Grace

As a staff, they have tried to pinpoint the point of difference new families comment on when they join the school.

The staff work on building the sense of community at the school and work with parents and families.

"It's the way we interact with children in the classroom which is underpinned by our Christian values, every big decision is prayerful," Mrs Bjelke-Petersen said.

 

St Johns prep students: William Stevens, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and Ezekiel Garvie.
St Johns prep students: William Stevens, Eva Allen, Sophie Johnson, and Ezekiel Garvie. Madeline Grace

The school makes sure they give families, staff and students the time to feel heard and valued.

"It's important for parents to know we have the same values as them, standards of behaviour and quality of education," she said.

St John's Lutheran School Kingaroy has also included programs which involved the community, like the playgroup.

It supports young families in the community and potential new families for the school.

Here's the full list of schools with the fastest growth between 2013 and 2018:

St John's Lutheran School: 32.9 per cent change

Kilkivan State School: 28.3 per cent change

Saint Mary's Catholic College: 14.8 per cent change

Wooroolin State School: 10.5 per cent change

Murgon State School: 10.0 per cent change

Crawford State School: 2.9 per cent change

Nanango State High School: 1.8 per cent change

Murgon State High School: -2.0 per cent change

Wondai State School: -2.4 per cent change

Kingaroy State High School: -3.8 per cent change

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