Playford News took the opportunity to sit down with Principal Joe Priolo to discuss what new super school, Riverbanks College, will offer students, families and the Playford community.
Currently being built by Sarah Constructions on a former market garden site in Angle Vale, the $116M Birth to Year 12 College is racing along to open doors to 700 students in Term 1, 2022.
Principal Priolo is especially invested in the recruitment drive for teachers and support staff, and says “This is an opportunity for us to get the teaching and learning frameworks and practices right, and to build on this foundation over the next five years in as we grow to full capacity.”
Teachers, support staff and students will be expected to embrace and live out the core values of ‘kindness, belonging, grit and collaboration’ at Riverbanks.
“I see Riverbanks College as a part of a world class education system with a strong literacy foundation that will focus on every student, in every class, every day,” Principal Priolo tells us. “The biggest influence on the success of each young person is going to be about the quality of teaching and learning. And the fantastic facilities and surroundings are just going to maximise those opportunities”
I see Riverbanks College as a part of a world class education system with a strong literacy foundation that will focus on every student, in every class, every day
By 2026 when the first class of Year 12’s graduate, enrolments would have built to a capacity of 1,675 with 1,600 students, including 100 inclusive spaces for students with a disability and a Children’s Centre accommodating 75 places.
Class sizes in Reception to Year 2 are currently anticipated to be 24 to 26, in Primary Years 28 to 30, and in Middle Years 26 to 28. Principal Priolo says these numbers are optimum, but may change, though he is not too pre-occupied with the numbers and says “The perception of small class sizes automatically being ‘better’ for learning outcomes is not necessarily borne out by research, and any class with a great teacher and a great curriculum will turn out excellent outcomes, which is the aim at Riverbanks College.”
The play areas will look a little different to a traditional school, with less focus on play equipment and more on nature play and connection. ‘Learning neighbourhoods’ will be established so students in education units, early years, and primary buildings are close together and enjoying shared play spaces and gathering areas.
The middle and senior schools will also be adjacent each other, with plenty of shaded break-out areas to take advantage of sports facilities such as soccer, football, netball, and gymnasium during lesson time, recess, lunch and after school.
The school motto is ‘A thriving inclusive community’ and Riverbanks College will be one of the first schools to be a true community hub. Facilities such as sporting ovals and courts, kitchen, tech spaces, performing arts centre, and the gymnasium will be open for community use by groups and for public events. Principal Priolo is looking forward to building those connections between the school and Playford’s diverse local community.