Established in 1871, Banana State School is a co-educational school situated about 45 km from Biloela on the Dawson Highway, approximately 150 km south west of Rockhampton and 150 km west of Gladstone in Central Queensland.
Banana gets its unusual name from the glory days of bullock droving through Central Queensland. There was a yellow coloured bull which came to be known as Banana, the bull who helped to pull bullock drays through the area. Banana the bull came to an untimely death in the creek just outside of town and so, the township took on his name. We, in fact, have no association with the fruit whatsoever.
Banana was once the hub of the Banana Shire, with council and most facilities being situated here, but with the development of the railways (which did not service Banana) services were relocated to Biloela, 45 kms away.
Banana is in the heart of the Central Valleys’ farming area. Crops grown in the area include sorghum, wheat, cotton, mung beans and leukena. The area is also part of the cattle producing belt, with breeds such as Brahman, Droughtmaster, Santa Gertrudis, Braford , Hereford and Charolais being regularly bought and sold at the cattle sales.
The township of Banana itself, consists of approximately 200 people, but it services many more people on outlying properties. It stands at the crossroads leading to Rockhampton, Biloela, Theodore and Moura and many travellers stop daily at the town’s hotel/motel or two petrol stations to rest and refuel.
Our students come from a range of family backgrounds – some live in our small township, others live on surrounding properties and some travel from Moura.
Our school motto is 'Good citizenship'. We aim to provide a learning environment where the focus is on every student achieving their best personal outcomes. The school is assisted to attain this goal by working actively in positive partnerships with parents and community organisations. Our staff complete regular professional development to enhance their abilities to explicitly teach using a range of methods, including digital pedagogies. Our core business is teaching and learning and the daily focus is on improving standards in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and numeracy. Our staff consists of a teaching principal, 1 full time teacher and a part-time teacher, 3 teacher aides, an administration officer, and a cleaner. Our chaplain and a special needs teacher visit on a weekly basis. Learning support is provided on a weekly basis for students who require intervention as identified through our data. Other visiting specialists include the guidance officer and a speech pathologist.
Banana State School offers a multi-age approach, typically, there are only small numbers in each year level which allows staff to develop an understanding of individual needs resulting in personalised learning programs. Within the multi-age format, children work at the appropriate level of the Australian Curriculum, the Queensland Curriculum framework and the Early Years Curriculum guidelines.
Students and staff work with technology on a daily basis. The school intranet is used to store curriculum resources and all other school operational policies. Students have access to working in digital environments which encourages them to think and work as both local and global citizens. In our small school, we value the opportunity we have to get to know and accept each student, and the privilege we have to challenge and extend each one in a safe and supportive learning environment. Every student's progress is recorded in an individual profile with targets set for year levels based upon national standards.
Through an analysis of the data collected by systemic and school based testing, we aim to meet the needs of our students and promote their progression to the highest possible level of achievement. Parents are actively involved in our school community. Parents and Citizens meetings are held regularly to allow all parents to have their say and to make joint decisions regarding student activities, the purchasing of resources and the ongoing maintenance and development of school facilities. Our P&C makes a significant contribution to the daily operation of our school. This organisation works hard to raise funds that are used to purchase extra resources and to subsidise the cost of student travel to events held outside of our local community. We have a community partnership with the Banana Playgroup Association that bridges the gap between informal and formal learning. A number of annual events bring our whole school and our community together, these include ANZAC Day, swimming and athletic carnivals, Under-Eights Day, Country Womens Association International Day, NAIDOC celebrations, playgroup fun days, Australian Vet Association Pet-Program, the 'Transition' program for both prep and year 7 and a concert and awards day.
Our responsible behaviour plan operates on a daily basis and all students are expected to demonstrate behaviour that complies with our 3 school rules: Be respectful, be a friend, be prepared. Our students take great pride in their school; this is obvious in their daily behaviour as they show respect for their learning environment. The year 7 students participate in active leadership through the 'Better Buddies' program which partners each year 7 with a prep buddy. The program operates for an hour each week and covers all areas of school life and learning.
At Banana State School, there is a focus on establishing positive attitudes towards learning so that our students are equipped to function effectively as good citizens in the 21st century.