Principal’s Welcome

Naracoorte South Primary is a community school. People matter here. We educate the whole child in partnership with their families and the community, valuing the unique story each child brings to our school. Our values of Responsibility, Pride, Resilience and Opportunity were devised through consultation with children, families and staff and are reflected across the school and through the actions of students and staff every day.

Our school sits on 4.5 hectares and includes ovals, a gymnasium, modern playground and several nature play areas including a mud kitchen, a running creek and an outdoor classroom. Students also utilise the native scrub adjacent to the school for cubby building, exploring and camp fire cook outs.

Our classrooms are designed to be engaging spaces that inspire learning, collaboration and inquiry. Our junior primary teachers use the Walker Learning Approach, a pedagogy that is based on the relationship with the child, and develops critical thinking skills, resilience and problem solving, while providing children with the time and space to explore their own interests and strengths.

 Aspects of the Walker Learning Approach are now visible in middle and upper primary classes where a strong student voice and self-directed learning is encouraged and valued.

Naracoorte South Primary School staff are continual learners, accessing the most recent training and development opportunities and working in partnership with families and outside agencies to best support our students.

As a KidsMatter school, wellbeing is at the core and sits alongside literacy and numeracy in our Site Improvement Plan.  At NSPS we know that happy kids are successful kids, both at school and in life.  We provide specialist subjects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), history, drama, physical education and Indonesian language, and provide extracurricular sports, dance and drama opportunities to name a few. 

We invite you to view our website which provides an overview of our focus, programs and facilities.  A principal’s tour is always welcomed and is available by appointment.

Kym Shepherd, Principal

Our Staff List

School History

Early years at Naracoorte South Primary School

From The Centenary of Primary School in Naracoorte 1879-1979 by Steven Findlay

I was transferred to Naracoorte in May of 1963 to be attached to Naracoorte Primary school to prepare for the opening of the new Naracoorte South Primary School “ in 4 or 5 weeks”, to quote the Education Department. This estimate proved over-optimistic, as the building was not ready for occupation until the beginning of Term III in September. Meanwhile Alick Kies, then Head Master at Naracoorte Primary, and I occupied our time in selecting the children who would attend the new school and completing the necessary paper work for their transfer. It was decided that all the children who came by buses from outside the town would continue to attend the original school, and the new school would cater for those who lived in or near the southern area of the town. The Infant School then at Rolland Street was closed and the pupils and staff from there divided between the old and new primary schools. The additional staff needed for the South School were transferred from among those at the old primary school.

We opened the school with 10 classes, and original teachers were: Dick Edwards, Bob Philip, Barbara Holmes, Pat Armour, Ashley Durham, Ursula Lisners (Gicasvilli), Hazel Newell, Mollie Nixon, Lois Page, Marilyn Grigg. Apart from the main building, the shelter shed and the paved area around these, there were no improvements within the fenced grounds, and the oval area had been roughly levelled only. Hence improving the grounds, consisting entirely of loose, sandy soil was a top priority. The site had in earlier days been used for rubbish disposal, and when we moved in pieces of broken glass and other objects, such as old sanitary pans from the pre-sewer era were continually surfacing under the wear and tear of many hundreds of feet playing on the sandy ground each day.

In the first months, to overcome this problem, frequent “emu” parades were held, when the whole school was lined up and marched slowly across the grounds to pick up all foreign objects. These parades usually netted several buckets of glass plus assorted scrap metal. I recall an incident when a couple of big boys were sent by Dick Edwards to dig a hole in a far corner of the grounds to bury collected rubbish. One of them, Nigel Fosdike, returned in some excitement bearing a double armful of very large bones, including a skull, which he had unearthed. He thought they might be dinosaur bones, and Dick, after examining the skull, informed him that they were from a Clydesdale dinosaur.

I was fortunate in those first years in having enthusiastic and energetic school committees ably led initially by John Clarkson, followed by Jim DeGaris. In a comparatively short time hundreds of tons of loam had been placed on the oval, it had been planted with grass, and spray irrigation system complete with electric pressure pump and storage tank installed. At the same time lawns were established around the main building and trees planted. Another major project soon carried out, mainly with parent labour over weekends was the paving and fencing of the basketball and tennis courts. The concrete cricket pitch was similarly completed one weekend. In this project some financial genius was shown by the then treasurer of the School Committee, Bruce Thompson, who when all accounts had been settled and subsidies received, was able to report that the school had not only acquired a cricket pitch, but had also made a profit of 14 pounds on the deal.

I also received excellent support from the Welfare Club, formed in September 1963 with Helen Jacobs as the first President. The ladies worked hard and successfully to raise money for the provision of amenities within the school and to assist the committee with funds for grounds improvement.

An important event was the Official Opening of the school by the Governor of S.A., Sir Edric Bastyan. This incorporated a Civic welcome to the Governor by the Mayor of Naracoorte, and for the occasion all the school children from Naracoorte, both Primary and Secondary, plus those from surrounding country schools were assembled at the South School. Although opening the new school meant some long hours of hard work, especially in the early months, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My task was made easier by the loyal support of the staff and the friendliness, enthusiasm and co-operation of the parents. Mrs Keane and I look back with pleasure on the years spent in Naracoorte and still number among our friends many of those we met then.

K J Keane

Principals at Naracoorte South Primary School

1963-1968 Ken Keane

1968-1971 Les Schliebs

1972-1977 Mostyn Schneider

1978-1986 – Ian Martin

1986-2004 Derek Blackwell

July 2004 – Dec 2004 Michaela Ford (Acting)

2005 – Jim McConnell

2006 – Anna Young

2014- Kirsty Lush


Flinders University Education Award Winner – Naracoorte South Primary School 2012

Naracoorte South Primary School was established almost 50 years ago and is set in 4.5 hectares of native scrub. Used for a hands-on approach to the environmental science curriculum, it includes an environmental enclosure complete with hens, fruit and vegetables that supply their canteen. The school is recognised nationally as a lead school in improving literacy outcomes and employs a literacy coach and mathematics coach to ensure the best outcome for their students. They also run the Community Toy Library and the ‘Jiggle and Wiggle’ program for children aged three months to three years and have a number of volunteers helping with classroom activities. In the past 12 months, Naracoorte South Primary School was invited to showcase their innovations at a national forum in Brisbane, and to present their journey in literacy improvement at the Adelaide Literacy and Numeracy Expo and the Limestone Coast Leaders Day.

Parent Involvement

This is a major feature of our school.  Parents are invited to become actively involved in the school in many ways:

  1. Governing Council – be able to participate and take part in the affairs and decision making of our school, while representing the wider parent group.
  2. Volunteers – listening to reading, helping on excursions, writing and reading conferences, assisting with computers, woodwork, sewing, cooking, coaching sporting teams and involvement in individualised student programs.
  3. Supporting School Functions and Fundraising, your child deserves the best in education.
    To assist in supplying equipment, materials and facilities it is necessary to raise money in addition to that supplied by the Education Department. Any support in this area is greatly appreciated.
  4. Working Bees – our school grounds are maintained, improved and kept in top condition by regular working bees, in addition to the 15 hours of grounds person time (per week.)
  5. Canteen – the school canteen is run with the help of parent volunteers.
  6. Learning Assistance Program. (LAP) a 1:1 program to help children with special learning needs which need extra adult help.
  7. Play Based Learning – including Walker Learning approach which enables children to learn through a variety of different activities.

Parents & volunteers need to hold a current Criminal History Check BEFORE commencing involvement with the school.  Please see the front office to arrange this.

PARENT Involvement is far more than just “helping out”. It covers a wide range of activities from:

  • Information
  • Consultation
  • Participation
  • Decision Making
  • Reviewing

Parents are partners in the education process.

Student Leadership

Student voice is valued and constantly sought at NSPS.  There are many opportunities for students to show leadership across the school.

Our students have a student council structure called “Kids In Charge” or KIC. All students a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer  in Term 1 and then classes elect representatives to the KIC Committee.

KIC is the formal “voice” for students. It has two places on the school Governing Council and places on all school sub committees.

KIC runs many social, charitable and sporting functions and, as part of its role, ensures that students can have “fun” at school. They also run our intention assemblies held every two weeks to set the social learning intention for the whole school.

KIC works with the Deputy Principal.

The EAGS (Environmental Agricultural Group ) is led by SSO Ian Henderson.  EAGS consists of 4 senior (year 6/7) leaders who also take part in the YELP (Young Environmental Leaders Program) run by Natural Resources.  We also have members from year 5, 6 and 7.  EAGS meets with Ian every week to make plans and work on environmental projects around our school.  They have been involved with planting, propagating and investigating and making identification signs/posters in our school Nature Park.

Other opportunities for leadership include House Captians and Junior House Captain, Mental Health Ambassodors and STEM Ambassodors. 

Student Leadership

Young Mental Health Ambassadors

Environmental and Agriculture Group

Sport Captains

Governing Council

The Governing Council is the liaison group between the school community and the school personnel.  Led by an elected chairperson it operates in an advisory and supportive capacity re: the governance of the site. While members oversee the general well being of the school, this committee assists and advises on local management which is the role of the principal.


The Council is elected at the Annual General Meeting in March each year.  It consists of parents, principal, deputy principal and elected staff members.  Members are elected for a period of two years.  The total number of members must be no more than 18 and more than half the number must be parents.  The council meets once a month on a night agreed upon by each new council.



Chairperson – Monique Crossling
Deputy Chairperson – Liz Crick
Secretary – Catherine Flint
Treasurer – Amy Bates

Parent Members – Brooke Slotegraaf, Tessa Herrod, Natasha Dawson, Sara Fletcher, Darren Maney, Sarah Millard, Skylea McLean & Megan Heffernan

Staff Members – Kym Shepherd, Cathie Biggins, Georgia Hunter, Laim Janssan, Samantha Gale

Student Members – Summer Batchelor, Heidi Shepherd, Archie Ebert & Lochie Dolphin

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