Yipirinya School PDF Print E-mail

Sharon Larkins
Sharon Larkins
Yipirinya is the true school of Alice Springs. It goes back to the beginning, to the Caterpillar travelled the Alice Springs country in the drew' The white schools are new. They don't go back to the beginning.

Traditional Owner Mparntwe (Alice Springs)

Photo:
Sharon Larkins is a FATSIL delegate and Curriculum Coordinator of Yipirinya School

In June 1978, determination and effort on the part of the Alice Springs community paid off with the establishment of the non-government community con trolled Yipirinya School.

It would be another 5 years and a good many battles with the Northern Territory government before the school was finally registered as an Independent. School under the Northern Territory Education Act, the struggle a testament to the strength of the community.

At Yipirinya, education is aimed at reinforcing the cultural identity of the Aboriginal people.

The school works within a bilingual and bicultural framework and takes children from pre-school through to senior class.

Lessons are taught in four major local languages. These are Walpiri, Luritja, Central Arrernte and Western Arrernte and each is attended by an ESL teacher (English as Second Language), an Aboriginal assistant and a vernacular teacher.

In taking a holistic approach to teaching, Yipirinya continually reinforces Aboriginal identity, its cultural knowledge, values and spirituality.

For the people of the Alice school Springs community. this is a true model of the Aboriginal will to survive.

The school has 160 pupils on its roll and 44 staff. Average attendance may be around 80 - 90 children, most of whom come from the town camps.

Yipirinya's Literacy Production Centre is continually developing material to supplement the language courses and holds an extensive and expanding resource library.