MRIS (Nyindamurra Family School) began in 1982 as a result of over a year of planning by about ten local families, who were motivated by a desire to be deeply involved in their children’s education. In many ways it was a product of the times. Many of the original parents had moved to the area seeking a quieter rural lifestyle and a greater sense of community. It was a time of questioning and experimentation with alternatives to previously accepted notions of many aspects of society. The way in which children were educated was just one of these. In this context a delegation of these parents visited various “alternative” schools operating in Perth. From their recommendations Nyindamurra (now MRIS) took shape.
Nyindamurra School (now MRIS) sought to provide an opportunity for the integration of home and school learning in a caring, supportive group.
School was seen as an extended family, where the teacher, parents, other interested adults, and the children themselves shared the decision making and the day to day running of the classroom and School administration.
Curriculum was based on the WA Education Department, but broadened to include language development, visual and the performing arts, music and manual skills. It aimed to nurture the “whole child”, providing a balance between intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.The way a child learns is as important as what they learn.
The School commenced operation in February of 1982 and then comprised of fifteen students ranging from four to eight years of age.
Parents did classroom duty for one full week in every six on top of their involvement with the newly formed Parent Council which was responsible for the school. It was a huge, but joyful, learning experience for both parents and students alike. The following year our much loved Wendy Roediger joined us along with a qualified pre-school teacher.
In 1985 the school expanded and built some of the buildings it now occupies. The old Catholic church (now used as the school library), a rammed earth classroom and a stone Art Room became the hub of the school. Other additions to follow were the arrival of a pre-school building and playground and three new classrooms which now house years 1-6.
As children grew older, so the range of classes expanded bringing more families to the school. Art, Drama, Music and Special Needs teachers have now become an essential feature of the school.
MRIS is now in its 34th year of operation. The School has developed from those humble beginnings into a community which has nurtured and empowered those involved in it.
Former students have proved to be confident young adults and are involved in many different spheres of live. The teachers at the school enjoy their teaching and parents frequently discover new skills through their contact with the school community.
Today, the school has become a testament to years of hard work and dedication from staff and parents. The original aims of the school have become a reality, demonstrating that cooperation between parent communities, teachers and students can have exceptional outcomes.