Coomandook is situated 140 km south-east of Adelaide on the Dukes Highway. Coomandook Area School is set in a rural location surrounded by farm land and Mallee vegetation. The school has spacious grounds with trees, lawns, an oval and a variety of facilities to support our students to reach their full potential through academic and practical programmes. The school has enrolments from the Coorong and Mallee districts, with buses providing transport from Coonalpyn, Peake, Netherton, Ki Ki, Yumali, Cooke Plains, Malinong and Elwomple.
The school has a Trade Training Centre on site which is linked to the highly regarded Agricultural Programme and involvement in Pedal Prix, Performing Arts and Music, is also valued. We are extremely thankful for the support given to these programs by our caring community.
Coomandook Area School is part of the Coorong Partnership, with a Regional Office based in Murray Bridge.
History of the School:
Prior to the existence of the Coomandook Area School on its current site, there were seven small primary schools in the small towns across the district. Students wishing to access secondary education had to travel to Murray Bridge or Adelaide.
After much discussion (and argument) amongst the towns, the State Government decided to build an Area School at Coomandook.
The primary schools at Cooke Plains, Netherton, Coomandook, Ki Ki, Moorlands and Yumali closed their doors in 1960 followed by the school at Sherlock in 1970. The first students arrived at the newly established Coomandook Area School for the first term in February 1961, 135 primary and 38 secondary students. Following the establishment of the Area School students from Coonalpyn Primary School (still in operation today) also moved onto Coomandook for their secondary schooling. In more recent years students from the Tailem Bend and Geranium areas have also continued their education to Coomandook.
The school was officially opened by Sir Eric Bastyan, the then Governor of South Australia, in 1962. Mr John Steinle was appointed as the first Principal. John later became the Director-General of Education in South Australia. Five teachers were appointed that first year. These staff members were also the school bus drivers and transported the students from outlying areas to and from their new school.
The kindergarten was built on the school grounds in 1986. The close relationship between the two sites has helped to foster the introduction to junior school life for the kindergarten students making the transition a positive experience for those young people.
Our school emblem was designed by Mr. R. Bannon. The logo comprises a boomerang, compass and Southern Cross. The boomerang represents the daily movements of our students to and from Coomandook Area School. The compass symbolises the directions our students travel from across the Coorong and Mallee and the Southern Cross is a symbol of unity.
Our motto is ‘Warrendi’, an Indigenous Australian word meaning ‘to seek’ and our Mission Statement ‘Striving to make the difference’ continue to guide our principles and philosophies.
The local communities showed great vision by canvassing for better educational opportunities for their children and this support continues to present day. Coomandook Area School services families within a 50km radius and we pride ourselves on engaging and servicing those families educational needs irrespective of which community they reside.
(Reference: Harnessing Horsepower: the life and times of the people within the District Council of Peake: Elizabeth Nicholls, 2001)