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Darwin’s Larrakeyah Primary School is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

It’s been six exciting decades of what principal Fathma Mauger calls a “neverending journey of continuous educational improvement”.

Larrakeyah Primary, which has 510 students, is so highly regarded that parents are willing to pay the relatively high price of inner-city property so that their children can attend the school.

The independent public school has a culture of the highest standards, high expectations and high achievement.

Appropriately, its motto is: Pathways To Excellence.

“Parents quite naturally look around for the best school for their children and come to us because of our great results,” says Ms Mauger, who has a reputation for innovative thinking and was named by the Educator as one of Australia’s most influential educators in 2023.

“They know that we have a clear vision, a strategic plan to always move forward, to always strive for improvement.”

The strategy is clearly working – Larrakeyah Primary has been named among the 35 most innovative schools in Australia.

The school celebrates superb Naplan results each year with gusto, but also concentrates on children’s wellbeing.

This approach is based on proven psychology – children don’t learn effectively if they are not in a “good place” emotionally and physically.

Teachers use an app called YouHue to track student wellbeing daily and can use data to develop individual, cohort or year-level wellbeing programs.

Larrakeyah Primary, the only government school in the NT to be accredited as a Cambridge International School, has many special programs, including those for high achievers and those who are struggling.

“We don’t want any child to fall through the net,” says Ms Mauger.

It’s not just the students who receive a first-class education – teachers also have access to professional development programs so that they can keep up with the latest trends and technology in teaching.

The school’s leadership team concentrates on the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity – to ensure students go on to high school as well-educated, rounded, responsible young adults.

Larrakeyah Primary’s excellence has been recognised in many ways, including:

• Top three finalist for the 2021 International School Awards Pathways to Continued and University Education category

• Top three finalist for the 2022 World’s Best School Prizes Supporting Healthy Lives category

• Winner 2022 Australian Education Awards Best STEM Program

• Finalist 2023 Australian Education Awards Best Use of Technology