THEY turn up to school each day with lunch boxes in hand, uniforms on and full of joyful chatter.
But for the students of the National School for Travelling Show Children, a different classroom awaits them each week as they and their families follow the show circuit.
This week the classroom for five of the students – Jayden and Jye Gill, Chivani McDonald, Indiana Thompson and Hunter Dale – is Tamworth City Library while their families prepare for this weekend’s show.
Maegan Brits was a primary school teacher in Sydney before she began working and travelling with the school five weeks ago.
They have already visited a number of northern region towns, including Inverell, Armidale and Guyra.
“I’ve never been to any of these towns – it’s an adventure for me – and the kids are fantastic, so it’s a very rewarding job for me,” Miss Brits said.
The aim is to give the children the experience of a normal school, with structured days and school uniforms.
It presents some unique challenges, with Miss Brits this week having to teach kids from prep (kindergarten) through to Year 5.
The classes are generally hosted by libraries after a cut to Queensland government funding left the school without mobile classrooms, which can present varied classroom environments and make teaching such subjects as PE, music and drama harder. Students also have lessons with teachers at Brisbane’s School of Distance Education via the internet.
Miss Brits said each week brought a different class for her because the families had varying itineraries.
But she got to know her students on a more personal level, she said, and teaching was more focused on the students’ individual learning goals.
Jye Gill is the oldest of the students in Tamworth and once had lessons in a regular school for a couple of weeks, but he said he preferred life on the road.
Jye said it was “fun” – and he liked his travelling school better.
Next week’s classroom for Miss Brits and most of these kids will be in Muswellbrook, before they head to the most famous of all shows – the Sydney Royal Easter Show.