News / Education / 4th November 2021
The drone of bells a thing of the past at Coona Public School
The ringing of the school bell serves either as a godsend for students - or a sign of what’s coming for the day ahead.
The difference in reaction depends on whether it’s the morning bell or the afternoon bell.
But not any more - at least for Coonabarabran Public School.
The school has recently made $40,000 in upgrades to its outdated PA system.
Instead of dragging their feet to class of a morning at the ear-piercing sound of bells, students are instead dancing to class to different beats.
School principal Juanita Meier said the change of the bell system has had a positive impact on students.
“At the end of morning bell this week we’ve been playing the song footloose and the kids are singing and dancing their way to class,” Ms Meier said.
“The kids really love it and you can tell it’s even changed their attitude a bit.
“At the end of recess we’ve been playing Greased Lightning.
“And at the end of lunch we play the Nutbush and the older kids find it funny to actually dance and do the nutbush on their way to class.”
Ms Meier said the new and improved system is superior in many ways.
“Not only has it impacted on the kids’ attitudes, but it now reaches areas of the school, classrooms and across the fields that the old bell didn’t,” she said.
“It can be completely sectioned off so you can send a message to one area or room, and it’s great for our emergency procedures.
“Instead of the old system where, in an emergency, the bells would ring three times and often everyone would be asking what that means - now a loud voice goes over the system and explains there’s an emergency and where to go and what to do. It’s much more efficient.”
Ms Meier said the new system also encourages good student behaviour, with well-behaved students given the opportunity to pick the song to play for the following week.
The state-of-the-art technology even has the capacity to link in with children’s cochlea implants.
“There is an attachment that costs quite a bit of money that’s designed to assist students with hearing needs. It links to their implants so that they can know what’s going on,” Ms Meier explained.
“That’s something we are looking at doing in the future.”
The principal said the new PA system was the first step in more upgrades that are on the horizon for the school.
“There’s quite a few things on the boil here,” Ms Meier said.
“It’s a matter of ‘watch this space’ for more improvements coming.”