Royal Bathurst Show, 2018: National School for Travelling Show Children

THE Royal Bathurst Show may have rolled into town, but have you ever wondered what happens to the children of show families who spend most of the year on the road?

That is where the National School for Travelling Show Children (NSTSC) comes into play.

Established in 2013, the three NSTSC mobile classrooms support the travelling show community to provide quality education for children from kindergarten to high school.

The NSTSC currently in Bathurst and teacher Lisa Calkins is teaching a cohort of 16 primary school aged children with the help of temporary teacher Christopher Laux.

“I’m on a 10 month contract and while I teach around 10 to 15 students a week, there’s 60 to 70 students [enrolled nationally] with the school,” she said.

School hours are 9am until 3pm five days-a-week.

FUN DAYS: National School for Travelling Show Children Year 6 students Ash Johnson, 11, Cruz Chant, 12, Hannah Whitby, 11, and Layla Short, 11. Photo: NADINE MORTON 041318nmschool2

FUN DAYS: National School for Travelling Show Children Year 6 students Ash Johnson, 11, Cruz Chant, 12, Hannah Whitby, 11, and Layla Short, 11. Photo: NADINE MORTON 041318nmschool2

“Some of these kids might be 10th generation show people,” she said.

Ms Calkins has been teaching for 20 years, and has been based with the NSTSC for the past five years.

“It’s fun because we’re always in a new town and a new place,” she said.

“It’s very challenging, but I like that challenge. It’s very inspiring because I know I’m helping children who wouldn’t have had this before.

“When the children are excited and keen to come back here [to school] that’s the best bit about my job.”

NSTSC secretary Leann Allan said the mobile classrooms travel along the east coast of Australia and also to Adelaide, Darwin and Tasmania following the agricultural show circuit.

It’s very inspiring because I know I’m helping children who wouldn’t have had this before.

Teacher Lisa Calkins

“Our school year begins in early February in Nowra NSW and finished around Melbourne in mid November,” she said.

“Our classrooms are fully equipped with satellite connectivity, library books, computers and sports equipment.

“Our curriculum is supplied by the Dubbo School of Distance Education.”

While the school aim to meet up with travelling children as much as possible during tours across Australia, parents also pitch in and home school until they meet up with the NSTSC again.

The NSTSC is a not-for-profit organisation managed by the community with assistance and government grants from the NSW, Queensland and Victorian education departments.