Stepping out

Forest’s Abbey House is one of many making the jump from primary to secondary school this year, pictured with father Clayton, younger brothers Kiah and Blake and dog Jack. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Education. She’s used to putting her best foot forward when it comes to dance, but now 12-year-old Abbey House will be challenged by a different routine.

As schools across the state open their doors for 2015, the Forest youngster joins a new wave of high school students with book-filled bags in tow, descending upon the halls of Circular Head’s two secondary providers.

Having spent much of her childhood at nearby Forest Primary School, Abbey will make the transition to Circular Head Christian School as a grade seven student when classes return for term one next week.

When asked if she was more nervous or excited to start secondary school, “a bit of both” was her response. “My dress and blazer aren’t in yet,” she laughed.

Growing up on a 500-acre beef and crop farm with father Clayton, mum Amanda and younger brothers Kiah and Blake, Abbey will be the first of her siblings to start catching the bus to and from Smithton on weekdays.

For Clayton’s mother Jenny, a life member of Forest primary’s parents and friends association, Abbey will also be the first of 12 grandchildren starting high school.

“It is a bit nervous for us . . . hopefully she’ll settle in pretty quickly,” Clayton said.

“Being a bit of a smaller school, hopefully she’ll go a lot further forward – she can start working out what she wants to do.”

Dancing since the age of three, Abbey is now a regular at InPulse Dance in Smithton throughout the year, attending twice a week to practise with a group of around 15 others.

She listed jazz and funk routines among her favourites; funk a more upbeat style of dance while jazz requires the participant to be flexible.

“You get taught a certain routine. It’s hard when you first do it, but it gets really easy when you get close [to the end],” she said.

She has also embraced hockey from a young age and is aiming to play for Irishtown this season, encouraged by her father: a club and league best-and-fairest winner last year with Smithton’s Division 3 side.

With science and spelling among her favourite study aspects, Abbey said she is looking forward to meeting new friends as well as learning about “all the new rules” that come with secondary life.

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