THE new Yuille Park Community College opened its doors to about 170 pupils yesterday following the merger of Yuille and Grevillea Park primary schools.
Set on the former Yuille Primary School site in Gillies St, the school is expected to operate for just one year while the school buildings at the Grevillea Park site are demolished and a "community hub" is built in its place.
The community hub will have the capacity to hold 420 pupils from kindergarten to Year 8.
Yuille Park Community College principal Clete Paige said the merger had been in the planning process for the past 18 months.
About 130 pupils from Grevillea Primary School have come together with 68 former Yuille Primary School pupils.
Mr Paige said the former Yuille Primary School had four vacant classrooms last year and the space to accommodate the extra pupils.
The pupils also have a new school uniform designed to help form a new identity.
"I see this as a year of learning for the whole school community - for the students, staff and parents," Mr Paige said.
Across the Grampians region, about 2092 preps started school yesterday and 1312 students began Year 12. Ballarat North Primary School is trialling a new approach to prep placements where pupils undertake a week of rotational
activities based on a play approach.
Meanwhile, Wendouree Primary School will begin a kitchen garden program this year.
The program will see pupils grow their own produce in the school garden and then cook it in the newly developed kitchen.