Telephone: 9253 2700

Friendship - Respect - Success

Intensive English Centre (IEC)


Associate Principal: 

Jan West

Teaching Staff:

  • Virginia Prescott (Year 1)
  • Ayela Konigsberg/Susanne Mondia (Year 1)
  • Lana Darragh/Lauren Barrow (Year 2)
  • Penni Williams (Year3/4)
  • Tania Bertocchi/Madeline Tavasz (Year 5/6)

Phone:  (08) 9253 2700

Students enrolled in the Intensive English Program at Highgate Primary School come from diverse countries and backgrounds.  Students who have been born in Australia, or have come from migrant or refugee backgrounds and bring with them a diverse range of languages and different cultures of the world.  The school community values and welcomes students and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

The Intensive English Program works closely with families and other agencies involved in settling into a new school and culture.

The WA Department of Education provides a free school bus service to many suburbs in order to assist children to and from school.

School is from Monday to Friday – full time, five days a week.  Classes start at 8.30am and finish at 2.45pm.

Intensive English Centre Boundary Map


Students newly arrived in Australia requiring an intensive English language course may enrol, however, students must be permanent residents or have an eligible temporary visa.  Please contact Highgate Primary School on 9253 2700 regarding this or email

Students born in Australia to parents of migrant and refugee backgrounds who enter school for the first time and who need to further develop their English language skills are also eligible to enrol.

Students returning to Australia after living overseas for a period of time who have limited or no English language skills may be eligible to attend.


Students may enrol in the program (during school terms) as soon as they arrive in Australia.  Once enrolled, students are entitled to approximately twelve to twenty-four months of intensive English instruction.

An appointment with the Intensive English Program's Associate Principal must be made when enrolling a student.  Enrolments may take an hour and where necessary, interpreters are provided.  Parents/caregivers should provide original passport documents or birth certificates (for students born in Australia), and if available, relevant child immunisation documents and previous school reports.


Students who are classified as having limited schooling or interrupted schooling are entitled to additional time in the program if required.


Students are placed in age-appropriate classes and consideration is given for prior educational background, physical development, emotional and social maturity.

Within each level, there are two phases: Phase 1 and Phase 2.  The student’s level of English language proficiency at time of enrolment in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening determines which phase a student will be placed in.

Phase 1 Classes:  These classes provide programs for newly arrived students with limited or no English language skills who are in the very early stages of learning English.  Students born in Australia and entering school for the first time with limited or no English may also enrol in the junior Phase 1 class.

The Phase 1 teacher focuses mainly on the development of oral language skills across the curriculum and related literacy skills.  Students are introduced to the Australian culture and environment along with the new environment and routines of the school.  Students will experience new ways of learning and develop the appropriate language to assist them when socialising with peers, teachers and the wider community.  The Western Australian Curriculum is used to teach the language and key learning areas.

Phase 2 classes:  These classes provide programs for students who have developed sufficient oral language skills to effectively communicate orally with their peers, school staff and the wider community.   The teacher focuses mainly on the development of English literacy skills using the Western Australian Curriculum, however, extending the student’s oral language skills continues as an integral part of the program.  Students will continue and expand their experiences with the Australian culture and environment while also developing knowledge of the local community and Australian society. 


Associate Principal:  An Associate Principal manages the Intensive English program and can be contacted on 9253 2700.

Teachers:  All teachers teaching in the Intensive English Program are highly qualified to teach English as an Additional Language and primary aged students. 

School Officer:  School Officers provide administrative support to the program, while also providing advice and assistance to students and families regarding general aspects of the program.  School Officers can be contacted on 9253 2700.

Ethnic Education Assistants (EEAs):  The EEAs assist teachers in the teaching and learning program and also translate and interpret for parents and students (when necessary).  The program is not a bilingual program and EEAs are not used to deliver the teaching and learning program bilingually to students.  Some of the language groups include Vietnamese,  Arabic, Burmese, Karen and Thai.

School Psychologist:  A school psychologist works collaboratively with staff to address the specific academic, social and emotional needs of students identified as being at educational risk.  The psychologist is also available to provide advice to parents regarding the academic, social and emotional development of students.  Interpreters are used to support parents in these meetings if necessary.


Students in the Intensive English program have access to the following specialist programs:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Physical Education
  • Science


The Intensive English Program is integrated across the whole school.  Classes join in with the mainstream for certain activities.  These include assemblies, swimming lessons, sport, buddy reading, choir, excursion, maths activities, gardening, Sparks Reading, environmental programs and language activities.  There are also opportunities for children to participate in camps, in the Chess Club, school production and in the musical band.


The EAL/D Progress Map is the monitoring, assessment and reporting tools used by the EAL/D teachers with Stage 1 and 2 EAL/D students.  The EAL/D Progress Maps are the relevant monitoring tools to be used for EAL/D students who do not have the English language proficiency that allows them to fully demonstrate their knowledge and understanding across a range of contexts in English as described in the Western Australian Curriculum.

Students are reported on six-monthly (from their time of enrolment at HIEC).  Parents interviews are held when students exit the program and are given their final report, however, an appointment for a parent interview may be requested at any time by parents or teachers when necessary.

Highgate has parent information evenings at the beginning of the year where class teachers provide information about the teaching-learning program and classroom procedures.  Parents can request other meetings if the need arises and appointments can be made through the front office or directly with the class teacher. Interpreters are provided where requested.


The Department of Education provides a school bus service to help families whose children are enrolled in the Intensive English program,  to transport eligible children to and from school. This is a free service and provides a 'door to door' pick up. Once children leave the Intensive English program they must find their own way to their local school. Children are supervised by the bus driver and a bus warden. They must wear their seatbelts at all times. Parents are unable to travel on the school bus at any time.


Students also have access to the free dental service provided by the Department of  Dentistry at the University of WA. Students go to the Oral Health Centre – Corner Monash Avenue and Hospital Road in Nedlands.  Attendance is voluntary.  The school bus transports the children to the Centre and parents are welcome to attend appointments with their children.


The school uniform (gold top and black shorts/skirt) is available at the Uniform Shop. All children at Highgate PS wear school uniforms.  It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30am – 9:30am during school terms. Order forms are at the front office.


Healthy food is available five days a week, Monday to Friday from the school canteen. The canteen is open at recess and lunchtimes and children can order online or through their class teacher each day. Children can also bring food from home to eat at recess and lunch. Unfortunately, food must be cold or warm food placed in a thermal container as there are no microwaves to heat lunches brought from home.