Full service schools (FSS) are in their infancy in WA, although they have been prevalent in low socio-economic areas in the U.S. and the U.K over the past two decades. Their purpose is to address the educational and social deficits children experience due to disadvantaged environments through coordination of health and welfare services either on or off site. A primary school in Armadale, WA commenced a FSM three years ago and began addressing the perceived and real deficits in both the local community and the children’s educational attainment. However the FSM operated from a strengths perspective for much of that time.
As such this model is considered by its proponents in Armadale to contribute to the resilience of the local community and the coping strategies of its families through working with what the people can do and know rather than solely concentrating on what they lack. While not dismissing the need to attend primarily on a school’s ‘core’ business of ensuring children are literate and numerate, the FSM regards as essential attending to the ‘whole’ environment which inevitably affects children’s ability to learn. This paper presents characteristics of the strengthsbased FSM operating in Armidale with its achievements.