Koroit's Sherlock siblings look forward to heading off to school together this year

Koroit’s Xavier Sherlock will follow in the footsteps of his older sister Layla when he begins school on Thursday.

Xavier, 5, is looking forward to playing in the playground and learning his letters in class at St Patrick’s Primary School in Koroit. 

Mum Amanda said he was familiar with the school run after doing it with Layla, 6, last year and going into class when she volunteered.

“He’s always with me when I do the drop off and pick up so he goes into the classroom and his teacher is Layla’s teacher from last year. (Teacher Shona Louden’s) been really good. She’s made an effort throughout the year to help get him comfortable. He’s a bit shy so it’s worked really well.”

New era: Xavier Sherlock, 5, will start school at St Patrick's Primary School this week, alongside his sister Layla Sherlock, 6. Picture: Madeleine McNeil

New era: Xavier Sherlock, 5, will start school at St Patrick's Primary School this week, alongside his sister Layla Sherlock, 6. Picture: Madeleine McNeil

There will be lots of familiar faces in the classroom, including his mate Phoenix who went to kinder with him. 

“The majority of kids that go there went to Koroit kinder,” Mrs Sherlock said. “He basically knows everyone. It’s really good.”

When asked if Layla would keep an eye on him at school she said “ I don’t need to. He’s got other friends. He doesn’t need his big sister.”

Mrs Sherlock said while it would be quiet at home with Max, 1, without the older two siblings, she was happy to send them off to school. 

“I see it as they’re ready and it’s the next chapter,” she said. “I’ll miss them but I’m excited for them. It’s such a fantastic school. It’s a really great school.”

As children return to school this week, drivers are being reminded to slow down while driving through school zones to keep kids safe. 

VicRoads acting director of road user and vehicle access John Matta urged all drivers to play their part.

“It’s everyone’s job to keep kids safe," he said. "Slow down, look up and be alert.  Take extra care during drop-off and pick-up times,” he said.

Mr Matta said a small reduction in speed can dramatically increase the chance of a child surviving if hit by a car. “Crashes involving children around schools happen quickly," he said. "Reducing your speed to 40 km/h can make a big difference when you are trying to pull up suddenly. The slower speed increases your ability to stop and it also lessens the impact if there is a collision.”

Speed limits outside schools are reduced at the start of each school term to 40 kilometres an hour (km/h) from 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm.

Speed limits set for school speed zones are clearly sign posted and drivers need to be cautious and attentive to the signage. 

 “It’s very clear when you are approaching a school zone,” he said. The school speed zone limits are clearly communicated with permanent speed limit signs, advance warning signs, time based signs or electronic variable signs, so there’s never an excuse for speeding through these zones,” he said.  

Drivers should be aware that police enforce reduced speed limits for the safety of the community.

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