Sea Life Year 3: “Mrs Mitchell, this is the best, best camp that I have ever been on”.
Train Station Year 1: “Mrs Mitchell, this is my first time ever on a train”.
Train Station Year 1: At the station – “Mrs Mitchell, aren’t you supposed to be doing some work?”
Prep student: Who are you?
Mrs Mitchell: “Mrs Mitchell, don’t you remember me? We met when you came to see me in my office.”
Prep student: “I am in Prep now. But who are you?”
Mt Ngungun Year 6: Some students found it difficult to complete the walk and they waited in a sheltered, shady spot with Mr Ford. Those students further ahead on the track turned back of their own accord and said ” This is not about reaching the top, it’s about sticking together no matter what. We said we are a team and so we will stick together as a team. It’s either all of us or none of us- let’s have our devotion here.”
‘Bike On’ Year 5: “This is the most progress I have ever made in one day… Nothing worth doing is easy. I have learnt deep breathing to calm my nerves.”
Shannon riding with this student said, “The bravest little boy I have ever met.”
Beerwah Swimming Pool Year 4: “My teacher swam with us…It was so fun.”
The start to the school year has been all about building relationships and getting to know one another. In the Primary School, the first three days of school are referred to as “Significant 72” where the first 72 hours of the new school year are quite different. While students have engaged in some special outdoor activities with their teachers, their class programs have also had a relationship-building and team focus. These have included activities such as, “This is me” art activities, writing letters to read to an older self later on, creating time capsules with goals to reflect back on at the end of the year, ‘Circle Solution’ friendship games and a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, where children got to share their favourite teddy bear.
Why is this important to us here at GCC? In his ground-breaking book, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Related to Achievement (2009), Professor John Hattie set out to identify which strategies and innovations have the greatest impact on student achievement in schools. Among the top ten interventions listed in his original findings was teacher-student relationships.
Our teachers really do get to know the children in their care over the year but setting aside 72 hours at the start of this year has been very valuable and fruitful. As a teaching community, we are committed to intentionally providing opportunities for relationships between teachers and students to build and flourish as well as establish opportunities for strong relationships to grow and develop between students.
It has been a great start to the year and as the term progresses we look forward to getting to know you, our parents, better.
Gail Mitchell, Head of Primary