We are blessed with beautiful grounds. There are so many things for students to do during break time.
On Wednesday in the Junior School, Year 11 and 12 students organised a paper plane competition, while Year 8 were spectating a one-on-one basketball competition that they had planned.
I dropped down to join the crowd as they watched two Year 8 lads tussle on the court. No sooner had one scored, the other did. Neck and neck. Back and forth. A dropped shot. Another making its mark.
The tension between the players was palpable. The crowd roaring on the sidelines; racing to congratulate their player every time he scored. The atmosphere was like a “Jeff Horn” bout. Fortunately some Year 12 boys were supervising and managing the situation.
Just before the end-of-lunch bell, the final play was made. The crowd went wild, hoisting the winner on their shoulders and parading him around the court.
What impressed me most, however, was the attitude of the two who had faced each other on the court. As the winner was lowered from the shoulders of his admirers he embraced his opponent, two shook hands, and posed for photos together.
Games, all organised and managed by students. Older students working with younger students. The joy on the young people’s faces. The exuberance of a win, the sportsmanship displayed.
As one prospective parent said after a tour around the School this week: the children here are all happy. I’ve never seen so many happy children.
Happiness abounds because of the strong sense of community. It is one of our School’s core values. Evidence shows that when a person feels connected to, and valued by, a community they will do far better socially, emotionally and academically.
In a world where technology has connected people in ways unimaginable a mere decade ago, recent statistics reveal that people have never before been so lonely. These frightening, contrasting realities highlight how important it is to build strong communities where people interact with each other on a personal level.
It is so heartening to walk around the grounds and see the community spirit in action, in games, conversations, leadership, service, respect, care and concern. It is so heartening to hear visiting people say that the students here are happy.
Dr Paul Browning