The beginnings of a new collaborative relationship began this week between Trinity Grammar and Canterbury Public Schools as part of Service Week 2016. The boys from Trinity Grammar became immersed in the day to day activities of the students within the Special Education Unit of Canterbury Public, assisting the teachers where appropriate and providing the children with one on one assistance and attention.
Canterbury Public School, with 5 special needs classes totalling 35 children ranging from Kindergarten to Year 6, welcomed Year 11 and 12 Trinity students into their classrooms for what proved to be a rewarding and sometimes eye opening experience for all involved.
“Participating in this new initiative has been very exciting for the kids as they have received individual attention from the older boys throughout the day whether in an art, PE or cooking class or simply sitting alongside them helping with their numeracy and literacy skills.
As part of the cooking experience, the younger kids shopped at Aldi for the ingredients, learnt a little about how money works and sliced food, all under the watchful eyes of their Trinity mentors and class teachers” said Kristy Do Canto, Assistant Principal of the Special Education Unit at Canterbury Public.
For Trinity Grammar teacher, Mrs Jessica Spratt, the experience also proved to be a rewarding one.
“It has been wonderful to see our students respond with such kindness and warmth to the children in the Support Unit. The boys have enjoyed helping out in class and in the playground and have come away with a greater appreciation and awareness of some of the challenges the children face in their daily life. As teachers, we have been so impressed by the professional practice of the staff at CPS and we count it a privilege to be involved in developing this inter-school relationship.”
On Thursday, it was Trinity’s turn to host the Canterbury students. After a barbeque lunch and short tour of the grounds, a mini sports carnival was held in the gymnasium. The students teamed up with their buddy and participated in a fun and enjoyable round robin of activities which included football, T-ball, athletics, basketball, tunnel ball and a finale relay.
Service Week is an initiative of Trinity Grammar School designed to encourage students to consider the impact they can have as both an individual and as part of the School on the broader outside community. The programme’s activities serve to raise awareness amongst the boys of the inequalities that may exist outside their own immediate sphere and provide practical hands on experience by working collaboratively alongside a variety of charity groups, community volunteers and now, local schools.
In addition, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DEAS) plus a variety of outdoor experiences for the younger boys also form part of Service Week, all designed to help build team work, resilience, leadership and co-operation.