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Principal's Blog

2014 TERM 3


I am often asked what makes our school a special place.  I actually find this question a really hard one to answer, as there are so many components to this.

Over the last winter holidays while away with my family, I was reflecting on how lovely the kids at school are, and that as a school father I really could not have chosen a better set of friends for my children. This is something really special – and something that I really appreciate. I feel blessed to have my own children surrounded by the good and kind children of the school.

In thinking this though a bit more, an aspect that I feel sets our school apart is that the children are able to show their soft sides – their fears, weaknesses, but perhaps more importantly, their gentle sides. This makes FCS a very special place. Visitors often remark on this – that the children all appear to be open, engaged and compassionate – that they treat each other with consideration and care.

This is not to state that they do not have mishaps. The children do, of course, on occasion cry, and fail, and are disappointed, and make mistakes as we all do – but in all of this they are beautifully supported  by their peers; no, not just their peers, all of the other children as well – from the smallest to the biggest. But especially the older children. Our Biggies do a great job here.

There are so many really special ways in which this plays out – in the way the Biggies look after the little ones. But simply, the little ones really feel loved, cared for and supported, in turn helping them to be kind and supportive with each other.  Just the other day, the week before the play, I was watching Silas (12) play with Romany (6), while Jack (12) was reading a story to Grace (5), Tim (5) and Christian (4). This was less than a minute after seeing Mietta (12) chatting with Charlotte (6) and Hunter (12) just hanging out with a whole bunch of little ones. Of course I am not really singling anyone out here, it was just that in that minute this particular contribution that the Biggies make was so clear. Those who know Ted, Bridie, Dante, Ella, Llewi and Oscar would know that this observation could just as easily have involved these year six students, as it has many times.

These big kids seem so confident and at ease with themselves, that they are not afraid of being kind and good. Being soft and caring is sadly difficult for some older children – as they have the idea that this is somehow not ‘cool’; not a part of what big kids do or are; that they will be seen or judged badly for playing with, or supporting, a tiny tot. Not our Biggies.

My observation is that our ability to show our soft side has a profound impact for good. And that when this comes from our leaders, it has a really strong impact. The example set by this year’s Biggies, and especially by our year six students, has been remarkable (if ongoing kindness, care and patience are appropriately described as remarkable).

Thank you Biggies for this contribution to our school, for helping to make it a place where everyone feels that they have a place, are valued and feel looked after.

Timothy Berryman (Principal)


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