By Mrs Deanna Hollis, Head of Secondary

The secondary school has been on many fantastic excursions already this year. Drama students have been to HSC OnStage and War Horse, Music students have been to HSC Reprise and War Horse, Year 12 English students have been to the HSC Study day in Sydney. There has been the Year 7 and 11 Peer Support day, rowing regattas, swimming carnivals, a Year 9 and 10 Science incursion about forensics and an Art excursion to Muswellbrook to look at the Archibald Exhibition.

I have had many conversations with staff and parents about why we take our students to so many events. Firstly, I must point out that most of these excursions are not compulsory and are therefore offered by staff to give the opportunity for our students to experience as many diverse opportunities as possible. So many of our students would not get to experience as much without these excursions. For me the most fun is the first excursion for the year that includes Year 7 or Year 8 going to Sydney because in the 16 years I have been here there has always been somebody on the bus who has never been over the Harbour Bridge.

Excursions also fit strongly into our Grammar Minds focus. Students get the opportunity to practise skills like noticing, imitation, making links, planning and reasoning. Students need to plan for the time away, so that they don’t fall behind in class, plan to get to the excursion on time and organise what they need for the day. During an excursion they use their other skills to get the most from the day. Excursions like OnStage and Reprise also inspire our students to achieve by allowing them to see what is possible in these subjects, encouraging them to question what it is to engage an audience. What they have learned, they will be able to put into practice in the classroom as they work on their own performance skills.

These experiences, combined with the work on our dispositions through Grammar Minds, leads our students to become successful life long learners.