Friday, November 04, 2005

Farewells and moving on

This happened a few weeks ago, but I’ve only had time to post about it now. In our school the homegroups are mixed, that is, there are a few students of each year level from year 7 to year 12 in each homegroup. This means that every homegroup is affected when the Year 12s leave. We all had farewell parties in an extended homegroup time a couple of Fridays ago. Another thing that our school does when the students are in year 7 is to make a time capsule. In this time capsule they put in things that are important to them at the time, questionnaires they have filled in about what their favourite song, group, movie, tv show, or what ever, is. They put in certificates they have received, or photos, whatever symbolises year 7 to them. These are then stored for five years and returned to them at that homegroup farewell party in Year 12. It is truly an experience to see them exclaiming over how they have grown, changed, developed, or not, in those five years. All the rest of the homegroup looks on as they open their time capsules, and there are tears and laughter. It really is an amazing time. It is a ritual greatly valued by the students, that I have never seen in any other school. As an observer of all this, it makes me think of the real meaning of what we are doing here at school. It reminds me that learning takes place in many different ways.


  1. We do this at my school, too. And, at their first assembly in year 7, the principal tells them the names of two animals to remember, and to tell him what they were at their last assembly in year 12. A couple of students actually remembered! Amazing.

  2. I love the idea of mixing age groups. In our special ed program, grade k-6, we "mix it up" on Friday afternoons, when for an hour, the kids who have done well during the week pick fun activities to do: cooking, bingo, movie, craft, etc. With kids choosing the activity based on their own interest, you end up with a lovely blend of ages. The kids develop new relationships, practice their social skills, mentor younger ones, etc. It's a wonderful thing.

    I love the time capsule idea. Traditions can be so powerful.