This reflects all the work that has gone into building leadership within our school from MS leadership training courses to Grade 1 service learning. We are starting to feel student strength and reaping the benefits as teachers and students. We find ourselves wondering how we ever did a sleepover without the MS support. We are excited to build on this next year.
We were approached by some middle school (MS) students at the beginning of the year. They wanted to develop connections throughout the school and build our ‘one school spirit’. The MS students wanted to be involved in the sleepover. Whilst we are always open to working with all students we were slightly reluctant to have more students to monitor and support.
As sleepover arrived we connected with Rebekah Madrid, the middle school teacher who had facilitated this link. We were soon contacted by a group of middle school students. We were instantly impressed by their timely and effective communication. We agreed that the students would meet us in the park at 4pm and stay with us until 6pm. We gave the guideline of fostering the Gr1’s independence.
On the day of the sleepover the group of 7 students arrived promptly and within 10 minutes Donna and I wondered how we had ever done a sleepover without them. They respectfully observed the children and joined in their play, offering alternate games after a period of time. These were paced to perfection and included: a range of fast tag games, circle games, small group games and individual time with children. The students were highly empathetic, spotted quiet children who were alone, sought them out and spent time engaging them in conversation or play. There was a profound atmosphere of respect between Gr1 and the MS students. Donna and I noted that we had worked with adults and trained professionals who were not as capable as the MS students!