ACT-wide celebrations

From pancake breakfasts to art shows and community picnics, school communities across the ACT got together last month to celebrate.

The Council-initiated celebration of school communities was taken up by many public schools to highlight the importance of getting parents involved with their children’s school.

“Schools held family picnics, community parties, photography competitions, neighbourhood walks and discos during the week,” said Council President, Viv Pearce. “These events are a great chance for teachers, students, parents, carers and other community members to interact.”

“Research has shown time and time again that family involvement in schools improves student achievement. Kids with involved parents are more likely to get better grades and have a positive attitude to their schooling, good behaviour and attendance.”

“Community events make it easier for parents to become involved by helping them to feel like they belong and fostering respect between parents and teachers. When that happens, parents become more engaged with the school and their child’s education, and we see the benefits flow,” she said.

Campbell Primary’s Community Party was a great success, with displays from community groups, local entertainment, an art competition and a carnival atmosphere.

“Campbell Primary School is very fortunate to be so well supported by the surrounding community,” said the school’s P&C President, Kerryn Vine-Camp. “This is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the value and importance of the wider community in supporting our children.”

Crowds of parents and students at Lyneham Primary School enjoyed a pancake breakfast, cooked by the school’s Principal and Deputy.

pancake breakfastat Lyneham Primary

Parents and students share a pancake breakfast with staff at Lyneham Primary.

“This is a great way to build good-will between the school and our parents,” said Principal Annamaria Zuffo. “It is also a way of recognising and thanking parents who contribute so much to our school.”

More than 60 students and their families arrived at the breakfast via two specially commissioned ‘walking school buses’, with an added bonus of vouchers at Cold Rock ice-creamery for the walkers. P&C members running the ‘buses’ were impressed with the turn-out, with many parents vowing to make it a more regular occurrence.

The Bonython Primary School community took- over their local McDonalds store for their Community Fun Night.

“Balloons, face painting, glitter tattoos, hair chalking and music added to the atmosphere,” reported Bonython P&C’s Karen Gill. “The McDonalds staff were great, assisting the children to take orders, organise orders and serve at the drive-through. The students loved the opportunity to be behind the counter and also be served by their friends.”

“We encouraged our students to take a look at the new healthy options, which made for good conversations about eating choices,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Giralang school community enjoyed the gala opening of their art show. The school was swarming with families enjoying the kids’ fine art works, bidding on pieces, eating and chatting.

Giralang Primary School art show

The Giralang Primary P&C provided free food and drink to give the Giralang community an added incentive to come to their school’s art show opening.

The week coincided with Public Education Week which also saw many schools celebrate the presentation of Recognition of Service Awards to staff by holding afternoon teas or special assemblies. A showcase of public education featuring school bands and student performances wowed shoppers at Westfield Belconnen to round off a wonderful week for our public schools. 

This article appeared in ParentACTion, Term 2, 2014. See other past editions of our quarterly magazine.