The term community can mean different things to different people. It may simply mean a group of people in the same place, with the same goal or having a common characteristic. At St Stephen’s School it is this and much more.
Community is one of our five core values and one we consistently strive to live by as a community-based School.
We are very lucky to have such a multi-faceted community comprising our students, parents, families, alumni,business partnerships and the enthusiastic and dedicated staff who bring the big ideas and opportunities to life. Each person bringing their own set of skills and contributions that help to create the relational nature of our School.
I have been particularly proud of the way the School has lived according to our Community value this year. We have had a range of events where various groups have engaged, collaborated and celebrated together,providing even more opportunities for our students to learn and grow.
One example was the recent Fete at the Duncraig campus,headed by a passionate group of parents. It was a feast for the senses as bustling crowds enjoyed the sound of students singing, children running around with glitter in their hair, the smell of South African sausages sizzling away and the bright colours of cake, plant and craft stalls.
With more than 90 attractions, there was something to please everyone on the day, which was a resounding success, drawing big crowds who were able to see what St Stephen’s School is about. I wandered around filled with pride, seeing our core value of Community being lived and loved by all.
The annual Fusion and Synthesis exhibitions saw the community come together to celebrate the future of creativity across various mediums and Carramar Primary’s witty production of Once Upon a Time was thoroughly enjoyed by audiences filling the Primary Forum.
A new Bush Chapel was also recently consecrated at our Carramar Campus, inviting our community to come and sit, contemplate and be atone with nature and their faith.
We embarked on an exciting new partnership with the City of Joondalup for their Little Feet Festival, where St Stephen’s School presented several activities in line with the safari theme for families and children. The little ones enjoyed making crafty binoculars and climbing up into the Kimberley Safari Tours van – a company we partner with for our primary and secondary Service Learning tours. They experienced the thrill of virtual reality and made music together on the bongo drums under the beautiful pine trees at ECU Joondalup. Our station was filled with student, parent and staff volunteers on the day – all wearing our crest with pride as they interacted with the wider community, welcoming them to be a part of ours.
The idea of community in relation to a school is ever-changing. There is more of a collaborative approach to our children’s education now compared to a few decades ago where the School, families and the community work together to share the responsibility for student success. This strengthens the school’s capacity and nurtures student potential from various perspectives.
While St Stephen’s has always and always will be a community-based School, I have really felt the emphasis on this from our community this year and look forward to exploring even more partnerships and opportunities in the new year.