Kindy’s out-of-the-box Christmas gift

Posted by Gavin Box

Kindy Teacher Nateeka White came up with an out-of-the-box way to farewell the 2022 class – producing a playful cardboard box inspired class photo for families.

We love the spontaneity and energy in every pose.

Nateeka was able to create the image with just one cardboard box, taking single photos of each person in the box.

Then came the time-consuming part, using photo imaging software to cut each image and stitch it together into one main image.

“That part of the process would have taken more than half an hour, but no more than an hour, for each of the 26 photos,” she said.

In other words, more than 13 hours of photo editing.

We think the result is well worth the effort!

What a beautiful Christmas gift for Kindy families.

Five lessons we can learn from children

Sophia de Lange
Acting Principal

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:1-5

This lesson of Jesus to his disciples reminds us that we as adults can learn from our children.

Kids don’t think about limitations, they just think about good ideas. They trust and believe that tomorrow will be a better day.

When expectations are low, kids will have low expectations of themselves. We can believe in them to help them overcome setbacks.

Kids forgive easily and continue to play. A simple sorry is all that is needed to move on. Kids can teach us so much about living life, having hope, making the most of a situation, embracing mistakes, trying new things, dreaming big and ultimately having fun!

Sometimes it takes spending time with children, or reflecting on our own childhood, to remember these simple lessons.

I’ve done a lot of personal reflection over the past few weeks, thinking about the fundamentals of what actually makes us happy, what is truly important  and ultimately how the simple things in life can become so complicated as we enter adulthood. 

I’ve realised that not much has changed in terms of what made “little Sophia” happy compared to “big Sophia”. I have pondered and reflected on the youngest children at the College and about how uncomplicated they are; how simple their pleasures are, how frequently they laugh, how they always remain curious, and how they connect so well with people, especially one another;  how engaged they are in exploring new ideas.

They seem to have figured out that living simply is the key to success and happiness – and when I observe our Kindy and Pre-Primary students it seems that they were just born that way; full of energy and joy. 

How refreshing is it if a Kindy child asks you: “I know your name, do you know my name?”  “Can I hug you, because I like you?” “Why do you have red lips?” 

Children love being connected. Then there are Year 2 students, who get excited about reading body parts and the joy of receiving a simple Principal sticker. They are gold by the way! So, how does that change over time for so many of us?

We know there is a lot we can teach children, but there’s a lot that children can teach us. With our Kindy to Year 2 children as inspiration, I decided to list a few things we can learn from them in order for us to be better adults:

1. We can ask more questions. It’s okay for children to not know the answers because they’re young, and so there is no problem with asking questions, right?  Their curious minds, inquisitiveness, and eagerness to learn is so inspiring. Youth is synonymous with inexperience; therefore, they have a lack of knowledge. As an adult, however, do we prefer to have the perception of knowing the answers, even if we don’t, to avoid looking inexperienced? Do we care too much about what others think of us? Or do we fear judgment, so we pretend to know the answers?

 In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking good questions. This may explain why children start off asking endless questions then gradually ask less as they progress through the education system. Do you tell your child to not ask so many questions? I know I did as a parent, as I felt embarrassed because they asked so many questions. This is something I regret today. I observe parents giving their young children a mobile phone to occupy them instead of allowing them to ask those questions and it saddens me. Technology replaces connection.

2. Take risks and try new things. When was the last time you tried something new? Made a new friend? Ventured out of your comfort zone? 

Children aren’t afraid to play a sport they have never tried before. They aren’t afraid to look silly doing it, or even do a bad job of it. As adults, we seem to avoid what we don’t know, and we stay safely in our comfort zone. We shy away from what we are not good at. I am super guilty of this! Trying new things takes energy and courage, but the pay-off is always worth it! We have been created for a purpose and unless we are willing to step out of our comfort zone, we might never discover the potential God has given to each of us and our children. Why not try something new with your children this holiday?

3. Be more creative. Did you make caterpillars out of egg cartons once? Remember creating Christmas tree ornaments? Playing pretend tea parties, enjoying tea and mud biscuits? Dressing up as a princess or handsome prince? Or pretending to be a firefighter, nurse, ballerina or truck driver?

As we grow, we develop our knowledge and skills, yet somehow, we manage to create less. I believe this is the best thing we can learn from children. Be innovative. Creative thinking is an excellent differentiator and problem solving adds value to who we are as adults. Children develop critical problem solving through play. At school we call it play based learning.

4. Laugh more.  Being happy for no reason and having fun is important to them. They prioritise fun activities.  Where did we lose that self-rewarding attitude? Children have a wonderful ability to see joy and fun all around them, and an even greater ability to value humour and laugh at themselves.

Laughter is also the best medicine.  It relieves stress, improves your immune system, and can trigger endorphins! It gives hope and makes other people around us happy too.  Do we squash our children’s enthusiasm and joy in everyday life by being too serious? Ephesians 6:4 reads: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

5. Be happy. Children do what makes them happy.  Children keep it plain and simple. Whether it be a toy or a lolly, kids know what they want and they aren’t afraid to go for it. Twigs and a cardboard box can occupy kids for hours. They don’t want expensive gifts; they appreciate your time with them more. When you were a kid, you probably didn’t consider the cost of the toy and you didn’t care if the lolly had gluten or artificial colours or sweeteners, or how many calories were in it. It just made you happy, so you enjoyed having it.

Are you doing what makes you happy? Are you doing it every day? Is your job rewarding and challenging and stimulating? What was your dream job as a kid and why? Dream jobs for children are often what looks like fun and helping others. So, what matters to you? We spend so much of our time at work, it’s fundamental to enjoy the work that we do. If we don’t, then consider what would make us happier and what will have a positive effect on our children!  It will contribute to their wellbeing and sense of purpose.

So, what can you learn from your child? What did you want to be as a child? What was the last new activity you tried, and the last thing you created? As you enter this holiday season, observe your children, cherish them, and learn from them. Spend time with them and above all love them unconditionally as they love you.

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.  Mark 10:13-16

College student scholarships

Geraldton Christian College will soon be offering scholarships to students based on academic excellence and Christian character. This is an initiative of the Board’s ATAR Taskforce, which comprises parents and staff who want to promote and support academic achievement at the College.

Scholarships will be offered for a two-year term for students entering Year 7, Year 9 and/or Year 11. Recipients will receive a 50 per cent discount on the nett tuition fees for the life of the scholarship. Enrolled students meeting the criteria will be encouraged to apply at Years 7, 9 and Year 11 entry points.

Scholarship recipients/families must value our mandate “Learning God’s Way”, be willing to sign the College Statement of Faith and agree for their child/ren to be taught from this Christian worldview perspective. 

The school will expect scholarship recipients to show broad commitment to school life. Scholarships will be tenable for a two-year period and are open to both prospective and current students.

Application information will be made available in Term 2, 2023.

The President (Mr Tilinger) invites the Secretary-General (Anna E) to address the General Assembly.

United Nations comes to Year 9 HASS class

John Tilinger
Secondary HASS Teacher

A Year 9 class was transformed into the United Nations General Assembly this week, as part of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) studies on international politics and food security.

During the role play, students represented Russia, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, United States of America, Zimbabwe, India, New Zealand, Ukraine and the European Union (an observer nation without UN voting rights).

The Indian delegate (Jake D) raises the link between poverty and food insecurity.
The Russian delegate (Nathan A) argues that boycotts on fertiliser have delayed pursuits toward zero hunger.
Delegates from Vietnam (Josh DK and Denbi H) suggest more time is needed to reach zero hunger.
Indonesia presents ideas about Sustainable Development Goals.
Zimbabwe (Amy M, Nicola S and Janeske L) raise a plan to rework the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Australian delegates (Simeon B and Denzel D) move a motion to establish a food security committee.
The Zimbabwean delegate (Janeske L) ponders world peace.

The UN urged Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine if it wanted fertiliser boycotts to end – and called on China to join the Mekong River Commission and to ensure enough flows were released from dams for food production downstream.

Students assumed the perspectives of their nations well and discussed the limits of the UN due to state sovereignty.

Students win crime and punishment debate

Derek Goforth
Secondary Teacher

Five Year 9 and 10 students from the College were invited to participate in a debating contest at Champion Bay Senior High School on Wednesday.

George G, Will H, Lalani M, Izabelle W and Ehryn J all put their hands up to represent the College.

They participated in several games and workshops, which cumulated in a debate on the topic: “when we commit a crime it should stay on our record forever”.

The team presented a very good argument for the negative and won the debate.

The students enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from the experience.

Mr Richards and DT students with a grateful Pre-Primary class.

Senior students make mud kitchen a reality

Brenda Pattenden
Pre-Primary Teacher

It started off as a vision … an idea that the Design Technology department could help us upgrade our very popular early years mud kitchen for the young students to play with.

Mr Richards from DT was very open and enthusiastic about the idea of offering this project to the Year 7 to 11 DT students to work on in their spare time.

We now have a wonderful, fun, refurbished mud kitchen for the children to play with! Which even has a real tap that runs water! 

Kindy and Pre-Primary children would like to thank Mr Richards and all of the seniors who put effort into making the mud kitchen idea a reality.

 I know future Kindy and Pre-Primary children next year will have the best time mixing and baking their chocolate cake and milkshakes! 

Premier effort from young readers

Two students were this week presented with certificates for completing the 2022 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

All students who completed the challenge to read 12 books between 5 May and 9 September were eligible to receive a certificate.

Congratulations to Addison H and anonymous (student’s identity not disclosed at parent request).

The students are pictured receiving their certificate from Acting Principal Mrs Sophia de Lange.

Early Learning Years Awards

Congratulations to the following Kindy to Year 2 students, who received awards at this week’s Early Learning Years Presentation.

Christ-Like Character Awards
Presented to a boy and girl from each class. These awards highlight the great value of Christian conduct, exemplified by cooperation and compassion, displaying the Fruits of the Spirit and a willingness to pray for others.

Kindy: Sophia L and Nathan T.
Pre-Primary: Evie R and Arthur M
Year 1: Phoebe P and Hamish O
Year 1/2: Addison H and Jarrah M
Year 2: Ava C and Jacob M

Academic Excellence Awards
Given to one student from each year level, to acknowledge academic excellence displayed in all areas of learning; demonstrating gifts and talents in line with the College mission statement.

Kindy: Anonymous (student identity not disclosed, at parent request).
Pre-Primary: Elias S
Year 1: Michaela L
Year 2: Jasmine P

Academic Endeavour Awards
Given to one student from each class to recognise significant effort in their schoolwork during the year.
Kindy: Estella M
Pre-Primary: Amitoj V
Year 1: Indianna B
Year 1/2: Ahrora R
Year 2: Hazel G

Principal’s Award (recognising excellence in non-academic fields of endeavour): Emily D.

‘It’s called chemis-tree’

Christmas spirit has well and truly arrived at the College Science Department, with a new twist on the Christmas tree taking pride of place.

“It’s called chemis-tree,” commented a lab assistant.

Trust the Science team to think outside the square!

College Calendar

Dec 5

6.00pm to 7.30pm: Primary Presentation (Year 3 to 6)

Crazy Activities and Crazy Colours Dress-Up Day PP to Yr 6

Dec 6

6.00pm to 7.00pm: Secondary Presentation (Years 7 to 11)

Dec 7

Last day of school activities (for Years 6 to 10)

Last day of Term 4 (PP to Year 10)

2023 – Jan 30

First day of Term 1