As we draw closer to the end of the year, and my time as Head of Middle School comes to an end, I would like to reflect on the journey we have been on as a Middle School and what the future holds.
For me this journey began seven years ago when I started here at GNLC, with eight classes (two in each year level from Year 6 to Year 9) and a total of approximately 180 students. At that time, we were able to fit nicely into our modular building, but with the growth we were about to experience over the next few years, this wasn’t going to last very long. Throughout our journey we have set up classrooms all over the school and in many different and sometimes unique locations. The staff involved during these years all demonstrated such patience and understanding as we navigated our way through this time of change. Eventually our new Middle Years building was in use in 2018 and we were back to having everyone in the same building again. Yet with the continual growth of our College we found ourselves outgrowing this building and this year we moved our Year 9s across to the Senior Years building.
With the support, experience and expertise from many different staff over the years, we have managed to create a Middle School that is dynamic and innovative in both our Academic and Pastoral Care programs. Our students are cared for and loved as a child of God and this is at the heart of who we are as a Christian school. Students come in to our Middle School at Year 6 young, excitable and wanting to learn so much about the world around them, and we know that they leave at the end of Year 9 with a more responsible and mature outlook on life. They have gained skills and knowledge that will enable them to be successful not only in Senior School, but in the world around them. With the introduction of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, our students are now also becoming global citizens who understand that education reaches far wider than just the four walls of the classroom at school. They will also develop a greater understanding of their own characteristics through the Learner Profiles that will help them on their journey of life.
It is with sadness that I leave Good News at the end of this year. However, I leave with such confidence knowing that the Middle School staff will continue to go from strength to strength in their own development and that the hard work they have all put into setting up our Middle School will make the transition into next year as smooth as possible. This is also a very exciting time in this Middle School journey to welcome Mr Steven Tkaczuk into the new Head of Middle School position. He is coming in with such a passion for education and a drive to continue with the academic and pastoral development of our students. Knowing that Steven is so excited to be stepping in to this new role and that the Middle School staff are capably driving the education of our students, I am leaving GNLC full of comfort and peace. The next phase of our Middle School is about to begin and I look forward to hearing all about the progress in the coming years.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the students and parents, past and present, who have been so supportive of me and of Good News in my time here. We have a caring and nurturing culture that comes down to the relationships we are able to form between the school and the parents in our community. Christ will always be at the heart of Good News, but it is the relationships of our whole community that enables our College to function effectively. Thank you all for a wonderful seven years.