Capturing MECS

Capturing MECS

Thursday, 3 December 2015  | Narelle - MECS Principal
How do you capture the engagement, passion and creativity of what happens on any given school day here at MECS, let alone a whole year? From Kinder to Year 12, from excursions to camps, from individual learning to whole school activities, from staff to students, from playing to praying, from one term to another….our experiences are so rich in their diversity. 

During our most recent workbreak at the beginning of this term, staff participated in a ‘prayer walk’ around the school. Broken into small groups, they were led in reflection and prayer for the different sections and activities of the school. It was a moving time of petition and celebration as we dedicated all that we do to seeking the Kingdom of God in education.

Perhaps a brief reflection of each ‘station’ will give you a sense of some of the things we are grateful for this year.

Our Kinder continues to be a fabulous ‘beginning place’ for our young children and their families to be introduced to the building blocks of good learning – play, curiosity, discovery, establishing routines and building relationships. We are thrilled with the sense of community that has been established within our Kinder so quickly and for the expertise and passion of our early years’ educators. Our playgroup, Busy Bees, also contributes much to these ‘first steps’ being such a great introduction to MECS.Primary SchoolAs our young students mature, we are thankful that they do so under the guidance and encouragement of our great teaching staff and learning assistants in the Primary School. There are so many opportunities to grow and learn, not only in skills and knowledge, but also in character as our students work and play alongside one another. In addition to the rigorous academic learning that goes on, the Primary School culture places significant emphasis on the development of essential life skills for students – cooperation, self-control, restoration and may other skills required to live in harmonious community. This past year again saw many of the intentional steps toward this, with programs like Drama for Everyday Life, Kids with Courage, Empowering Girls and Positive Boys.  We are also excited about the implementation of our fabulous Indonesian program this year and believe this will open up new doors of service and hospitality in the future.

Middle School
As students take more responsibility for their own learning, our Middle School program and staff provide a safe, nurturing and innovative environment. Again our intentional approach to whole of life education is evident in our Year 7 & 8 Cycle program, and our Year 9 Open Village program, all of which encourage thoughtful investigation of a range of topics, challenging our students to think about how to respond to the world around them as Christian people seeking to serve the Lord. The specialist programs continue to build key knowledge and skills in numeracy, literacy and science, as well as music, sport and drama. As throughout the whole school, we recognise that one of the biggest influences in effective learning is the relationship between student and teacher; the culture of the Middle School scaffolds the development of strong pastoral relationships with the students, reflecting the fact that each child is wonderfully created in God’s image. 

Senior School
As young adults, our Senior School students are stretched, challenged and encouraged even further to analyse and respond to worldviews presented to them in culture and curriculum, through experiences such as the Year 10 Centre Trip. Students are exposed to and guided through some of the bigger issues in our society, allowing them to grow in understanding and formulating an intentional response. The Senior School staff support the students as they travel the VCE journey, providing them with the foundational truth that their ATAR score is not what defines them, nor is it the only goal of education. We desire that our senior students leave MECS with a clear sense of who they are in Christ and an understanding of what will give them joy and purpose in the years to come. We also trust that we have given them the skills and knowledge to pursue their vocational pathways!

Our students have so many opportunities to use their bodies in physical activity at MECS. Whether it be in their weekly PE classes, in their inter-school sports carnivals or just playing some games at lunchtime, we desire that they will honour God with their skills, abilities and good sportsmanship.  We want to equip them with skills that they can take out into their extra-curricular community based sporting clubs, demonstrating a Godly approach to physical activity and competition. As they learn about all aspects of well-being, we pray they will make wise and healthy choices that would see them strong in mind, body and spirit.

Our library plays a central role in teaching our students the skills of discernment in the way they gather and use information. It is filled with resources to explore our world, celebrate the diversity of language, or lose oneself in an imaginary world. It is a place of welcome for students at all times of the day, and is always busy during lunchtime.

Administration Building
Our non-teaching staff continue to go ‘above and beyond’ in the ways they serve our community and make it possible for our teachers to go about their daily tasks. We are so blessed to have administrative, financial, community relations, educational support and property staff who are all so committed to seeing this community flourish in all aspects.

The playground reminds us that teaching our students how to play ‘well’ is just as important as any other learning that happens at school. We are grateful for the safety our students enjoy and for the beautiful grounds that we can play in. We also know that all our excursions and camps are providing opportunities to learn how to ‘get on’ with others, to resolve conflict and build enduring relationships.

We are committed to making sure that these experiences stay key to the way we ‘do’ education here at MECS.So many parts, making up a fabulous whole! Hopefully you can see how staff were moved and encouraged as they progressed around the school, considering these, and many other things. Hopefully this reflection will also encourage you to join us in thanking God for another great year at MECS in 2015! We continue to seek and honour Him in all that we do! 

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