The Importance of Community

The Importance of Community

Thursday, 12 November 2015  | Di - Assistant Principal - Primary
The MECS community has recently been thinking and talking a lot about the proposed expansion of the Primary school. We have many families seeking Christian education at the beginning of their child’s educational journey - a big turnaround from a few years ago when families tended to wait until secondary schooling to pursue Christian education. It is wonderful to think that right from Kindergarten, children can be immersed in an environment where they are nurtured and cared for and where God is central to the educational journey.

MECS has found itself with the challenging situation of how to navigate waiting lists and make Christian education available to those families who deeply desire it. At the recent EGM, the Association voted in favour of an expansion of the Primary School to one additional multi-age class in each Primary section (Prep, JP, MP and SP) over the next five years, and a building program to accommodate the extra classes.

As we contemplate these changes we need to return to the MECS core values, beliefs, vision and mission, and ensure that whatever happens in the next few years reflects that which makes MECS, MECS.
The following reflections remain non-negotiable:

Our school’s vision to Seek the Kingdom of God in Education must always comes first.

Maintaining our family - or village - atmosphere where every student is known,  loved and belongs. We must never lose the sense of belonging or allow any student to feel like a number in a crowd.

Buildings must intentionally drive a sense of community and inclusiveness.

Community with, and for, our parent body must always be nurtured and fostered.

Teachers work together in teams and buildings should enhance teacher collaboration and sharing.

Play spaces are vital and need to be carefully and intentionally designed to foster creative, healthy and active play.

Outdoor learning is to be encouraged and hence buildings should foster connection to exterior landscapes.

Active Learning is vital to MECS and buildings should allow for learning that is inside, outside, active and engaged and caters for a range of learners and their needs.

At MECS we hold dearly to our belief that every child is unique and individual and that every child needs to belong and learn to connect in meaningful ways with their peers and with their school community. We want to reassure you that as our school grows, we will be vigilant that our structures support and intentionally foster that sense of belonging. As we begin to explore what shape the building program will take, we are thinking about how each cluster of classrooms can be linked together and can foster a sense of belonging – how the learning spaces can be meaningfully connected and reflect the important relationships between students and teachers. The learning spaces need to be light and airy and encourage great learning opportunities both indoors and outdoors.

Particularly for the early primary years, we are keen to build spaces which enable parents to feel included in the learning process - we are looking at how we can emulate the Piazza (meeting place) in the Kindergarten, which provides such a wonderful space for parents to view their children’s work and connect with each other, and where a sense of belonging to our school community is fostered. We want to bring that sense of belonging into Prep and JP and as such we are carefully looking at other schools and collecting a bank of ideas to feed back to the architect.

It will be exciting to share finalised plans in the near future so that our community can have confidence in the intentional thought that has gone into preserving, maintaining and building what we all love about MECS. Please join with us in prayer that wise and good decisions will be made that reflect the core elements of MECS Primary. 

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