Along with many other parents in the past few weeks, I found out that the secondary school that my boys go to has had it's Building Schools for the Future funding axed and will not be updated and renovated as hoped. It was apparent that cuts would be harsh in the budget, but I do think this is one area where errors were made; this was the one project which desperately needed to go ahead. Some school buildings and facilities are outdated and our children deserve every opportunity to succeed. But that's not what this post is focusing on.
I have nothing but praise for the school my lads go to. Anyone how's read my previous blogs, will know they both had an excellent Learning Review Day and I couldn't be prouder. And I'm not naive enough to think this is just down to their individual abilities and my superb parenting (*bows). It's the staff that are the key.
In choosing a secondary school, my priorities were as any other parent - academia, facilities, proximity were all factors but, if I'm honest, my sons wanted to go to Garibaldi College because all their friends were. I knew some mums who's children already attended and had heard nothing to make me choose anywhere else. The moving process from year six was smooth and thoroughly involved, with the students being lead every step of the way. There was already a bond between the primary school and Garibaldi College as it was a feeder school so there was never the "fear of the unknown".
And now three years on, I know I made the right decision. And I also know why... it is, indeed, the teachers that make the school. In every capacity I have dealt with the teachers, subject teachers, form tutors and parent liason, I have found them to be 100% commited to my children. Each one had a personal knowledge of my son which I found heartening with such a big student body. I had, during their primary years, found that my lads sometimes flew under the radar but this has never been the case in Garibaldi College. Their grades we can all jointly take credit for, but their love of school, their day-to-day well-being and happiness is solely down to the staff at the college. My boys like their teachers - they find them fun and friendly. To us, as parents, they have always been obliging and courteous. They are the role models I would pick for my children.
Another local school, who's BSF project has been completed and is hence in an up-to-date building, has been attempting to poach pupils from other schools who's funding has be stopped. And I know of at least two parents who will be sending their children to the new school. So on that note, I just want to say that a school in more than four walls and a roof. It's the people, the dedicated staff, that make a school great. And Garibaldi College is great.