Continuing Our Partnership with St Gerard’s

St Gerard’s is a small Catholic Primary school located in Westminster. For their Strive9 project, Year 9 de la Hoyde chose to continue the relationship Santa Maria College has developed with the school over previous years.

“95% of the families at St Gerard’s are from migrant or refugee families, so we felt we could make a difference with families that are new to Australia.”, said Olivia Gamble, Homeroom Teacher.

The group had already received a donation of some paint so thought they could use this to brighten up the school. In discussion with the Principal at St Gerard’s Mr Mitchell Bristow, we designed two murals to be painted. Other groups worked on a garden project, cleaning jobs and activities for the students at recess and lunch. Each de la Hoyde student was placed in a group in charge of each of these activities. 

The girls chose activities based on the resources we had already (eg the paint) and then based on student interest. They thought about what would make a difference in the school and went from there.

The principal and students were extremely welcoming to the girls. “It was great to see the interaction between our girls and those at St Gerard’s, especially at recess and lunchtime.”, said Olivia. “During this time, we had students playing soccer against the Year 6 boys, students running skipping, chalk drawings on the courts, imagination games and general conversations. For the students who are still learning English, this was great to see.”

Olivia added, “I was pleased that we could leave a permanent impact on the school with the garden we created and the two murals. I also love that we were able to brighten up the school by weeding, mulching and generally cleaning up. We hope this made a difference to the teachers who already have so much on their plate! I love the service aspect of Strive9 and the girls being able to see the immediate impact they can have on others.”  

Year 9 de la Hoyde students Sophie Alvaro and Isayla Foster reflect on Implementation Day below.

“We designed two murals in Homeroom which we then painted on walls. The children helped us with this. We connected with the kids at recess and lunch playing a heated game of soccer, sadly resulting in the Santa Maria girls losing 6-0. We planted native Australia plants in the front of the school and helped move large piles of mulch around the school. We all enjoyed our short stay at St Gerard’s very much and wish to visit again.”

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