Spreading A Little Kindness

Carolyn Sharp and Class 5.3 share an appreciation box with Religious Education teacher Tania Merrey

Our Year 5 classes have been overflowing with kindness! Past Santa Maria student, Catherine Kolomyjec (Class of 1986), through her heart-centred business Soul Gestures, has been running workshops and challenges for the girls based around kindness.

Over four weeks, the girls were asked to complete a range of kindness challenges, building habits of compassion into their daily lives. Catherine said, “We know that their actions will not only be appreciated by the people around them but will be good for their own wellbeing as well.”

Catherine Kolomyjec (Class of 1986) delivers her Kindness workshop to Year 5 students

Catherine was overwhelmed by our girls. “What a special bunch these girls were – excited, engaged, insightful, and full of creative ideas including a few that we are going to adopt in our future work!” she said.

During the challenge, students look at kindness in their families, in their classrooms, their wider social circles, and the local community.

The girls loved learning about how their bodies responded to being kind. They were able to experience this firsthand when each class did a ‘soul gesture’ for a teacher they chose to show appreciation to. 

Tania Merrey being presented with her appreciation box
Year 5s showing a little kindness

Religious Education teacher Tania Merrey was one of the lucky staff to receive an appreciation box from one of the Year 5 classes. “When I was urgently called over to the Year 5 class, I had no idea that I had been selected by the class to receive a box full of little treasures. I felt so special and overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe the Year 5s had remembered me from our relief lessons together this year. I have loved doing reliefs in Mrs Sharp’s Year 5 class. When I light my little candle and use my little gifts, I am reminded all over again of the moment I found out I had been selected and I am happy all over again!”

If you have a daughter in Year 5, ask them about what they learned. They are all pretty excited about their new knowledge!

Below are some of the girls’ reflections.   

  • I made pasta for my 90 year old neighbour because his wife died and has no one to take care of him.
  • I felt happy because I love giving gifts and my body got all warm and my cheeks went red.
  • I was kind to Mrs Hosking and after she read the card she had said it made her day.
  • I felt good because my grandparents are sick and they do not get many visitors.
  • My act of kindness was giving my mum a hug when she was sad, I did this because she looked sad and I wanted to make her feel better.
  • A big smile crept across my face and my posture changed to a straight back.
  • I felt good about making crepes and the dopamine going through my body was crazy.
  • My act of kindness today was to prepare morning tea for my family. I did this because I knew my family was busy and I thought it would be a nice surprise.

Year 5 teacher, Caroline Sharp says, “This program has been a fantastic challenge for the Year 5 girls.  They have really thought about specific ways to spread kindness to their family, friends, support circle, and the wider community.  It truly has been a hands-on experience and an opportunity to make kindness a habit in their everyday lives!”

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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