Year 11 and 12 students from Trinity Grammar School, dedicated themselves to providing service to those most in need, as part of Trinity’s annual Service Week programme. One of the beneficiaries was Jervis Bay School whose students revelled in the attention provided by Senior Trinity boys.
Service Week is an initiative of Trinity Grammar School designed to encourage students to consider the impact they can have as both an individual, and as part of the School, on the broader outside community. The programme’s activities serve to raise awareness amongst the boys of the inequalities that may exist outside their own immediate sphere. Activities provide practical hands on experience by allowing boys to work collaboratively alongside a variety of charity groups, community volunteers and schools.
During the week-long annual programme, Year 11 and 12 students commit to a variety of activities such as feeding the homeless, serving the elderly, assisting to educate young people, and supporting charity centres and community support initiatives.
At Jervis Bay School, located near Nowra on the NSW South Coast, two Trinity students were placed in each of the four classes to assist students one-on-one and in small groups. Although they concentrated mainly on literacy and numeracy, the Trinity boys also helped Jervis Bay students prepare meals for family and friends as part of Harmony Day celebrations.
Principal of Jervis Bay School, Rachel Burke was clearly impressed with the Senior students’ willingness to fully embrace their given roles and do whatever they could to find ways to engage with their junior counterparts. “It’s been a really rewarding experience … Trinity boys have been involved in the classroom, some of them have been really quite enterprising, supporting teachers and working one-on-one with students to help engage them – it’s been lovely.”
“Our boys in particular, have really enjoyed it with a number of our younger boys shadowing the Trinity students in the classroom and really seeking out that mentoring and connection. One of the benefits for our students has been the opportunity to connect with people outside their school environment and communities. I think it’s a really rewarding experience for everyone involved,” concluded Ms Burke.
Community Service provides the boys with rich and powerful experiences that foster a sense of responsibility and selflessness, and makes them aware that they are a part of something greater than themselves.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for Trinity boys, particularly coming into a school that is largely Indigenous. It has been a real eye-opener for them - relationships in the community are really important, so the boys have made a real effort to connect with the students here. The kids connected with the Trinity boys really well,” commented William Campbell PDHPE Teacher at Trinity. “They thought they would be sitting in the back observing but after the first hour they wanted to be more hands-on, so that’s been really positive.”
Year 12 student Jordan Kerry said of his experience at Jervis Bay School: “I’ve enjoyed the experience – getting to know many different personalities from a range of communities, especially the Indigenous boys – playing on the soccer field with them and getting to know them on a personal level - seeing where they come from, how they think, and how they interact with you – that’s what I’ve enjoyed most.”
“The opportunity to interact with the kids has been very enjoyable. To come here and be able to really sit down with them … and to help them has been really good,” said Year 12 Trinity student William Todd.
“It has definitely been an eye opening experience … it’s much more laid back and relaxed and its a different lifestyle … to see how the community school runs and how they all know each other and they all care about each other, and the teachers put a lot of time and effort into their work … it’s been really fascinating to see that,” continued William.
The research on the value of community service in schools points to a range of benefits. These include:
- Improved engagement in learning and academic performance.
- Enhanced personal and social skills, boosting a number of psychological and ethical outcomes.
- Improvements in teamwork, leadership, self-esteem and autonomy.
Ultimately, paradoxically, many students learn that a lifelong, altruistic focus on giving to others is, in reality, counter-balanced with the attainment of these rich rewards.
“Providing service to others is an important aspect of learning at Trinity. In Years 7 to 10 boys undertake camps which are focused on giving them an understanding of themselves through a series of challenges that teach them coping skills. This sets the boys up emotionally to be able to actively provide service and support to others when they reach Years 11 and 12. Through service-based learning, Trinity aims to give its boys an understanding and appreciation for altruistic service,” said Lachlan White, Activities Master at Trinity.
Service Week takes place within Sydney and further afield in NSW, the Northern Territory (where students live with the Walpiri and Anmatjere people) and Hong Kong, where the boys learn about homelessness in a global context.
Some of the organisations that benefited from Trinity students taking part in Service Week this year included:
- Bears of Hope
- Canterbury Public School
- Crossroads Foundation (Hong Kong)
- Exodus Foundation
- Jervis Bay School
- Riding for the Disabled
- Salvation Army
- Shepherd Centre
- St Johns Preschool
- Sutherland Shire Bushcare
- Ti Tree (Northern Territory)
- Wesley Mission
Trinity Grammar School aims to develop young men through a thoroughly holistic approach to education. Opportunities to enhance the mind, body and spirit are facilitated through a range of educative experiences, with Community Service being a feature of each Trinity boy’s learning particularly through Service Week. Additionally, our Christian mission in providing service to others is the practical outworking of one’s faith in Christ.
Trinity believes that great opportunities are borne out of service to others, and that these experiences further enhance the learning opportunities for its boys as they discover their potential, passions and purpose in life.