What makes Island School different from other schools?
I think there are two things that really make Island School different, one is the physical aspect and another is educational. Island School is one of the most open schools I have seen, the heart of Island School lies in Block 5 and 4 playgrounds to a certain extent. The open corridors bring a sense of inclusion among students, as if they are part of everything that goes on in the school. Seeing students standing on the bridges and around the blocks watching carnivals or an inter-house game all contributes to a very lively and spirited atmosphere.
In terms of the education, there are so many innovations pushing the school to develop. From the innovative curriculum teachers formed to the unique events and groups students bring about within the school community. All of these things never stop growing and I think that’s what makes us a unique school. Every year, we have something new to celebrate and achieve in, something bigger and better.
What is the House spirit?
The House spirit started to truly affect me in Year 10 when I became sports captain for Nansen [House]. We were doing terribly in sporting events and I thought the only way to fix that was to fix myself. I started to run regularly, gradually transforming myself from one of the slowest long distance runners in Nansen to the fastest, motivated by the House spirit. Now, in Year 12, for every event I put in maximum efforts as I hope to see Nansen thrive in the future. The powerful House spirit has transformed me as a person both physically and mentally, and I hope I can use that transformation to give back to the House.
The Island School Spirit
The spirit itself is that feeling when you walk into Island School knowing you will be accepted, welcomed and that you can be part of the different groups of people you see in the playground, around the corridors and in their rooms.
All the greatest memories, best times and even the tragic times that I have gone through are with my friends and I think that is what makes them so special. My school friends mean so much to me because they are in fact the first people I go to if I have a problem or something to celebrate, even before going to my parents or teachers.
Both of my Senior Heads of Houses of Nansen stand out to me. Ms Hopkins was our Senior Head of House (SHOH) for many years until about Year 10, when she left. She was an amazing chemistry teacher as well as a SHOH. She was very responsible and disciplined, yet so witty at the same time. She was almost like a mother to us in some ways and I will always miss that. She knew us all really well and was very caring even though she never really chose to express it. Our current SHOH, Ms. Peters has always been a very kind and understanding teacher. She has watched us grow and helped us through tough times. I think without Ms Peters I wouldn’t have reached where I am at today. She is someone who helps a student reach their fullest potential.
Tell me about a fond memory?
My fondest memory from my time at Island School is in fact something that happens every year. It is the final assemblies before the end of the terms, especially the last day of school before the beginning of summer. In the final assembly we reflect back at events that occurred during that year and celebrate a number of achievements. It was one of the only times we, as a school, could all gather and embrace our fantastic year. The best bits are when we all sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ Neil Diamond as a school and when Principal Mr Binge walks up on stage and says ‘Island School is closed for summer’! I think these assemblies demonstrate the essence of Island School’s unity and spirit, something that you can’t find in any other school.