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The Value of Service

28th October 2021

The Value of Service

Principal's Newsletter - October 2022

It is unquestioned that one of a school’s fundamental responsibilities is to enlarge and to strengthen the intellectual abilities of its students. However, this alone this is not enough – the formation of character must occur alongside the academic development of students. This is possibly even more so the case in contemporary society as so many other institutions, once central to the formation of a young person’s moral compass, have diminished in their contribution.

Our role as a school is not merely to pass on learning and knowledge from teachers to students but also to develop learners, to foster personal growth and to work with our students as they form their character. By committing to serve their community, students stand to learn much about themselves whilst assisting others, in turn developing a depth of character. In fact, Furco and Root (2010) assert that evidence abounds that learning through service can lead to: 

  • Improved academic achievement
  • Improved student engagement in school and learning
  • Enhanced civic responsibility and citizenship
  • Enhanced personal and social skills

In 2021, the School’s community service program has continued to flourish. Evidence of this can be seen in the sheer number of students and staff willingly involving themselves in service learning, the number and scale of service activities undertaken and the volume of funds collected through a variety of fundraising programs. The organisation of these activities occur either through the Schools’ Interact Club or via the Houses.  

In its fourth year of operation at TGS , the Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp is one of the Schools major service undertakings and continues to provide an important opportunity for senior students to demonstrate their commitment to service by caring for a young person with a disability over a number of days.

The objectives of the Sony Camp are threefold – to offer the young guests with disabilities a great time, to ensure their families have some respite and for the Year 11 companions and Year 12 helpers to have the opportunity to experience considerable personal growth.

Those involved in the Sony Camp give much of themselves. For three days and two nights, the companions care for their guest around the clock and during this time give much of themselves whilst also learning the value of putting another person’s needs first. This 2021 camp was again most successful with 34 guests cared for by 73 Year 11 students and 16 year 12 students organising activities.

The camp program is structured so that the campers have the opportunity to relax and get to know each other whilst completing a range of organised activities together during the weekend. Activities this year included swimming, craftwork, a disco, a visit from the police and fire brigade and on the last morning a show day with numerous show rides for the guests and their companions to enjoy. Sony Foundation ambassador, Jonathan Thurston, was also a surprise visitor on the camp’s final morning.

Click here for Photos of TGS Sony Camp 2021