On one of the windiest days we’ve seen in many years, Melbourne High School opened its gates on a Sunday to welcome the 2017 cohort of students and their families to their new home. As they entered through the main doors of the old building, perhaps overwhelmed by its history and tradition, they were greeting with the fresh, smiling faces of our assistant principals, Pelissa Tsilimidos and Marcus Sharp.
Earlier, in the dark corridors of the same building, assistant principal, Andrew Sloan, was already rounding up the troops – students who had given up their Sunday to act as guides or help out in different parts of the school in order to showcase some of the many things the school has to offer.
Parents of existing students set up stalls in the dining hall, including Friends of Music who transformed the place into a cheery market place. How inviting were their stalls and wares!
Memorial Hall was filled many times over by new students and their families who were addressed by principal, Jeremy Ludowyke, on the theme and motto of the school, ‘More than just marks’, as well as by the school’s registrar, Rosemary Dickson, the current school captain and vice-captain who provided a student perspective, and by a representative from Parents & Friends who provided the invaluable parent perspective.
The library was open from 8.30 am until well after 3pm, and hosted about 15 large groups, as well as individual family groups, all keen to see MHS library spaces, and find out how the library supported the learning and wellbeing of their sons.
Head of library, Pam Saunders, made everyone feel welcome and drew on her experiences as a past parent, sharing ‘inside’ information and advice ranging from parking tips for whole school functions (such as parent-teacher interviews) to promotion of the very special whole school music event – The House Choral Competitions. She talked about House spirit and conveyed her love of the school as she transitioned from parent to teacher librarian and head of library.
I showed the rich range of online resources developed by the library, in particular, our website (Libguides) which provides both subject- and skill-related content, as well as how parents and students might keep up with what is happening in the library and school through our social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, our library blog, our library Facebook page and art blog.
Parents and students were keen to find out more about the Interest Groups we run in the library: Library Assistants, Book Club and Writing Interest Group (WIG). The Writing Interest Group also has a blog (Unicorn Express) in which students publish their work to a local and global readership of over 100 people a day.
Study and life skills, such as time management, goal setting, mindfulness, note-taking and other important skills are also supported in our website, and parents were happy to hear that, should they ever need support, their sons would be recommended to work with teacher librarian, Catherine Morton, in academic mentoring sessions.
All in all, a great day, and we look forward to our new students settling in next year and becoming part of the MHS community.