It is still early days in our trial of restructuring boarding; however the boarding houses were abuzz with excitement with the new look arrangements. Feedback to date appears very encouraging with girls commenting about how full the houses have been over the weekend with everyone in the same building.
We are very aware that the change has the greatest impact on the Year 7 and 8 boarders and staff are closely monitoring them. On the nights Kelly Fisher, our school counsellor, is on duty she is spending time in each of the boarding houses, touching base with girls we think may find the change challenging.
Although the students are still dining in year groups, we have noticed a considerable change in the dynamics between different year groups. Girls are having increased interaction with each other across year levels, where in the past they tended to stick with girls of the same age.
- Ange Rathbone and I will meet with the full boarders and share with them the exciting new physical changes to take place in Nelson/Richards over the summer holidays
- Part way through the term we will gather some feedback from staff, students and parents. This will then be repeated nearer the end of term, with a summary of recommendations for the future.
Student Café Lunches
As you may be aware, towards the end of last term we trialled a café style lunch for students. The driver behind the change was an effort to resolve a feeling of dissatisfaction from the girls, particularly around lunches. We trialled a menu which differed from the evening meal, in the hope that through offering a variety of food, similar to that which could be purchased in a café, the girls would be happier.
A poll was run in the last few days of term with an overwhelming number of girls in support of the new style of food.
Impact of the change:
- Girls are happy to rotate through a roster of dining times
- The time it takes for the girls to move through to collect their lunch has diminished
- Far less food wastage – but some initial issues about the increase in paper and plastic wastage. We are working rapidly to resolve this, with most of the packaging now completely recyclable
- Limited number of packed lunches in school. We have introduced a voucher system for sports and arts groups needing lunch onsite.
- Continue to refine the packaging and implement a recycling plan
- Introduce ‘Picnics on the Principal’s lawn’. Year groups will take turns each week eating their lunches outside on the lawn. We would like to run this in Terms 4 and 1, with the purpose of providing girls with more quality time together in their year groups.
Mrs Catherine Bentley, DP – Director of Students