Sherbrooke Community School: principal for a day

Last week I participated in the principal for a day program and had the pleasure of doing so at Sherbrooke Community School. It was a great opportunity to spend a whole day observing the school in action. The main thing I took away was an appreciation of the vast range of issues that a principal deals with in a single day.

My day began observing a staff meeting. We then headed out to the hall for the school meeting. Unique to Sherbrooke Community School, this meeting is held first thing every morning and is totally run by the students. One of the great characteristics of this prep-year 12 school is how the students of all ages meet together daily and treat each other with friendship and respect. Everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard, from principal Anne Broadribb to the most precocious preppie.

Anne and I met with contractors, and I spoke to students in the brand new primary wing, which is a great new learning space funded through the federal government’s Building the Education Revolution program. Back in the principal’s office I was taken through how the school sets its budget and plans for the future.

In various parts of the school I simply stood back and observed teachers and students in action studying English, music and art. Around every corner something different was happening: a senior student talked to the Victorian certificate of education coordinator about her career options; a group of students practised their vocal skills with their singing teacher; students rehearsed their lines for the school production on the basketball court; and a student quietly worked on his project on his computer.

Throughout the day I discussed with Anne the many challenges she faces in running the school. The day ended with a meeting of the leadership group and a fascinating discussion about the priorities for next year’s curriculum.

Thank you, Sherbrooke Community School, for such a memorable day. You are a great school.