Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) at Guildford Grammar is as valuable for parents as it is for the children they entrust to us. Our program delivers endless opportunities for students to grow and develop at the same time as nurturing a sense of belonging and community. For parents, OSHC gives peace of mind and a confidence in knowing that your child is being cared for, guided and uplifted. Here are a few examples of the opportunities our students have been lucky to experience in the program. People sometimes laugh when I tell them that one of the most popular excursions we have done was a trip to Bunnings. Students went on a treasure hunt for the supplies we required to build a street library. They were encouraged to consider both the supplies they needed and how they would be used in the library construction. In the weeks following the excursion, they were asked to read and understand the building instructions, and finish the Street Library for the community.
One summer in the Vacation Care Program, we gave the children a budget, and we went to a great bookshop in Victoria Park — Crow Books — where the children got busy choosing books. When their time was up, they piled them up high on a coffee table in the store and negotiated with each other for what books they wanted to buy. They understood the importance of keeping within the budget and arranged for a discount on the books with the staff so that they could also get a recipe book that they had spotted (cooking is a big favourite here in the House!). Visiting a bookstore is now a regular fixture on the Vacation program.
The books selected went in to a book nook some students developed and chose the soft furnishings for. This meant going online (under close supervision) and comparing and contrasting what they could get for their budget. Their contribution to our environment helped them settle in and feel that they belong.
Belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming, in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
The great thing about OSHC is that we are always looking for new school holiday programs, trying to incorporate all of the children’s favourite educators. We blend favourite experiences with the new, to ensure it’s never quite the same for regular attendees; maybe it is spending time in a workshop with a book illustrator, taking the train to a fantastic restaurant, learning some new skills with a creative recycling sculptor, watching a movie or more!
For those not booked in, the Outside School Hours Care House is also a wonderful haven on campus, whether mum or dad are delayed picking their child up or after school pick-up instructions are forgotten. We occasionally find that some children are on campus early or late and if that is the case, they come to the OSHC House where they can have fun, a snack and a drink, and be cared for till the school day begins or the pick-up instructions are all sorted out. We also take casual bookings, so parents can always have peace of mind for the care of their children and for children to always have a space where they belong.
For further information on our programs, please visit our website.