2/9/2016 Visit to Harrisville State School

Last Friday the ICANIWILL team visited Harrisville State School, a primary school located roughly an hour and a half from Brisbane. Kick-starting the day at 6am, coffee in hand and radio up high, Conan, Nick and I made it to school just in time for morning tea.

A quaint school, we were greeted by the principal Christine who described to us the troubles she was experiencing with the students which comprised mainly of a lack of cooperation, exclusion and a ‘ganging up’ mentality on those who were deemed low in social status. No doubt a problem in all schools, this particular strand of bullying, though quite common, is exceedingly troublesome in smaller schools as the atmosphere is one that is more intimate.

The kids were very excited at the prospect of Jelly Run and even more thrilled with the possibility of winning a ride in a Race car. Revealing quite a few auto enthusiasts, the children were informed that these prizes would only be rewarded to them if they made a significant effort to include each other.

Students were then partnered together, with the older ones grouping with the younger. The room was then split in two, with one half of the kids going off with Conan and the other half with Nick. My role was to oversee the interactions between the children and to recommend those who I believed were best embodying the ICANIWILL mindset.

The day ended with us all sitting in the undercover area and enjoying a good hot dog, a testament to my own days in Primary school. Waiting for my dog I felt a small tug on my sleeve and turned around to see an adorable girl laden with tomato sauce (it does get everywhere) who asked me if I could sit with her. I could barely contain my bursting heart as I joined her on the floor, which I was then immediately surrounded by a group of doting girls. So that’s what it’s like to be popular? For someone who has never considered themselves a ‘kid person’ I was instantly won over by these lovely children. In fact, when it was time to go I was even hesitant to leave!