The Friends’ Schools maxim is Nemo Sibi Nascitur …
Hi, I’m Cosima, and this is my first own Blogpost. As most of you probably know I am the youngest daughter in the family and here in Hobart I am a Year 10 student at The Friends’ School.
Orientation day is a very exciting and nerve-racking day for me since the only human contact I’ve had was for months basically my Family and other people that were not my age (excluding my sister Pia). I am on my own on this first day at the new school, Mama, Papa and Pia are on a school tour with the parents of all the 7th Graders who are waiting nervously with me. The Orientation day is meant for new students only, which means most of them are not my age either since they are in Year 7. There is a lot of chatter, many of the students know each other already. After a few minutes all the students get called into a big room, where we get „sorted“ into our Tutor groups. These consist of a mix of students from all Year groups in Highschool and make up four Houses. Just like at Hogwarts in Harry Potter, the Houses Ransome, Unwin, Mather and Hodgkin also have the House colours which are in order red, green, blue and yellow. The School colours however are navy-blue and red, and are incorporated into the uniform. For the boys it consists of a light blue shirt, navy-blue and red striped ties and grey pants or shorts, and for the girls there is both a summer and a winter uniform. The summer uniform is a red-white-blue plaid dress with a white collar and the winter uniform consists of a white shirt, a navy-blue and red plaid skirt and either navy blue or black stockings, or none.
The Friends’ Schools maxim is Nemo Sibi Nascitur which translates to “No one is born for self alone”.
At The Friends’ School the students call the teachers by their Christian names …
After the „Sorting Ceremony“ we follow our Tutors out of the Great Hall, and many corridors and staircases later my Tutor group ends up in the library, our Tutor room. My two Tutors Lyn and Trish are lovely ladies who make us all feel welcome immediately. At The Friends’ School the students call the teachers by their Christian names which creates mutual respect and makes it less scary to talk to the teachers. It takes a bit of getting used to for me but after a while I think it is a fantastic Concept. It makes the whole atmosphere more relaxed and welcoming.
Lyn gives me a tour of the School and shows me where to find everything. There are lots of buildings, all of them old and full of nooks and crannies, so many staircases – the nightmare of any newbie. Since every class is in a different classroom, I am scared that I won’t be able to find my way around on the first day when the corridors are full of people running about.
Soon it’s lunchtime and Lyn takes me back to the library where I meet another international student. Simon is from Sweden and in Year 8, and we get talking on the way to the Canteen. There we meet lots of new people, including Lydia who is another new Year 10 and turns out to become one of my closest friends. And that basically sums up the whole day.
On the first day of actual school my Mentor Louise, an awesome Year 10 student, and her mum pick me up by car and give me a lift to school. By the time we get there I am extremely nervous, but as turns out it everything goes just fine. Louise introduces me to her friends and then I’m off to Morning tutor, which is where we meet in our Tutor rooms and one of the Year 10 students reads the Bulletin and our Tutors check attendance, which takes about 10 minutes. Then the whole day consists of trying to a) find the right classrooms, b) remember peoples’ names and then forgetting them because there are just too many.
… some of the most amazing people I have ever met
Over the course of the first week, everything gets more familiar, finding my classrooms becomes easier and I don’t forget the new names as easily. I also quickly find a new group of friends who are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. After school we often hang out in town for an hour or two.
My timetable at school is a little different to what I have in Austria. Since at Friends’ you can choose most of your subjects and have lots and lots of choices for them, including some really interesting artistic studies, I decide to try a few things I’ve never really done at school before. These are, for example, Dance, Drama, Film Appreciation and Art (the latter I do in Austria as well, but not as focused as here). Every student in these classes is very interested in the subject and curious to learn more about it, which makes the atmosphere more pleasant. I have never done Drama before so that class is a whole new experience for me. My classmates have all been doing it for a long time so of course they are far ahead of me, but they are all so nice and ready to help with everything. Two of my best friends are also in my class and together we make every lesson fun, and soon I become great friends with lots of other classmates. This happens in pretty much every class.
A special feature at the school is Gathering, where every Wednesday the whole year group goes down to the Meeting House and we sit together in a comfortable silence for about an hour. During this time you can reflect on a presented topic, often recent international events, or you can relax and think about, for examples, what subjects you have next and mentally prepare for them. I think this is a great and useful feature and it really gives you time to recharge during a busy week of studying.
Obviously I can’t just do all the fun new subjects, after all I need to be ready for school when I get back to Austria without being too far behind. So I attend two Mathematics courses: the compulsory Maths course and Mathematics Methods. The latter is a hardcore version of Maths and all of my classmates are smart as and work hard. Sadly the school doesn’t offer an Italian class, so Pia, Papa and I take extracurricular classes with Sofia, an amiable young woman who makes every lesson a perfect mixture of fun and educational.