As we start the second month of 2017, here’s a chance to remember a few of Ficino School’s key activities in Term 4, 2016!
Year 7 & 8 Renaissance trip
The most memorable experience in their time at Ficino School, as recalled by students and alumni alike, is the biennial Renaissance trip. The 2016 trip took place in October for our Year 7 & 8 classes. 24 students, 3 teachers and 5 parents spent 3 weeks exploring some of the greatest aspects of western civilisation with an itinerary that encompassed visits to Rome, Florence and Sienna in Italy and London, Oxford, Salisbury and Bath in England.
The opportunity to watch a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was a highlight for many, given their own Shakespeare studies and performances throughout their time at Ficino. One of our enthusiastic parent helpers, Rachel Lovelace, documented the 2016 tour. We are grateful for the time and effort she put into recording this trip for us. Visit her Renaissance Blog to see what our group got up to.
Just this Day
Started by a parent at St James (our sister school in London), Just this Day is a movement that encourages all people to be united in stillness and silence for a short time, and just be. Different classes observed this in a variety of ways by doing activities such as geometry and writing poetry. This small exercise provided our students with the opportunity to tap into some of their inner thoughts, and resulted in some insightful writings.
One class of 8 and 9 year-olds took the opportunity to write about life, love, dreams, the present moment and nature in complete silence. The below is a collection of their thoughts on Life:
- Life is a wonder, explore it
- Life is beauty, admire it
- Life is music, listen to it
- Life is a song, praise it
- Life is dangerous, face it
- Life is a promise, keep it
- Life is a challenge, answer it
- Life isn’t an end, realise it
- Life is a seed, plant it
Ficino students have a comprehensive arts curriculum that encompasses music, dance and visual mediums. These subjects encourage investigation, communication and interpretation. Students gain an understanding and appreciation for beauty and the means by which it can be expressed.
Our Year 8 students, together with their Art Teacher Mrs Joass, had the opportunity to develop and practise their visual arts skills with the completion of a portrait painting of the four saints who represent each of the Houses at Ficino School. Their works will decorate the walls at Ficino, leaving behind a legacy for others to appreciate, enjoy and aspire to.
All our students engaged in a variety of activities to celebrate and epitomise the Christmas spirit, whether it be participating in Ficino’s end of year Nativity Play, taking part in a carol service at St Barnabas Church or sponsorship of the City Mission’s Foodbank appeal.
Ficino School has a special relationship with residents and staff at Edenvale Rest Home in Mt Eden. Each term, different Years visit the rest home and perform a concert for the residents. Term 4 saw our Year 2 students give a recital and sing Christmas carols before joining residents for afternoon tea. The benefits of these visits is many-fold to all involved, allowing our students to put into practice some of the values that we promote throughout their education such as kindness, respect and integrity.
Our school year culminated in a whole school prize-giving in which students got recognized for academic achievement in mathematics, English and science. Prizes for values such as Generosity of Spirit, Perseverance and Growth, Effort, Enthusiasm, Attitude, Service and Friendship were among a variety of other important prizes awarded.
Our graduating Year 8 class shared their views and experiences during their time at Ficino through a series of witty, wry and emotional speeches – we wish them well!