21 May

20 Year Profile Celebration – Kate Hane, SPW teacher since the school’s opening in 1999. 

Last term Kate shared some of her memories of SPW at the 20 Year Birthday Celebration assembly. As Kate recounted her fondest memories of SPW there was lots of laughter and gasps of surprise from the students and teachers. The speech was so well received that we thought we would share it here for the community to enjoy too.

20 Years Ago 

20 years ago some things were very different. I still lived at home with my mum and dad and two very annoying brothers, iPhones hadn’t been invented yet, my name was Miss Tamblyn and our school magazines were printed in black and white.

Some things however, were the same. I still ate a lot of chocolate, had long hair, loved my pet turtle and taught at SPW. SPW holds a lot of amazing memories for me. When I first started teaching there were only 2 Reception classes, 2 Year 1 classes and 2 Year 2 classes. There was only 1 class in Year 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

There was lots of space in this amazing school that wasn’t being used yet. I remember the Year 1 classrooms being old locker rooms and the Library was located upstairs where the music room currently is.

There was an old hall called Bowen Hall right in the middle of our Nature Play space and this was set up as the canteen. There was only 1 JP playground and the JP Art Room was where the Colley Room is now in the ELC.

There have been so many changes that I’ve watched happen as our amazing school has continued to grow and grow. We used to start everyday except Thursday with Assembly in the hall, which is now our gym. The children had to walk to assembly in a boys line and a girls line and sit in this formation during assembly. Sometimes there weren’t many notices and we would just sing a song, say a prayer then leave very quickly and go back to our classrooms again!

Book Week Parades

One of my favourite things that I’ve experienced at SPW are our Book Week Parades. When our school was much smaller, we used to dress up as our favourite character and we would walk down to Jetty Road and all the way down to Moseley Square to show off our amazing costumes. The shop keepers would come out and applaud our hard work.

When we got back to school we would enjoy a whole school lunch, similar to our Christmas lunch, and it was a huge celebration. The teachers would set up big Book Week displays in every corner of the Library. I remember once making a huge chicken wire and paper mache stegosaurus with my class that was so big it almost didn’t fit through the Library doors.

School Musicals

I remember our first school musical was all about pirates. Mrs Mangos and I created the set; I can tell you, that while we worked very hard it lacked a little finesse. Half way through one of the performances a huge sail fell over. No need to worry, no one was hurt and luckily the next song was called hoist the main sail and the clever performers on stage hauled that sail back up and set it in place. It was like it was meant to be!

School Concerts

School concerts were also lots of fun, but back then our concert happened in the hall and every class sang a song. We used to wait in our classrooms during the night time performance and the Year 7 helpers would come running to let us know when it was our turn. We would quickly line up (in a boys line and a girls line of course!) and wander across the school yard in the dark to perform our song.

Swimming Week

I also remember the excitement of swimming week when we would all venture to an indoor swimming centre at Largs Bay – a very long way away. We enjoyed every day in that week and were so tired by Thursday and Friday that lots of us fell asleep on the buses!

SPW – a very special place to me

I could write about School Fairs, Twilight Sports Days when we didn’t come to school until lunch time, Easter bunny visits or what it was like to have my dad as the school chaplain telling embarrassing stories. But to me SPW is all about the people. It’s about the wonderful friends I have made, it’s about the learning I’ve done as a teacher, it’s about watching my own children move through this beautiful school and it’s about the joy I’ve had teaching many of you and many children who have left SPW and grown up.

My advice to all of you is to enjoy all the special moments and experiences that SPW gives you. Store them in your memory bank and look back on them in the years to come just like I do.

Thank you to Kate Hane, Reception Teacher, for sharing this story.