Why we all care about I-CARE

This article was created by Year 6 students by Tom Anderson, Gisele Karafili and Kaeleb Sanghvi

Building an understanding of, and empathy for, others is an important part of our education at Grimwade House.

Every week each class has time set aside to focus on wellbeing and pastoral care. We participate in a range of activities to support students in developing social and emotional skills. This might include, for example, working with younger buddies or circle time to discuss issues with our friends.

Once a year we have a week dedicated to focusing on wellbeing in our school – for students, teachers and the wider community. It is called I-CARE Week and this year’s theme was ‘Grimwade Gives’. We were given opportunities to help others in our school and community, as well as time to look after ourselves.

We took some time to chat with Mrs Thomas, Deputy Head at Grimwade House, about the key aims for I-CARE week this year.

Tom: What do you hope students will learn during I-CARE week?

Mrs Thomas: I would hope they continue to learn how to be kind, how to be a great friend, and how good it makes them feel to do something nice for somebody else.

As an example, Year 2 students went to a nursing home, so they got a beautiful feeling of what it felt like to help the older generations and it brought some joy to the resident’s lives.

We had Year 6 students visiting the Yavneh College Early Learning Centre and both the older and younger children had great fun together.

Kaeleb: What are the benefits to the community?

Mrs Thomas: There were lots of benefits.

Year 1 and 5 students delivered letters of kindness to our local community. We got some emails and some letters back from our neighbours saying they really appreciated it because living next door to a school is not always easy.

Also, Year 2 students and staff gathered food for disadvantaged people in the Melbourne community. We received a beautiful email back from the organisation saying the food that we gathered will really help many people in need.

One of the major events in I-CARE week is a casual clothes day to raise money for a charity. We asked Mrs Thomas to give us some more information about this.

Gisele: So, tell us about how the school charity works.

Mrs Thomas: Every year, our Year 6 CARE service team research different charities to find one they feel most passionate about.

Their chosen charity for 2023 is Books n Boots, an educational charity for First Nations children in remote areas.

At the end of our I-CARE week our students held a casual clothes day to support Books n Boots, but instead of a donation of money, everyone brought in good quality second-hand books and good quality second-hand footy boots. Grimwade House families donated over 2300 books and over 100 pairs of boots which was an incredible outcome. 

Overall, we think I-CARE week was a huge success this year. We are sure all the students and staff had a great time meeting new people in the community and demonstrating the ‘Grimwade Way’ – doing the right thing, in the right place, at the right time.

Life at school is really busy so it was great to have the time to spend doing things we don’t always make time for. Giving back really does make you feel great!