Gecko believes parents are a huge resource and support base in a school, encouraging parents to volunteer one day a month of their time to participate in community actitivities; such a gesture shows the children that they are interested in their education and sends a positive message to children that school is something that is vitally important and worthwhile, not only for the students, but the entire family.
On the third Friday of each month the parents of Gecko run ‘Clubs.’ Parents offer their expertise and the children sign up for different clubs. A huge variety of clubs have been on offer, including school newspaper, recycling, cooking, bike riding and maintenance, surf life saving, recycled art, 3D printing and virtual reality, drone flying, board games, laughter yoga, sewing, mosaics, survival, tag rugby and hairdressing.
Gecko’s co founder and teacher, Huw Roberts said, “Our doors are always open and parents know they can come and go as they please. We encourage the parents to come in and be a part of their child’s learning. We appreciate the effort our parents make to be a part of our community and in that way we all recognise, respect and value what the other does and says.”
A highlight at Gecko is the termly potluck dinners held with staff, children and parents which always go down a treat. With such diversity among the families, there is always an array of delicious food from all over the world to enjoy. The children play while the parents and staff mingle. Sometimes they are lucky enough to be treated to a show from the children.
This article was written by Gecko Community co founder, Celi Harper. Celi completed her Bachelor of Teaching degree in Queensland, Australia in 1991. For the past 22 years she has taught in public and international schools in Australia, England, Tanzania, China and Thailand. During her teaching career she has taught all primary years as a classroom teacher and has specialised in ICT, Art, Literacy, Global Education and Library. Celi shows a commitment to remaining up-to-date with new developments, a strong interest in educational issues and a keen desire to pass on knowledge. Throughout her teaching career Celi has attended a great deal of in-service and training which have helped her to continuously grow and better meet the needs of the children in her class.