HEY BUDDY: St Joseph's youngest and oldest students buddying up.
HEY BUDDY: St Joseph's youngest and oldest students buddying up.

Year 12s buddy up to advise newbies

Years 7 and 12

buddy afternoon.

Last week a new cohort of Year 7 students braved the milestone of beginning secondary school.

To ease their transition and to help them feel welcome to the school, a buddy afternoon was arranged with the Year 12 cohort.

The Year 7s and Year 12s were buddied into small groups where they completed team-building and icebreaker activities.

These activities assisted the Year 7s to feel a little less afraid as they began to get to know the 'big' Year12s.

Heaps of fun was had by all, so much so that another buddy afternoon will be going ahead in a month's time, as requested by the students.

Special visitors

from Finland

In 1984, Petri Laitinen was a Rotary exchange student who completed Year 12 at Stanthorpe State High School.

Petri enjoyed his year staying with families such as David and Judy Lee and Helen and Neville Jones. Petri has fond memories of his time here and can boast visiting iconic places such as Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef and seeing so much of our country.

During his time in Australia, Petri was swapping letters with his school friend, Mirja, who years later became his wife.

Mirja and Petri have three grown daughters who are all studying at university. Petri enjoyed a return visit in 1991 for David and Judy's daughter's wedding.

Recently, both Petri and Mirja embarked on a three-week whirlwind visit, staying with David and Judy Lee.

While here, Mirja, who is a primary school teacher, was interested in seeing how schooling was done at StJoseph's. Both Mirja and Petri spent a few hours with Ms Amanda Thompson and her Year 3/4 students.

The students were very excited to have Petri and Mirja in their classroom and have made arrangements to do a Skype session down the track with Mirja's class in Finland.

"Students are the same in different countries. They don't pretend, they are what they are,” Mirja said.

"I really liked how StJoseph's students listen to their teacher and then they are asked to go discuss in pairs. This didn't happen at our schools back home, but more of that is now being introduced. The Year 3/4s were very interested in our life in Finland and asked many questions. We really enjoyed the time spent with the class.” Mirja added.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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