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A Lesson in Simplicity

Junior School
Students enjoy skipping at the Junior School to raise money for Jump Rope for Heart.

I was fortunate to have a grandmother who lived just shy of 98 years old. She was a person I was close with and we had a relationship that I cherished. I spent every summer with her and my grandfather and when I grew old enough to have my own home, she would come to stay with me for long periods of time. Through our relationship, I learned many things that have shaped not only who I am, but my perspective on life and living.  

Lately, I find myself reminded of her often in the things I see. In particular, as I watch our students play in the schoolyard skipping; a pastime that she had mentioned enjoying as a child. As I scanned the front of the school during my recess supervision, I saw students jumping independently and students skipping alongside friends. Students were learning “tricks” and practicing routines they had created. There were students taking turns to turn the longer ropes as they sang songs like “Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums. Tell me when your birthday comes!” There were students giving pointers and words of encouragement to those who were trying to skip but were not as skilled—yet.

This scene was reminiscent of my childhood, but also my grandmother’s and I was filled with a sense of joy at the simplicity of it all. During this lunch hour, the children were active and engaged. They were demonstrating attributes such as collaboration, caring, resilience and perseverance. The grades spanned as young as Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 5, and everyone, regardless of gender, was having fun participating. All of this magic was happening with something as simple as a rope. And the simplicity of this scene warmed my heart.  

In February, students had the opportunity to put their skipping skills towards a good cause by helping to raise money and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The kick-off to this event saw staff and students doing routines in the gym and modelling risk-taking for everyone. There was also a special guest skipper who is a current student’s grandmother!

We are so fortunate to live on an island where a slower pace can be felt in a world that often feels like it is moving at warp speed. At that moment, as I observed them, the children were fully present. They were highlighting the importance of having fun without the pressures of technology. May we all learn from them and remember the value of something as simple as jumping rope in the sunshine. May we all remember our childhood fondly and the special people of the past, like grandmothers, who may have helped to shape who we are today.