The Grants' Story
Calrossy is a kaleidoscope of people and personalities from Prep to Year 12, it is a community where every individual is valued. These students all combine to make up the colourful canvas almost 900 boys and girls and their families call Calrossy. But Calrossy is so much more than just a school it is a vibrant scene, from the youngest eager faces in Prep starting their learning journey through to our graduating students ready to take on life beyond school.
There is no typical Calrossy family with day students from across the greater Tamworth, Gunnedah, Manilla and Quirindi region and boarders from across north western New South Wales, the Mid North Coast and the rest of Australia. For our 170 boarders it is a home away from home.
Among those families are the Grants. The Grants are a farming family who live 22 kilometres out of Quirindi on a broad acre cropping farm. Mum and Dad, Kelly and Rod Grant, and their four boys have been part of the Calrossy community since 2013. Their eldest son, Ben, started in Year 7 since then Sam, Jamie and Andy have followed in his footsteps, each one starting at the school a little earlier in their learning journey. The Grants were at first a Boarding family but loved the school so much, they decided that Calrossy Primary could also deliver more for their sons. Jamie started in Year 5 and is now in weekly boarding with Sam. But they were so happy with the Calrossy vision, that despite a 68 kilometre distance each way to the school gate, they decided it was well worth it. Now Andy is in Kindergarten at Calrossy and loving it.
This is their story.
“Before we embarked on the task of looking at possible high schools for our eldest, Ben, we had no idea on how significant the decision would be for us as a family. We looked at schools in Sydney, Armidale and Tamworth. We needed a school that would suit all our boys differing personalities, academic abilities and sporting and extra-curricular pursuits. We needed a school that would cater for each of them as an individual and felt that Calrossy did that well.
We liked that it was a Christian School and we were impressed by the Head of Secondary Boys, Joe Goldsworthy, his Christian values, honesty, down to earth manner and his absolute passion for the boys. After talking to him it was clearly evident that the School’s focus was on helping the boys grow into fine young men which really appealed to us as prospective parents. It was through the Head of Secondary that we could see and hear the importance the School placed on instilling the four school values on the students. It is these values, Integrity, Resilience, Inclusiveness and Selflessness, and the importance that Calrossy places on them that really impressed us.
At the end of the day we knew it wasn’t the fancy gates or impressive buildings or the out of this world facilities we were wanting for our boys. We wanted a school that would put every effort and focus in helping them grow into fine young men that would become resilient in challenging circumstances, would show inclusiveness to others, would try and put the needs of others before themselves and lastly to grow them into men of integrity.
We felt a Calrossy Education offered good value in comparison to other private schools we had looked at. Boarding offered a very caring, nurturing and family orientated environment. We really could see the boys weren’t just another number but were given personalised care where staff really knew each child individually. It was clearly evident that the Simpson culture was one of inclusiveness and that all boys would be accepted for who they were despite all being different.
Jamie started in Year 5 at Calrossy Primary because we felt academically and socially it would be better for him. Calrossy could offer a more conducive learning environment and a place that allowed him to be himself. It also helped that his brothers were on the same campus. It certainly made the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 easier as Calrossy Primary had prepared them well for what was to come in Year 7.
We choose Calrossy for Andy in Kindergarten as it meant the three boys would be at the same school. This allows him to see his older brothers throughout the school week. With his two older brothers weekly boarding it was going to be lonely for Andy at home on his own and he would miss his brothers terribly. Going to Calrossy means we can call into Simpson House any afternoon we like to see his brothers. Simpson House has embraced Andy into the Simpson Family and he now not only gets to see his brothers but gets to play with any one of the willing boarders.
While Sam and Jamie are officially weekly boarders we really like the flexibility of boarding, to be able to “stay in” over weekends at their choosing when they needed or wanted to, depending on what was happening with sport and social activities. Once you become a Simpson boy you really are adopted into a big family where all years integrate well with one another. This inclusiveness is really encouraged and fostered by the boarding staff who do a wonderful job in caring and guiding our boys to be looking out for one another. The staff at the health centre also do a great job in meeting any health needs of the boys from very small ailments to the more serious ones.
As a family who have children of varying ages we feel Calrossy is a great fit for us as the school caters for that, offering Prep to Year 12. This has made managing the boys school lives that much easier than if they were at different schools in different Towns/Cities.
We knew Calrossy would be a great start to Andy’s education journey and that he would be able to continue on into high school. While the commitment to travel each day was going to be a big one, we felt there were so many positive things that would come out of Andy being at Calrossy. Andy copes well with the travel and as I was told by so many parents of children that travel is “they just get used to it”. As a family you soon learn to make things work for your certain circumstances.
There has been a lot of changes at Calrossy in the time our boys have been at the school. Not all change is easy to accept at the time, but what it has shown us, is that Calrossy is ever adapting and evolving to meet the needs of the School community. Under the current excellent leadership of the Principal and Heads of Secondary and Primary, whom we are most impressed by, we feel Calrossy as a whole continues to offer our children a great Christian education that prepares them well for life beyond school. We admire and are thankful for the dedication shown by all the staff at the School. This was so particularly evident over the home learning period where our children were really well supported with lessons, activities and continued communication and help online.
Kelly and Rod Grant