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Governor General of Australia presents Georgia with a Children's Week Award

Georgia Pike was presented with a Community for Children Award by the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC and Children's Week patron the Hon. Margaret Reid, AO, at the Children's Week Awards ceremony at the National Museum on Wednesday 26th October, 2016. Students from Cranleigh School were invited to present some songs at the event, and in true outreach fashion, helped the entire audience (including the Governor General!) sing along with some of their favourites.

Georgia has been working with Cranleigh School staff and students for more than 2 years. The students and staff look forward to the sessions and whatever the initial goals of the collaboration were, the outcomes have far exceeded those goals. Students look forward to the sessions and staff have opportunities to observe social and emotional learning in students, and see extraodinarily positive outcomes through such a different learning environment. It was particularly exciting for staff on a day that Georgia was not available to lead the singing, that several children led the group themselves. Some of these children had not sung alone previously, nor had they demonstrated memory for words and tunes of the songs.

All elements of the program have value added in a range of ways to the social and other learning goals of the students. The staff of the Music Engagement Program and Cranleigh have developed an ongoing professional partnership; they explore innovative ways to engage students, not just in music, but through music with the wider community. As one teacher from the school wrote: "As you are surely aware our work here at Cranleigh is highly stressed and emotional, mentally and physically draining. These times of enjoying music with you is truly a time of refreshment where I can literally feel the stress of the week being drained… More important is what I see happening in my class…The students have become so comfortable with these songs and clearly find enjoyment in the group singing experience that your visits to our school has become a wonderful priceless resource for us for unlocking our students personalities…Thank you for coming every week and giving us the gift of song!!"

Georgia has since presented outcomes of the work with Cranleigh in a seminar at the Institute for Human and Social Development at the University of Edinburgh (read the seminar abstract).

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