Tree helps brighten day for students

The Grandpa Tree at Bacchus Marsh Grammar has become a popular attraction. (Supplied)

Ewen McRae

Anyone visiting the Maddingley campus of Bacchus Marsh Grammar last term would have noticed an extra dash of colour on one of the most prominent trees.

The ‘Grandpa Tree’ has been transformed over recent months with decorations, artwork and messages to brighten up the day of everyone who comes near it, and the students love it.

The tree, which was already a long-standing and popular part of the schoolyard, began its transformation while remote learning was taking place, and junior school art teacher Ali Weir said the reaction to it had been overwhelming.

“It was a little project we started as a way of reconnecting with our students and giving them a special place within the school to be,” she said.

“While we were in lockdown and teaching remotely a lot of the teachers were at the school, and we worked together to start this.

“Once the students came back they were able to hang some messages of their own on the tree and it’s become a bit of a magnet for the students to be around such a happy place.”

Whether it is a meeting place at recess, or a place to enjoy lunch, or just to sit under its shady branches, the Grandpa Tree is now a hive of activity.

It has become an ongoing project for art students of all ages and Ms Weir said it will continue to be a prominent and popular part of the school.

“It’s just a really nice and happy place,” she said.

“It’s in a very high traffic area of the school, so you will never find it alone. It puts it into perspective that whether it’s a little six-year-old prep or one of the older kids, if you read the messages on the tree you see that we’re all in the same situation at the moment.

“I think because of the way the students have engaged with the tree we will find lots of ways of continuing something like this with the tree.”

Ewen McRae