Tannum Sands State High year seven student Xander Cairns with dad Warrick, rings the bell to mark his transition to high school on his first day.
Tannum Sands State High year seven student Xander Cairns with dad Warrick, rings the bell to mark his transition to high school on his first day. Matt Taylor GLA290119BELL

A bell to ring in a new chapter of their school lives

FOR OVER 150 Year 7 students at Tannum Sands State High School, Tuesday marked an important milestone in their schooling lives - transitioning from primary school in to high school.

As a symbol of the change, they were given the opportunity to 'ring a bell' for one last time in their schooling career.

The occasion was conducted at a special ceremony in the school hall before class time.

Unlike most schools, Tannum Sands SHS doesn't use bells to signify the start/end of classes and breaks.

Instead, students are given the responsibility of managing their own time management.

Principal Heather Blessington said the school hasn't had bells since its opening 21 years ago.

"We're a belless school except for emergencies and lockdown procedures,” Ms Blessington said.

"One of the core values (of our school) is responsibility, and we encourage our students to be responsible and be on time.”

This is the first year the school has conducted a ceremony for their Year 7s.

"Our Year 12s ring the bell for the last time on their graduation and this year our school community decided that (Year 7s) ring the bell for their first time (in high school),” Ms Blessington said.

"We're taking their first steps (together) in their learning journey towards creating our futures, which is our school.”

Student Anthea Sternberg is one of many at the school who are starting their high school journey and is looking forward to the experience.

"It's very nerve-wracking but I'm also very excited for the new opportunities and the change of schools,” Anthea said.

She's hoping to learn a lot and meet new friends in high school.

"It's pretty exciting because it's very different from Grade 6 and other things I have done in the past,” Anthea said.

Her favourite subject is instrumental music, and Anthea's looking forward to playing the clarinet at school.

"It's pretty fun,” she said.

Ms Blessington said the school has a peaceful environment because of the lack of school bells.

"Our students have been doing it for 21 years,” she said.

"Many teachers who've taught in other places and come to our school say it's a very peaceful environment to work in.”

"Every 70 minutes, there's not a bell ringing.”

After the ceremony, Ms Blessington said the Year 7s have been settling well in to high school routine.

"They were amazing today,” she said.

"They were confident, very welcoming and very excited to join our team.”