As I have moved around the school this week, I have encountered several Year 12’s, and we have reflected that it is their last full week of classes. You would expect that this would be greeted with shouts of joy, but it never ceases to surprise me that students typically become quieter in the conversation and echo that they are not quite sure how they feel. Most reflect that they are happy to see the study draw to a close, but they know that there are still countless hours in front of them if they are doing exams.
When I dig deeper, the quiet reflection often accompanies an un-surety about what is coming next. For the past 13 years, school has been their regular routine and the peers and staff whom they have journeyed with for up to the past six years will not be their working week experience moving forward. The students are optimistic about the next stage, but aware that significant change is upon them. The putting aside of school uniform and packed lunches next week marks the genuine movement into adult life with its privileges and responsibilities, and this is understood by our graduating cohort. As the staff and families who have accompanied these students on their secondary journey, we are confident of the positive contribution that they will make to the global community.
Jeremiah 29:11 was written to the Jewish people in exile in the 6th century,and it speaks of the same sentiment of hope and beauty that we have for our young people today
11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.” We pray that our senior students will draw on the skills and knowledge they have acquired from families and in education to be able to approach the next stage of life’s journey with confidence.
The final day of classes for the Year 12 cohort of 2019 will take place next Wednesday 23rd October. There will be a whole school assembly for parents and family members in the John Shannon Centre from 1:30pm. Please be conscious of the pressures of parking next Wednesday and allow adequate time to move to the stadium.
The completion of Year 12 can be a time of significant anxiety for families and school staff. Students have been made well aware that any damage to property, the character of any individual or the reputation of the College will result in seeking another venue for their final exams and exclude them from the graduation ceremonies. I believe that staff have worked well in consultation with our senior students regarding accepted forms of celebration which include a breakfast on the final day of classes, an event after school, the whole school assembly and the Graduation Mass and Dinner. It is the Year 12 student celebration, and I would ask parents to talk with students at other levels to make sure that they act appropriately and present formally for this last assembly.
The annual art exhibition showcasing the work of senior students in Art, Photography, Media and Visual Communication opens tomorrow evening, Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm. It is an excellent opportunity for parents and the broader community to witness the portfolios and pieces developed by these students. This event provides another opportunity to witness the remarkable talent of the young people of the Damascus College community. Thank you to the Visual Arts staff for the work they put into bringing this event together.
It was great on Saturday to welcome the incoming Year 7 students for 2020 to our testing morning. These new students were naturally both nervous and excited, and I am very grateful to the staff who made themselves available.
A reminder that next Tuesday, 22nd October is the second and final of our information evenings for families seeking to enrol for Year 7 in 2021. The evening commences from 6:30pm in the John Shannon Centre.
There is a big afternoon planned here at the College on Saturday for our Performing Arts Reunion. Registrations are open from 2:30pm, and we would love to see anyone who has been aligned with Damascus Performing Arts which are a great strength of our College.
We keep in our prayers this week the extended Dwyer family including Isabel (Year 7), Madison (Year 9) and Mikayla (Year 10) on the death of their loved maternal grand-father. We also pray for Tyler Quick (Yr 11) and his family on the unexpected death of his loved uncle. We ask for our loving God to be with these families in this time of loss.
We pray for all those who need our prayer
Until next week …