Celebrating resilience, courage and fortitude
After such a tough year, we have had so much to celebrate this week. We have finally had a return of the whole student body, with Years 8 & 9 joining back in with the buzz and positivity of school life on campus. We have seen a significant decline in new COVID case numbers with a number of “donut days” reinforcing our optimism that the second wave has been successfully suppressed. We have had a relaxation of lockdown rules and a return to greater normalcy for many in our school community. We have had a “chafifa” (change-over) between the 5780 and 5781 Hanhagot (student leadership groups).
We also celebrate the incredible resilience, courage and fortitude of our Year 12s who made the most of their last week of learning at school before SWOTVAC. The final year of schooling for the Class of 2020 has been one that was very different to what anyone would have anticipated or hoped for. However, it would be wrong to characterise the year as negative when there have been so many genuine highlights along the way. Despite the imposed physical distancing and home-based learning that was required for much of the year, our students have been able to generate the same level of group cohesion and KDS-style productive and informal relationships with their teachers to allow them to soar. Our students have shown enormous spirit and have ridden the waves throughout this turbulent period.
They have so much to be proud of. This was clearly evident in the outstanding work demonstrated in the Creative Arts Expo that was released in an online format for the first time this week. The creative arts are thriving at our school and the breadth of fresh ideas, talent and skill demonstrated across Art, Design, Media and Theatre Studies was simply magnificent.
Our Year 12 students have also shown their love of the School and their sense of fun in a series of events throughout the week. These have included dressing up as a character from a text they studied throughout the years, formal attire to make up for their missed in-person School Formal and modified school uniform on their final Celebration Day.
Over the last fortnight we have been collating the results from a survey of the school community considering the values that our stakeholders would most like to see represented in KDS graduates. When I think of our Class of 2020 the correlation to so many of these amazing values is evident.
I have always said that we are most proud of our graduates not so much for what they achieve but for who they are as people. While the group faced significant and novel challenges this year, they refused to be dragged into the negativity and despondency that could have prevailed and instead insisted on focusing on fun, humour and caring.
I am confident that as we offer this first in a series of farewells that we will be extending to our graduating class over the coming months, we do so in the knowledge that we are putting great people out into the world.