Dear College families,

As our school prepares for the end of year celebrations, we take the opportunity to thank our community members for their support in managing the restrictions required to maintain the health and wellbeing of our students and staff throughout the year. I’m sure that our experiences during this year will be different for each family and ones that we will not forget. In a similar way, our Valedictorians will be able to tell of an exceptionally different Year 12 than they had imagined. There is one thing about which we will be sure and that is our graduates will be people of good character, well-educated citizens, willing to serve others, kind and generous in spirit.

We will host a Valedictory Assembly for all Year 12 graduates and their families on Friday Morning 3rd December, following the completion of the HSC examinations the day before. As a community, we will congratulate them on their achievements as school leaders in their final year and wish them well for their future work and studies. Many of these young people have already received first-round offers for University Courses and we wish them well as they move on to tertiary education, TAFE courses, and their working life. We hope that they will remember school fondly and become members of our recently formed Alumni. The Right Reverend Dr. Peter Stuart will join us on this special occasion. Covid Safe vaccination provisions will apply at this function.

We had planned to host our Speech Day and Prize Giving at the Great Hall, the University of Newcastle on Thursday, December 2nd signifying a return to normal College events, however, this is not to be due to Covid -19 vaccination restrictions in place until 15 December. Following the success of our online Speech Day in 2020, we will host this important event streamed from Batty Hall on the College Campus. All students who are to receive prizes will walk to the Hall to receive awards and back to their classrooms to view the celebrations online. We do hope all parents will join us online to view their children receiving their awards. We are pleased to welcome Assistant Bishop Sonia Ralston to congratulate our students on this last day of school for 2021.

Similarly, our Year 6 students will celebrate moving on to Secondary School and joining new friends and new teachers in Year 7. The transition from primary school to Secondary is a big moment for children as they tackle new subjects, new ways of learning, and managing the school day. While we have not had the opportunity to host transition events at school this term for Year 7s, we have such opportunities planned for the commencement of 2022.

Parents of our youngest students will agree that the occasion of a child moving from Preschool to Kindergarten is also a right of passage, (sometimes felt by parents as well, as they watch their children move to Big School). The transition in the Early Years is just as momentous as in Year 12, bringing uncertainty, new friends, new teachers, new ways of doing things, and excitement for the new learning to come.

Moving from one stage of growth and development to the next wherever it occurs is an important ‘right of passage’ for children and young people because at each transition they will learn to think differently about their world, grasp new ways of doing things, and step up with greater confidence to the next phase. It’s a time not to be taken lightly but rather to be undertaken with due honour, carefully reflected upon and preferably, with a guide by their side and a mentor to encourage them to make the jump up toward greater challenges. Parents, teachers, and extended families can play a vital role in this journey.

Let us as a community, support them at each stage of their learning and growing, and wish them all well as they take these next steps.

Finally, a special mention of our Sustainnovation Challenge Team who have been working with the City of Newcastle New Skills and Living Lab Projects presenting the youth’s voice on disability. We were all so pleased to turn on ABC Radio this morning to hear Khiera Bartlett represent her team members Meghan Williams and Eli McLean-Phillips talking so well about their visionary ideas to make Newcastle more accessible and inclusive.

Ms. Suzanne Bain