In the southern hemisphere, the school year wraps up leading into Christmas. One celebration leads into another and another climaxing in Christmas – the greatest of all celebrations!
Another school year is wrapping up quickly. It began a few weeks ago with the Sports Awards Ceremony followed by the Eagle Awards Assembly, then the Middle School Presentation Service and now coming up in the next few days in Middle School, is the Year 9 Celebration Dinner.
God began his planning for Jesus’ birth hundreds of years before he was born, with people documenting something that would happen in the future that didn’t make much sense at the time – but then these predictions ALL correlated to this wonderful event. Then just prior to Jesus’s birth and as it occurred there were the foreign travellers from the east who had left their country to find a special baby as well Joseph and Mary had to travel a long way to another city to comply with political edicts – how did these travellers know where to find him? How interesting that where Joseph and Mary had to go at this inconvenient time aligns with the predicted birthplace! These are just a few of the amazing facts surrounding this most momentous historical occasion.
All special events are worthwhile but also involve considerable work and planning. We all know when we organise a special event at home, we clean up, re-organise the furniture to accommodate our guests, send out invites, buy special foods and prepare them. Presents sometimes need to be bought. On occasion, speeches are prepared, and entertainment may also be arranged. The preparation list can be huge!
Celebrations are always for a reason. They recognise something special has happened or someone has reached a significant milestone or has achieved something great. A year goes by quickly but at the same time – so much does happen in a year. As each day passes, little seems to have happened but then on looking back, the growth is clear! It is a truism that ‘discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments’. We see students motivated at the start of the year but it is those who are disciplined and have tenacity and perseverance, where excellent growth occurs that is then recognised and celebrated.
My favourite Middle School ‘celebration’ is the Eagle Awards Ceremony as this epitomises the Middle School focus on developing personal character, growing in reliability and resilience, and students learning to be ‘others-focused’. It fosters the development of talents and skills and then the sharing of these in sporting, musical, artistic or academic extra-curricular pursuits. The Eagle Award encourages students to make the most of school-based opportunities to give back to their school community.
GCC families can see all the photos from the Middle School Eagle Awards in this link on Pixevety.
Second to the Eagle Awards Assembly, my next favourite event is the Year 9 Celebration Dinner. Parents share together with their Year 9 children. this ‘coming of age’ night. It marks that period in time when they say goodbye to Middle School and acknowledge they are ready to take on Senior School. To this point, it has been a team effort and everyone deserves to celebrate not just the students! Seeing the parents grooving alongside their children and enjoying this celebratory moment is part of the evening’s fun.
We all get to share in the Christmas celebration too. Jesus was THE gift! So, as a reflection of this, we give presents to our loved ones. I pray you will have time to reflect on all of the mystery and wonder of this special time of the year and that it never grows old or tedious but truly is a celebratory time. I look forward to working with a new bunch of Year 9’s, our Year 8’s who are confident Middle Schoolers now and in particular to the new Year 7’s coming up in 2023!
Jacqualina Vreeling, Head of Middle School