From the Principal
The start of every school year is somewhat unique. This is particularly true for those just starting school in Reception or for those in Year 12 who this year will conclude their journey. For students who are new to the College or moving from Norwood to Athelstone, the start of the year is also a big step.
Above: Reception student Vera, enjoying her first day.
Having said this, the start of a new school year really affects everyone to some extent and, of course, this is true for new staff and ‘old’ staff alike.
Sometimes external factors play a big part in the start of a new year, and this has been more obvious this year with the impact of our extraordinary bushfires on so many families and more recently, the emergence of the Novel coronavirus health crisis.
These outside events may complicate or handicap the start of a new year, especially for those who may also be new to the College, and in such circumstances our community has a wonderful opportunity to be as welcoming and supportive as possible.
I would like to think that we respond generously to those in need and our excellent Parents and Friends Association are particularly helpful in this regard. I take this opportunity once again to invite any in our community who have suffered this summer from our natural disasters to contact the College, through whomever they wish, if we may be of help.
Even amid the uniqueness at the start of every year, there are some constants, and these constants say much about what we value at the College.
At the IEY, educators will carefully nurture three and four year olds into establishing patterns and routines separate to the home environment. Every year, staff at the Junior School will spend significant amounts of time turning their classrooms into engaging and attractive learning spaces with passion and love, ready for their students about to arrive. And finally, at the Senior School, significant time and energy will be devoted to facilitating transition for younger students and setting themes and tones for older ones.
In addition to this is, importantly, the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit at each campus, where we give thanks for our return and dedicate the year ahead to God’s glory. As a Catholic school in the Ignatian tradition, we have a foundational belief that we may ‘Find God in All Things’, and so it is unsurprising that at these masses we pray for God’s presence and grace throughout the year.
The last constant for me at the start of every school year is the SACE Merit Ceremony at Government House. This is a very happy occasion where parents and caregivers may truly share in the achievements of their children with unrestrained pride and affection. The ceremony this year was particularly enjoyable because so many Ignatian families were in attendance, and it was lovely to share this experience with them.
Above: L-R Principal Mr Peter Coffey, Antony Cameron, Olivia Laurendi, Charlotte Peacock and Jemima Leydon at the SACE Merit Ceremony.
Other constants like the Senior School swimming carnival and Years 3-12 athletics carnival will soon be upon us, and that is the nature of the rhythm of any year. But at the same time, there are also ‘firsts’ for everyone and unique experiences to be enjoyed, embraced, and perhaps even endured.
I look forward to sharing the 2020 journey with you all.
Mr Peter Coffey