Even though 2020 hasn’t been exactly the start to a new decade that we all imagined, we are exceptionally proud of our Junior School students for the positivity and adaptability they have consistently demonstrated throughout this unique year.
Our Year 7s have had an especially memorable first year at high school. The year started with the two-day ILEARN induction program, a range of sessions designed to familiarise our newest students with our school and its values. We were lucky to be able to run the annual Year 7 Orientation Camp to Phillip Island and saw new friendships and cohort camaraderie formed, plus a few capsized canoes and poorly constructed rafts along the way. We were also able to send teams to the Term 1 Round Robin and saw some fantastic sporting talent on display. The Year 7s have shown an exemplary attitude and have settled into the college despite spending a significant portion of the year learning remotely.
For our Year 8s, the year has focused on the themes of challenge and leadership; seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning and developing the personal capacity for leadership in all sorts of situations. Our Year 8s threw themselves into the opportunities offered in February’s Challenge Program, eagerly participating in reptile handling, improvisation, yoga and meditation, rock climbing, hip-hop dancing and more. Despite not being able to run our Year 8 Camps this year, we have admired the ways our Year 8s have overcome challenges, particularly in the way they have approached remote learning. Our Year 8 Student Leaders have been excellent contributors to school life, both remotely and face-to-face, even in the face of the setbacks of 2020.
Thank you to all Junior Campus staff for your dedication and flexibility throughout 2020. A special thank you to our Year Level Coordinators, Mr James Johnston, Ms Jo Rogers, Mr Mark Quiambao and Ms Rachael McCracken and our Student Wellbeing Coordinator Ms Danielle Mott for their unwavering support, kindness and hard work in a challenging year. Thank you also to Ms Grace Leszczynski for providing so many opportunities for our students to participate in student activities, both virtually and on-campus. Thank you to Mr Nic Barca, Junior School Leader, for his tireless and outstanding efforts in supporting our students and our Year 8 Leadership Team, and to Mr Andrew Batchelor, our Campus Principal, for his exceptional care and leadership of all students and staff in our Junior School community.
And lastly, to our Year 7s and 8s, thank you for making the most of the opportunities that this year has provided you, even though it was radically different to the 2020 we all envisaged. We love coming to work (or tuning in remotely) because of you all, and we wish you every success for 2021 and beyond.
Mr John Simon
Head of Junior School