The end of the school year brings with it mixed emotions. We are often tired after a full year of learning and living in a wonderfully diverse community. We have finished assessment tasks, sat exams, begun HeadStart, written reports, tidied up loose ends … we are tired. We are also excited as we look ahead to the new school year. New subjects, new classmates, new teachers, new students, new learning … we are excited. End of year celebrations, Christmas preparations, holiday activities all lie ahead. That which makes us tired also brings us joy. And that which excites us also brings with it some trepidation. So much lies ahead … and so much lies behind.
As we move into the Christmas season and the summer holidays, I want to share my gratitude with you all. We have moved through quite the dynamic year. Our College has participated in so many community building activities and wellbeing initiatives and actions. We have learnt so much about ourselves and each other through our pastoral program and we have learnt so much about our world through our academic program. I extend my gratitude to all our staff who worked tirelessly to create learning opportunities for all our young people. They have ensured that everything we do in the classroom and outside of it has been inclusive, engaging, relevant, and challenging. We have come far … To our staff we say thank you.
My gratitude also extends to our families. Our young people whose care we share have had some tumultuous times. They are still adjusting to what it means to work in a school community and have had to find the joy of learning again. We recently participated in Mission Australia’s National Youth Survey and the top three concerns of our students are:
- School or study problems
- Coping with stress
- Mental health
They also listed their top three important issues:
- The environment
- Equity and discrimination
- Mental health
Together, we have navigated these important facets of our young people’s lives. And it is together that we will continue to address these and ensure our young people are able to cope with, overcome, and implement real change. We may have “a long way to go” but I know we can do that together. It is this partnership that I am grateful for, one where we come together to help our young people grow.
Most importantly, though, I am grateful for our students. I have felt the shift among the student body where they are reconnecting more strongly with each other and with our College community. They have moved from that “post-Covid” tension to easing more readily into the community. I can see a growing sense of pride in the College and in each other. A growing sense of optimism and self-efficacy. Our students have participated, engaged, included, celebrated, learnt, challenged, created, developed, extended, lived, laughed, loved. They still have a long way to go but look at how far they have come. I am grateful for our students.
And so, to all the Thomas Carr community, I extend my gratitude. During the Christmas season of gift giving and receiving we are conscious of the myriad gifts in our lives. I celebrate you all for the gift you have been to our community. May you all enjoy the love and unity that the Christ child brings.
And … thank you.
Deputy Principal – Student Engagement and Wellbeing