A celebratory farewell to 2018 and a time for family, reflection and anticipation of a bright future.
Over the last week, I have lost count of the number of parents, staff and students who have commented on how quickly 2018 has passed. I must say, our Foundation Service at the start of Term 1 does feel very recent for me too. So, is the pace of things really faster, or are we (am I) moving slower with age? I’m not sure whether either is really true, but there is no doubt that the school year gets more and more full each year.
As we farewelled our Year 12 students at the Valedictory Dinner in November, I sat with the staff as they recalled so many aspects of the journey travelled by those young women and men over their time at the School. They spoke of values education and maths enhancement in the Junior Schools, of NAPLAN improvement, of trips to Canberra and flying Cessna’s, of social service and of the students’ embracing of the Buddies program.
From Middle School I heard about the Da Vinci Decathlon, the Australian Maths Competition, Science Talent Quest and writer workshops. We talked of ICAS National Science, Maths, IT, and Writing and the amazing top 1% results these fine young women and men achieved. Tintern’s Days for Girls and Boys to Men programs were talked about as developers of character, and I heard about white-water rafting and cross-country skiing adventures, of student-driven service projects and of Colour Runs and pro-diversity initiatives.
During Senior College, our leavers had been to France on exchange, or China for world education. They had been leaders of outdoor education groups, of subject, of Houses, or even of the School. They had been part of the service project to India on World Challenge and had won sporting premierships, debating titles and competitions in Mathematics, Science and Writing. These women and men had launched initiatives for the less fortunate, had run terrific activities for their peers and the rest of the School and had exercised wise and caring leadership.
For our young people, life is indeed very, very busy. Perhaps the Education Minister, the Hon. Dan Tehan is correct when he says the curriculum is too full, but I’m not sure I agree. I see the Tintern students leave our school with a kit bag chock full of skills, attributes and character that is built from embracing a diverse and fascinating range of academic and co-curricular opportunities with expectations of the best they can do. It’s a kit bag filled through taking those opportunities and expectations up with persistence, with a strong work ethic and with a willingness to stretch and challenge themselves. And it’s through these experiences that their character is formed and it is through the challenge those things offer, together with the occasional failure experienced and resulting resilience, that they develop the ability to execute those skills, attributes and character for an enjoyable and fulfilling life as an adult.
We need to celebrate the fullness of life, by appreciating the value of a full school program for each child with a range of things suited to their interests and opportunities that will offer challenge to every child. That might be a busy education, but it’s also a very good one.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope you can enjoy a happy and restful holiday with your family and your community. See you in 2019.
One final note, we are pleased to share that nominations are now open for the 2019 Tintern Grammar Avenue of Excellence. Visit the following link to submit a nomination or to learn more about the award and nomination process: www.tintern.vic.edu.au/community/avenue-of-excellence
Factis non verbis