Here we are at the end of another school year. Last night was our Cedars Celebration evening – one of my favourite events of the year. I especially enjoy our graduation ceremonies, for Prep as they enter their formal schooling, and for the Year 12’s as they come to the end of theirs.
Both of these are events to celebrate – but there is a lot of time in between. From the start of Kindergarten to the end of Year 12 there are 2,535 school days!
I love my job – it gives me great joy. I am happy with the fantastic results we get in the classroom, on the sporting field or in cultural pursuits. But it is the staff and students working together towards those results every day that gives me true joy.
Let me explain.
I was very happy with our results in the recent UOW Science Fair. For those who didn’t hear we had 10 students from Cedars compete against 800 students from around the region (read the article). There were 15 individual prizes up for grabs. We won 4 of them and took out the ‘Best School’ at the Science Fair. That is a fantastic achievement that makes me feel happy. But the true joy I feel comes from seeing our Science Teacher, Mr Seymour work with his students over several years perfecting the scientific methods, teaching his students how to display their data and helping them to make valid findings. He put great focus on the STEM areas of the curriculum. It paid off with fantastic results – but it took great commitment and dedication and hard work.
Our Primary Cricket Team also just won State! They defeated a Sydney school almost three times the size of Cedars and they won convincingly (read the article). They didn’t just come together as a team on game day. I remember watching them play at Towradgi 12 months ago and I saw their great potential as a team. They trained, worked hard and have come together over the years to find success. There is happiness in the result. Training is tough, but there is joy in the process.
We had a great year in Sport!
We are the:
- Primary Zone Athletics Champions
- Primary Zone Super 8’s Cricket Champions
- Primary State Cricket Champions
- Metro Cup Zone Champions for Senior Boys Soccer
- Secondary Zone Soccer Gala Day Champions for Senior Girls
- Secondary Zone Basketball Gala Day Champions
- NSW Regional Futsal Champions for Open Boys and Runners Up for Open Girls.
- Senior Girls Zone Touch Football Champions
- We have the CSSA State Tennis Champion who also played for the winning NSW Team at the National Games.
All of these are great success stories but all because of great amounts of training and teamwork.
Cedars took out the ‘Most Enterprising School Award’ at the prestigious National ‘$20 Boss Awards,’ (read the article) because of the school culture we have of caring for the needs of others through community service, fund raising and innovative practice. The Year 9/10 Commerce Class with Mr Cush were rewarded for their fantastic endeavours. But this is also a culture that spreads right throughout our school.
Our successes are strategic. They are well planned out and executed over time.
International Literacy, Numeracy and Science school test results were released this week and reveal that Australia in terms of education is actually going backwards in world standings.
Those results are disappointing, but Cedars has had results that are quite the opposite.
Our standardised test scores are showing significant improvements across the board in both Literacy and Numeracy.
In fact, independent schools in Australia show quite a different story on the world stage.
If the independent schools in Australia were treated as their own country and our results held up on against all of the other OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries we would not finish 14th which is where Australia is, we would finish 5th in the world in Mathematics, 2nd in the world in Science with only Singapore in front of us and we would be at the top of the world in Reading!
As a College we have had fantastic results, but to us the greatest results are the students themselves.
It has been a year of great joy. Thank you for being part of it. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy new year.