Welcome to the 2018 school year at Cedars.
I love the first day of school. It is a real highlight for me getting to see all of our students walk back in through the gates and greet their friends and teachers in the morning. I also love the flood of ‘first day back at school photos’ across social media from proud parents and even the Facebook reminders of years past where you can see how much your children have grown.
This year a group of Year 9 and 10 boys walked passed me. It seemed like they must have all grown about 30cm over the break because I found myself tilting my neck as I looked up at them to make eye contact.
It got me thinking about how fascinating the concept of growth is. You know I am not getting any taller. I have reached my maximum height and that’s it! That growth area is done. It is ‘old growth’. There is nothing new happening there. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to make myself grow taller. Trust me, if there was I would be in the NBA.
There are some areas in life, however, where we can create ‘new growth’. It is not always easy but new growth is possible. It just requires us to do something different.
At Cedars we value a growing community. This does not only refer to the number of students and staff in our school, although we have had over 95 new students and 10 new staff join us this year. But it also refers to how we grow together, relate to each other, help each other learn and grow in our faith.
If we continued to do the same things every day, every week, every year growth would stop. Similar to how we stop growing taller. I’m sure you’re aware that we haven’t stopped ‘growing’ here at Cedars. We are constantly looking for ways in which we can improve or ‘grow.’ Part of our growth comes when we adjust our programs, we add new initiatives and we teach new content.
I am really excited about a couple of new growth areas in the College for 2018:
Building our Early Learning Centre
I am sure by now you have seen that a building site has been established on the field at the north east corner of the property. We have handed the site over to the builders and are excited to watch this new area of our College grow over the coming months. As time goes on the fence on the field will move back to allow for more space for current students to play at lunch time. We will keep you updated regularly through our newsletter as the building grows and, although it will be a fantastic facility, I am most excited about the learning that will take place there when we move our students in upon completion.
iAcademy @ Cedars
It’s easy for schools to fall into the trap of teaching the same thing the same way over and over again. But our new iAcademy Program is a unique way to teach our students. They will learn new skills, grow in confidence and will be prepared for the workforce of the future. The iAcademy Program in Years 7-10 is an authentic, unique and innovative program that will not only enable our students to be exposed to the knowledge and skills associated with the STEM curriculum areas of the future workforce but will also explicitly teach the 21st Century skills that employers and institutes of higher education are looking for in prospective students and staff. These skills include:
- Entrepreneurial Thinking and Skills
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Collaborative Skills and Team Work
- Innovative Thought
- Communication Skills and Media Fluency
- Interdisciplinary Approaches
Our staff have been working on this exciting program over the break and I look forward with great anticipation to see the new growth for individual students and our College as a whole, that comes from establishing the iAcademy.
Cedars is a growing community. Growth is something we value, something we focus on. Some growth happens naturally. We get a little older, a little taller, even a little wider. But new growth requires us to do do something new. I hope 2018 will be a year of new growth for you in a positive way. I look forward to watching that growth occur over the next 12 months for all of us.