The pandemic has not defined them

It would be easy to characterise our Year 12 students as the group that graduated during the pandemic, or the class whose final year was hampered by social restrictions and isolation. Although this has been a reality for this graduating class, it is certainly not something that has defined them.

For the duration of their schooling here at Cedars, we have been instilling in our students the values and character traits below.   We have also helped them to develop a Christian worldview and an understanding that their identity is found in Christ.

At Cedars we believe a Cedars student has:

  • Faith in God
  • Respect
  • Self-Discipline
  • Compassion
  • Resilience
  • Humility
  • A Spirit of Excellence

We have always expressed to them that, “these characteristics are not graduate outcomes only, because we believe you can achieve these now.”

The COVID pandemic has not diminished these characteristics for our up-coming graduates, instead it has actually helped to highlight them.

Faith in God

Our students’ faith in God has been evident through their prayer and support of each other.  Although Chapel may have looked a bit different this year, the students have continued to develop their relationship with God in a personal way.  Like it says in Romans 12:1-2, ‘they took their everyday lives, placed it before God and didn’t allow their circumstances to dictate the way they thought.’ They renewed their minds and connected even more with God and others.

Respect

The level of respect our graduates have shown over this year has been inspiring. It was reinforced to them that life is not just about  how things affect them individually, it’s so much bigger than that. They respected the health orders that were imposed to help keep all of us safe and found ways to work within the rules to produce quality work without complaint.

Self-Discipline and a Spirit of Excellence

Self-discipline is not an easy characteristic to develop, especially during a time of lock-down or isolation. I am really proud of how the students engaged in their learning, connected with their classes and teachers and continued to work towards their goals with a spirit of excellence. This was particularly evident this week in our HSC Showcase from those students who submitted major projects. It was wonderful to celebrate their achievements with them.  I hope you had the opportunity to view our  Virtual HSC Showcase.

Compassion and Humility

Throughout the year we have also witnessed the characteristics of compassion and humility in our Year 12 students.  If someone in the group was struggling, others got around them and supported them. When some found success while others struggled, there was a wonderful humility and care that was shown.  It has been humbling and encouraging to watch.

Resilience

As I have mentioned previously, I believe this generation will be known as ‘The Resilient Generation’ and these Year 12 graduates will lead the way. When a crisis comes our way we often search for stability thinking this will keep us safe, however, these students know that stability is only a short term strategy and resilience is a much better strategy for long term success and flourishing. Stability is about weathering the storm but resilience is about using the storm to learn,  grow and change.

We are incredibly proud of them and will be praying for each student over the course of their HSC exams. We look forward to celebrating with a Graduation and Formal once their examinations are over.