When the school year ends for Year 12 students, the media invariably focuses on ‘muck up’ day and examples of poor behaviour. Yet there is a very different story to tell, exemplified by schools such as Christian College Geelong.
For the past two years, the College marks the end of the school journey for their students with the theme of ‘finishing with dignity’.
The Celebration Day in late October at the Senior School – Waurn Ponds Campus encourages students to reflect on their time at the College.
The aim is to ensure that the true meaning of completing school is captured and a special memory is formed that will last long after they have left the classroom.
Head of Senior School, Mr Graeme Dent, said the College wanted to create a feeling of accomplishment and pride that did justice to the dedication students have shown and the influence they have had on the College.
The day begins with a special breakfast where the staff serve and socialise with the students.
From there, the students visit Middle School – Highton, where they signify reaching the pinnacle of their journey with the Christian College by climbing the landmark Clock Tower and ‘leaving their mark’ in the form of a personalised message written on one of the bricks inside.
Finally, students show their respect to all who have helped them in a Chapel Service and then say a last farewell with a ‘parade’ down the main entry of the Senior School.
As they leave the Chapel, they parade out led by a piper.
‘The rest of the Senior School, including the staff and the Year 10 and 11 students, line the route and cheer them on – and at the end of the road their parents are waiting and record the significant occasion,’ Mr Dent said. ‘It creates a really dignified exit for the students and a special moment for the parents, and the whole day it is quite emotional for everyone.’
One of the College’s captains, Briella Egberts, said the students had embraced the true purpose of Celebration Day. ‘It is such an exciting time,’ she said. ‘We are finishing with maturity and pride, and all the different things we get to do makes it feel like we have achieved something really special.’
Principal Mr Glen McKeeman said he was looking forward to seeing how the 2017 Graduation Class would use the education they have received at the College to help shape their futures.