Farewelling the Class of 2020
This week, we formally farewelled the Class of 2020, with a Gratitude Morning Tea on Monday, followed by the Year 12 Graduation Ceremony and Prize Giving on Tuesday, which was livestreamed to parents.
On Monday, the Class of 2020 had an opportunity to say thank you to their teachers, with a beautiful morning tea in the West Commons area. It was a chance to celebrate all the care, support and hard work of their teachers in an informal setting, particularly during the Athenaeum Learning Pathway period when teaching and learning had to be done remotely.
The Year 12 teachers were also delighted to receive flowers from their students.
On Tuesday, the students were back again for their Year 12 Graduation Ceremony and Prize Giving. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were not able to have our traditional church service at St Thomas’ Church with our parents, so we created a new way of celebrating this rite of passage for the Class of 2020. The Year 12 cohort walked in procession from The Athenaeum through to the garden area, clapped on by the rest of the School who formed a guard of honour around them. From Kindergarten to Year 11, our students were delighted to have the opportunity to honour and celebrate this very special moment for the Class of 2020. This was all captured on film, so that parents, no matter where they were in the world, could still share in their daughter's special moment via livestream.
Dr Scott, Chair of the Board, Mr Gary Turner and members of the Executive were waiting to greet them in the Undercroft. There then followed a beautiful service, with Jessica (Year 6) singing When I Grow Up from Matilda the Musical, followed by Bethan (Year 7) singing Naughty, also from Matilda the Musical, both ably accompanied by Mr Curtain on the piano.
It was then time for the traditional Wenona Year 12 ‘hats off’ photograph, with the Class of 2020 gathering in the amphitheatre and flinging their hats into the blue skies above. This was followed by the cutting of the Wenona cake.
Year 12 then headed to the Big Gym for their Prize Giving Service. Molly (Year 11) sang the National Anthem and Scarlett (Year 6) signed it in Auslan, something that all our Junior School students have chosen to learn this year, so they can continue to ‘sing’ the National Anthem in their Assemblies.
Lara (Year 12) then gave a heartfelt rendition of Landslide, accompanied by Mina (Year 12) on the piano. Music can be moving in itself, but for many of the students, Landslide had the added punch of being a shorthand for their schooldays at Wenona. All they have achieved and loved about being at Wenona seemed to be represented in the song. So, there were tears and there were tissues, but it all felt poignant and beautiful.
Fuka (Year 12) then played Schumann’s Finale from Carnival Scene from Vienna on the piano.
A huge congratulations to all the students on their graduation. Congratulations to all those who received a prize and a special mention to Natalie and Emily who were awarded Joint Dux.
As Dr Scott and Head Prefect 2019/2020 Amelia acknowledged in their speeches, this year our Year 12 students have discovered so much about their capacity to embrace change, just as the School has learnt so much about the capacity of Year 12.
It has been humbling to see how independent and resilient they have become despite the significant challenges they have faced. Perhaps our most precious memories of the Class of 2020 will be their continued care and support for each other and their ability to smile through life’s inevitable ups and downs.
Congratulations Class of 2020. We will miss you.