At this time of year, we often see several events, both at the College and in after-school activities, where students are given the opportunity to be rewarded for their efforts and hard work throughout the year. There may be sports presentations at the end of the season, creative performances and trophies after the end of year concerts, exams with results for academic areas, and, as we have just completed, Presentation Days at schools.
These events acknowledge the hard work and dedication of many students across the year in various areas. At our Presentation Day events, students are recognised for excellence in academic results, top sporting achievements, contribution to College life, and demonstrating effective learning habits. At these end-of-year events, time is spent awarding certificates, medals, and trophies to recognise high achievement and application. These events show that our most outstanding achievement is seen when we give our personal best.
Recognising and celebrating achievements are helpful. It encourages us to acknowledge what excellence looks like, to know that we have completed a task to the best of our abilities. We acknowledge each student’s hard work and effort to achieve these successes. We celebrate success. We celebrate excellence.
Excellence is defined at the College as, ‘We set challenges and work with discipline and perseverance so that in all that we do and how we do it, we honour God.’ Or placed more simply, ‘We seek to honour God in all we do.’ We desire that students strive for personal excellence in all that they do. For students to do their very best. To display discipline in choices. We strive for excellence so that we can honour God in what we do.
We all are gifted with many talents and skills. It is beneficial to help our children to find their strengths. The areas in which they excel. When we have an understanding of their strengths, we can identify and reinforce each child’s potential. We can support them in pursuing excellence in their areas of skill and talent, honouring each child’s individual abilities.
It’s helpful for us to stop and recognise that achievement and success are identified in a variety of different ways. In the Primary Years, we introduced a new Stage Celebration Assembly this year, where we recognised students’ broad array of achievements in the stage. This year, as has been every year, there is an extensive range of growth and personal bests, which may not attract a specific award. The breadth of student achievement at the College is breathtaking, acknowledging the individual skills and talents that God gives each person.
At the end of year recognition events, we all feel a powerful sense of pride in seeing children receive awards. In our Presentation Day events, Mrs Marlow spoke to students about being winners. She communicated that in 2021 we have seen everyone win. We are all winners because of who God is and because he loves us.
While the end of year recognition events acknowledges some children, others are not seen in these events. These children are seen in different areas. Possibly in circumstances that occur outside the College. We may witness success and wins in horse riding, bike riding, musical performances, coding, gaming, cooking, chess, martial arts or other activities.
Excellence may even look a little more specific. Maybe you have a child who has demonstrated excellence in learning skills and strategies to assist with anxiety. Or a child that has persevered to overcome a fear, or to manage distractions in learning, or to resolve conflict more peacefully.
To those who demonstrate excellence in ways that are easily seen: we say congratulations. To those who demonstrate excellence in more individual or unique ways, we say congratulations. We say congratulations to all of our brave parents who try every day to do the best for their children. Congratulations to the teachers who have demonstrated excellence during our extended lockdown, managing this year with the changes that have been needed.
Every year there is progress, growth and development. Every year, we encourage our children to strive for their best and demonstrate discipline, perseverance, and diligence in the undertaken tasks. We strive for excellence to honour God with the skills and talents that he has given us, so that we can live a life with purpose.