Year 6 Growing up and Graduating

Year 6 Growing up and Graduating

Thursday, 17 November 2016  | Melissa - Assistant Primary Coordinator and Senior Primary Coordinator
This term will be the last weeks in Primary School for our Year 6s. On December 9 they will celebrate their graduation. It’s always my favourite school event.

It is fantastic as a teacher to sit back and watch your students get up and make a speech in front of hundreds of people. As their teachers, we’ve worked with them this term to help them write and practise those speeches. I know that on Graduation night many students who are extremely nervous about their speeches now will not only do them, but do them well. For some students this will be a mighty challenge, but we will believe in them, help them to believe in themselves and support them so that they too, can present their speech in a way that is achievable for them. I know too, that I will feel my heart welling up with pride as I watch them. That’s because each year at Graduation I feel the same way and realise again how privileged I am to be a Year 6 teacher and to share this event with my students.

Why is our Year 6 Graduation such a wonderful event? It’s not only because it’s an excuse for a new dress, and not only because it’s a great community event; but it’s because of the way it represents much of what is good and precious about Year 6. And mostly because it’s a wonderful chance for us to acknowledge our creator God who made these Year 6s and placed them in His world to learn how to be faithful and to give glory to Him by being who they have been created to be and using the gifts He has given them. 

Graduation is highly anticipated by the students because it’s special and it’s mostly about them being special. It shows everyone just how far they’ve come through their Primary School journey and how ready they are to take on the world ahead. It’s a night filled with fancy clothes and special food and grown-up type of stuff (no parents at the dinner) and celebration of how fantastic they are (and don’t they know it!). And they are fantastic. Every Graduation I am amazed at the strength of the fierceness of how much I love those kids. Year 6 can be a tough year, and many of them mature considerably throughout the year and this is often reflected in their speeches and their behaviour on Graduation night.
As teachers we make individual recognition of each student by presenting them with an individualised award during the ceremony. Every student at MECS excels in some way that contributes to the life of our MECS community and deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. MECS Year 6 Graduation is about acknowledging the journey, but more about celebrating the amazing individuals - all gifted by God in some way, all successful because of who they are as a person and who they are in Christ, not necessarily because of what they have done.

Over the years the MECS Year 6 program has grown and developed. We have developed the ‘Positive Boys’ and ‘Empowering Girls’ programs in which the students learn much about being together and about life in general. Our Term 4 Core Studies unit is separated into Year 5s and 6s. Year 6s undertake a unit called ‘The Next Step’ which looks back at their journey over Primary school and explores how to prepare for the trip up to Middle School. The students explore how God empowers us and helps us in all of our ‘steps’ and take part  in activities that help them recognise the importance and blessing of their Year 6 ‘community’ . Our Year 6s are not alone in moving on to Middle School. The have their God who goes with them and also their own student, and wider school, community.

Our Year 6s aren’t perfect and sometimes they exasperate me greatly; but they are perfectly created and definitely worth celebrating. When I see them at Graduation I am also more than a little sad that our time together has come to an end. Once they move up those steps to the next level, both literally and metaphorically, we will see them only occasionally. However, I am thankful for the blessing of teaching at a school where, in 6 years time, I will be able to be part of celebrating their Year 12 last day.

Will Graduation be the highlight of the year for them? It’s going to be hard to beat camp, the rock climbing excursion, Empowering Girls/Positive Boys, Buddies, the Hoodie party or the much desired privilege of sitting on chairs at GTs (our assemblies). Whatever the case, there will be celebration. Celebration of 44 precious gifts from God, for whom we are very thankful. We will wish them God’s richest blessings as they leave our Primary School (sniff). Stay tuned for photos of us looking gorgeous in the newsletter following Graduation!

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