On Friday, 27th November we celebrated the end of an enormous year by gathering together for a Christmas Party.
Unfortunately this year, due to Covid, we were unable to have family members and guests from the wider community join us for our end of year/Christmas celebrations but we did not let this stop us from having an awesome day together.
Students began arriving from 8.00am so we all went around the back of the school to sit in the sun and enjoy some breakfast together. As more and more students arrived, we threw on a Christmas movie in one of the classrooms on the projector and the girls dragged bean bags and cushions into the room so they could relax while they waited for the party to begin.
Around 10.30 we kicked things off upstairs, explaining to the girls how the day would run and what activities they would be getting up too. The senior students from Year 11 and 12 headed off to the library to engage in an escape room game which had the large group of girls fascinated and engaged from start to finish. Unfortunately the girls ended up being a little bit late to morning tea as they were locked in the library, unable to escape… but they made it eventually!
Our junior girls in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 dominated the ground floor of the school campus as they got into small groups and raced around the school grounds on a Christmas themed Crossword scavenger hunt. The girls excitedly ran around the school searching for clues to fill in their crossword puzzles. This activity was made more challenging by our tricky Year 9 student, Jasper, who ran around gathering up the clues and re-hiding them herself. The girls really enjoyed this activity and the school grounds were filled with excited laughter as they all tried their hardest to be the first group to complete the crossword puzzle.
Once the activities were over we all had a short morning tea break before we headed back upstairs for the End of Year Award Ceremony. Students happily sat and applauded one another for their successes throughout the year of 2020. It was unfortunate that we could not have family members join us for the day as it is always lovely for them to see their child win an award, and also for the child to have their families there to cheer them on. We made the decision to live stream our Award Ceremony to family members via a private Facebook group so everyone could still be involved – this worked really well and we were so glad that we could still have family members join us.
After the Award Ceremony we headed back downstairs to enjoy a huge lunch! Party pies, spring rolls, pizza and chicken wings was on offer and boy! did it go down a treat! Students and staff gathered in the basketball courts to eat their lunch together and socialise a bit. It is always really lovely for staff to get the opportunity to spend time with the students outside of the classroom setting.
After lunch it was everyone’s favourite time of day – presents and report cards! Students were gifted their presents and report cards one year level at a time. The girls excitedly collected their Christmas gifts and report cards, sharing their results and congratulating one another on a successful year. It is beautiful to see our girls lift, and encourage each other so positively.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all students, staff, families, community members and supporters for assisting us in making this year manageable and enjoyable despite the circumstances around the world. It has been a hard year, presenting us all with new challenges and barriers to overcome. Our students were forced to learn from home during lockdown periods, and our teaching staff were forced to learn how to teach via the internet and our Youth Workers & Support Staff had to find ways to assist the students without being able to physically see them. The Year 12 girls faced the prospect of not being able to have a Formal ceremony, had their Year 12 Camp cancelled and were informed that Schoolies 2020 would not be happening.
Despite all of the negativity that was thrown our way, our girls did not break, our staff did not break, we did not break. We learned to teach online, we learned to assist from a distance and we did everything we could to ensure our Year 12 group felt special at the end of the road. We held each other up and supported one another, we showed the true power of what working as part of a team can achieve.
We wish each and every member of our Southside family a happy and blessed Christmas, and a safe New Year. We look forward to seeing all of your beautiful faces back here next year, as well as the new faces that will join our family.
Thank you and congratulations to you all!