While 2020 has been a year of challenges, it is well worth reflecting on the many instances of success that we have witnessed here at Sevenoaks Senior College. We are proud of the achievements of all of our students, but the resilience of the Year 12s in the face of uncertainty caused by the global pandemic is particularly noteworthy. Students have continued to apply themselves to their studies and the achievement of personal goals. The relative safety of Western Australia has enabled our Year 12s students to enjoy significant College milestones as the School Ball, Sevenoaks’ Got Talent and the Presentation Ceremony in 2020. Moreover, the restrictions imposed on some other parts of the country and internationally have highlighted just how important our school community is; indeed, many students have a new appreciation of how Sevenoaks Senior College and its staff provides much more than an excellent education – it also provides opportunities for friendship, social connection and access to support networks.

We recently celebrated the successes of our 2020 Year 12 students at the Presentation Ceremony held at Curtin Stadium. This important event was attended by over 200 students from Sevenoaks and Cannington Education Support Centre, as well as their caregivers, family and special dignitaries. The diverse individual achievements of students were acknowledged at the event, which saw students receive their certificates and awards. The Clontarf Academy Awards Night was also an enjoyable and well-attended occasion which allowed Sevenoaks staff and students’ families, carers and friends to formally acknowledge the many achievements of Clontarf members.

In 2020, the College has continued to focus on the holistic health of students through such initiatives as the Being a Young Adult Advocacy program, a Wellness Expo and the provision of an experienced group of experts, including Youth Workers, a school nurse, a school psychologist, a full-time Career Coordinator, an Aboriginal teacher, the Clontarf and Wirrapanda Foundation staff and our highly acclaimed Follow the Dream Aboriginal support program. Students have participated enthusiastically in the many opportunities and activities on offer at the College throughout 2020, such as NAIDOC Week celebrations, Book Week and R U Okay? Day. Teachers have also extended their professional knowledge considerably throughout the year. During the brief period when students were required to work from home, teachers focussed on extending their ICT skills and developing other methods of delivering course content so that no students were disadvantaged.

We welcomed our year 11 students for 2021 at our Orientation Days at the beginning of December. The staff really enjoyed working with such a fantastic group of young people and we can’t wait to continue supporting them to find their future pathways.

I encourage students and staff to reflect on their own personal achievements and successes in 2020. We are hopeful that 2021 will see a return to normality, both internationality and at a local level. We certainly look forward to a productive and rewarding year here at Sevenoaks Senior College. I wish everyone a very safe, happy and peaceful holiday season.

Please note that the College administration will reopen on January 18 2021. Students return on Monday February 1.