“So, are all the teachers winding down and finishing up?”, I was asked last week by a friend who is clearly not involved in education. I realised afterwards that I might have overdone my response a little and could even be said to have indulged in a little rant. I was keen to stick up for teachers who are very much still working hard to ensure learning takes place until the very end as well as planning fun activities with which to end the year. I might have pointed out that having fun and learning are not mutually exclusive. I might have even suggested that long gone are the days where teachers were able to impress children by showing lengthy videos (remember those?) for most of the last week of term.

As we prepare for the last Kesher of 2023, I reflect on the fact that post-exams, these last days of the year at Carmel will involve a special program for the entire week for Years 7 to 10, the annual Rottnest camp for Year 9 and the beach carnival. Time spent in the Primary School has made clear the effort, time and love that have gone into preparing for the annual concert and the grandparents’ preview event revealed just how special a performance had been prepared for you.

I thank the dedicated Carmel School staff who have worked tirelessly during the year to ensure that such opportunities exist in abundance for our students. I also thank all parents and community members who have helped us with their contributions in the form of security duties, incursions, helping in classrooms, canteens and camps and the many other ways in which you support the School. As this will be the last time I have the opportunity to write this year, I’d like to thank you for your support. Carmel School is lucky to be supported not just by parents, but by a community and the special nature of this can’t be underestimated.

It was wonderful to see High School parents and students at our High School Speech Night on Monday the 4th of December. Not all students receive prizes, but it is so important that we come together as a school and that all students are present to cheer on their peers and acknowledge as a whole school, the year that was 2023.

Julie Harris