Farewell to the Class of 2019

Farewell to the Class of 2019

 

At this time each year, we celebrate the final, scheduled classes in the timetable for our graduating class. At the end of this week, all Grade 12 students will commence a period of intensive preparation for their IB Diploma examinations in May.

This final week is known as ‘Leavers’ Week’. It has accumulated some ‘quirky’ traditions over the past seven years since our first graduating class in 2012. We hosted some celebratory events for all Grade 12 students, including a formal Head of School Breakfast at school on Monday morning. On Wednesday, April 10, we held the Leavers’ Assembly, which marked the final school assembly for Grade 12. At the assembly, I shared some milestones from the year that members of the graduating class first attended classes at ISF in 2007. The next time we bring them together in a formal sense, will be to attend their graduation ceremony on 24 May, when they enter the ranks of ISF alumni.

 

 

Each year at the Leavers’ Assembly, I try to offer some perspective on the ways in which the world has changed since these students began their journey at ISF. For the Class of 2019, we only need to look as far as the Apple iPhone 1, which was released in July 2007, just as these students began their formal classes! How the world has changed over the past 12 years!

I should also note that 2019 is the year in which ISF crossed an important historical and statistical threshold. For the first time, the majority of students in our graduating class – 70% – commenced their primary school journey at ISF. This is also the last year that we will graduate a class that commenced in Grade 1. From next year, all graduating classes will have commenced their ISF journey in Foundation Year. 

Finally, one of our Leavers’ Week customs needs a little explanation. On the final day of timetabled classes for Grade 12, it has been our custom for the teachers of the graduating class (and the Head of School!) to wear school uniform. It must be noted that some of the teachers struggle to meet the precise dress standards required of students on this particular day each year! While this practice adds an element of informality and fun, it is in fact quite a sobering experience for our Grade 12 students and their teachers. It marks the passing of another year, with another generation of ISF learners leaving their educational ‘home’ to continue their respective journeys in other institutions – some close-by, others half a world away. By dressing as students, however, we add an element of symbolism to the occasion: our leavers and teachers alike are all learners – for life, ideally.

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