A Word from Alexis Clarke

Can you believe how quickly 2021 has gone? I’m sure it didn’t progress this quickly when we were all in Lockdown! Nevertheless, I am finding it difficult to comprehend that it is almost the end of another school year. It certainly has been quite a year, particularly for our Senior students. I am sure if you ask them, they will tell you about the many challenges they have faced, including bushfires, floods, and ‘COVID-19’ becoming part of our everyday language.

This week, our Year 12 students finished their HSC examinations and completed 13 years of schooling. We look forward to celebrating this milestone next week at the Year 12 Graduation Assembly and Dinner. We feel blessed to be able to host these events at school, even if they will look different to previous years.

The Lord has told us there will be difficult times. However, we could not have imagined or prepared for what the last two years have brought us in such quick succession. I have nothing but praise for our graduates and the way they have navigated the uncertainty of 2020 and 2021. They have become familiar with plans that change on a daily basis. 2020 began with fires and the question, “Will Kuyper still be standing as we start school in 2020?” By the end of Term 1, school life (and life in general) was impacted by floods, with a week away from school, and then the emergence of Coronavirus, which cancelled all our events, including Vanuatu. After what we would now consider a short stint in Lockdown and School@Home, we returned to school and some sense of normality. 2021 brought with it the extended Lockdown and a completely different way of “doing life”. It has also been the year of ‘maybes’: maybe you will sit your HSC examinations, maybe you will return to school, maybe you will have a Graduation… 

Whilst I point out the lows, I want to also tell you of the highs of the graduating Class of 2021 and their experience of Lockdown. They taught me that you can play board games, and organise study groups and social gatherings over Zoom. They learnt how to complete group assignments using Google Meet, collaborate in shared documents and still work together, though apart. They even worked out how to prank this teacher using random information and pictures to see if this teacher would notice. They learnt how to complete assessments online, create videos of themselves delivering presentations, and they completed their Trial HSC Examinations at home while their parents supervised them, posting their work back to school. Oh, and one of the highlights was working out that you can participate in Kahoot remotely! These are only some examples of what we learned but, more importantly, I noticed how much effort they made to stay in relationship with and care for each other. Their genuine concern stood out to me as unique. The bond they have as a cohort is not one that will be easily forgotten due, in part, to working so hard (and creatively) to stay in touch.

Our Year 12 students continued to give glory to God in the midst of uncertainty and, sometimes, disappointment. They shared their struggles and triumphs with each other, with their teachers and the Kuyper community. We thank them for allowing us to be part of their journey.

Marisa, Jackson, Angie, Noah, Noah (Grech), Caitlin and Jade – you have been an example to your peers and we will continue to pray for you as you move from Kuyper and out into this big wide world! We know the Lord has a plan for you, even if you might not know what it looks like yet. We pray that you will hold fast to the Lord and continue to stay in touch with each other.

 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

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