Graduation Ceremony 2020: Complete and Succeed
It’s been graduation season at EtonHouse International School Suzhou! Recently, students from Year 1, Year 6, Year 11 and Year 13 were the focus of two wonderful graduation ceremonies. Reflecting the unusual times we are living through, the celebrations were broadcast live, so that our whole community could join in to share this highlight of the year. Graduates outside China joined via a separate live link, and could be seen by the audience, as if they were here with their peers. Everyone was able to enjoy the speeches, award presentations and a series of performances carefully prepared by the students.
The graduation ceremonies were hosted by the Vice Principal, Mr. Fowler, and the Principal, Mr. Penny delivered a speech reflecting on our recent experience as a community. He spoke of the pandemic as a challenge and a learning journey, and a real test of the strength of our communities, not just at school, but globally. EtonHouse’s teachers, students and parents have shown impressive adaptability and flexibility in moving to online learning, and one silver lining is the way in which communication between each family and the school has become very close. All this meant that when we did finally return to school, the transition back to classroom learning was very smooth.
The Year 1 students have been developing a deeper understanding of environmental pollution and plant protection, and at the same time, of course, have been improving their reading and writing skills. The recent Year 6 Exhibition showcased the students’ research and interpretation skills, and allowed them to develop vital perspectives about the world around them, on themes such as discrimination, bullying, gender inequality and global warming. Similarly, students in Year 11 have recently completed their Personal Projects, the ‘capstone’ of MYP. These highlighted an impressive range of individual passions. Some designed and made apps, or garbage collection robots, others focused on vulnerable groups, and Third Culture Kids, while others explored mineral water, fair trade coffee, or tea ceremonies. Our Year 13 are all going to study at universities in the US, opening a whole new chapter in life for them.
The coordinators of the EY, PYP, MYP and DP all spoke with appreciation, warmth and encouragement about their students.
And then Mr. Penny, the Principal, issued the Graduation Diplomas to all the graduates. We also heard excellent speeches from the heart from PYP, MYP and DP students, expressing their common feelings, despite their different ages, about studying in EtonHouse. The exploration of life and the world will never stop just because we reach a certain stage. This insight of the graduates coincides with Mr. Penny’s interpretation of this “completion” and “success”: everyone’s end point is another starting point – we are truly lifelong learners!
Congratulations again to this years’ graduates! Your future is bright and limitless!