Welcome to our final newsletter for 2019. I haven’t got a lot to say because I’m sure that the photographs in this edition can tell you the story of our last few weeks.
I’m writing this on the last Friday of the 2019 school year after farewelling our students yesterday afternoon. It also happens to be my birthday.
So let’s add this up; it’s the end of a hugely eventful and successful school year, I’m exhausted, it’s my birthday, and Christmas is 5 days away. That’s a formula for philosophical reflection if ever I saw one. But I shall attempt to resist the urge.
Our final assembly yesterday afternoon was incredible. There were celebrations, farewells, laughter and tears. Not that I ever need reminding, but the whole event was a lovely encapsulation of our school community. This is a very special school.
I thank all my students for indulging me and letting me perform the Grinch. It is something I enjoy and the theme is quite dear to me. I’m not really The Grinch I pretend to be, but I do have complicated feelings about Christmas. That’s probably why “White Wine in the Sun” by Tim Minchin is my favourite Christmas song:
I really like Christmas
It's sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I'd rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu
To be honest
And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion
To the westernisation of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it.
Cause I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun
I'll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They'll be drinking white wine in the sun.
So from a cynical old Grinch just starting his 58th orbit of the sun, I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the new year.
Tom Eastland (Mr E)
On Monday December 9th, the ‘Teen Challenge’ organisation presented a drug education seminar to the Year 7-10 students at Dover District School.
This seminar has been presented at schools throughout Australia. It delivers a powerful message about the risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol and the misuse of prescription medication.
Students from Years 5-10 were given the opportunity to opt in to a half day workshop with Jeff Michel from Blue Cow Theatre Company. Some were gently stretched outside their comfort zone, others found a place for their natural showmanship and everyone had a great time.
Mrs Heather, Mr Duncombe and Mr Butler were recognised for 25 years of service earlier this month. Most will know Mrs Heather (our librarian), and Mr Duncombe (our groundsman). Mr Butler is a newer face at our school and is the Year 11/12 coordinator. Congratulations to you all on this wonderful achievement!
So that the students who would have been participating in the Schools Triathlon Challenge (had the GeCo bus not been out of order) would still have an opportunity to participate in an event, we decided to run a local biathlon, with a twist. The event was run on Monday 9th December. Weather conditions were ideal, with moderate humidity and a light sou’wester.
Unlike the classic Olympic biathlon which involves cross-country skiing and shooting, our version involved cycling up and back along the path near Kent Beach, then running up and down the beach. Buckets of cold water were then poured over athletes in order to simulate the swimming experience without the need for extensive paperwork.
Thanks go to Tim and Ange for helping with bicycle and athlete transport and to Rhys Carver for his work as official event photographer.
The Year 10 Celebration Dinner was held on Dec 6 at Salamanca Inn. The Year 10's (looking fabulous), their families, friends and staff all had a lovely evening. Thank you Emma for all the effort you put in to make this such a special event!
On 13 December, our choir visited their friends at the Esperance Multipurpose Health Centre, and several days later some of our students chose to return for one last catch up before the holidays. As always, everyone had a lovely time and we send our best wishes to all those at EMPHC.
Kelly and Kristie from our Parents and Friends group drew the winning tickets for the Christmas Raffle at Presentation Evening. Congratulations to the winners -
1st Prize - Alex Mooibroek
2nd Prize - Erin Clark
3rd Prize - Adam Buckpitt
The final assembly for the year was held on Thursday 19th December (student's last day of school). As students and staff waited for the 2pm start time Mr E gave his captivating rendition of The Grinch. Once the assembly proper began, we were treated to an encore of their Presentation Evening performances by the Year 1/2's and 3/4's. Mrs Stocker's 5/6 class presented their version of the 12 Days of Christmas to raucous laughter. Some of the Year 7/8's along with Cookie, Mr Clarke and Mr E flung some Shaksperian insults at each other (hilariously sounding like characters from a Dr Seuss book). Ben, Rhys and Makayla performed "Lanterns" by Birds of Tokyo (Rhys and Makayla later returned to the stage for "Enter Sandman" by Metallica) and then it was time to say goodbye to the Year 10's who head off on the next leg of their journey. To this wonderful group, we wish you success in your chosen pathways.