It’s that time of year when I gush about my boys and how amazing they are. I know, I know. Nobody else thinks they are that amazing, but I know them better so I’m right. ;-)
Anyhow, it’s my prerogative as their Mama to write about how amazing they are here and preserve the memories for future safe keeping (you know, in case I lose the actual paper reports and certificates. Which could happen).
Let’s start with Ethan, since he finished his school year sooo long ago (11 days ago). 2015 was his first year of college, year 9 (form 3). He had a great year, achieving some fantastic results. His report is full of “Achieved with Excellence” and “Achieved with Merit” for about 90% of his assessments throughout the year, and he did really well in his first real end-of-year exams, getting mostly Merit endorsements. He’s excelled this year in Social Studies and all his options: French (Excellence in everything), Music, Graphics and Sports Institute. Maths hasn’t always been his favourite subject – and still isn’t – but he did get 94% in one test this year which was the highest mark in his class and one of the highest in his year. Really proud of how far he’s come in Maths. Sadly for his BSc-degree-toting Mama, he isn’t a huge fan of Science. But he has enjoyed Biology and I think they get to pick specialty subjects earlier than we used to, so only one more year of General Science and then he can go down the Biology-only path if he so desires.
The school reports we get from college are very brief compared with primary school, but Ethan got consistent ratings of “Very Positive” for his Attitude to learning and “Always” for Finishes work in class and Completes home learning. The general comment from his tutor group teacher (who he just loved, and who loved him!) was also very pleasing:
“Ethan has had an excellent year, and has produced high-quality work that has resulted in Excellence grades across almost all of his subjects. He has a wonderfully positive attitude to his learning, is always willing to contribute answers in class, and has been an absolute pleasure to teach.”
He capped off his year with a fine reward for his hard work, gaining the “Outstanding Effort” award for his class at the Year 9 Formal Prizegiving. He wasn’t expecting to get anything, but I’m glad he did. He’s not one of those kids who necessarily stands out as he can be quite shy at times and blends into the background a little, but I think the kids who work hard quietly behind the scenes also deserve to be recognised for what they do!
Ethan has continued to play soccer (football), water polo and athletics this year. Not sure if he’ll carry on with water polo next year. At his age, sport requires a lot of commitment, and this year we had 2 terms where he had water polo training or games 5 nights a week – very tiring for all! He might choose to just concentrate on his soccer next year, but we’ll wait and see what happens. We will support him in whatever he decides to do, even if our taxi driver services are required on a frequent basis!
Ethan has also carried on with his drum lessons this year, and continues to play regularly in our church band. He sat another Rock School drum exam a few weeks ago but we don’t have the results yet. Speaking of drumming, he was invited to join the college Concert Band. A very prestigious achievement indeed, as the band is invitation only, he was invited by the HOD Music and he would have been one of the only Year 9 students in the band (most are seniors in year 12 or 13). He went to a couple of practices but decided not to join. I was hoping he would, but left it up to him to decide. Perhaps he will change his mind some time in the future?
Now onto Tyler. 2015 was his last year at primary school, so a big one! He had a great year, getting involved in lots of sports at school (soccer, rippa rugby, hockey) and representing the school at interschool swimming sports (freestyle and backstroke) and athletics (high jump). He also did very well in cross country, coming 5th which was his best ever result, although they only take the top 4 to interschools. He came home with a fabulous report. He is “Above National Standards” for Writing and Reading, and is “At National Standards” for Maths. He also had some of his writing published in the Hibiscus Coast Young Writers Competition. The general comments in Tyler’s report were also really great:
“Tyler is an energetic and well-mannered student with a sweet nature. He enjoys learning and always rises to the challenge of new tasks. Tyler is a particularly skilful writer whose work has been recognised and published in a local writing competition this term. Tyler is quite sensitive and when things don’t go as expected he tends to become easily upset, but he is learning to be more resilient in this area. Tyler has a close circle of friends and is a valuable member of our classroom. I wish him the very best for his future.”
In an email to me, his teacher said how much she had enjoyed getting to know Tyler this year. Aww. I took this photo of her and Tyler on the last day:
Tyler was rewarded for his hard work at the Year 6 Graduation Prizegiving last week. He received the Siddin Swimming Cup for Boys and a Merit award for Written Language (meaning he was in the running for the Writing Cup). He was the only boy – along with 6 or 7 girls – up on stage for the Writing Cup. Pretty proud of that!
As always, the Year 6 kids performed a ‘farewell’ song at their Graduation, which was a tear jerker for all of the parents and grandparents! Here is a link to my You Tube video of them singing (Tyler is near the top right). Aren’t they gorgeous kids?
Soccer is Tyler’s first love, and he continued to play for his local club throughout 2015. His team did incredibly well, coming second in their grade. They’ve been together as team for a few years now and are just a fantastic bunch of kids, with the best coach anyone could ask for. Tyler also played summer soccer, which finished last week. Their team came 2nd – after being undefeated and top of the table all season, they lost in the final. But they had lots of fun and we all enjoyed watching them play.
Tyler is also doing tag rugby and athletics throughout the summer. No doubt more sports will be added to his list next year. 2016 will be a big year for him. Off to intermediate (college for him) and all the changes that are associated with that. He’s got a lot of good friends going to the same school, and I’m glad that he has his big brother there. He also has his Grandad! My Dad works at the school as a teacher aide, and is usually in the junior (intermediate) school, although he won’t be in any of Tyler’s classes. I’m just happy that he will be nearby if Tyler ever needs him.
For me it will be a little strange to have both boys at college next year. No more primary school for us! The school has been amazing, and a huge part of our lives since 2007. It’s just down the road and feels like a second home. I thought I would be a blubbering mess at Tyler’s Graduation but I somehow managed to keep it together (I cried more at Ethan’s Graduation, for some reason). We’ll miss the school but we are so grateful for the impact the school, principal, deputy principals, office staff and of course the teachers have had on our boys over the years. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to their education. A wonderful place!
We’re really proud of both of our boys. They have worked so hard this year and deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their efforts. We took them out to dinner on Saturday night to celebrate a great year. They chose the restaurant – Coast Bites & Brew – and we had a lovely time as a family, celebrating their success.
So here’s to 2016! Looking forward to what it has to offer!