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The Graduation Day

July, 2016
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0j7a0163e589afe69cacThe month of June is always a love-hate time for teachers and administrators working in an international school in China. With preparation well underway in many schools, Kindergarteners, Junior and High School students will be donning mortarboards and gowns to celebrate another milestone in their educational journey. Graduation day is always filled with a high level of excitement, not only for the graduating students, but also teachers and parents.

Graduation season has always been to me a bitter-sweet moment; it is a time to celebrate the achievement of each individual graduate, but the very thought of bidding farewell to them as they move on to the next chapter of their learning journey tends to bring tears to many of us. It is with joy and pride as I watch yet another cohort of students graduate at our Grand slam of Graduation at Shanghai Singapore International School (SSIS).

This is the first time at SSIS that we have the Preschool, Junior School and Senior School divisions graduating all on the same day – 3 June. One of the very precious moments that I had at our Grand slam of Graduation is having graduates from the Senior School division swinging by to the Preschool building to say thank you; never would I expect these students to remember that they received their very first graduation certificate from me when they were graduating from Preschool 12 years ago. 

0j7a9772e589afe69cacOne of our Grand slam graduates, Camilla CHU Wing Sam, walked through the school gate of SSIS in 2002, starting her educational journey with us as a Nursery level student. It is such a joy to watch Camilla grow from a sweet little girl into a fine young lady over the past years. I can’t help but feel like a proud parent as Camilla shared with me her plans to study fashion design in university, and developing her own label in the future. Camilla is not just a Grade 12 student graduating from SSIS; to me she will always be a daughter in our SSIS family – a child whose hand we held and dried teary eyes as she walked into our Preschool on her first day. A curious young child who we taught not only knowledge during class, but also equipped with life skills and values. With these, we believe we have provided Camilla with a good foundation as she embarks on the next chapter of her life beyond the gates of SSIS.

This little gesture of gratitude and appreciation from students such as Camilla really means a lot to us as teachers and administrators. It is also an affirmation of the work we are doing here at SSIS, knowing that our students are not only graduating with the knowledge taught in class but are also graduating with values such as respect, self-discipline and a positive attitude.

0j7a3399e589afe69cacProm night has always been the grand finale of any graduation season, and very often just for the Grade 12 graduates. However, at SSIS our youngest group of K2 graduates do get a taste of their first prom as the K2 teachers and parents work together to organize the annual K2 Graduation Ball. The K2 Graduation Ball is just another fun and creative way that our Preschool teachers have come up with to reinforce and extend what K2 children have learnt in class, exploring and discussing children’s contemporary stories during their English Literacy lessons. The young learners also get to put into practice the simple waltz steps and social etiquette that they were taught in preparation for the event. This experience will not only be a wonderful K2 graduation memory; it might even come in handy for their Prom night when they graduate from Grade 12 down the road.

Graduation season will always be a really special time for everyone, but it doesn’t mean the end of one journey. It marks the beginning of a new one. To all the graduating class of 2016: spread your wings wide and soar with courage and determination, and always remember to strive for excellence in everything you do!

 

By Amy CHUA,

Assistant Principal, Preschool division, Shanghai Singapore International School, Minhang Campus

 

 

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