Page 12 - Demo
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The Senior Walk-Through
A new rite of passage at FIS
 Students from the Class of 2018 parade through the Primary School.
It isn’t until students enter the Upper School – and perhaps not even until Grade 9 – that
they have any real sense of what a 'senior' is. Certainly, the young learners in the Primary and Elementary Schools have a hard time fathoming what it means to graduate and leave school. And due to the sheer size and separate divisions at FIS, many younger students rarely even come into contact with the
‘big kids.’
The walk- through was a wonderful way for our younger students to cele- brate the accom- plishments of our seniors.
New initiatives that span grade levels and divisions are helping build a better connection and stronger sense of community amongst the student body. A number of new collaborative opportunities between older and younger students have been introduced this year, including science experiments, outdoor environmental projects, and the Junior Model United Nations (MUN) conference in which Upper School students prepare Grade 4 and 5 peers for a two-day, in-house conference. Through these initiatives, the older students benefit from the chance to share what they have learned by showing and explaining it to younger children, and the younger ones benefit from working with student role models who are knowledgeable, humorous,
supportive – and perhaps above all, ‘cool.’
Another initiative along these lines was introduced this school year to extend the spring send-off for seniors beyond the Upper School with a celebratory walk-through in the Primary and Elementary Schools. Dressed in caps and gowns, the graduating class of 2018 made their way through the halls of the lower school divisions amidst the cheering of young children, giving high-fives and hugs along the way. Sheer joy was visible on the faces of all who were part of it and it was if the young students could envision where they will be at some point in a not-too-distant future. For the graduating seniors, it was an acknowledgement that their time as students within the corridors of FIS was drawing to an end. It was a symbolic good-bye to the school with the realization that their steps are taking them into the next phase of their lives.
Although far from a six-month sojourn into the wilderness, there are several similarities to the Aboriginal walkabout; it is
‘a multi-purposed journey,’ albeit a short one, ‘made during adolescence’ and ‘marks the transition into adulthood.’ Whatever its name, it qualifies
in a modest way as a rite of passage.
Thank you to the Class of 2018 for this community-building initiative. I, for one, hope to see it become an FIS tradition.
Vera Thiers
Manager of Marketing and Outreach
  10 FIS World June 2018

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