Last updated: 26/12/2012
Graduation functions are held by the School and include students, parents, staff, board and other guests. It is important that the School provides guidance and a structure to ensure that these functions reinforce the School's ethos. While, in the past, issues of concern have been very rare, this policy has been formulated to provide guidance to staff involved in the organisation of these functions.
Graduation Coordinators must adhere to the following guidelines and not promote or suggest any variation with the students. Any variation is to be confidentially discussed with the Principal in the first instance, whose decision in these matters is final.
Any student co-opted on to an organising committee must recognise that the following parameters are all non-negotiable.
Senior Executive in attendance at the graduation must ensure that supervision of students & guests is maintained in an appropriate manner. Students who could reasonably be expected to be likely to push the School's guidelines should be monitored more closely.
All staff should assume that they have a supervisory role to for the duration of any graduation function. Staff are required to ensure that they do not focus so much on relating with adults or students that they are unaware of any developing problems.
Dates & Venues
Year 10 Graduation
From 2012, with the introduction of RoSA and the flow on from changes to School Leaving Age, there is no Year 10 Graduation but a celebration of the end of Stage 5. This event occurs on the Friday evening preceding the School's Thanksgiving Service and is held at School. The event consists of a light afternoon tea (a small charge to cover costs for Parents and Staff), followed by a Celebration Ceremony, where merit certificates are handed out, a message from the students is given (see speeches for special occasions) and students are encouraged to find other ways to participate. There is also an address given by the Principal.
The Year 12 graduation is timed for the last week of Term 3. Our preference is Thursday, with a second preference the Friday evening. Worrigee House, or a restaurant of similar standard, is to be the venue. No venue other than Worrigee House is to be booked without prior approval of the Principal.
Guests and Partners
Students are not permitted to invite/bring partners to the Year 10 Afternoon Tea. Parents and family members are invited and encouraged to attend.
Year 12 students may bring partners to the Year 12 graduation subject to the school's conditions, outlined below. The school's policy in relation to partners for the Year 12 graduation includes making the following comments in writing to students and parents.
'No student needs to think that they have to have a partner, to attend the graduation. Students are welcome to attend as individuals. In fact, we encourage this notion as it reduces the pressure on some young adults to feel that their self concept & acceptability must be created in relation to someone else. Developing a positive self-image as an individual is an important part of growing up - there is no need to feel that being single is inappropriate.
Should you wish to bring a partner, the following guidelines apply:
- The student's parent/s must also attend and take responsibility, if required, for the behaviour of the partner;
- The partner should be of the opposite sex of the student;
- The partner is required to adhere to the school's no alcohol/drug standard throughout the event;
- If the partner is an ex-student of the school, they must be people who left the school in good standing (i.e. not a student who was expelled from the school or who were asked to leave while under suspension).'
Year 11 are invited to attend as paying guests. They are not permiited to bring partners. Year 11 are encouraged to dress simply for this event, so that they do not detract the focus from the guests of honour.
Alcohol & other Illicit substances
Any invitation to a graduation must include a printed statement that the graduation is an alcohol, drug and cigarette free event. This would also include drinking alcohol or partaking in drug use at any stage during the earlier part of the day, and on the way home from the event. Parents should be notified that the School requests that they do not provide 'celebratory' drinks for their child or any other attending person prior to the event.
Transport Policy for Year 12
Students must provide their own transport arrangements to a graduation. Parents and students should be reminded of drink driving regulations in writing. The local police should be informed of the location and time of any graduation and requested to provide additional drink/driving supervision at appropriate times. Students should be informed that in line with the local Police School Liaison program, NSW Police request notification of such an event so they can provide surveillance at the conclusion.
Parents or other delegated adults should be requested to arrive 15 minutes ahead of any conclusion time in order to pick up any student. Parents must be informed that they should not rely on their child to telephone them when they are ready for picking up. Such an arrangement is generally very unsuitable.
The organizing committees are to meet the Budget given at the start of the year to the organising teacher. There is to be no additional fundraising activities for these events. Note that staff, parents and other guests pay for their tickets, and this income is to be included in the event budget, The school also contributes to the budget to help defray costs. Graduating students in Years 10 and 12 come to these events as guests and are not required to pay. The budget is to cover venue, food, non-alcoholic drinks, decorations, student gift stationery, printing, music, supervision, insurance, subsidising the cost of graduating students' tickets or any other associated venue or function costs.
Throughout the year, Year 10 & Year 12 students are encouraged to raise funds. These funds are not for the graduation, but to allow the students to present a gift on their behalf at the graduation. This gift does not have to be for the school, it could be for a charity that has been accepted by the year group and approved by the School. Organising teachers are to co-ordinate this so that the fund raising initiatives do not conflict with each other. As a starting point, Term 1 and 2 mufti days are to be organised by Year 12 and funds raised go towards their gift, and term 3 and 4 mufti days are to be organised by Year 10 and funds raised go towards their gift.
The following statement should be included in communication with parents.
"Any post-graduation parties are not official school functions. NSW Police request notification of the time and location of any parent arranged after-graduation function or party. The school carries no responsibility for after-parties and suggests to parents that experience by other schools has demonstrated that such events often create multiple problems.
While the School does not authorise after parties, we recognise that some parents are willing to hold them for the students. If that is the case, our experience is that we would like to recommend that any parent who agrees to host an after-party or smaller supper should recognise generally accepted community thoughts in relation to them:
- Parents would want to be assured of continual and active supervision by hosting parents. Parents would expect that only students who have attended the graduation would be present at an after-party.
- They should involve absolutely no alcohol. They should not provide a context for students to slip away. They should not provide a context for drug use.
- They should have a stated finish time. Arrangements should be made to deter gate-crashers - including police notification of the event.
- They are occasions that create significant anxiety for many families.
- They have traditionally created a context for unsafe (& occasionally life-threatening) behaviour in some schools and communities.
- In previous years, unhelpful dynamics have arisen where two competing parties with differing standards of supervision have created significant grade tension.
- Localised after-suppers for all students, avoiding competition between different groups, is best.
- Parents appreciate the opportunity to discuss arrangements for after-parties with the hosts."