KEY MESSAGES FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL ROSE THRELFALL AT THE RECENT ICS IB DIPLOMA GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR THE CLASS OF 2018
This year's ceremony was held in our historic hall, opened in 1897 by Princess Christian, who was one of Queen Victoria's daughters.
Graduation is an opportunity to celebrate the success of the School's Diploma 2 students. It is also a rite of passage as our now young adults leave their school days behind them and move off to university destinations around the world.
This year, we also bade farewell to our Secondary School Principal, Brenda Murray. After 22 years’ service to the School, Brenda is retiring to her homes in Kent and Ireland as well as an array of exciting projects and travel opportunities.
Thanks were expressed for the major contribution that she has made to the success and well-being of this year’s graduating class and to the hundreds of other students who have been lucky enough to benefit from her knowledge over the years.
WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
Delivering her speech, Rose Threlfall commented, "Working with young people is a fantastic privilege. I’d go as far to say, it is critical for all of us to keep young people in our lives. It keeps us literally ‘alive; with ideas, new music, apps, fashion, perspectives and pure youthful joy. We are all better people by having young people in our lives".
WORD OF THE YEAR
Rose continued her speech by referring to the 'Word of the Year' for 2017 as identified annually by the Oxford English Dictionary for subsequent addition to future editions of the dictionary. This is typically a word or expression that Oxford Dictionaries deems has "attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date" and is drawn from newspapers, books, blogs and transcripts of spoken English".
"In 2016, the word, "post-truth", was chosen largely because of its rampant use during the 2016 Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election".
Rose then outlined the definition of post truth for the assembled audience, defining it as "Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than, appeals to, emotion and personal belief".
Rose continued, speaking about the era of "post-truth politics, (where) it's easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’ and many commentators observed, that we are now ‘living in a post-truth age".
Rose spoke of the short list of 10 words for 'Word of the Year' 2017 and their definitions. The short list included:
Broflake - a man who is readily upset by progressive attitudes
Unicorn - adding rainbow colours to things - especially food
Newsjacking - The practice of taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote or advertise your own product or brand
She next spoke of her own personal favourite, Milkshake Duck.
Rose elaborated on the meaning of the term, telling the audience:
"A Milkshake Duck is a person or character on social media that gains sudden fame for what appears to be endearing behaviour at first, but only too soon after is revealed as a deeply flawed character with terrible opinions and/or a shady past, which quickly tarnishes their fame".
"However, Milkshake Duck, was not the winner. Instead, and quite rightly, the word of the year for 2017 was YOUTHQUAKE".
"Oxford Dictionaries selected this word, as it reflected what it called a "political awakening" among millennial voters and defined it as:
"A significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of the young".
"Use of the word in everyday speech increased five-fold in 2017. Around the globe, the talk was of the power of the young to effect lasting political change and the term looks set to be stirring things up for some time to come".
"So what of our youthful graduates? My hope is that they will indeed continue the youthquake surge: I hope they will do this and be inspired by our very own ICS vision statement, demonstrating that we are all leaders and learners inspiring leaders and learners – never think you’ve done enough, or that you have learnt and/or know everything – keep an open mind and heart and have the courage to challenge any force that tries to limit your perspective and your international outlook".
"Second, remember and live the great founding statement of the IB Diploma programme – it is an inspiring sentiment, and encourages you to develop an optimistic, open minded world view.
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect".
Rose concluded her speech with a quote by Blake Beattie, which she felt "summons all of the youthful courage" of the graduates:
Sail beyond the horizon;
fly higher than you ever thought possible;
magnify your existence by helping others;
be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes;
be true to what you value most;
shine your light on the world;
and be the person you were born to be.