Smoking Ceremony creates fresh start

Students gathered around the front of the School on Wednesday morning as Uncle Les marked the start of the school year with a traditional smoking ceremony.

A smoking ceremony has many purposes, Head of Junior School Colin Bird said at the Primary School Assembly to students, staff and families.

“It’s often used as a welcome to a particular area and it’s also to help cleanse us and show signs of respect to people past and present,” he said.

Uncle Les moved through the Hall to “cleanse us and make us healthy for 2020.”

IGS Principal Shauna Colnan welcomed Primary Students to the 2020 School year and shared some words of encouragement.

“I want to encourage you to try hard again this year, really listen in class, be brave, and be the very best learner you can possibly be, and the very best friend,” Ms Colnan said.

“I believe that school should be a happy place where all of your dreams can come true. There are many opportunities to pursue at IGS. So get involved, explore, and keep an open mind to new adventures and new perspectives. 

“In the year ahead, enjoy each other’s company. We all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences and isn’t that fantastic? That means we can all learn so much from each other!”

Ms Colnan welcomed Head Boy Parker Floris and Head Girl Astrid McKinley to the stage to give a warm welcome to Primary students.

“IGS has always been adapting to become better for the next generation. This year, I hope to improve the School along with my fellow Leaders to make it just that little bit better for you all,” Parker said.

He recalled his own time at IGS, starting in Transition and enjoying the “Glorious days of Year 3 with Mr Reitmans, or Year 6 with Mr Smith.

“These are the days that you will value and will carry on throughout the rest of your schooling and the rest of your life,” he said.

Astrid gave a special welcome to Kindy as they started their first day at big school.

“IGS has always been a place of safety for me ever since I was three,” she said.

Her advice for Primary students was to “always be curious and inquisitive, ask questions no matter how crazy they may sound, try your very best at school and most importantly, be kind to everyone.”

The Music Department then taught Primary students, particularly the new Kindergarten students, the School Song.