St Andrew's Cathedral School

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An inspirational welcome for Year 7s in a cherished tradition


Today was our official welcome for Year 7, the Clapping In ceremony. It’s a long-cherished tradition at the School to demonstrate to Year 7s that they are joining a welcoming and historic community.

They entered St Andrew’s Cathedral to the heartfelt applause from students, parents and teachers. As they did, the School’s Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial Bell, part of school events since 1885, rang out in celebration.

Dr Julie McGonigle, Head of School, started by inviting the 2023-2024 School Captains and Vice Captains to reflect on what they thought was special about the School. They each responded with how the community and being supported were key for them. It was an opportunity for the Year 7s to be inspired by student leaders.

Dr McGonigle spoke of the encouragement in Hebrews to “…run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

In this way Dr McGonigle encouraged Year 7s as they think about everything they will experience at the school and what they will strive for. “It’s not your parents’ race, not your brother’s, it’s yours. And it’s valuable to look for role models such as School Captains.”

Dr McGonigle then presented each student with a personalised Bible.

Year 11 student Amali Cooray played a beautiful classical flute piece that echoed through the Cathedral.

Just as Year 7s are welcomed in this way, each year we farewell Year 12 students at their Valedictory by clapping them out as they graduate. It is a poignant moment for Year 12s as they reflect on their life at the School.