The entire Junior School brought the campus to life with colour and laughter on Tuesday 16 August to Dream With Eyes Wide Open, the theme for the 2022 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Book Week.

We were particularly thrilled to be able to host our (previously annual) character parade after a hiatus due to COVID restrictions over the past two years. We had the great pleasure to celebrate this cherished event and marvel at the amazing work of our Pre-Prep to Year 2 students (and certainly their parents!) in preparing and adorning amazing costumes which reflected the theme.

Whilst in the audience, we were certainly able to ‘find’ a few Wallys, avoid being hit by ‘Expelliarmus’ spells, shot from the wands of numerous wizards and witches from Harry Potter’s world and giggle at a few pugs called Pig.

Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (more widely recognised as Lawrence of Arabia) stated that we should strive to, “Dream your dreams with eyes open, and make them come true”. The symbolism of having our ‘eyes open’ ultimately represents being aware of our personal surroundings and circumstance. But the ability to ‘dream with eyes open’ is attempting to see beyond the reality of current circumstance and instead imagine and create ways of enhancing and elevating ourselves and certainly others.

To that end, it was so enjoyable seeing students, in costume, walk across the stage and embody their literature heroes. By wearing the ‘mask’ they felt empowered to embrace and show the qualities of their book character, whether they be principled, balanced, open-minded or other traits taught in the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile.

But the true joy of education and Somerset College comes when we catch our students dreaming with their eyes open on a daily basis. They do this when they grasp a difficult concept in the classroom after numerous attempts; muster the determination to rally on the field when their team might fall behind; or summon the bravery to make a new friend in the playground. It is then that we (and they) recognise that they didn’t need the costume at all to ‘dream with their eyes open’… they had these traits within them all along.

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