Dear Wycherley Family,
It is after a lapse of 2 years that we our having the prize giving and Graduation at WIS. The past two years has been the most difficult years for us as educators, as we had to adapt to new ways and methods to have an uninterrupted education for our children. I would like to thank my staff for embracing all challenges and overcoming all obstacles to give their best to the children. I am sure we may have had our short falls but the world was not ready for this situation and I believe we adapted very fast and as school we can be proud of what we achieved.
It gives me great pleasure to share this message as your Principal. The Prize day along with the Graduation is a very significant day for Wycherley as it is the culmination of ones schooling career and the day we recognize high achievers. I am indeed glad to have Mr. Brain Selvanayagam a past student of WIS to be the chief guest at our graduation as we recognize our high achievers.
Mr. Selvanayagam is a Director of Loops Creative(pvt) ltd which is a leading advertising agency in Sri Lanka working with many leading brands and fortune 500 companies. Loops has operations in Australia, Malaysia, Japan and Qatar. Brian is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK), Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK), Fellow Member of the Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka and Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. (UK). He is the Past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka and was a member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (U.K.)
He is presently also an Independent Non Executive of Director of Shaw Wallace Investments PLC, Galle Face Capital Partners PLC and Renuka Agri Foods PLC. He is also the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Colombo West, which established Interact Club of Wycherley International school.
He counts over 20 years of work experience in fields covering auditing, banking and financial services, property development and education. He is also a Justice of the Peace.
Most importantly he is a past student of Wycherley International, a senior prefect and has represented the school in Cricket, Badminton and Basketball. And I have personally known Brian for over 20 years as a friend and we were both in the CIM Board.
Today’s prize winners can be extra proud about their achievements as they have gone beyond and risen above even during these difficult times.
In the past year we saw many great achievements, improvements and new introductions in Academics as well as Sports and extra-curricular activities at WIS.
In the June 2021 A/L examinations we had Ravidren Priyamwatha achieving 5 A stars and we had 4 students achieving 4 A stars with an excellent pass rate of all students.
In the June 2021 OL exam we had Sasindu Virajith Kaluarachchi and Mohamed Hakem Haja Mohideen achieving 9A stars and we had 3 other students achieving 8 A stars with an excellent overall pass rate of all students.
In April 2022 our children sat for the lower secondary Cambridge checkpoint exams and the results will be out tomorrow, In October our children will be sitting for the Primary checkpoint examinations.
For the 2021 October/November Cambridge Exam series, Wycherley International school, Colombo was chosen by Cambridge International as the ONLY school in Sri Lanka to hold exams for the private candidates. This was a clear indication of the trust that we have built with Cambridge.
In the field of sport, we had some significant achievements.
Oshini Gunawardena our little chess champion made us all proud in being crowned the National Champion for under 10 open, beating all the boys and girls in that age group, U16 Girls Equal Champion and U18 girls 2nd runner up in the National Youth Chess Championships in 2022. And she is only 9 years old.
Our National Swimmer Anusara Abeygoonawardena won all 4 events at the National age group Championship, Champion in all 3 events at the Inter International Swimming meet and also established a Sri Lankan record in the 800m Freestyle.
The Quiz team of WIS became the champions of the all Island Quiz completion, “intellect”
Sachini Kodikara was awarded the Young Sportswoman of the Year organized by WIM and National Youth Services Council. She was also awarded the President Bharat Rathna Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Award for her exemplary leadership and selfless acts of time and dedication for promoting the sustainable development goals.
We had 20 of our children trained by a British Council team in making films and the latest club to be formed at WIS is the Film club.
We have also introduced many new clubs and societies that cater to the many interest of our children. I hope that all parents will encourage your child to actively participate in these sports and extra-curricular and co-curricular activities of our school.
I firmly believe that academics will train and sharpen the brains of our students, but in order to tune their hearts we need our children to actively participate in sports and extra-curricular activities.
For the 1st time in the history of Wycherley we also awarded Sports Colors and Sports Merits for children who have excelled in sports.
I would like to give a small message to the parents! I think all our children are like precious gem stones. Some are diamonds, some like Ruby’s others may be like Sapphire’s. They are each talented in their own ways. Some may excel in academics, others in sports and some in music, dancing or drama. This does not mean that one is more or less talented than the other. Now the challenge for us as parents is to accept the gem you have and appreciate it.
If you have a ruby but want a sapphire or you have a sapphire and wish you had a diamond and however much you burn, cut or sharpen a ruby it will not become a sapphire nor will a sapphire become a diamond. If we push it too far we may even lose the value of the stone. So my dear parents, please don’t live your dreams through your children, let them have their own. However, my message to the children is that when you have the opportunity to experience, everything, please do that. Also remember that your parents have sacrificed much to give you all these opportunities so make sure you make the best of all that, and be that unique gem stone and shine as bright as you can.
We also had some of the students of our graduating batches 19/20 and 20/21 present with us to accept their certificates as Covid prevented us from having the graduation ceremonies in the past 2 years. We did not plan to have them here initially, but a young man in one of these batches came to my office 2 weeks ago and made a speech as to how much he loves school and he will regret for the rest of his life that he does not have a picture of him graduating from WIS. He went onto say that his 2 older siblings have the pictures on the wall and this year his youngest sibling would graduate and her picture will also be on the wall and only his picture would be missing. His love for the school and conviction was so strong. And I am happy that I decided to invite these two batches today.
To the 21/22 batch of Akshvin and Kaori the past year was indeed an eventful one. You did not allow the pandemic or the crisis in our country stop you. I am glad and proud to see what you achieved in the past year. Well done to all of you. As you leave the gates of Wycherley and move into the real world, I must tell you that it will always not be fair and sometimes it may be very cruel. You will not have the parents and the teachers to always lovingly guide you, but remember to always stand for the truth and always believe in yourself. Thank you for the beautiful memories that you gave me even in this short period.
To the 3 graduating batches, don’t ask what the school can give you, but ask what you can give to your alma mater.
To all the prize winners and the award winners, congratulations and well done. Keep up the great work that you have been doing. To the children who are present here that have not come up on stage today, remember that there is always a chance for you to do it next year. So start planning now and have a dream to achieve that by the next prize giving.
I am indeed thankful, to all the support teams, of our school, like the Operations, Finance, Marketing, Admissions and IT for the support given during this time. I like to thank my Vice Principal Mrs. Nelum Fernando and all the sectional heads for the great team work that made us pull through this difficult period. To all the teachers for making your home the classroom during the online teaching. To the support staff at WIS who works behind the screen and does a thankless job. Thank you to all of you. I would also like to remember all the family members linked to WIS that may have left this earthly life during the past year due to Covid, age or any other ailment, may their souls rest in peace.
I like to thank my Chairman Dr. Alwis and the board of directors for placing the trust and handing me this position of Principal 12 months ago. I like to thank the parents for placing the trust and challenging me in bringing out the best of your most treasured gift – your child. I like to thank the children for the unconditional love that you give and I urge you to challenge me to bring out the best in all of you.
We will commence the new academic year on the 16th of August 2022. In September we plan to introduce many more sports and extra-curricular activities and also offer extra after school classes for children that need some extra academic help. I firmly believe that in humans the best comes out when we hit rock bottom. And today Sri Lanka is in this position, therefore I firmly believe that the best will come out of this, and we will rise above and become more resilient and strong in the coming months and years.
It was exactly 12 months ago that the Board of Directors placed their faith in me in leading WIS Colombo, it has indeed been an interesting and challenging experience for me. I promise that I will do my best and utmost to make WIS the best and the most sought after International School in Sri Lanka.
Thank you and stay safe.
Dayan D. L. Fernando