Acting Deputy Principal and Senior School Report
October 29, 2021
by Acting Deputy Principal and Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum
On Wednesday of last week we marked the last day of classes for our Year 12s. I trust it was a really positive day for each student. While we were restricted in what we could do, I am grateful to the many staff and students who gave a large amount of their time to make this day much more significant than it is in a normal year. I commend the Year 12s on the positive way they conducted themselves on this emotional and significant occasion.
Wednesday of this week saw the commencement of the Year 12 written exams with English. The Year 12 exams will run through until November 17 with students trying to give the best account of themselves. We wish them well. We have been delighted to see them coming in to work with their teachers and each other through this period and encourage them to keep doing whatever will help them achieve their best. With the promised lifting of many restrictions, we are hoping to hold some sort of function for these students and their parents after November 24.
Our Year 7s through to Year 11 could learn much from watching the Year 12s going through exams. Even though they enjoy each other’s company and are coming into school when it is not compulsory, there is an air of seriousness about them as well. While students are not defined entirely by their ATAR, having a higher score creates more opportunities than a lower one. Those who tend to be happiest at the end of their school lives are the ones who have had the courage and discipline to do something close to their best academically over a number of years. As with all pursuits, those who have strived for personal improvement rather than trying to beat their peers have tended to improve the most and score the most highly. (Those just trying to beat peers can often throw in the towel if they lose a couple of times in succession.)
Our Year 11 exams run from November 5 to 12, with the Headstart program running from November 15 to 23. During Headstart, content will be covered for Year 12 2022 subjects, and work will be set for the holiday period. This enables us to get through the Year 12 courses in a timely manner, as this work is assessed but not re-taught in 2022. Our Year 7 to 10 exams run from November 29 to December 3. This gives students the opportunity to improve knowledge and skills developed this year, and it also allows them the opportunity to develop their exam preparation and exam sitting skills prior to being in Year 12.
It has been good for teachers and good for students to return to face-to-face learning. We are not made to do our interactions through a computer screen. Please be aware of how much screen time your son is still having now. Encourage his interactions with his friends to be face-to-face, it is too easy for some students to allow their comfort zone to be decreased so much that they feel anxious meeting peers in large groups.
For those who have a long weekend, enjoy the time with family. Don’t lose your shirt on the Melbourne Cup, but do enjoy the race.
Mr Hamish McCrum