Senior School Report – September 20, 2019

September 18, 2019

Congratulations to our Senior Leaders and Award winners, as acknowledged at the Leadership Transfer Assembly on Tuesday.  Jack Owen (College Captain 2012) returned and spoke superbly to the boys about not wasting their time on social media or in the pursuit of material items.  Aidan Hanrahan, our current Captain spoke very eloquently, and while he brazenly ignored his three minute time limit, it did not feel like a long speech.  On reflection it occurred to me that Jack Owen and Aidan Hanrahan had very different strengths and personalities, and yet they have both been excellent School Captains.  I think we are very lucky at St Pats that this diversity exists.  It also serves as a reminder to our new leaders that they don’t need to try to be somebody else, but to try to be the best versions of themselves.  We thank our outgoing Student Council for their fine contribution and wish the new Council every success.

The end of term has been predictably busy.  Students from Years 10 to 12 often finish with a flurry of assessment tasks.  The Year 12 SATs that tend to be due in these last two weeks are the culmination of three terms of work.  They cannot be done in a couple of weeks.  The high quality of many of the submissions are evidence of the hours of dedication and commitment.  Well done on getting these finished and submitted.

Unit 3/4 (Year 12 subject) practice exams take place in the second week of the holiday break, on Tuesday October 1, Wednesday October 2 and Thursday October 3 in the Pavilion.  All students doing a scored VCE are required to attend to complete trial exams in their subjects including Year 11s doing a scored 3/4.  Preparing for, completing, and going over practice exams is the best way to improve your results.  Some students will complete as many as 30 for each subject, but for mere mortals completing 10 of each exam you have to do, and then going over them properly, improves ability and outcomes enormously.

VTAC timely applications close at 5pm on September 30, and the cost is $39.  This date falls in the holidays.  We encouraged students to complete applications before the holidays so that this date is not missed, but it is worth checking that this has been done.  Course preferences can be changed after this date, (but be mindful that some courses require interviews / folios and might not let you change dates right up until December).  VTAC applications are completed online.  After September 30, the cost goes to $113. and then $148 if you miss the next cut-off.  All Year 12 students going for an ATAR are encouraged to make an application for a Tertiary place, even if just as insurance against the plans they have for 2020/2021 falling through.

Hopefully the September holidays will provide some warmer weather, a little bit of sunshine, and a chance to refresh and renew our energies for Term 4.  While it is important to recharge, it is equally important to not have a complete break from study.  Our Year 12s (and Year 11s with a 3/4 Study) need to do plenty of work as when they return they only have 2.5 weeks of classes and exams start a week after that.  If trying to guide students at home, please be aware that it is best to do some work almost every day rather than attempt to do massive amounts all in a few days – more effective in what you retain per hour of study, and easier to accumulate more hours spent studying.  Getting good food and sleep are also important.  We look forward to seeing all students back safe and ready for Term 4.