This year I had the great honour of introducing the High Achievers of the 2019 HSC to the College. Twenty eight students from our 2019 cohort achieved an ATAR above 90 or a place in the state in one of their subjects. Their achievements were celebrated at our annual High Achievers assembly. They are a conscientious, intelligent, enthusiastic and yet humble group of students. As a college community, we are so proud of their achievements. After the assembly, they shared their expertise and advice with our current 2020 HSC cohort. They were realistic, inspirational, gentle and supportive in their guidance. They provided practical tips about study, relaxation and life balance. A common message amongst the high achievers was the importance of being intrinsically motivated – valuing learning and improvement rather than focusing solely on marks and ranks. They also emphasised the value of taking the time to discover their own independent learning style.
Lessons from our College Dux – Grace Logue
This year our College Dux was Grace Logue. I have known Grace since she was in Year 7. She is and always has been conscientious, practical, friendly and self-motivated. Her clear ideas were reflected in her College address. She spoke about the inevitable stress that comes with the HSC:
“For most people, Year 12 is their first experience with stress. The kind of stress that only comes from mounting expectations from your teachers, parents and even the strangers your grandparents have been telling about you. But most of all, the expectations you put on yourself.”
Grace also spoke about the importance of balance. In particular, she focused on the support of her family.
“Over the year, I realised I wasn’t just working to meet the standards I set for myself, but also to repay my family for their unyielding support of me.”
“When you spend all your time studying, sometimes you need to think about what you would regret more, losing a mark or two on the next exam, or spending time with the people that keep you sane and happy. It’s important not to lose track of what’s important in life.”
Making the most of school life
Grace always showed deep respect for the knowledge and experience of her teachers. Her teachers speak of her very highly. The value she placed on her time at school is also reflected in Grace’s address to the College:
“As for your teachers, utilise their knowledge in any way you can.”
“I learned to be proactive to make the most out of my time at the College. Don’t hesitate if you want to join the debating club or social justice. Push yourself and your teachers so that you get the best of your education. And, of course, join in school events like the trivia night.”
As well as being our Dux of the College, Grace was also the recipient of the Growth Award. This is a major award that tracks the growth of student achievement in Year 12 across all their assessment tasks. To me, this affirms the ethos of the College that it is personal growth that matters above all. Grace’s growth mindset was reflected in the conclusion of her speech:
“Hard work is always the key to success, regardless of the path you decide to take. In the end, the correlation between hard work and results is undeniable. Your teachers can guide you up the mountain, your family can call out support, but ultimately you’re the one who needs to put in the effort and climb to the peak.”
Teaching and Learning Coordinator