Posted on September 4, 2017
A guest introduction from Ms Oriana Constable, Head of Girls’ Middle School and Girls’ Education.
Throughout our school there are many examples of students achieving excellence across a range of areas. Just this week we have seen students excelling as they competed at World Championships in Cycling, in the Maths Talent Quest competitions and showcasing their work through productions and art exhibitions. The commitment, persistence and skill demonstrated by students across areas such as performance, leadership, academic and sporting achievements constantly impresses me. To see students strive towards a goal and achieve it is a joy to watch and be a part of.
On Saturday night we were reminded of some of the truly tremendous achievements of our Alumni at the launch of our ‘Avenue of Excellence’. It was terrific to see past students, current and past families and staff celebrating the remarkable achievements of our 10 inductees. The achievements of our inductees were both varied and significant for many different reasons. Throughout the evening it struck me that in most cases, they had not set out to be extraordinary but rather their achievements were the result of following their passion and interests, working hard and showing great determination and commitment. It is evident that each person had a belief in the importance of their work and had given their all to achieve their goals. Our inductees shared memories of their times at school and spoke very fondly (and with great humour) about their time at Tintern. As I have come to expect from members of our Alumni they were grounded and certainly very humbled by the acknowledgements they were receiving.
As a community, there is a great deal to take away from celebrating individual excellences in a chosen endeavour and we are enormously proud of the contributions made to society by our Alumni. I am truly amazed by their achievements, impacts and contributions. However, it is also important that we acknowledge excellence as not simply being the best at something but doing your best; doing your best in your approach to learning, in your application to tasks and in the relationships you build along the way. Doing your best is something we can see every day in our school.
Our students are always encouraged to strive towards achieving their own personal best. Through focusing on what is their ‘own best’, students benefit positively as they compete with themselves rather than competing with others. If girls and boys can set their expectations of success based on their previous academic (or sporting or musical) personal best they will benefit positively and are more likely to motivate themselves by attempting to beat their ‘PB’. The thought of competition can be very motivating and energising for students but can be counterproductive and dispiriting if they are making excessive comparisons with others. Setting personal academic goals with students that work towards achievement of an academic standard in a given subject can help set out achievable steps, actions, attributes and approaches to learning that will help students achieve and be the best they can be.
Tintern is an environment in which we are constantly learning. Not only students in their classrooms and co-curricular involvements but also teachers taking part in professional learning, professional growth partnerships and participation in conferences, research and graduate studies. Learning is constantly evolving and changing but what remains consistent is our expectation that students strive for personal excellence. This will assist not only in achieving positive academic outcomes but also towards their development more broadly; the relationships they build, the attitude with which they approach tasks and activities, their resilience and willingness to take on challenges and see challenges as an opportunity for personal growth and development. H. Jackson Brown Jr said, “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today” and this is the approach I encourage all students to adopt as they approach their learning, particularly our senior students as they continue their preparation for end of year VCE, IB and subject assessments.
From the Principal Video Blog
Please view the Video Blog below from our Principal, Mr Bradley Fry.