From the Principal

Over the last four weeks, it has been my pleasure to sign many certificates of graduation from our various School sections, and to sight even more. All these are marking very significant stages in the journeys of our young men and women. In fact, if we hark back to our own time at school, we all remember these transitions from section to section as significant markers in our school journey, forming the borders in our memories of our own schooling.

Of course the final transition is the ‘Year 12 to beyond’ journey. With Year 12 Victorian Certificate of Education results this Friday, we are preparing to celebrate what we know have been impressive efforts by all our students and I’m sure will yield results reflecting them. Our students have applied themselves most impressively this year. However, at this time, my thoughts are also with our International Baccalaureate students, who are required to wait until early January for their results to be released – an exercise in patience!

With the approach of our VCE results, many Year 12 families will be understandably on the edge of their seats. It is a challenging time, sometimes fuelling a belief that these results are the be all and end all. While there is no doubt that striving for personal best must be the goal of every student (not just their academic studies), the reality is that the ATAR is really only significant and relevant for a short period. Once initial choices are made and workplace or further education paths established, it is rare that the ATAR is ever mentioned again!

This is not to downgrade the importance of the ATAR. A ‘best effort’ result will ensure the maximum opportunities are open for any given student. However, there is no doubt its usefulness has a shelf life and that there are a great many varied pathways that are established later in life, often as alternate qualifications, post-graduate degrees, or non-university choices. There are also many, many stories of young men and women who either left school early, or were unable to perform at their best at school, who have been very successful in business, life, academia or professions, and live influential and fulfilled lives. Just ask me about my friend Dr Josh Collingwood MD, who left school at the end of Year 10 to be a professional cyclist and is today practising as a doctor specialising in rehabilitation in a major Melbourne hospital!

If your child is waiting for results this Friday, it is a time of great uncertainty and oppression for many. They will be more keyed up than they show and the result is likely to be very important to them for a variety of reasons, some of which are hard for us older people to understand. It will help to ensure they understand that you love them and, above all, you appreciate that their results are what they do, not what they are and that whatever the result, they will have the capacity for their future to be in their control if they want it to be.

For our non-Year 12 families, I thank you and your child/ren for your contributions to our community over the course of this year and I look forward to seeing you early next year, particularly at the Principal’s hosted Parent Drinks events on Thursday 15 February at 3:30-5:00 pm (for ELC and both Junior Schools’ parents), and Wednesday 7 March at 6:00-7:30 pm (for all secondary families).

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, a restful and enjoyable holiday and a very Happy New Year!

Factis non verbis,

Brad Fry



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