A number of years ago at a principal’s network meeting, I conducted an informal survey of other school leaders on the topic of the purpose of schools. I was interested to know how they thought about the purpose of schools and the balance between achieving educational outcomes and pastoral care and wellbeing programs. Can a school be excellent in the academic sense and in providing excellent pastoral care and wellbeing structures? I heard and interesting range of responses. In the past, schools were primarily focussed on delivering education, however, over time this has shifted where schools are expected to meet and curriculum requirements and support the wellbeing of all members of their community. This is a good change, although more and more are expected of schools and their staff.
Personally, I believe that it is possible for all our students to achieve ‘personal bests’ in their learning and receive excellent pastoral care as part of a broader school wellbeing framework. I believe that progressing in learning and growing in wellbeing are two sides of the one coin and that schools must seek to achieve both. In this and next two newsletters I would like to speak about this topic. Firstly, to recognise the outstanding results our students have been gaining in the HSC at a range of levels. Next newsletter, I want to focus on our progress in the development of a distinctively biblical wellbeing framework. Finally, I want to share on some new strategies we have implemented to help teachers move students forward in their learning.
I would like to extend my congratulations to the students and families of Year 12 2020. Despite the challenges of last year, this cohort received most outstanding results across all levels. Here are some of the highlights of this cohort’s great work:
For our high achieving HSC students, 2020 was our best set of records in the school’s history (following 2019 as the previous best):
*Largest proportion of students achieving marks at or over 90% (12% of all results)
*Largest number of students receiving achieving and ATAR position over 90
*Our largest number of major projects (in CAPA and TAS) shortlisted for HSC showcases.
For our students achieving in the middle of our HSC cohort:
*Average marks in English, Maths, CAPA, HSIE, PDHPE, Science TAS faculties were all above state means and/or showing an upward trend on previous years.
For our students achieving in the lower section of the cohort:
*The proportion of students achieving in the lowest 2 bands (a result below 60%) has continue to decrease and is well below state averages.
In summary, these results for the cohort can be considered the best ever! Results are positive in each of the high, middle and low sections. Our school has experienced a significant positive shift in the number of Band 6 results over the past 3 years. We have seen consistently strong results for Creative Arts and PDHPE students and notable improvement in TAS and Science courses.
We are consistently seeking to improve our students’ learning outcomes and so it is encouraging that we are also seeing improvement in the targeted areas in the school.
So, in summary we are most excited by the outstanding results from 2020. I would like to thank the teachers for their way they challenged and supported their students throughout their school journey (not just the last two years).
It is also important to acknowledge that every year group is different. So, for the class of 2021, it is important that each individual strives to grow in their learning, making wise decisions in their studies. We are committed to seeing every one of our students achieving at their own personal best, no matter whether this is in the high, middle or lower bands of academic achievement. This is part of our mission in transforming lives by the proclamation of the Gospel and delivery of an excellent Christian education, accessible to the whole community.
In terms of what is happening most recently around school, we have had a most encouraging level of engagement between staff and parents/carers though the Primary Information Night and the High School Meet the Teacher evenings. While COVID prevents us from holding these onsite and in person, these events were well attended. While we noted the loss of the in-person connection, the online flexibility provided many positives. As the school moves further into the COVID-normal of 2021 we are continuing to evaluate the pros and cons of using technology to connect with our families.
Rehearsals for our production of the musical ‘Matilda’ have commenced and the lead roles have been announced. While young, we have a very talented cast. Our staff production team are extremely committed, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the result of a great deal of work coming together in the performances scheduled for Term 3. COVID safe rehearsals mean adjusting and this includes the introductory talk given to parents by our producer, Miss Morphett. Parents of cast members will have received an email with the introductory talk link. I ask all parents of cast members to view this video and contact Miss Morphett should you have any questions.
Next newsletter I will write on our progress of reviewing wellbeing at Carey with an update on all the things that will be packed into this busy school community.
In his service,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.