[Head of School Message] CONGRATULATIONS YEAR 12

The last IB exam was held today so congratulations to all of our Year 12 students who have completed their final HSC and IB exams. I am sure that this is a huge relief for the Year 12 students and their families.

I hope our Year 12 students can now find time to enjoy a well deserved break as they wait to receive their HSC results in December and their IB results in January. Irrespective of the results they receive we are very proud of them as they have been a great group of students who have worked really hard and made excellent contributions to AISHK.

We need to ensure that as a community we place the final results the students receive into perspective. Although the final result is a culmination of 13 years of formal school it doesn’t define a student as being either a success or a failure. An ATAR score does not determine future success or failure. Rather an ATAR is one way to gain entry into a preferred course. Interestingly in 2018 in Australia only 37% of students were accepted into university sole based on a Year 12 ATAR score.

One of the advantages of being a school graduate in this day and age is that there are a myriad of different ways for students to achieve their goals. Not achieving the initial ATAR you need to gain entry into a course does not mean that you have to completely close the door on that option- there may be a different, sometimes more circuitous way to achieve the goal. Students have so many choices now.

More important than getting a high ATAR is knowing what it is that a student may wish to do and what ultimately will make them happy. There is no point in starting a course just because a student gets the ATAR to do the course, if they have absolutely no interest. As parents we often gain huge personal satisfaction by being able to boast about the course our child has gotten into. Really it would be much better to be able to say that our child got into a course that they really want to do and are excited about.

At this time of year in Australia as results are released there is much media coverage of school results and many comparisons are made between schools. This information is then summarised in league tables. Yet these league tables measure only one aspect of 13 years of schooling and unfortunately they summarise 13 years of growth, development and effort into a single mark. This mark does not take into consideration whether the student is a kind considerate person, their skills and competence in any other area outside academics, their contribution to the community, their capacity to be a good friend, their ability to persevere and be resilient or how happy they are. In my opinion all of these personal qualities are the result of 13 years of experiences in school and are far greater indicators of future success.

So when our children reach the age to graduate from school rather than just judging their success and the value of 13 years of schooling on just their ATAR score alone ask yourself; am I proud of the person my child has become, do they think positively about themselves, are they a well rounded person, are they independent enough to go out on their own, can they cope with the challenges life might throw at them, are they a kind and considerate friend and can they get along well with others. If you can answer yes to most of these questions then these are the greatest indicators of future success; you have done your job, and so have we!

Mark Hemphill | Head of School