Term 4 Week 3
As is typical of Term 4 we have had an event-filled first few weeks of term focusing on farewelling our 2019 Valedictorians. It is certainly an emotional time, and we can be reflective of the words made famous by William Shakespeare that “parting is such sweet sorrow”.
We are sad to farewell our Year 12 students, after we have watched them grow, achieve and overcome challenges, but we are also hopeful and optimistic about the next time we meet. We look forward to hearing how their journeys have continued, and how the characteristics and strengths they have developed during their time in the school have enabled them to continue to live out our school's purpose in their contributions as outstanding citizens.
2019 has been especially significant given this is the first time the School has had a co-educational cohort complete their schooling, marking the culmination of what was an exciting new step in our history. To say this has been a success would be an understatement and it was certainly clear by observing our students on their final day, how much the School has had an impact on their lives. This outcome would not have been achieved had it not been for a number of brave and courageous young women taking a leap and choosing to be part of our community. Nor would it have been a success without a group of young men being so welcoming, encouraging and caring of the newest members of our community and being outstanding custodians of what is so special about our school.
We were privileged to be joined by Old Guildfordian Raleigh Finlayson (Sc 89-95) as our guest speaker on the night of our Valedictory Eve celebrations. Raleigh provided key messages relevant for our students embarking on the next stage of their journey. One of his most important messages was the need to commit to remaining humble as Old Guildfordians and to always make an effort to acknowledge and thank all those people who do the small things that make our schools or organisations what they are.
As our Year 12’s prepare to transition out of regular day-to-day school, many will probably shift their focus solely on examination revision for the next few weeks. Given the significance of the all-important ATAR in our students' minds, it is probably an opportune time to consider some of the public debate and emerging data that now exists about the career and tertiary landscape our Valedictorians will need to navigate. Given the current context of the educational setting in the state and nation, the School has and will continue to strive for its best in enabling all students to maximise their ATAR performance, however it is important to consider where the landscape is headed.
Many students and schools consider ‘a good ATAR’ to be the dominant goal of senior years schooling, often at the expense of students' real interests, extra-curricular activities and part-time employment (which helps develop many important real world skills). However, data from a recently published report from both the Grattan and the Mitchell Institutes suggests that now only 30% of young people will end up using their ATAR for tertiary admissions, yet it remains the dominant narrative in education and community forums. Also recent longitudinal survey data suggests that the ‘typical’ pathway from school to work is beginning to change; only 60% of students will transition from school, to higher education, then to work, while 25% of students undertake small amounts of post-school training before entering work through apprenticeship and trainee pathways.
An interesting piece to the discussion, and probably a more important one, is not simply to criticise the ATAR but to explore what other options may be available that give students a better way to demonstrate, and also universities a better way to understand, what an individual student’s true competencies and capabilities are. An emerging methodology being applied by many individual universities (including institutions such as Harvard) and tertiary systems internationally, as well as in Australia (e.g. Australian National University) is the concept of a ‘learner profile’. Although a developing concept, learner profiles essentially aim to include elements of academic achievement based on valid assessment, alongside credentials which profile a person’s capabilities and qualities. An example of this is ANU’s admission, requiring students to provide validated attainment and demonstration of skills in three of seven areas including community engagement, inclusion and awareness of diversity, communication, leadership, personal responsibility, teamwork and creative and critical thinking, as demonstrated and validated across a range of community, sport, employment and academic activities.
Despite there being an emerging level of support for change from multiple sources in the education sector, I think our school should be confident that we are in an excellent position to allow students to be able to demonstrate a wide range of competencies and provide a rich range of activities that could enable them to better showcase their full range of capabilities.
This past weekend two young GGS female soccer players, Tatem Spencer and Ursilla Bell, competed in the Bunbury Cup, with their team from Perth Soccer Club and won! The Bunbury Cup is hosted by Country Coastal Junior Soccer Association with 80 teams in a 2 day carnival on 15 pitches.
Year 9 student Ryan Buckeridge (9Wb) will feature in Opera at Twilight next month at Stirk Park and Hyde Park. Full details are available here.
Hannah Rutley (9SG) and Georgina Abbott (9SG) made the State 16 and under Polocrosse team. They will be travelling to Ballarat NSW at the end of March.
Oliver Cocliffe (9Wb) has been moved out of the WAFL umpire development squad and promoted as the youngest umpire to the Senior List of WAFL Umpires.
Thomas Bolt (8Fr) placed 4th in the state finals for the Merino Sheep Judging Junior Championship, missing out on 3rd place by only points. It comprised of both a sheep judging and a public speaking element.
Senior School students Charlize Gosnell (12Fr) and Matilda Herman-Ralph (8He) are both performing in the Marloo Theatre's production of Matilda. Charlize is in the cast and Matilda is playing in the band. Further information is available here.