From the Principal

Academic Success

We all want to be successful and we all want our children to be successful, and education is one of the keys to success.

The quote attributed to Nelson Mandela is a tribute to the power of education to change the world for individuals and society:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.”

There have been multiple research papers written on what conditions lead to academic success. The general consensus is that the key indicators are:

  • Literacy in the home;
  • Strong emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy;
  • High expectations and the belief that all students can succeed at high levels;
  • High teacher quality and caring staff;
  • Regular teacher-parent communication;
  • The positive view towards academic achievement of the student body.  

Parent attitude, school culture, teacher capacity and student attitude make a positive difference!

Recently there have been a number of reports that show that school culture, and in particular the attitude of classmates to education, play a significant role in achieving academic success.

“A unique study released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examines achievement in more precise ways than has been possible in previous analyses – and it finds that students’ peers have a stronger effect on their achievement than the qualifications of their teachers or the size of their classes.”  Peer Power: Students’ Classmates Have Greater Effect Than Other Factors on Academic Success

Putting it simply, after taking into account the impact of a positive parental attitude to education and the quality and professionalism of teachers, it is the quality of the students you sit with and work with in class that make a significant difference in your capacity to succeed at school. Schools where students feel safe and supported, where learning is valued and aspiration supported will do better than the same students in less supportive environments.

“Improvements in student achievement will happen in schools with positive and professional cultures that reflect a positive school climate. Strong school cultures have better motivated teachers. Highly motivated teachers have greater success in terms of student performance and student outcomes.” The effects of school culture and climate on student achievement.

Who you sit next to in class and their behaviour and attitude to success will have an impact on your chances of success.

We know that the Higher School certificate and ATAR systems are imperfect. We know that the COVID pandemic is having an impact on teaching and learning, but we also know that there are some common factors in achieving academic success that transcend circumstance and that is what we will continue to focus on.

We cannot predict the long-term economic and social impact of the virus. What we will do is make sure that our students have the learning environment and support that gives them the best chances of post-school success, no matter what circumstances they face.

Our graduating classes not only achieve excellent results when compared with the best schools in the state, but also in terms of university entrance and university study success.

This is our core business and we welcome students and families who share our desire to create great students, citizens and leaders.

Terry Muldoon
School Principal
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