In just over a week our senior students will sit their HSC exams, bringing 13 years of schooling to an end for our Year 12s.
Over the past decade or so, the HSC has grown and mutated into something that it was never really intended to be. What started as a qualification to give prospective employers and universities the chance to see what students were good at and what they had achieved, has now become a statistical juggernaut of marks, ranks and comparisons.
It is sad that so many students and parents, and schools as a result, have bought into the idea that a student’s HSC mark is the most important thing they can do, and will entirely determine their future.
Thankfully, at PCS we have worked hard over the past few years to ensure that we don’t think that way.
Is the HSC important? Yes, of course it is. We pride ourselves on being able to provide the best possible opportunities for our students when it comes to accessing the HSC. But HSC marks are not the be-all-and-end-all of a young person’s life!
Simply completing the HSC is a big achievement, and we constantly reinforce to students that doing their best is the most important thing. After all, if they can work hard and do their best over the two years it takes to complete the HSC, then they are showing prospective employers and universities what they’re good at and what they have achieved… exactly what the HSC was designed to do in the first place!
We love seeing our students complete major works that they can keep forever and be proud of. We love hearing our students talk about ideas and issues that they have been introduced to in the classroom. We love seeing our students using their problem solving skills, or group work skills, or leadership skills when they are workplace. We love talking to employers and universities who tell us that not only do students from our school work hard, but they are people of good character who make a difference.
The next month is a significant time for our senior students – but significant because they are going to accomplish something that not everyone does, because they are seeing a massive commitment through to the end, because finishing their HSC will give them the confidence to go out and take on new and exciting challenges in their life.
Best of luck seniors – do your best, work hard, and be proud of all you have achieved.
Mr Ballantyne