In my role at PCS I often get asked what students should be aiming for when they complete their HSC. Essentially, what is education all about? Well, here’s my roundabout answer…
As I’m sitting in the school library writing this article, my Senior Multimedia class is in the Hall doing their final HSC exam. It has been a long road from the beginning of the course until now, just as it has been for every subject.
I started to reflect on the year I have had with this class and realised that it has definitely been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my time at PCS.
Some members of the class have been with me since their Junior Multimedia days when I first started teaching the course back in 2019. It’s fair to say that all of us have learned a lot since then, and it’s been amazing to see just how far their skills have developed over the years.
I have had to learn alongside them to get my head around new technology, and enjoyed hearing their ideas and then trying to turn them into a digital reality.
We have laughed a lot, started a quote wall, put together new computers, told too many tall tales and generally just enjoyed spending time together as a class.
However, my favourite thing and the main thing that has made it so rewarding, has been the attitude of the students towards their work.
For years and years I have spoken and written about how the HSC is about more than just some marks at the end of some exams – and this class has truly embodied that.
Don’t get me wrong, they worked incredibly hard on their projects and prepped well for the exam, but they did this because they had pride in their work, not because they were chasing a mark.
They worked together and openly shared ideas, skills, tips and tricks, rather than competing against each other and worrying about marks and rankings.
They organised after school work sessions where they put so many hours into their projects, but also got to know each other better and brought in food for each other.
They pushed themselves to the limits to finish their projects, and learned what they’re capable of and how to meet a looming deadline.
They had their moments of stress and despair, but they bounced back, got their work done and have been pretty relaxed overall. This afternoon I spent time revising with them before the exam and I have rarely seen a more relaxed group of students heading into a “scary HSC exam that everyone must be scared of!!!”
More than ever before I have genuinely seen a group of students who have approached the HSC as just a series of assessments and exams that allow to show what they can do, and not as something that is stressful and will define the rest of their lives.
They have learned how to manage their time, collaborate with others, to always do their best work, to learn new skills, and most importantly how to have fun and enjoy spending time with people no matter what situation you are in.
These are the qualities I want all our students to learn about at PCS, and I can see it happening everyday.
As the students headed into their exam I wasn’t worried at all – I knew that no matter what mark they end up with, they have learned a lot and will be armed with skills and experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives… and that’s what education is all about.