Today signals the end of the first semester. For Year 12 VCE students, this means that they are half way through their final year of school. This should be a time of reflection for our students to consider how they have approached their studies and their involvement at the school. Our students are more than capable of both studying and being involved and in many respects it is important that they continue to be involved in the wider school. Life is about balance and this is especially so for the senior students.
Today the whole school will be participating in the House Chorals Competition. The students have been working towards this all term and it has demonstrated the commitment and collaboration of our students. The student leaders have been instrumental in ensuring their houses are ready for the massed singing, the special choir and the instrumental performances. Concurrently, the students have also been working on their house art designs. The designs are inspired by the songs they have chosen for their House; the quality of the artwork is outstanding. The unity of purpose of our students reaffirms our faith in the ability of our students to collaborate and work to achieve a common goal. Activities such as the House Chorals adds to the richness of the school culture and contributes to making our school an exemplary learning environment.
Next week every student undertaking a VCE Unit 3&4 subject will be sitting the General Achievement Test (GAT). The GAT is an important part of the assessment process for the year. Every student should put in the effort to do their best on the GAT as our results as a school, and as individuals, are used in the statistical moderation process by VCAA at the end of the year. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking the GAT seriously.
One of our responsibilities as a school is to be focussed on the improvement of teaching and learning. Data is an important part of informing our decisions on the progress of both individuals and year levels.
It is important that we consider options for tracking student progress and find measures that are relatable. With this aim in mind, the Year 10 students will be sitting the Edutest exam on 15 June. Two years ago, as Year 8 students, the students sat the entrance exam. The battery of tests that we will undertake are the same six, at a higher level, that they sat two years ago. The advantage of this is that we will have data on each student that directly correlates. This will assist us in improving our teaching and learning and assisting individual students. This is an important consideration in a high performing school.
This is considered as a positive data gathering process and will not affect your position at the school. This is about informing both individual students and the school as to the progress so far for our Year 10 students and will assist us in better preparing all students for the VCE.
It is also the time of the year that the selection process takes place for next year. After the GAT has been completed, over 200 students from other schools will be sitting the entry exam for Year 10 and Year 11 in 2018. This year we have nearly 240 students vying for the 25 new places in Year 10 available in 2018. And then on Saturday the entrance exam for Year 9 entry will take place at the Royal Exhibition Buildings. Pleasingly the number of students choosing SCHS as their first preference has increased; making us their school of choice. While this process has a considerable period of time to play out, the early indicators are that Suzanne Cory High School is being viewed more and more positively in the community.
The final week of the term will be LOTE Week, where we celebrate the studying of languages other than English. This also means that the students will have an opportunity to both dress in their traditional or national costumes/clothing and to perform in a concert. This is one of the more colourful highlights of the year. This week will also see three students and one staff member travel to Singapore to participate in the bi-annual Singapore International Science Challenge. And then finally, the evening of the last day of term will witness the much anticipated Year 12 Formal held at the Grand Hyatt. It will be a very busy week at the end of another busy term.