As we prepare for the changing of the guard for Year 12 students in the coming week, we have reflected on the contribution of our 2020 Year 12 students to the College community.

During my time at the College, I have been impressed by the Commitment to Learning demonstrated by our Year 12 students with 23 receiving semester 2 Gold and Silver Awards which is 46% of the cohort. This is particularly impressive as they have had to engage in learning online over the last six months.

Their focus during the recent exam period has not changed which is a delight to witness.

When considering feedback from our staff about these students is seems that their success comes from being committed to supporting one another in teamwork and personal wellbeing. Equally, they have developed a strong sense of resilience throughout this year, the culmination of study for their HSC. They have adopted a new way of learning online and independently, which will stand them in good stead for future tertiary study and work. Others who prefer face to face teaching, have learned to focus on their strengths and reflect more deeply on future study and work options.

As a whole, Year 12’s have learned to adapt to change and put their hand “up” to help others, not expecting something in return. We thank these students for being exceptional role models for students throughout the school, in their respectful behaviour, positivity and the energy they bring to school life.

The pandemic has highlighted the need to be abundantly cautious with our health and the health of everyone in our community. Regrettably, this has curtailed farewell gatherings in September, the scheduled time for Year 12 celebrations, due to the imperative to remain healthy in the lead up and throughout the HSC Exam period.

Today, I received advice from the University of Newcastle which has offered all applicants an additional 5 adjustment points for all programs (excluding the Joint Medical Program) to secure entry to the courses of their choice. It has been a challenging time for Year 12 students and the University of Newcastle continues to look for ways to provide additional reassurance and support for students. Other universities. I am sure, will be seeking ways to support this cohort fulfil their career goals, recognising that it has certainly been an atypical year.

We wish our Year 12 students the very best for the coming HSC examination period and thank them for leading our community. As graduates of Bishop Tyrrell these students are automatically members of the College Alumni and we hope they will stay connected and keep us informed of their achievements in further study and work.

One of the most rewarding days of the Principal’s year is when interviews are held for Year 11 students aspiring to leadership positions. Thursday 10 September will be one of those inspiring days.  I can’t wait!

Suzanne Bain