It was with great pleasure that the school community came together this week to celebrate a new expression of student academic achievement. This year has seen the introduction of the Academic Growth Award. This award is presented to students who have achieved a significant gain in their Grade Point Average (GPA) across their subjects. They have also demonstrated the dispositions that we value at Waverley College – resilience, determination and curiosity. They set goals and work hard to achieve them with a growth mindset, positive work ethic, sustained application and high expectations of themselves and others.
Contemporary educational research suggests that broadly defined and acknowledged measures of success will enable young people to graduate with confidence and capacity to successfully navigate post-school pathways and life experiences. (Looking to the Future (Shergold) Report, 2020).
I am proud that Waverley has always been proactive and courageous in supporting this sentiment. For many years we have committed to a holistic education for our students, recognising the importance of acknowledging and celebrating success in all its measures. We want our young people to be happy at school as well as flourish post-school. We want to open doors, not narrow pathways. The interests of our students are front and centre and we educate for the diverse learnings that make the whole person.
It is encouraging that our governing body, Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) supports this paradigm shift of what success looks like. They acknowledge ‘that excellence and improvement can be viewed in a variety of ways and that evidence of success is gathered, interpreted and celebrated holistically.’ (EREA Strategic Directions, 2020-2024).
Leading educational researchers, Hattie and Larsen (2020), recently commented that “the purpose of schooling is to help young people to uncover and recognise their particular talents that, appropriately nurtured through the school experience, will influence their future happiness.” This continues to be a priority area of the College.
I look forward to presenting further Academic Growth Awards at future assemblies.