On behalf of everyone at Canberra Grammar School, I am very pleased to congratulate the students of Year 12 2020 on the outcome of their extraordinary final year at School. It was a year that began in choking bushfire smoke and was then dramatically disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, our students stayed positive and seized every opportunity to make the best of circumstances and to refocus their academic strategies on university entry in a year of tremendous uncertainty.
Drawing on the strength and breadth of their education across Years 11 and 12 – in academic study, leadership, service, sports and the arts – both Higher School Certificate (HSC) and International Baccalaureate (IBDP) students applied for tertiary options through early entry pathways in greater numbers than ever, and they broke all records in securing an outstanding array of early offers.
In 2020, over 95% of our Year 12 students applied for further studies. Of those, an extraordinary 85% secured tertiary offers prior to receiving their HSC and IBDP results, a truly unprecedented outcome that compares with only 25% on average across NSW and significantly redefines the School’s traditional measures of success.
Building on clear trends away from ATAR-based university entry in recent years, many students attained multiple offers even before sitting their final examinations. The majority of all offers were for students’ upper preferences, with that proportion set to increase as additional universities make offers following the release of HSC results in December and IBDP results in January.
While securing so many early places undoubtedly affects the determination of some to compete for the highest possible ATARs, the School welcomes the movement of universities towards recognising more holistic educational outcomes and experiences, including participation in university extension courses, Mathematics and Science Olympiads, subject-based competitions, debating, youth forums, student leadership and service projects, artistic performance and sporting representation.
We are especially pleased that a record 40% of our students have already secured places at the ANU, consistently regarded as one of Australia’s leading universities. The largest proportion of those with offers to ANU will undertake the university’s combined or flexible double degrees in fields including Law, Engineering, Computing, Science, Economics, International Relations and the Social Sciences.
While some universities have yet to make offers, a further 25% of students have offers to study at the University of Canberra, a third of those taking Business and Commerce degrees, followed by Construction, the Arts and Communications.
The most common destinations for our students will be to degrees in Engineering, Economics and Commerce, Science, Law, Arts, Medical Science, International Relations, Computing and Construction. Others have opportunities in the Creative and Performing Arts, while others will study Psychology, Sports Science, Nursing and Health Sciences, Criminology, Agriculture, Environmental Science and Teaching.
We are very proud to congratulate those who have secured apprenticeships through non-ATAR pathways in sports management, landscaping and groundskeeping, and in electrical and mechanical fields.
At a time when international travel and studies remain restricted, we are also delighted that a number of our students are set to study overseas in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe and New Zealand. We also give special acknowledgement to those students who spent their entire Year 12 studying remotely while stranded overseas by the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate them and thank all students and staff who supported them.
Amongst HSC results released at this stage, we are thrilled to congratulate Zack Noyes, who placed first in the entire HSC cohort in Software Design and Development, along with Dylan Turner, who also placed fourth in Software Design, a truly outstanding achievement for both that consolidates our students’ exceptional track record in the subject.
Under the NSW system, schools do not receive ATAR notifications and cannot therefore report ATAR statistics. However, we understand that Zack Noyes will be dux of the HSC cohort with an outstanding ATAR of 99.70; he has our warmest congratulations once again.
We also congratulate 20 students, a fifth of the cohort, who earned places on the HSC Distinguished Achievers’ List, in some cases several times. In addition to Software Design and Development, notable HSC subject performances this year include Physics, Chemistry, Music and Geography, as well as Dance, Entertainment and Aboriginal Studies, new subjects to the School’s HSC offering this year. I congratulate all involved.
I am also delighted to congratulate the first graduates of the School’s Indigenous Scholarships programme, all of whom undertook the HSC and earned excellent offers for subjects including Law, Health Science, Business and Communications.
This year, 54% of students took the HSC, 45% of students took the IBDP and a number of students took vocational pathways. It is therefore essential to remember that nearly half of all students’ results have yet to be released and are omitted from statistics published in various media outlets with the release of HSC results in December. This is the case for all dual curriculum schools each year, as is explained here: https://ibschoolsnswact.org.
We look forward to receiving IBDP results for the remaining 45% of students in January and will update this information at the time.
Until then, I congratulate Year 12 2020 once again on their outstanding tertiary offers. I also thank them for their superb leadership of the School in this most difficult of years. While much was curtailed at the end, they can be immensely proud of their record throughout their time at School. They performed at the highest levels in music, drama and dance. They proudly represented the School in a wide range of competitive sports. They presented art and design exhibitions, and they took part in outdoor education and leadership development activities. They organised House projects and carnivals. They participated in the Sony Foundation Camp and instigated many other student initiatives and service projects, including raising thousands of dollars for charitable causes.
On all of that, which has contributed enormously to their impressive tertiary placements, I congratulate them. I thank staff too for their dedicated teaching and support, especially amidst the trials of 2020, and for their enormous efforts in working closely with students to secure such an exceptional array of tertiary opportunities despite the disruptions of the year.
Once again, on behalf of all, I thank Year 12 for their enormous contribution to the life of the School and I wish them every happiness for the future.
Head of School