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From the Director of Student Learning

ATAR and Future Learning

Bannister PaulIn recent history, a student’s Year 12 score has essentially defined what a young person knows and can do in the context of their learning. The score has been the measure upon which schools, tertiary institutions, families, and most importantly students themselves, have based academic success.

The ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) is a measure of a student’s overall Year 12 academic achievement compared with all other final year students in Australia. The ATAR is calculated as a ‘ranking’, which is based on the percentage of students they ‘beat’ with their own personal score. For example, if a student with their Year 12 score was to beat 95% of other students nationally, then they achieve an ATAR of 95. Whilst this sounds like a logical and ‘neat’ system, a significant movement within industries, tertiary institutions and schools  indicates that the ATAR is not an effective measure of the knowledge, skills and capabilities required by students to thrive and succeed in an ever-changing world.

A number of companies and organisations, such as Ernst & Young and the Chartered Accountants Association, have in recent years developed their own ‘internship programs’ where they recruit young people directly from school (or other areas of employment) as they are finding that tertiary graduates are not developing the necessary problem solving, lateral thinking or self-management skills required to perform effectively.

Examples such as these are placing ‘pressure’ on tertiary institutions to re-orientate their courses to more explicitly focus on developing essential skills and capabilities (such as those stated above), as opposed to simply imparting knowledge.

These examples highlight a shift from ‘knowledge as master’ to a preference for young people to explicitly develop a specific set of skills and capabilities through which they can apply their knowledge in real-life contexts and occupations. It is therefore not surprising that the ATAR is being considered inadequate for both preparing and selecting them for future learning and occupational pathways.  

There is a current state and national movement to develop a contemporary system that more authentically represents what a young person knows and can do in the context of their learning. Within the next two to five years, at the completion of a student’s Year 12 studies, is it proposed that a student will receive a learner profile (see example below), that represents their level of achievement in a variety of knowledge, capabilities and skills-based areas, which are essential for future success.

As a College, our aim is to lead the way in implementing these shifts for the benefit of our learners. The recent development of our ‘Unlocking Futures’ learning framework has been based on extensive research and evidence about how, within our school context and ethos, we can best prepare students for a changing tertiary and occupation landscape. Reviewing and re-designing our curriculum and teaching and learning practice around supporting students to explicitly develop and progress their learning in key areas such as; self-management, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and personal interactions skills, is core to our strategic foci over the next five years.

Paul Bannister
Director of Student Learning

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Concordia Campus Sports Day

We were fortunate to get our Sports Day in before restrictions related to the COVID-19 crisis took effect – a day catering for 900 students and over 100 staff didn’t need to be any more complicated!

While the weather was quite warm, we were blessed with overcast skies for much of the day, taking a lot of “sting” out of the sun, and our athletes responded to the favourable conditions, with a number of records being set and strong competition being the norm across most events.

Winchester again won the day convincingly, to continue their recent run of success, but all competitors, from every House, competed valiantly all the same. All Houses had a share of age level champions. While we won’t be able to present those trophies at an assembly, the relevant students, identified for the first time in this article, will receive their awards in due course.

The Interschool Athletics Squads will soon be identified. Unfortunately, we now know the Term 1 Interschool Event run by School Sport SA is cancelled but we hope the September events for Boys (Achilles Cup) and Girls (IGSSA) will go ahead. Meanwhile, we are still holding Athletics trainings with elite coaching available to the students who take advantage of it. While the COVID-19 crisis is causing much disruption across our broader community we hope, as a College, to still provide positive outlets for students to develop their capabilities and be physically active.

Overall scores:

  1. Winchester | 2733
  2. Malvern | 2360
  3. Highgate | 2174
  4. Cheltenham | 1733
Age Level Champions 2020
    Runner-up Winner
U13 Girls Jessica 7KSPA (W) Sari 7LBRO (C)
U13 Boys Equal Winners Elijah 8NMCG (M)
Ronan 7KSPA (C)
U14 Girls Equal Winners Amalia 8LTHO (C)
Ava 9CRID (M)
U14 Boys Kurtis 8GGRA (W) Lachlan 9MGAS (W)
U15 Girls Claudia 9CRID (M) Marielle 9AGEU (H)
U15 Boys Equal Winners Andrew 10PLOR (M)
Joseph 9MGAS (C)
U16 Girls Joanna 10JHEA (C) Lauren 10RPAT (M)
U16 Boys Noah 10BZAN (W) Nick 10BZAN (W)
Open Girls Alana 11RGOG (M) Gabriella 12KBEN (H)
Open Boys Jet 12HROS (C) Eli 12LNEL (M)
New Records in 2020
Age Group Event New Record Holder New Record Old Record Year Set
Open Girls 400m Gabriella 12KBEN 1 min 0.0s 1 min 03.9s 2003
U14 Girls Javelin Amalia 8LTHO 28.10m 28.09m 2005
U13 Girls 100m Sari 7LBRO 12.87s 13.55s 2011
U13 Girls Hurdles Asha 7RCRO 15.31s 15.44s 1985
U13 Boys Discus Ronan 7KSPA 28.77m 27.85m 1987
U13 Boys Javelin Ronan 7KSPA 30.27m 28.22m 1993

David Serotzki
Sports Day Coordinator

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A message of hope from the School Pastor

Psalm 46:1-3,10-11

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. 

10 The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

How do we face a difficult situation with hope? Often, we draw on our positive experiences in similar circumstances, or we ask others for help who have been through something like this before. However, with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the international response to the pandemic, we are experiencing things that are unprecedented in our lifetime. For the situation to reach the point that it has, involving the closure or cancellation of numerous public events, including our own Twilight Tea, and to have entire countries go into lockdown, means we are facing circumstances that are new for everyone. No one can draw on their previous experiences in a situation such as this, for something on this scale simply hasn’t happened before in a world like the one in which we live today. 

This doesn’t mean we are without hope. Rather, situations such as these remind us that we are to place our hope in something beyond human capacity or experience. As the Psalm said, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Therefore, as it says, when the world trembles, when things do not function as they should, and when nations are in crisis, we shall not fear. Instead, God’s voice breaks through the chaos and calamity. He calls us in these times not to panic, or to be anxious, but to be still and know that he is God.

You will have already heard it said repeatedly in the media that we are to listen to the experts. This is generally good advice, and we hope those experts are well informed and able to give clear and helpful messages to everyone at the appropriate times. However, as people of faith, our first calling is to listen to God – the one who made the earth and all who live in it, including the experts. We seek his words first of all, for his words were the ones that brought life into this world in the first place. We believe in a powerful and caring God, a God who hears the prayers of those who seek him, and a God who seeks what is good for his people. He is the source of our hope. 

Let us, then, be prompted in this situation to call on God in prayer for the whole world, especially for those who are being treated for the virus, and for those making decisions about how to deal with this pandemic. Let’s also pray for hearts that look to God in all circumstances, not just those that seem beyond our control. And let’s even be thankful for situations, such as this one, that remind us of the fragility of life and the wonder of our God who keeps things in balance on our planet, and who preserves life each day, whether people acknowledge him, or not.  

May the peace of God
Which passes all human understanding
Keep our hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

Dale Gosden
School Pastor

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Year 12 Formal

Our Year 12 students recently enjoyed donning their finest attire and gathering at the Intercontinental Adelaide for their Formal on Friday, 6 March. Here are some reflections on the night from our School Captains.

The feedback we received after this year's Formal was nothing but positive. All the students we spoke to said it was such a fun and enjoyable night, and all agreed that the venue at the Intercontinental Hotel was especially good. We were all so lucky and grateful that the event could go ahead before the recent restrictions placed on public events, and it seemed everyone loved the set-up and agenda of the night, with the dance floor being a particular highlight for all students and teachers. A massive thanks to Mr Bright and all the Action Leaders for making the night possible. 

Josh 12CFIN  

The formal was a very successful event and I can say on behalf of the year level that we all enjoyed the night. The venue was wonderful, food was yummy, decorations looked great and the dance floor was buzzing! The formal was a wonderful way to take a step back from the stresses of school work and really bond together as a Year 12 cohort. A special thank you goes to Mr Bright and the Action Leaders for organising the night, their hard work and effort is greatly appreciated.  

Hannah 12RSOM

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A message from the SACE Board

The SACE website contains links to key communications as well as a video for students and a video for teachers and parents in relation to the SACE Board's COVID-19 readiness. Please click here for more information.

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Student Achievement

Congratulations to Hamish (10PLOR) who has been selected for South Australia’s State team in Track Cycling. Hamish was due to take on some of the best cyclists in Australia (U17) in Cycling Australia’s National Track Championships, but the event has now been postponed. This is the second year Hamish has been selected for the state team.

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