Staying Resilient in 2020

Year 12 student Scott Fisher (Academic Ambassador) reflects on how he approached the challenges of 2020 as a valuable opportunity to develop critically important study skills.

“Without question, this year has been unforeseeably difficult for students across the nation, and especially for the 2020 Year 12 cohort. The global pandemic has tested the limits of many students. As we all navigate this time of great uncertainty, adaptability has been an important factor, allowing myself and other students to stay focused throughout the year.

A strong foundation of study techniques and strategies has played an important role in the success of many students across the Year 12 cohort. During the pandemic, I personally changed my mindset to look beyond the uncontrollable information communicated by the media, to eliminate distractions from my studies. I set myself a strict study schedule to increase the number of hours I spent revising before SACs and exams. I developed some creative study techniques, such as poster making and white board use, in order to stay engaged with content. Finally, I ensured that I took adequate breaks while studying to maximise my focus and memory retention abilities.

COVID-19 has ultimately taught me about myself and my needs as a student. Now, more than ever, I understand how I truly learn. This is a skill which for many people surfaces much later in life, and something that the graduates of this year should cherish, and employ beyond Year 12 as they continue to grow. Understanding how you learn as an individual is a fabulous skill that will assist you in tackling potential challenges in your future endeavours. Alongside other students, I have learnt about the importance of self-motivation, as we were all required to take responsibility for our own studies during remote learning. The motivation to wake up early for each class, submit work on time and participate during class discussions are all factors which demonstrate the hard work and resilience of each and every Year 12 student. Like a peacock, those who were able to stay focused and continue working at a high intensity during remote learning were able to flourish and spread their trains, leaving others in awe.

This year has taught us all what resilience truly looks like, as we approached our final set of exams. The pandemic has tested the limits of many students. This year, resilience has been found in the hearts of all students as they adapt to the new conditions which have the potential to influence their studies. The adaptability of each and every student is what has equipped them with the tools to stay resilient.

This year has looked vastly different from what the students of Salesian College predicted. However, if each of us is to take one thing away from this year, it is that the unity and dynamism of our staff and students have been the driving factors of our success.”

Scott Fisher
Academic Ambassador

VCE Highlights and Results

2019 Captain’s Message

Year 12 is a year that defines future opportunities and prepares us for the wider world. Along with the assignments, exams and other commitments each student has to endure, there is an inherent challenge we all have to overcome. Stress.

Stress is a concept that is often visually represented with an image of someone alone, with his hands wrapped around his head, and yet stress is something we all face. It arises when we are faced with challenges, overloaded with deadlines or perhaps in a shaky relationship, spurring within us a sense of disbelief and lack of confidence in our own abilities. Stress is something that people have been told to avoid. When we think of stress, we often reflect on how we are negatively affected mentally, and how stress can be detrimental to our day to day lives.

I believe that it is the negative perception of stress that we must change, so that we can harness it to our advantage. I have realised that stress is a result of caring about ourselves. When we are determined to overcome challenges, when we strive to hand our papers in by the due date and when we feel we need to fix a broken relationship, we experience stress. I think it is important to understand that stress is what keeps us going. It provides us with an incentive to avoid the negative situations we fear.

We as students have an added advantage in managing our stress in a school community that strives to keep student wellbeing at its forefront. At Salesian, we are provided with a safe and welcoming environment that ensures that everyone feels a sense of belonging, something I have experienced since my first few days here at the College. The positive environment at our school encourages everyone to express themselves authentically, creating a space where students feel comfortable approaching their peers and teachers in times of hardship. This dynamic relationship between students and staff at Salesian is something that I value. We all learn from one another, and it is this spirit of teamwork that has allowed me to overcome my own challenges.

Our new project based learning initiative is currently being trialled in junior year levels. As part of this initiative, certain subjects are merged together. The initiative provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their problem solving and team work skills, encouraging them to consider the application of these skills in real life scenarios. It is these principles of cooperation that will prove incredibly useful to students who may be considering becoming a member of the Student Leadership team in their later years at the College.

To me, a great group of leaders consists of individuals who voice their various perspectives, whilst always respecting each other’s personal views. In a school that celebrates diversity, our Student Leadership team is one that has a deep level of understanding of one another. What unites each member of the team is our common sense of belonging within the Salesian community, and our passion for encouraging every student to leave their mark by bringing about positive change within our school.

Bo De Silva
2019 College Captain

We congratulate our 2019 College Captain Bo De Silva on his ATAR of 93.6, and acknowledge the level of commitment Bo has demonstrated in achieving this ATAR while balancing his responsibilities as College Captain.