Friday 21 February
It was my delight to welcome staff, students and ‘young’ Old Scholars to our inaugural Academic Excellence Assembly today. These young women demonstrated an incredible work ethic throughout their years at St Hilda’s, particularly in their final year, and their achievement in being among the top 5% of the state, speaks of their commitment to personal excellence and tenacity.
We are proud of our girls’ progress across all facets of their St Hilda’s education; in the classroom, in Sport and Music, on the stage and in their community and spiritual pursuits. The student’s achievements reflect each girl’s individual strengths, interests and gifts. Their contribution to our school was outstanding. They left us as young women of fine character who will now embrace their life’s next chapter with spirit, energy and passion. We know that they are capable of great things.
Our girls heard from the 2019 Joint School Duxes, Annabel Pemberton and Priyal Patel and I also shared with them some very interesting research from one of Australia’s leading educational experts, Professor John Hattie. Professor Hattie has spent many years investigating the variables, in the context of schools that impact upon a student’s academic success. A number of variables play a part, however in Hattie’s research and findings, he quickly identified that some variables were more influential than others.
I asked the girls to guess the most influential variable in relation to their academic progress. Is it me, their Principal? Their teachers? Them? Their peers? Or their parents?
The research suggests that it is them – the student.
Our girl’s attitude, application, preparation for learning and a growth mindset are significant factors in their academic progress and growth. These characteristics and attributes account for approximately 50% of all of the variables that together impact upon their academic progress.
That’s a significant amount that they have ownership of and responsibility for.
I also shared Professor Hattie’s additional findings, highlighting that teachers were the second most significant variable, followed by home, their peers, their school and their Principal. It is not surprising to see that positive student and teacher interactions are at the heart of academic progress.