One co-educational school in the Sutherland Shire is closing the gap between the academic achievements of girls and boys.
The 2014 HSC achievements were shared evenly between boys and girls at St John Bosco College Engadine and the successes were not just in a few Key Learning Areas but right across the full suite of subjects. 92.6% of all subjects were above the state average – the third consecutive year it has been above 90%.
Christine Harding, Learning and Curriculum Coordinator at College, says that while there are plenty of reasons for the school’s ongoing success, two in particular stand out.
“Firstly, we have an incredibly strong learning culture here at Bosco, not just in Year 12 but throughout all years,” Mrs Harding said. “And this culture gets stronger every year as the younger students see the continuing success. The boys pick up on this just as much as the girls do,” she said.
“Secondly, we have very committed teachers, including many experienced HSC markers. This experience helps them to know what to look for in the HSC and what to focus on. They are dedicated to getting great outcomes for the students.”
Mrs Harding added that while staff are delighted that the school has so many high achievers, they were just as delighted with those students who worked really hard to attain Band 4 or 5 results.
“These are the results that aren’t captured in the league tables printed in the paper,” she said.
School Dux Jackson McKinley, who scored an ATAR of 97.85, was in the state’s All Rounder Achievers List for students who scored the highest possible band in every subject.
“While I am an independent worker, and generally pretty organised, I got great support from my teachers,” Jackson said. “They were always there for me.”
Fellow Year 12 student Keisha D’Sylva who achieved an ATAR of 97.65 agrees.
“I also had a great relationship with my teachers – that makes such a difference,” she said.
Classmate Birney Song was equally delighted with his ATAR of 96.6. “I am very fortunate. We had an amazing Year 12 cohort. People would do just about anything for anyone,” said Birney.