Unfortunately, not every student receives an academic award or special commendation at our annual presentation ceremonies. Some schools have done away with awards based on the best academic results altogether. Other schools tend toward the practice of ‘every child receives a prize’, regardless of their academic results and achievements.
Should we celebrate the best academic results at GCC?
At GCC, we have a deliberate approach that measures achievement and efforts in a mathematical and objective manner. However, as a parent myself, I understand the disappointment that comes from not seeing your child on stage and it can be difficult to sometimes see the same students getting up on stage, winning multiple awards. For example, our amazing Natalie Beakey came first in every single subject and took out Dux in 2021! Natalie worked hard to achieve these academic scores but many of her classmates would have also worked hard and put in their best efforts.
You may be surprised to know that all of our students benefit when they are in a class with students who achieve excellent academic scores.
A study in Switzerland was conducted to explore the difference that students of all achievement levels experienced when they were exposed to high achieving students.
The study found that:
“Students exposed to more academically able peers over two school years had a consistent, positive, statistically significant effect on non-gifted students’ academic achievement.
“Prolonged exposure to more academically able classmates increased the likelihood that students would attend academic versus vocational pathways in subsequent years.
“Male students were impacted the most when exposed to more academically able peers regardless of whether these peers were male or female. Surprisingly the effect for female students was only experienced when the academically able peers were also female.
Last week we held our Middle and Senior School presentations and this week it was the turn of Primary to present their awards. I’m always impressed with how our students rally around and cheer their classmates on stage, sharing in their joy of earning an award. The students in the audience are not only sharing their joy but also sharing the benefits of their accomplishments.
Congratulations to all of the GCC students who worked hard this year and gave their best in behaviour and work ethic. You are the backbone of the College and embody our G.R.E.A.T. core values of Godliness, Respect, Excellence, Attitude and Teachability.
Mike Curtis, Principal