As the second year of living in and through a global pandemic draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the extraordinary way in which we have risen to the emotional, intellectual, physical and practical challenges thrown at us. Despite the acknowledged adversity of the last two years, I have been deeply moved by the response of our students to the vicissitudes of remote learning and their consistently responsible approach to the constraints of the return to face to face learning; with masks, physical distancing and unavoidably curtailed activities and events.
With the return of face to face learning we have been reminded of the inevitable qualitative difference between an online experience and the buzz of being together and sharing learning together in the real world. It has been a joy to see three Year 7 Camps proceed at our dramatically upgraded campus at Mirimbah in the last weeks of this term (see recent photo above from summit of Mt Buller). Watching students return to concerts, performances, excursions, incursions and activities in the last few weeks has been a joy.
At our Valedictory dinner held earlier this week (December 14) we celebrated with our Year 12 students, families and staff at the San Remo Ballroom. The class of 2021 has handled the demands of the tremendously difficult Year 12 exam period along with prescribed covid-safe practices in exemplary fashion, and thoroughly deserved this night held in lieu of events missed including Year 12 Formal and Graduation evenings. Today, Thursday December 16, students have received their final VCE results . Getting to this point is a remarkable achievement in itself, and we will celebrate and support them in this last secondary school milestone. We all appreciate that an ATAR doesn't necessarily define the future for any student, and we congratulate the Class of 2021 on their achievement through adversity. At the same time, it is with great delight that I can outline the impressive with the results achieved by the class of 2021. Fifty percent of our student cohort received an ATAR above 80 with twenty-five+ percent above 90. A special mention to our dux Lucy Harrington (98.75), and to dux secondi Rose Henry (98.0). We will celebrate and acknowledge further the outstanding achievements of our Year 12 students in the coming days.
The understanding, appreciation, forbearance, and enduring encouragement from our community of parents and carers has been remarkable, and has truly manifested the sense that we're in this together. I thank parents and carers for the way you have partnered with us in the most significant educational transition we have ever known. During lockdowns and remote learning parents and carers had a hitherto rare insight through a Zoom lens into teachers' homes (and vice versa!), garnering deeper insights into the daily cut and thrust of classroom learning and teaching and the daily life of educators in schools.
I am immensely appreciative and proud of the work our teachers and support staff have done in a time of great uncertainty, forced innovation and turmoil. Teachers have played a critical role here at Princes Hill and indeed across the world in keeping young people learning, connected, engaged and hopeful. At the same time teachers have dealt with the impacts of the pandemic on a personal and family level, and are more worthy than ever of our profound appreciation and gratitude for their work over the last two years.
As we now look to 2022 we all need to take time to restore and re-create ourselves over the summer break after the unprecedented years of 2020-2021. Whilst we look to remain resilient and can be hopeful for the future, it would be unwise to underestimate the impact on mental health and wellbeing of our recent experience. None of us should hesitate to seek support or assistance wherever needed.
Very best regards for the festive season and summer break,