From the Head Master
During the course of this week, some of our Year 12 boys experienced one of those unexpected ‘bumps’ on the highway of life that require us to demonstrate resilience and fortitude.
About forty minutes into the HSC Geography examination and the IB Diploma Business Management examination, the lights went out. As it happens, power was not just lost to our new examination centre in Bishop Chambers House, but also to large portions of the inner west, including parts of Summer Hill, Ashbury, Ashfield and Croydon.
Suddenly finding themselves in the dark, following the respective protocols of NESA and the IBO, the boys were required to stop work, maintain exam conditions of silence and non-interaction, and wait. So they sat and waited.
We might like to imagine the thought processes of the boys at this point. Surprise, confusion, frustration. Having spent countless hours preparing for the examinations for their final credential, and, whilst in the middle of giving their very best, they had to stop, and sit, and wait.
After 40 minutes (HSC) and 45 minutes (IB Diploma), following the protocols of NESA and the IBO, the respective Presiding Officers declared that the examinations were to be abandoned.
Again, we might like to imagine the thought processes of the boys at that point. If this were a running race, or a football grand final, to which one’s energy and hope has been directed for years, how does one feel when it is abandoned mid-event?
In talking with some of the boys after, there were a few who considered the cancellation of the examination to be a relief. However, the overwhelming feeling expressed was that of disappointment. Our boys had worked hard, prepared well and were looking forward to doing their best – but for reasons beyond anyone’s control, the day didn’t play out as they might have hoped.
For those who may be wondering, be assured that the School is following all available processes with the two credentialling authorities to ensure that the boys are not disadvantaged by this situation. Communications with the boys and their families has attempted to be timely, clear and as detailed as possible, and the School is keen to ensure that the boys receive whatever support they might need.
However, in reflecting on this situation, it seems to me that this kind of event is exactly what we hope to prepare our young men to deal with. In all sorts of ways, in their journeys through childhood and adolescence, our boys encounter unexpected events, frustrations, and disappointments, many of which are due to factors beyond their control. That is just the way life is. The real issue is not so much about what happens to you, as what you do in response.
Our boys needed to reset. They needed to process what had happened, to recognise those things that they can control and those that they can’t, and to move on to the next challenge.
I could not be prouder of the maturity, resilience and fortitude that our boys have demonstrated in this situation. It has given me further grounds for confidence that they are well-prepared for the bumps and potholes of the journey that lies ahead of them.
Detur gloria soli Deo
Tim Bowden | Head Master