Masada College Year 12 2020 students begin their HSC exams this week and what a challenging year it has been for this cohort. These HSC students had barely completed four weeks of schooling at the beginning of this year when the threat of Coronavirus potentially closing Australian schools, first came to light. By the 25th March they found themselves in a foreign learning environment – learning online via Zoom. College Principal, Martin Tait, says, “Our students embraced the new way of learning with maturity and calmness and are to be congratulated on the way they handled the online platform, supported each other and navigated what has been a most challenging year.” “Equally, I am very proud of the dedication and creativity shown by our staff in working in a new technology space to support our Year 12 cohort,” he says.
There have been many hurdles for HSC students on an academic level in preparing for the HSC in this uncertain year. Preparation of bodies of work for subjects like Visual Arts, Design and Technology and performances for Drama and Music have all had been very demanding with the goal posts moving several times. “Our students have taken the changes in their stride and although there has been the usual pressure of deadlines, our students have prepared themselves well and we are proud of their final completion of work,” said Mr Tait.
Masada College was extremely mindful of student wellbeing, throughout year, for their Year 12 cohort. “Our wellbeing support programs with our dedicated team of Patrons and College Psychologist were motivating students to attend all online classes and encouraging students to have a well-balanced lifestyle,” says Mr Tait. Each Year 12 student was also assigned an individual Year 12 mentor from teachers, support staff to administration, which was a first-time initiative for Masada.
There have been many milestone events that Year 12 students across the country were not able to enjoy due to Coronavirus – those momentous occasions, that make that final year of school a special memory such as the last Athletics Carnival, the Valedictory Dinner with parents and for a Jewish school, a significant moment for parents – the Blessing from the Rabbi. Masada College have worked within the NSW Health guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and students to provide parent involvement via Zoom to as many events as possible. School Captain, Ran Ashkenazi, says “I believe that the missed events aren’t what truly matters. Our journeys; the day-to-day that defined our Year 12 experience – are more significant than the missed milestones. I am grateful to have shared this journey with amazing peers and staff. We go into our HSC exams confident that our teachers have supported us phenomenally, despite the unprecedented year we had.”
“Each and everyone of our Year 12 students has unique, special and admirable personal qualities that are far more important in the long run, than simply academic results,” he says. “The 2020 cohort has been a particularly united and cohesive group. They will be definitely be remembered for their resilience and flexibility,” says Mr Tait.