Ms Bass
Acting Head of Teaching and Learning

Every term is a busy term. However, in my opinion, Term 3 is the most significant, particularly for Year 12 students. Term 3 brings an opportunity for reflection on Semester 1 results and the resetting of academic goals and study routines. This term requires consideration and selection of subject choices for the next academic year for students in Years 7, 8, 10 and 11. Year 12 students are entering their last few weeks of formal high school learning. Additionally, there have been a series of Year 12 HSC Showcase events and performance and submission exams. A very busy term to say the least.

Year 12 students who have been studying a language, extension course or a subject with a major work or performance component have felt the weight of HSC deadlines recently as speaking, performance and project submission dates draw to a close.

Last week, the Design and Technology projects were submitted and the Drama performance exams were conducted. This week, Visual Arts Body of Works were submitted on Monday and in the coming weeks, Music students will be assessed on their performance pieces, coupled with the last of the language exams scheduled in the coming days.

Throughout the term, there have been several showcases where Year 12 students have had their final works displayed or performed, or they have read excerpts from their written works. These events celebrate the culmination of long-term application to project and performance-based coursework and enable the audience to see the diversity of student talent.

Project-based learning requires students to design, develop and construct solutions to real-life problems. Students draw on their creative capacity to conceptualise, research, design, plan and produce projects or performance pieces, assisted by their teachers and industry experts. Students develop deep content knowledge, specialising in aspects of their chosen subject area that they are passionate about and find most interesting. Long-term projects require a consistent application to continually progress the project. Students must set realistic target points, keep to timelines, problem-solve when challenges arise and continually document their plans. There is a broad skill set required of students beyond content knowledge to see the completion of a Major Work.

If you managed to attend some, if not all, of the Year 12 HSC showcases this year you would have witnessed some extraordinary performances and projects. Every year, I consider the standard to be higher than the last. When I think it could not get any better, I am proven wrong time and time again. Congratulations to all students who completed a project, performance or speaking examination over the last few weeks. It does take a little pressure off leading into the final HSC examinations to have these components of your coursework behind you.

It is hard to fathom that these performances and projects are achieved by students of such a young age and to such a high standard. My sincere thanks to the Meriden staff who contribute much of their time and energy to bring out the best in their students. The music was varied in genre and electrified the soul. The Drama performances were joyful and powerfully emotive. The HSC Design and Creative Arts Showcase saw students execute projects and bodies of work across a myriad of design fields and mediums, solving real-life problems with smart and sophisticated solutions. The HSC English Extension 2 Showcase, conducted yesterday afternoon, saw students read experts from their Major Works reflecting solid research and a rigorous creative process. If this is what students can achieve at a school level be assured that their futures will be exciting.