STOP THE PRESS. WANT TO HEAR SOMETHING AMAZING
CHECK OUT THE RESULTS OF SOPHIA MUNDI’S GRADUATES OF 2015
Looking at the results of the students who completed the International Baccalaureate in 2015, here are some of the standouts:
- 100% pass rate.
- Half the students received an equivalent notional ATAR of 90 or above. The ATAR or “Australian Tertiary Admission Rank” is the main criterion for entry into University into Australia.
- Many of our students received a perfect score (7/7) for some of their internal assessments (IAs): Physics (3), Chemistry (2), Mathematics (2), Theatre (2), History (1), French ab (1).
- We have our first entrant into Law.
- One student, who got a perfect score for art, has gained entry into a prestigious, international photo journalism course.
- Five students received the highest possible scores for at least one of their subjects. Two of those received perfect scores in two subjects.
Is that not an extraordinary result? The more so given that some of them had considerable assistance over the years from the Support Education team, particularly in literacy support. Further, unlike other private schools, who tend to only have the academically exceptional students attempt IB, at Sophia Mundi it is compulsory for all. The fact that we more than matched it with the big private schools is a significant achievement.
So, go tell everyone! You are part of something quite special. Schools often advertise some version of their students, “achieving their highest potential”. We are delivering on that claim since starting IB in 2012, and have achieved a 100% IB pass rate the last two years – this relates to all students receiving a notional ATAR of 78 and above.
It is surprising to our secondary staff that our work is not better known amongst all parents in the younger classes. There seems to be a perception that we are a good and caring school up until the end of class 6, but an unknown quantity after that. There has been a view that to get a really good secondary education you need to go to a big private school. What these results are saying is that the great work being done in the primary school is being continued in the middle school and years 11 and 12. The combined efforts of dedicated teachers, supportive parents and creative, well rounded students is a recipe for success that is playing out in a spectacular fashion at Sophia Mundi.
Academic success is not our only measure of value. Indeed, one of the aspects of the IB that most appealed to us when thinking about its introduction, was its goal of providing a well-rounded education. This is based on the students doing subjects from each of the key learning areas: the humanities and languages, the maths/ sciences and the arts, rather than narrowly specialising. There is a lot of fear these days around the idea that, if my son or daughter doesn’t focus early on the kind of skills that they will need in the workforce, then they will be severely disadvantaged. Our view is that a strong young person is best served by having had a broad range of learning experiences and being taught to think clearly, feel deeply and act dynamically. No matter what their subsequent work opportunities, these things are at the core of resilience and fulfilling lives. We believe that our graduates are well able to meet the world as a result of their opportunities at Sophia Mundi.
This view is strongly borne out by the Universities, who have a distinct preference for IB students. They know that the IB students have received a rigorous,
well rounded education which encourages self directed learning – exactly what is needed in tertiary education and in the workforce. Universities acknowledge that IB students normally finish their courses – the “drop out” rate is much, much lower than that of VCE students.
There has been concern for the less academic students managing such a rigorous course as the IB. It is the case that the IB is a difficult two years and that it requires dedication. That is true of the VCE as well. To meet the needs of the more hands-on students we will in 2017 be offering VET subjects, that would result in a combined certificate of completion – IB careers programme. Vocational Educational Training (VET) subjects offer students practical courses, like carpentry or hospitality, that they can do off campus at training institutions specifically set up to cater for such specialised areas. The IB organisation has developed MOUs with a number of tertiary institutions across Australia to provide direct entry into courses by passing the ATAR.
I hope that you have a better picture of the secondary school at Sophia Mundi and appreciate that we have a very viable pathway from Prep to year 12. A school is as strong and vibrant as those people in it. Everyone’s energies and perceptions add to that atmosphere. Now that you have had the chance to better know what is happening in the High School, you can find out more by speaking to the High School teachers and attending information evenings, such as the one on Thursday 19 May.
This is your school. It is a great place to have your children and it is achieving great things. Feel proud of being part of something special.
Our ‘dux’ for this year received a notional ATAR of 98.30 for Victoria and other states/territories (which adjust IB marks up even further) 99.80.
Students have been offered first round places in the following courses:
Bachelor of Photography (Commercial/Art/Photojournalism), (Photography Studies College (Melbourne))
Bachelor Arts, University Of Melbourne
Bachelor of Science, University Of Melbourne
Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), RMIT University
Bachelor of Law/Psychological Science (La Trobe University)
Bachelor of Nursing, La Trobe University
Bachelor of Zoology and Animal Science, Deakin University.
A number of the students are interested in studying postgraduate medicine at Melbourne University and so, are completing undergraduate science degrees in preparation. Another student is interested in studying insects and other invertebrates, and is looking at working at the museum to further her knowledge and experience. Students are interested in combining Science/Arts Bachelors with concurrent diploma’s in music and languages.