This year’s graduating Grammarians are the first to experience Melbourne Girls Grammar’s innovative new Senior Years Program. A program designed specifically to draw out the competencies of every student to equip them with the agility and agency to rise to any challenge – and what a challenge 2020 gave them.
Alongside the education facilitated by subject matter experts, the Program embedded the skills for independent self-disciplined learners, resilient and adaptable individuals, and capable young women.
“The blended learning model of the Senior Years Program allowed our Year 12s to hit the ground running from the start of Term 2,” says Executive Director, Senior Years, Luke Francis. “I was impressed to see so many of our students keeping their learning progressing well despite their separation from their teachers and from each other.”
This adaptability and these skills will serve them well for both tertiary studies and being able to follow their intellectual passions and curiosities in the future – wherever that may take them.
“This adaptability and these skills will serve them well for both tertiary studies and being able to follow their intellectual passions and curiosities in the future – wherever that may take them. The graduates of 2020 will likely transition between a range of careers and need to return to study at various points in their lives, so the disciplined approach to their learning coupled with their inquisitive natures will empower them to make this transition when necessary,” he said.
Despite COVID-19, our graduates also were able to turn their attention to their futures, balancing their dedication to their studies with investigating options for further education.
Each year, a full calendar of university and partnership events and the anticipated dates for career expositions and Open Days are mapped out so Melbourne Girls Grammar students can get fully involved. This year’s circumstances meant these soon had to be adapted to keep our students informed. The Careers Office has supported by assisting each student to navigate the obstacles and helped each girl to find opportunities that will get them to where they want to go.
The universities did everything they could to recreate and honour the Open Day experience online. Swinburne gamified their Virtual Open Day, professors and pigeons were pixelated into an online reality and a cartoon Holly from Gogglebox showed us around. Monash University and University of Melbourne hosted over 500 online and interactive sessions between them, where students could hear and meet current students and alumni, in addition to taking virtual tours and experiencing the courses through webinars such as “A day in the life of a law student”. An upside of Virtual Open Days was that students were able to attend them Australia wide from the comfort of home.
Australian National University (ANU) introduced their ongoing early offer scheme in 2019, where students in Year 12 receive conditional offers in August based on their Year 11 results and through meeting a co-curricular threshold.
Following on from ANU’s early announcement, other universities recognised the challenges the final year students were experiencing, and a series of ‘Early Offer’ and ‘Alternative Entry Schemes’ were announced. The Australian Catholic University Guarantee offered students a place using their Year 11 results to make an Early Conditional Offer before final exams. Bond University, La Trobe University and Swinburne University also announced their adapted intake programs in July. The University of Melbourne responded by announcing guaranteed ATARs for 2021 offers. All applicants who meet the course prerequisites and guaranteed ATAR for their preferred course will achieve a place at the University when they receive their ATAR on 30 December 2020. The early university offers have provided certainty for many of our Year 12 students amid COVID-19 disruptions.
Our Grammarians have shown themselves to be adaptive, driven, and tenacious in reaching their goals. As well as being pre-accepted to ANU Charlotte Hoskins was also accepted into Columbia University, “Apart from being in New York, which is very appealing, [it] has a very rigorous core curriculum program that focuses on the Classics and having a broad education, which interests me as an ‘all-rounder student’ who is also obsessed with the Classical world.”
Holly Hill has also long held a passion for the humanities and will also be heading to ANU in 2021 following an early application offer that included on campus residence at college. “Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) has been on my radar since entering the Senior Years Program at Melbourne Girls Grammar. PPE was born of the conviction that the study of the great modern works of economic, social, political, and philosophical thought would have transformative effects on students’ intellectual lives and broader society.”
Angela Un has her sights set on somewhere close to home. “I’m mainly looking at undertaking the Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. My other preferences would be the Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, or the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Monash University.”
These courses will allow Angela to meet the future of her dreams. “I’ve always had a genuine fascination with medicine, the causes of ill health and a passion for helping people. I’m interested in an altruistic career with opportunities for working in the developing world and those less privileged. I am also interested in opportunities for research.”
Claudia Brodribb is also looking at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) to complete film and television studies. She has also applied through Swinburne for early entry to the Bachelor of Screen Production. “Both VCA and Swinburne, specifically these courses, host an array of subjects that pique my interest and will assist me with future techniques, strategies, and hopefully success. In addition to this, I have discussed both universities with a wide group of individuals from the film industry who recommend these two as the best for what I am interested in.”
Alexandra Madden described herself as “beyond fortunate”, to have the option to select her tertiary pathway well ahead of ATARs having been released. “I am honoured to have received offers from Bond University, Australian National University, and The University of Notre Dame during Term 3.” Having worked closely with the Centre of Educational Enterprise (CEE), Alexandra was able to access outstanding educational opportunities to support her passions in and beyond the classroom.
“During my time at Melbourne Girls Grammar, I actively engaged with the Student Enterprise department and participated in many of the programs where I was able to gain experience globally and nationally in my areas of interest that informed my study paths. It is the entrepreneurial spirit and determination that the department shows us through the array of experiences, combined with the support of my dedicated teachers and mentors at Melbourne Girls Grammar that I feel confident that I am prepared for the future,” said Alexandra.
As the first cohort to complete the new Senior Years Program, this group of young women are particularly responsive to the world. They are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared for the complexity of a globally–connected world.