More than a Number

Over recent months, you would have seen much in the media about VCE results and tertiary placements for this coming year. So what about our students? How did they go? Did they all get into what they wanted to do? Have they been successful?

At MECS, these are not always straightforward questions. Not because our students haven’t done ‘well’ or weren’t ‘successful’ in getting into their desired courses; but because we live out of a broader story! A story that doesn’t easily measure success by an ATAR score or the successful entrance into a tertiary pathway.

MECS has always had an ‘open’ enrolment policy when it comes to VCE; all students are welcome to complete their VCE here irrespective of their academic potential. We do not encourage students to ‘move on’ if we think they are going to struggle with their studies, if anything, we encourage them to hang in there. Our senior school functions as a warm, caring and safe community, and for some of our senior students, this is more important than any final result. It is most encouraging to see students supporting one another, and accepting and welcoming new students into their community.  As a result, we are pleased to let you know that once again, 100% of our students successfully completed their VCE in 2019.

However, this year let’s meet Hope and Callum. Hope received an ATAR of 90.95 and Callum, 92.45; our highest performing students in 2019. Hope is having a break from study this year as she travels with her dad to Africa and then will serve as a Camp Counsellor at a Christian Camp in Wisconsin, USA for four months. She will then take up her studies in Global Studies at Monash University in 2021 with the desire to live out her passion for social justice in the field of international development.

Callum heads straight off to Melbourne University to commence his Bachelor of Science degree specialising in maths and physics, his favourite and most ‘fun’ subjects. He is excited to learn more, and use his hard-working attitude to discover his ‘niche’ over the coming years, but wouldn’t mind getting into scientific research.

They have both appreciated their time here; Hope since Year 4 and Callum coming to MECS in Year 8. For Hope, coming to MECS changed her from a shy, quiet young girl into a mature young lady who is confident to speak out on behalf of others and to live out of her Christian faith with purpose and confidence. Callum has enjoyed the opportunity to be himself, a self-confessed ‘nerd’ and to pursue his areas of passion without judgement or ridicule. He believes with the support of good friends and good teachers, he has been able to give a good account of himself as a student and do his best.

They both aspire to give TED talks in the future on their chosen areas of passion and expertise. Callum would love to see his name in a future VCE text book; Hope wants to visit every continent in the world, except Antarctica!

Finally, they urge all our future VCE students to value their education, but not forget who you are! Both echo the sentiment that MECS lets you be yourself, and that will be OK! They encourage all students to use the opportunities that MECS provides, believing that teachers really do care about their students and want the best for them.

So…as you can see, ATAR scores are more than just a number! I hope these brief insights into Hope and Callum tell you more than just publishing their results. They tell the story of two young people who found a warm, welcoming place at MECS to pursue their passions and interests and to explore how God is also part of that story. They graduate not only with an ATAR score, but with a clear understanding of who they are, how God had gifted them with unique purpose and passion and how they might use these gifts to bless others in the future.

As the Principal of a Christian school, I often watch with bemusement and frustration at the way ‘success’ and ‘results’ are talked about by some other schools. However, at the core of who MECS is, and as expressed in our mission statement, we want to provide all our students “with learning experiences that challenge each student to actively live for God in His world.”

We are confident that Hope, Callum and all our other 2019 graduates have had that opportunity. The future is now up to them! May God continue to inspire, equip and guide them in the days ahead.