Curriculum News week ending 20 Nov 2020

During this exam season, we reflect on why we sit exams and what exams tell us about an individual.

Exams tell us where a young man sits academically. They are the culmination of a year's work and indicate how a young man has applied himself over the course of a year. 

Exams also tell us so much more about an individual.

I addressed the Junior School in a Chapel Assembly this week with the words above. I also spoke a lot more about what exams tell us about an individual.

The ability of one boy cognitively can differ greatly from another.

Excellence is what we measure the boys against. ‘First in the test’ is the number one student in a year group or a class.

Students are all smart per se and they are aware of who the ‘smartest' boys are and where they themselves rank in a class. However, they are not always aware of how we as teachers see them and how we report on them.

We make judgments about students; we look at how many academic levels a student has shifted in that given year; we look at how they have applied themselves in class.

It is clear to us who has studied and who has not. Students are all different and we recognise that.

A young man may barely pass, may have struggled all year but has doggedly persevered. His Achieved Grade may well be his personal ‘Excellence’. He may have made the most progress across the year. He will not be first in class, BUT his success has been incredible. We recognise this.

Boys who are successful in life, boys who are leaders, are boys that can apply themselves, boys that demand excellence from themselves.

We want our young men to be Merit and Excellence Endorsed at every year level, that must be all boys aim while at school.

Boys need to train themselves academically, to build routines inside the classroom that allow them to be successful.

Boys do not set foot on a Rugby field without preparation, without training, without hard work. Our sports teams are successful because they are well trained, the young men want to be better, they have a desire to compete.

The classroom is the same, exam preparation begins from the first class of the year.  There is no substitute for hard work in life. Hard work plus sound character will make our boys successful.

The boys that succeed at school are the boys who do well in the following areas:

  • they are well groomed 
  • they are on time 
  • they are engaged in class 
  • they read books they play sport 
  • they play an instrument 
  • they own their success and failures they are of good character
  • they are resilient 
  • they serve others and; 
  • their families are engaged in their sons’ learning

These are the young men that reach their potential at St Paul's College, the young men who reach their own Levels of Excellence in Exams. The success of these young men is based on hard work and a family that is engaged with their sons learning. 

Confortare esto vir

Craig Borich
Deputy Headmaster Curriculum
St Paul's College

E: [email protected]