Catholic Education South Australia
18 Aug 2023
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All Good On Merits

Saint Ignatius’ College is celebrating outstanding academic success

For Saint Ignatius’ College principal Barbara Watkins, last year’s exceptional SACE and ATAR results reflect more than academic excellence – they also reflect human excellence.

The college is celebrating outstanding results for its Class of 2022, with all Year 12 students gaining their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

Across the board, students gained 128A+ grades, including 55 Merits, 234 A grades and 184 A- grades. The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores were equally impressive, with an average of 86.7 and a median score of 90.0.

“We are very proud of the whole cohort. Coming out of the pandemic, all schools in the state were probably concerned about how students would perform – and our students really performed so well,” Ms Watkins says.

“I am really proud that our students received Merits across a large number of SACE courses, not just in one area. We talk to them from their first days at the college about curiosity and intellectual pursuits, so even from a young age they are well-versed at collaborating on problem-based learning. They can apply those key skills no matter which subject they are studying, whether that is English, Chemistry or any other subject.”

But it’s about more than getting good grades. As a Jesuit school, the college embraces holistic education, where academic learning blends with social, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects. “A great tradition we have here is we talk about human excellence which is in every part of ourselves. For everyone that is slightly different. Our teachers work with students in a collaborative and thoughtful way. Students have mentor teachers whom they meet with every day and who look after them holistically.”

That collaboration extends to the students themselves, who take pride in not just their personal success but the success of the college as a whole.

“It’s altruistic in its approach,” Ms Watkins says. “Our students care about each other. It’s not just ‘I have to get my best results’. It’s more ‘I am going for my personal best myself but I’m doing it for everybody as well.”

It’s also about outfitting students for life after graduation.

“Most of our students will go to university and we want them to be able to manage that because it’s very different from school life. That’s why we focus on building a person of human excellence who will succeed in all the different jobs or careers they are going to have. We don’t know what those careers will be so their kitbag of skills has to be diverse and strong and they have to be happy to apply themselves.”

Giving their best in everything they do appears to come naturally to Saint Ignatius’ College students.

“They roll up their sleeves and they get going with it, no matter whether it’s academics, sport or music,” Ms Watkins says. “They really apply themselves incredibly well, which means one day they will be a great worker and a lifelong learner.”

Pictured above: Saint Ignatius’ College principal Barbara Watkins with students Ben, Jessica and Laela who are achieving great results.
WORDS: Lynn Cameron.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Russell Millard.
Featured in the SA Catholic Schools Magazine, published in The Advertiser, August 5 2023.

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