Certificates of commendation and congratulations have been awarded to seven secondary graduates from colleges within Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton (CEDR) recently, recognising consistent academic achievement under Queensland’s newly adopted senior assessment and tertiary entrance system.
The students were among the state’s 2020 graduates who achieved straight A’s in six General Subject Areas earning a Certificate of Academic Commendation from the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and a congratulatory certificate from CEDR Diocesan Director Leesa Jeffcoat AM, recognising their achievements.
Miss Jeffcoat paid tribute to the students for their outstanding efforts and their application amidst the pandemic.
“I offer my sincere congratulations to all our students who have received a QCAA Certificate of Academic Commendation,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
“As the first cohort to graduate under the new assessment system these students have shown tremendous resilience, dedication and commitment to their studies and have received outstanding academic results in a highly disruptive year,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
Among the recipients were Ben Heinemann (Marist College, Emerald) and Shannon Uys (The Cathedral College, Rockhampton) who have both gone on to successfully gain entry into their preferred fields of study this year.
Both students attributed most of their success to hard work, consistency, good time management and seeking a balance between study and other life interests and pursuits.
“Manage your time – consistent stints of study and revision are more effective than draining yourself a week before exams trying to relearn a whole term’s worth of work, or for external exams, a whole year’s worth of work,” according to Ben, Marist College 2020 Dux and College Captain.
He said being committed and working hard guaranteed self-improvement and receiving results that were personally pleasing.
“Hard work and commitment do pay off. But it’s also important to have a balance, play sport, have a social life and enjoy your years at highschool,” Ben said.
Ben’s ATAR score of 99.6 gained him entry to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to study Electrical Engineering.
Shannon, who was accepted at the University of Wollongong to study Architectural Engineering, believes time management is key.
“We’ve heard it so many times, but using your time effectively is so important. The more you do in class the less stress at external exams and the less to do at home.
“Staying on top of work even when it was hard helped when it came to external exams as I felt prepared,” Shannon said.
Shannon said a good work ethic and being organised with study was also beneficial.
“Starting a job and finishing it with my absolute best effort was a value drilled into me from an early age and this has stayed with me through everything I do. So, I would try to be organised about my approach to study. I had colour coded study books, I would schedule breaks when studying at home and set realistic goals for each hour interval of work,” Shannon said.
“Time management helps with finding balance to fit everything in, including self-care, as you are your greatest asset. If you are not functioning, neither is the work.
“Enjoy school and all it has offer,” Shannon said.
“I’m honoured to represent my school through this award and I was very humbled by the recognition. Considering the year we had last year, it just goes to show no matter what happens hard work and determination pay off,” Shannon said.
Shannon said even though she considered herself to be generally self-motivated, a cheer squad of support from family, friends, teachers and peers made all the difference.