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Q&A: Recognising impressive student achievement on the Challenge at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne

Q&A: Recognising impressive student achievement on the Challenge at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne

Comment 3 minute read

We had the opportunity to discuss the Global Academic Challenge with Sam Haines, the Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator at Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) in Melbourne. Students at PLC performed remarkably well in the competition, with two students awarded medallions for the top result in their learning area.

Could you share a bit about why your school decided to participate in the Global Academic Challenge this year?

I was very interested in giving the PLC students an opportunity to compete at an international level. Our students are very high achievers with a remarkably strong competitive streak, and while they are accustomed to success, they don’t fully appreciate the extent of their capabilities. The ACER Global Academic Challenge provided them with the opportunity to compare themselves to students from around the world and their success proved to them that they could compete on the international stage.

How were both the national and international benchmarks useful to you when you reviewed your students’ results?

They were satisfying to see, for similar reasons to why we chose to participate in the first place, but I think they were also useful in how they allowed the school to get a sense of where our students stand compared to students of the same age from around the world. It was also helpful for our teachers to be able to get a broader perspective on our students’ achievements and academic potential.

How engaged were your students in taking the Challenge?

There was some initial uncertainty among the students, mostly because the Challenge was new and unknown to them, but our students are very enthusiastic about competing, and the drive to achieve success took hold very quickly. On the testing day, their engagement was remarkable. The students were absolutely focused on achieving their best, so the room was silent other than the sounds of the keyboards clicking.

Many of your students received fantastic results on the Challenge, including two students who won medals for top scores. How did your school celebrate this achievement?

Our students were presented with their medals in front of the whole school, and photos from this event will be shared across our school media, including our social page and school newsletter. Even in a school where high achievement and awards being won are commonplace, the success of our students in the Global Academic Challenge stands out as something special. ■


Find out more

Explore the Global Academic Challenge.

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