This week has been a big week for those young people who have just completed year 12 in one of the 900 or so schools throughout NSW.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
They received their HSC results on Thursday, and it is an important time for each and every one of them as they contemplate the next chapter of their lives, in whatever area they decide to pursue.
It's a big week for parents too, as they try to support their sons and daughters if they are disappointed, or celebrate with them if they are happy (sometimes it's hard for parents to work out which one is actually the correct or desired response in the moment).
It is so important to help our young people to see all that they are – their skills, their knowledge, the values and attributes that make up who they are as people.
Maybe they are people of strength, or integrity, or curiosity, or they are collaborative team players, loyal, a good friend.
It is also important to help our young people to see their future potential – all of the things that their parents wanted them to be when they were born, all of the things we want for them as a society today, all of the things ahead of them in the next likely 80 years of their lives.
So whilst it is a time for families to celebrate all that their son or daughter has achieved in their 12 or 13 years of schooling, and to think about the next stages of their lives, it's also time for our society to do the same about the HSC itself.
Richard Watson, futurist in residence at Imperial College, London, was commissioned to write an occasional paper for the NSW Department of Education under the banner "Education: Future Frontiers".
In part of his dossier he writes "It's also rubbish that your whole future can be determined by how you perform on a particular day."
Because as much as we should celebrate those that have done well, by no means does a simple score make one person any better than another member of their cohort.
In 10 years' time, today's numbers (that is the students' HSC results) will be forgotten.
Students, ask your parents how often, these days, they are asked how they went in their end-of-school credential, wherever they gained it.
If you are a student who needs a particular mark in order to study your preferred course, well done.
If you don’t achieve your desired mark, it’s not the end of the world. Remember, nobody can be defined by a number.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.