Investigator College Director of Teaching and Learning, Andrew Panozzo, said almost all the school’s graduates applied for tertiary colleges or university places.
“The results are truly excellent,” Mr Panozzo said. “In fact, our results continue to rival those of the elite independent schools in capital cities.”
Investigator College’s results included ‘perfect 20s’ achieved by Ryan Finlay in Communication Products, Grace Gilbert in Workplace Practices, and Kathryn Law in English Communications.
Kathryn’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) was also a near-perfect 98.95, and she led a large contingent of Investigator College students who achieved ATARs above the national average.
Importantly, 28 per cent of Investigator graduates received an ATAR of 90 or above, with an overall average score of 73.5 among the entire student population. Of the graduates who applied for university placements, the average ATAR was above 88, many receiving significant bonus points from particular courses/universities.
Such bonuses saw Investigator College graduates ‘breeze’ into numerous courses including engineering, science and arts. The College also featured significantly in specialised study areas including hospitality, visual arts, drama and music.
Investigator College has the huge benefit of a unique dual complementary campus model, which offers specialised facilities and infrastructure catering to both arts and vocational interests. Again, the students’ results in these areas and in Vocational Education were excellent with a significant number of students achieving their TAFE, workplace and further training aspirations.
The superb 2013 results form part of an impressive ongoing upward trend for Investigator College since 2007, consolidating the fact the South Coast boasts an independent educational institution, one which delivers academic excellence and firmly negates the need for local children to travel great distances to attend schools in Adelaide.
College CEO and Principal Don Grimmett said that the results were a testimony to the efforts of all students and staff.
“Whilst we are justifiably proud of our superb results, we are mindful that the SACE and academic results are only one part – though obviously an important one – of what it means to be a great school in the 21st century,” Mr Grimmett said.
“There is no simple number that can measure all the other things such as pastoral care and co-curricular activities that enrich students’ lives.”
Grace rides ultimate wave of leadership
Year 12 Investigator College student Grace Gilbert has been riding a wave of success for some time now, and not forgotten on the journey have been those supporting closely alongside, especially her teachers.
Now the student is the teacher having taught junior primary students as young as five her great passion – surfing. According to Grace, the personal rewards from the experience continue to be enlightening.
Once more, the roles have been reversed with the teachers proud of Grace’s marvellous perfect-20 score for a Year 12 subject of workplace practices while doing Y11 last year. The subject included a practical component relating to teaching, so she took a class of ‘littlies’ and taught them the art of surfing.
“It was incredibly satisfying to see the children learn and have great fun,” Grace said. “They were just so good to work with.
“I have always appreciated the support of all my teachers, and to then be able to reverse the role and work with the little ones was just so good.
“At first, one of my Reception students, Kate, wanted to play with her doll rather than go into the water. It was about slowly working with her, and a couple of weeks later she was right in there. The next minute she caught a little wave; she is a natural.”
The support for Grace goes a little deeper as her mother, Natalie, is a science teacher at Investigator College and a former surfing instructor, while her father, Steve, was a seasoned surfing campaigner in his day, and her sisters Alice – herself a highly-accomplished surfer at national level – and Steph also keen on the sport.
Grace, who lives in Goolwa, has twice represented SA, including finishing third in the national under-18 longboard (9ft 1in) final at Port Macquarie.
“Surfing has been a big part of my life, and as a subject at school it has taught me a lot about time management, work ethos and goal-setting,” Grace said.
The young surfer now has her sights on state surfing titles and competing at an international level, and is exploring career options – possibly university – created by the pathways set at Investigator College. In the meantime, there may be more surf coaching, and perhaps providing VAC Swim lessons having previously assisted schools on Kangaroo Island, which perennially struggles to find instructors.
Grace received a certificate recognising her perfect-20 score during a special gathering at Government House of the state’s high-achieving students, but probably no other student had the distinction of also being a ‘teacher’. Unusual, but then all of Investigator’s pathways have been pleasantly surprising.