Farewell and congratulations Year 12

The HSC class of 2023 is heading for the finish line after 13 years of education.

At Sylvania High, 60 teachers and 15 school administrative support staff farewelled Year 12 with a flash mob dance to ‘Stand by Me’.

There were cheers and tears this week as almost 69,000 HSC students left school to study for exams starting on October 11.

NSW schools held assemblies, picnics, concerts, muck-up days, guards of honour and sporting challenges between students and teachers to mark the rite of passage and wish the students all the very best.

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said it was a special time for students, their schools and families.

“Thirteen years of schooling is a truly remarkable achievement. To our 69,000 young people graduating from Year 12, congratulations,” he said.

“These next few weeks will be exciting and challenging as you start preparing for the HSC and your next chapter beyond school. You’re almost there.

“Goodbye and good luck Year 12 class of 2023. Thank you for the memories. You can accomplish anything.”

At Sylvania High School on Dharawal Country, 60 teachers and 15 school administrative support staff farewelled Year 12 with a flash mob dance to ‘Stand by Me’.

Deputy principal Dana Quick donned sunglasses to start the flash mob, followed by principal Renee Holz and the school executive team. As students sat in the quadrangle, more teachers and admin staff started appearing around them to shimmy and bop.

Principal Renee Holz said the school community was inspired by the students’ hard work and determination to succeed.

“After 13 years of schooling it was important that all students saw our entire staff united in showing our deep admiration and respect for our Year 12 students,” she said.

“Staff felt the lyrics ‘Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand, by me’ reflected the positive relationships between staff and students, and the unwavering support we will provide for Year 12 students as they approach the final stretch towards the HSC examinations."

Ivanhoe Central School's single Year 12 student for 2023, Shannen Gallagher, celebrated her solo graduation on Ngiympaa Country.

The school community came together to hold a dedicated graduation party in the hall where Shannen walked her very own red carpet.

Shannen’s teachers, peers, friends and family attended to mark the occasion and acknowledge the incredible achievement of finishing her high school studies.

A girl with a cake and a boy and girl walking down a red carpet. A girl with a cake and a boy and girl walking down a red carpet.
Image: Ivanhoe Central's Shannen Gallagher was the only Year 12 student at the school in 2023. The school celebrated her achievement with a red carpet and special assembly.

At Armidale Secondary College, on Anaiwan Country, staff and Year 12 students ended the school year finalising a tradition, shared by many schools, of a round of sports grudge matches.

Principal Bree Harvey-Bice said the Eagle Cup, named after the school mascot Reggie the Wedgetailed Eagle, was held across the year and involved a series of sporting challenges, including a swimming race, a running race and, over the last two weeks of school, a series of sporting challenges.

Ms Harvey-Bice said Year 12 adviser Mitch Edwards took “great glee” in raising the cup on behalf of the teachers at the school's valedictory ceremony yesterday, at which 130 year 12 students marked the end of their formal education.

She said it was an emotional day for the departing students, but the school was still focused on supporting them as they worked toward their HSC exams.

“We have a great team of teachers who are volunteering their time during the school holidays to hold HSC study sessions for our students,” she said.

“Although they are no longer at school, we are still there supporting our students as they put in that last effort before the exams.”

Ms Harvey-Bice said her main advice to HSC students was to stay calm, prepare in advance and do not leave it until the night before to revise.

“But ultimately, you are more important than an exam score, so look after your whole self,” she added.

“The things that you have achieved and continue to achieve that show your respect for each other, the way you step up and take responsibility as an adult for your actions and your incredible resilience shine through.

“We are proud of the many pathways that our students take on their journey through and beyond school, be that university, TAFE, joining the workforce, perusing their creative, cultural or sporting goals or taking up van life up the coast.

“We are grateful to have been able to share part of your journey of learning and hope that your every dream becomes a goal that you achieve.”

The Higher School Certificate is the most popular school credential in Australia, with 76,839 students studying one or more HSC courses in 2023.

Of these, 68,689 are on track to complete their HSC this year, with an additional 8,150 students studying at least one HSC course.

The exams start on October 11 and finish on November 3, by which time students will have completed a total of 124 written exams.

The 10 subjects with the highest number of HSC candidates are: English (mandatory for all students), followed by Mathematics, Biology, Business Studies, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Studies of Religion, Modern History, Legal Studies, Chemistry, and Community and Family Studies.

Students posing together for photos. Students posing together for photos.
Image: Year 12 students and staff from Armidale Secondary College ended the school year with a round of sports grudge matches for the Eagle Cup, named after the school mascot Reggie the Wedgetailed Eagle.
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