2020: What a wild ride it has been! More ups and downs than the stock market, and the pace of these ups and downs has been frantic. Across Australia, we have had massive fires and floods, then COVID hit the nation and our life changed very quickly to focus on the prevention of the virus spreading and lockdown. Schools were emptied quickly at the end of Term 1, and in Western Australia we were looking at remote schooling for the start of Term 2.

However, due to the concerted actions of the Western Australian government and the public, we were able to resume full face to face schooling in Week 3, Term 2.  Which we are forever thankful for.  Remote schooling is not suitable for all students and I feel it would have disadvantaged many of our clientele.

I am very proud of the students, staff and Warwick community, that we have been able to be resilient and bounce back from what was looking like a disastrous year on the academic front. By working together and planning to slowly achieve our usual milestones and goals, we have not only completed the year, but our achievements have been highly creditably.

Most importantly, the majority of Year 12 students have achieved their WACE and will move on to tertiary education, TAFE and jobs. Within this, our OLNA results have been very pleasing for the Year 10, 11 and 12 students. A lot of hard work by teachers, has ensured better than expected results for the Year 12 group.

Year 9 OLNA results (which have been tested for the first time, in the absence of NAPLAN this year), has given many Year 9 students early competence in Reading, Writing, and Numeracy for their WACE. This is pleasing for these Year 9 students who now do not have to worry about achieving these future years.

Term 2 was very quiet for the school with no excursions/incursions permitted. It meant the students’ only focus was their classwork, which allowed the staff to recover time lost in the lockdown period. However, Term 3 was a hive of activity as many events (sporting and academic) were rescheduled again. It was pleasing to see staff and students again engaged in very worthwhile activities outside of school, which enriched the education of the students. Even the long awaited School Ball (deferred from March) was held on the first Monday evening of Term 4.  It was a great celebration of the year for the Year 11 and 12 students and staff who attended.

In a year that could have been a non-event year for the students and the school, we have seen: individual and team awards won on the state, national and even the global stage; students recognised for their endeavours and their talents; and whole school events conducted that demonstrated the community spirit of our school.  The school staff need recognition for their exceptional mentoring, guiding and coaching of students, as out of class and extra-curricular events do not just “happen” without many staff giving up their personal time after school and on weekends.

Thank you to our wonderful community who have whole heartedly supported us in 2020, and put their faith in our leaders and teachers to continue to provide a quality education for their children, in what at times was a very challenging environment. Also the School Board (who still met during COVID) for their time and effort to guide the school and support us. And the small but dedicated band of P&C members, who also soldiered on, and even raised funds to donate to the school.

Last but not least, thank you to the entire staff of Warwick SHS who always work as a cohesive and dedicated team, and are very firmly focused on providing a bright and positive future for all our students. Let’s hope 2021 is a less “eventful” year than 2020!

Lesley Wintle