What began as a promising final year for the class of 2020 at Wyndham College changed quickly as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Valuable face-to-face course time was lost due to the lockdown plus a brief stint in isolation for 120 students bringing further disruptions to trial exams, practical performances and major works.
But despite these obstacles the 2020 cohort, guided by their committed teachers, persevered to attain some amazing achievements. Twelve students were awarded $20,000 scholarships and early entry into Western Sydney University as part of the WSU Access Program, a significant advantage for students wanting to undertake tertiary study.
Several of these students were hardworking members of the College's Platinum Club program. Alongside this achievement, 32 additional students received offers for early entry into a university course for 2021, with a number receiving unconditional entry and scholarships. "It's fantastic to see so many students looking to the future and being rewarded for their hard work," careers adviser Sue Beamer said.
Few faculties were hit as hard as Creative and Performing Arts, as progress on practical performances and major art works suffered following numerous disruptions. Yet, the talented dancers and artists of Wyndham College overcame every obstacle to maintain the longstanding tradition of students rewarded for their hard work with two nominated for Dance Callback and three students nominated for Art Express. "I am very proud of their fantastic work ethic and resilience throughout these challenging times ... the quality of work produced was excellent and a true reflection of their dedication," dance teacher Sarah Minol said of her students.
Extra-curricular activities also felt the impact of the pandemic, after the early decision to suspend all sporting events brought the College's Extra-Curricular Athletic Program (E-CAP) to a close only weeks after beginning.
However, Wyndham's numerous sporting teams, better known as the Wolverines, still managed several key victories - most notably the boys open water polo team who finished runners up in the NSWCHS Sydney West Knockout Final. "There were some outstanding athletes in the program this year and they each played amazingly. It's a shame the year 12 students had their final season cut so short," sports co-ordinator Nathan Hulands said.
According to principal Karen Smith, the Wyndham College class of 2020 will always be remembered as the cohort who persevered through the most challenging of years to complete their educational journey. "I am very proud of each and every student this year and wish them all the best in the HSC and their future endeavours," she said.