REFLECTIONS FROM BLAKE HORE AND PRINCPAL JULIE PRATTIS
As Principal of Torrens Valley Christian School I am extremely proud that in the midst of a challenging year we achieved 100% SACE completion for our class of 2020. One of those students reached extraordinary heights achieving an ATAR of 99.75.
Blake received one of the highest ATAR results ever recorded at TVCS.
It has been a privilege to see Blake’s growth from the time he commenced at Torrens Valley Christian School in Reception to his graduation from Year 12 at the end of 2020. I am exceptionally proud of him and his outstanding achievements, not just academically, but in every aspect of his personal and spiritual development.
I believe Blake has achieved exceptional results because he invested exceptional commitment! From the very beginning, Blake set himself a goal and worked with determination and focus to achieve it. The staff at Torrens Valley Christian School partner with students in pursuit of their goals. They coach, mentor, teach and encourage the students along the way, helping them strive to attain their goal.
Just as an Olympic athlete knows his target and focusses with determination to achieve it, students in Year 12 need to commit to the goal ahead, avoiding the distractions that arise along the way. Achieving a high ATAR requires commitment and focus. On behalf of the whole school community, congratulations to Blake and to the class of 2020 for all your achievements, as you make your way into the next phase of your journey.
REFLECTIONS FROM BLAKE HORE
How long were you a student at TVCS?
From Reception in 2008 to Year 12 in 2020.
What subjects did you undertake in 2020?
Physics, chemistry, maths methods and specialist maths.
What were the opportunities in your learning journey that equipped you to reach your goal and further learning journey beyond school?
I’ve been very lucky to have a supportive family behind me. Being able to complete my schooling in such a supportive Christian environment where successes are celebrated, was also certainly very important. Teachers have always been there to encourage me, and challenge me to extend myself. They presented me with opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities ranging from the Lego robotics competition in Year 9 to helping run the weekly before-school prayer meeting in Year 12.
Many opportunities will present themselves throughout school, but it is the individual’s responsibility to take advantage of them.
It is good to look for ways to get involved outside the classroom – it can lead to much personal growth.
What were some of your goals at the beginning of the year/what were your expectations going into 2020?
At the start of the year, my academic goal was to do my best in all subjects. I wanted to achieve as highly as I possibly could. I also wanted to grow in my faith, to trust and love God more deeply.
I, like everyone else, had no idea what a crazy year 2020 would be. My cohort is just lucky that SA dealt with COVID so well.
What were your motivating factors for becoming a high academic achiever?
I really just wanted to do my best at whatever I did, making the best possible use of my God-given abilities. I didn’t want to look back and think that I could’ve tried harder or done better. I knew the more effort I put into school, the better prepared I would be for future study and work. Also, I really enjoyed everything I was studying, so I genuinely wanted to learn all the subject content to the best of my ability.
The school’s vision is ‘Believe in God. Belong to community. Become all God has created you to be’. How was this vision outworked during your time at TVCS? Can you share a story or example?
Over the course of my time at TVCS, and especially in my last few years at the school, I’ve grown very much in my faith. It’s really great that the school focuses not just on academics, but really seeks to develop the whole person. I believe it has made all the difference to me. The tightknit community, the caring teachers and the focus on Christ made it a really nice environment to complete my schooling in.
It helped me to keep my eyes on what really matters (Jesus), reminding me that my work should be done to his glory alone (1 Corinthians 10:31, Matthew 5:16)
Year 11 camp in the Flinders Ranges comes to mind as a time when I saw the school’s vision outworked. I saw our year group come together in a way that we hadn’t before. I saw them engage with God in prayer and in worship. It was an amazing camp; it seemed most of us didn’t want to leave.
Do you have any advice for Year 12s aiming for a high academic achievement?
Work hard at school, but don’t neglect other areas of life (spiritual, social, etc.). Set aside time to rest, and always try to get enough sleep, because of course, fatigue will negatively impact your work. I learned that the night before a test, the best preparation is often just getting a good sleep.
It’s important to not dwell on mistakes, just do your best. If you mess up on an assessment, don’t get caught up on it. Just learn from it and do better next time. And don’t spend too much time trying to predict your ATAR!
Do you have any advice about spiritual wellbeing, as well as physical and mental wellbeing while at school?
The single most important thing to focus on while at school, and throughout your whole life, is your relationship with Jesus. Set aside time to pray and really engage with the Bible. It’s powerful stuff, trust me. Also, it’s really good to get involved in your church and/or youth group – go, have fun, learn, connect, volunteer.
Work hard at school but also make sure to rest – don’t burn yourself out. There were many times in year 12 that I just needed to stop doing homework for a little while to regain some energy then get back into it with a clear mind.
What are your plans beyond school?
In 2021 I’m starting a double degree at the University of Adelaide – a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Electrical & Electronic) with a Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. I’m very excited to get started.
Outside of study, I’m involved in leading a young adults Bible study group at church. I’m also involved in running the livestream of Sunday services at church.