06 January, 2020 Academic

Navigating Year 12 and achieving VCE success: Grace Colville

St Michael’s students have a long history of VCE success and entering into a wide variety of post school pathways. Following the release of VCE results in December 2019, many students have achieved an ATAR that will allow them to take the next step toward their chosen area of study.

We spoke to recent graduate, Grace Colville, to hear about her St Michael’s journey, how she navigated the challenges of VCE, and her ambitions for the future.


Grace Colville (12H)

In Year 12, Grace took on a challenging and diverse VCE subject mix including English Language, Maths Methods, Specialist Maths, Studio Arts and Chemistry, resulting in an exceptional ATAR of 99.4, which placed her in the top 1% of the state. Grace was also awarded the prize for Outstanding Achievement by a Girl in the Area of Science at Speech Night and captained the Senior Girls Soccer team.

Navigating Year 12 and achieving VCE success: Grace Colville Grace Colville completing an experiment during chemistry class

For Grace, striking a balance between her academic pursuits and hobbies, whilst also maintaining a strong community network, was key to her success.

“Throughout the year when school was busy, I coped by taking time off to relax, as well as always staying connected with my friends and family, keeping my relationships as a major priority. I found a balance by limiting time spent on activities that I didn’t mind missing, such as watching TV, which allowed me to prioritise study in tandem with other important activities,” said Grace.

During her time at St Michael’s, Grace excelled on the soccer pitch, receiving Gold Awards for her achievements in both Soccer and Futsal. Grace saw her involvement in sporting activities as a major contributor to her ability to stay motivated throughout the year and perform academically.

I believe playing sport had a major positive impact on my mental health and wellbeing during Year 12, as well as being beneficial to my learning, rather than seeming like another activity to juggle. During exam periods, when I was most stressed, I took time to exercise, which I believe was essential in staying focused. Grace Colville (12H)

Valedictory Day, held on Thursday 17 October, presented a wonderful opportunity for Grace to pause and reflect on her time at St Michael’s and her personal growth.

“For me, Valedictory Day felt like a celebration of all the time spent and work undertaken during the years at St Michael’s, as well as a time to reflect on who I had become and the many amazing relationships I had formed”, said Grace. “I moved to St Michael’s at the beginning of Year 8, which was the best possible decision for me, as the School has been fundamental in allowing me to become who I am today. I always felt able to participate in what I was interested in and St Michael’s provided a community where I felt able to be myself, whilst always being supported. The trust given to me by the School to self-motivate and explore various pathways without external pressure was invaluable to my learning experience.”

For future VCE students, Grace recommends finding a balance between academic and personal pursuits, and developing a positive study routine.

“My best piece of advice for upcoming VCE students is to ensure that you give yourself time to do the things you love and always keep connected to people, particularly in times of stress to ensure that you are not dealing with it alone. Year 12 is a celebration of your time at school that provides you with an opportunity to bond with a strong community of individuals—don’t undervalue this due to academic pressure,” said Grace.

“I also found it really beneficial to get myself into a routine of studying every day from the start of the year, when the workload was lighter and I had more energy. I also made sure I always had at least one night of the weekend set aside to do things with friends so that I had something to look forward to.”

Grace is planning to study an undergraduate degree in biomedicine or commerce at the University of Melbourne, then would like to obtain a masters in engineering. But first, she is taking a gap year to work and travel overseas.

We congratulate Grace on all she has achieved during her time at St Michael’s and wish her the very best for 2020 and beyond.