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Matthew Giddings: Scotch Star and Top of the State


18 December 2018

Matthew Giddings: Scotch Star and Top of the State

Matthew Giddings: Scotch Star and Top of the State

Today Matthew Giddings, Scotch Scholar and recipient of the Governor of South Australia’s Commendation has been recognised as one of the best in the state having achieved a perfect ATAR of 99.95. Matthew is the ranked as one of the highest achieving students in Australia. An outstanding achievement by an amazing young man with tremendous opportunity before him. What follows is Matthew’s story. We are proud and honoured to have been part of Matthew’s success at Scotch. A phenomenal result. 

I moved to Scotch in Year 2 in 2008.  The original plan was to move in Year 5, but my father was very ill at the time, so the process was accelerated a bit. Unfortunately, my dad, Christopher Giddings, died during that year. I know he would be very proud, and I like to think that I have become the person he and my mum imagined. My parents chose to send me to Scotch because they knew that it had a great reputation for producing respectful and all-rounded students, which is something that was very important to them. 

There have been many things that have contributed to my success at Scotch. Throughout my time here Scotch has given me so many opportunities to extend my learning, through activities such as maths workshops after school, as well as extra-curricular activities like Future Problem Solving, and being in the music program playing the piano and as keyboard player in the Funk band. This has really given me a passion for learning, which has helped me so much in the past two years, and which I know I will continue to do so into the future. It has also given me the confidence to explore more challenging ideas in my school tasks. My teachers across my journey have also contributed significantly to my success. They have been so enthusiastic about the subjects that they are teaching, and they have encouraged me to extend myself in my investigation tasks, which has helped me to get the best out of myself and developed my intrinsic motivation to succeed. Of course, my mum Jenny has always been there for me and encouraged me to put all my effort into any pursuit I undertook. She was so proud of me this morning smiling hugely when I logged onto the website and sat there nervously before the sneaky fist pump. Thanks mum for everything.

My philosophy about my approach to my studies this year has been to work hard and enjoy the process. All of the subjects that I studied Biology, Physics, Specialist and Methods are the those that I've been really passionate about. My teachers have all been brilliant at highlighting the exciting parts of the respective courses and showing the real-world applications of the content we've been learning about. My mindset this year has been to give my best effort in my academic pursuits, but also to share the experience with my classmates. Being my last year at Scotch, I really wanted to enjoy the experience, which I've done by working closely with my classmates on assessment tasks and trying to offer help whenever I can to help them to do the best that they can as well.

Two words that sum what I have gained from Scotch are empathy and courage. I believe that Scotch has a culture that is orientated around people, and this has taught me the importance of seeing situations from the perspectives of others. Scotch has also given me many opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone through activities like school camps and sport, which given me the confidence to take more risks. 

I believe that my most rewarding experiences at Scotch have been on the sporting field. I played cricket and football for the college for many years, which has not only been a lot of fun, but has also taught me many valuable skills. On the cricket field, I was fortunate enough to captain a team for a couple of years, and that was an amazing experience. I developed a lot of confidence in communicating effectively in a team and making quick decisions in high-pressure situations. Playing football is an experience that I value most highly. The football environment pushed me far out of my comfort zone every year, which has made me a more courageous person. The development of these skills has translated into other areas of my life, including my academics. It has also taught me the importance of trust and accountability, which are qualities that I value very highly.

Our College Captains Esther Boles and Hudson Laycock on Speech Night implored us to be someone and to solve the big problems. For me, future success will involve using the skills that I have developed at Scotch to give back to my community. I am hoping to study medicine next year, which will give me a great opportunity to use my love of learning and my love of science to contribute to our medical understanding, and ultimately improve the lives of other people! In the future I would like to be described as a caring person who is dedicated to helping others.

Matthew Giddings
Class of 2018

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