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NUMBER 14, 2015
From the Headmaster

Quite obviously the end of the 2015 School year is rapidly drawing to a close.  It always surprises me how fast this time of year comes around as I recall so clearly the end of year events form last year.  In the lead up to the last day on Tuesday 8 December 2015 there is so much to look forward to. 

This evening sees the annual Year 2 and Dad’s Camp Over.  The School Prefects under the wonderful guidance of Mr Hordern do an outstanding job in preparing and running this event.  It is a great way to prepare the Year 2 students as they look forward to their first Outdoor Education Camp in March next year.  I know it will be a great night for all.

I am looking forward very much to next Wednesday’s Transition to Year 2 Concert.  It is always such a delight to see the students conclude their year with this concert that celebrates the birth of our Lord and Saviour.  Cute factor will be in abundance on that day!

The following Monday 7 December 2015 the Kindergarten to Year 4 Presentation Day celebrations will be held.  Over the years this assembly has developed into a wonderful celebration of the youngest learners in our school.  I look forward to seeing as many parents as are able to attend come to this special occasion.

The day after, of course, is the most important night in the life of our school.  This year it will be the Thirty-Second Annual Speech and Awards Night.  Not only will we be able to recognise students who have achieved the highest honours in their academic pursuits, but it is a wonderful show case of all that we do at Macarthur.  The show of students’ endeavours prior to the formal part of the evening commencing is a great way to see the breadth and depth of our students success.

As this is the last Bulletin for 2015, I would like to wish all the students, parents and supporters of the School a very Blessed and Holy Christmas as you celebrate and reflect on the wonderful gift from God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  May this be a time of great joy for you and your family.

David Nockles

From the Dean of Studies

Innovative Research in Macarthur Classrooms

Recently, Macarthur staff have been working on a collaborative Action Research project with Western Sydney University.  The project, funded by the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) involved staff from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools working alongside Professional Experience students and university academics.  Eighteen educators worked together with Dr Wendy Brooks from Western Sydney University, observing and analysing student learning.  The aim of the project was to select areas of teaching practice that were identified as needing further growth, and through professional dialogue determining the best way for these areas to further develop.  The project culminated in an Action Research conference which was attended by staff from Macarthur and the AIS as well as academics and pre-service teachers from University of Western Sydney.

The Action Research Projects covered a variety of topics including:

  • Investigating student engagement in Primary Mathematic
  • Analysing Visible Thinking in Secondary classes
  • Examining gender interaction in Primary Maths Groups
  • Exploring higher order thinking and the impact of technology in Years 2-10 classes
  • Examining Teacher Feedback in Years 5-12 classes
  • Evaluating Reflective Practice and Evaluation of lessons in Years 3-8 classes
  • Examining higher order thinking in Years 11 and 12 short answer responses

This was an enriching and inspiring experience for all staff involved in the project and has provided us with valuable data to inform out teaching proactive for 2016 and beyond.

Other teachers have also been involved in Action Research in the School, including Sue Byers (in a supervisory role) and Sarah Tor.  Sarah Tor, as part of an AISNSW Experience Teacher Action Research Program, investigated and implemented strategies to increase girls’ engagement in the mandatory Year 8 Computing course.  Her research was exemplary and her presentation was outstanding.  In recognition of her exceptional research, the AISNSW presented her with an Outstanding Action Research Project – Certificate of Excellence.

Melissa Gould-Drakeley

From the Dean of Students

The venue for Speech and Awards Night is the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre at Homebush and the proceedings will commence at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 December 2015.  Student performances and the display of works will be held in the Hall of Legends from 6.30pm. 

Speech and Awards Night will recognise student achievement in 2015 across the Middle School and Senior School and is compulsory for students in Years 5-12.  All Year 5-12 students will be dismissed from school on Tuesday at 12.00 noon in preparation for their attendance at this event.  The various bus companies that service the School will NOT be providing bus services to transport students home once dismissed and parents are encouraged to make suitable alternate transport arrangements.  After School Care closes on Friday 4 December and will not be an option for student supervision.

School Orchestra, School Choir 5-12, Concert Band 5-12, Preparatory Band and Preparatory Orchestra will depart Cobbitty at 12.30pm for rehearsals at the Sports Centre.  Students will need to bring food and drink for lunch and dinner or money to purchase items from the Kiosk at the venue.  Music students are permitted to wear their sport uniform for rehearsals but must change into full school uniform for Speech and Awards night.

Student Leadership Team, Award winners (involved in a performance) and the Drum Corps will travel by coach at 4.30pm. Any award winners not involved in a performance should be at the venue no later than 6.00pm.  Parents are reminded that students attending the rehearsal will be remaining at the venue until the conclusion of Speech and Awards Night.  No transport will be provided to return students to Cobbitty at the conclusion of the evening. 

All other students in Years 5-12 are expected at the venue by 7.00pm.  All students are to report for roll call in the downstairs vestibule between the display centre and main auditorium.  Students should find the following teachers to have their names marked as present.

Students who are not award winners are encouraged to sit with their parents and must not move around the auditorium during the proceedings. 


The parking area to use is Parking Station P3 off Sarah Durack Avenue.  It can be approached by turning into Australia Avenue from Homebush Bay Drive.  Then turn left into Sarah Durack Avenue. P3 is a multi-storey carpark on the left, in easy walking distance from the Centre.

Dress for Speech Night

Parents and students are reminded that proper attire for the evening will be full school uniform.  Boys are to wear winter uniform including blazers.  Girls are to wear summer uniform including blazer. Shoes should be clean and polished.

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre has advised that large bags will be checked before entry into the Auditorium as part of a renewed security policy.  Please be mindful that this is a requirement of a public venue and not a policy of Macarthur.

Timothy Cartwright

Chaplains Chat

Toys’n’Tucker and Christmas

Thank you to all of the students and parents who have contributed to this year’s Toys’n’Tucker project.

What a joy it is to share the love of Jesus at Christmas time.

What a practical help you have been to many other families who will be able to share in a good meal and with good gifts as a result of your generosity.

Well Done. “God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9.7

Christmas is such a special time for all of us and as we celebrate the birth of Jesus in our relatively comfortable surrounds, spare a thought – and a prayer-for those in our society and in our world for whom Christmas is a struggle. It is worth remembering that when Jesus was born it was in a stable – not in the inn, to young vulnerable parents who, within a few years, were off to Egypt as refugees. Jesus knows what it is to be in tough situations. We worship a ‘King’ who identifies with the poor and lowly.

Amidst all the fun and joy and excitement of Christmas there is a lovely carol that reminds us of God’s presence…“O come O Come Emmanuel”

“ The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, they will call him Emmanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” Matthew 1.23 

Jesus, the one who saves, has come to initiate your and my salvation; eventually through the love shown in the cross and resurrection.

You can listen to this carol beautifully played instrumentally with cello and piano (ThePianoGuys)

or hauntingly sung by a choir and orchestra.

and a modern song that carries similar themes is ‘Broken Vessels’(Amazing Grace) – from Hillsong

The photo below was taken at the beginning of the final week of the toys’n’tucker campaign.

Looking for Holiday activities? – Cru camps offer a huge variety of well run, safe and very engaging residential and day camps for children of all ages  (K-12) – go to     for more details. Crusaders is a Christian children and youth organisation who partner with us in many of our voluntary groups at school.

The Reverend David Hayman

Parents and Friends

The Christmas break is quickly approaching.  Last Wednesday the W@M held the Gingerbread Workshop for school families along with members of the extended school community.  Those in attendance had a fantastic time building and decorating their houses.  It was great to see the variations in creativity! (see photos below)

The last M@M BBQ breakfast for 2015 was held this morning.  It was fantastic to see the school community coming together to support this breakfast.  The men went all out with Christmas decorations, Santa hats and more!

A special thank you to the loyal group of men who continue to host these events.  Thank you Michael from Rams Home Loans for providing all the produce for us for these breakfasts.

Don’t forget to order your Christmas hams, these can be ordered through your Flexi Schools account. Thank you Kaczanowski & Co for once again providing us with the hams.  Please see the flyer for more information.

Each year the School provides a bus to transport members of the school community to Speech and Awards Night.  This is a service provided for those guests who do not wish to drive themselves.  There is only one bus so please book seats early to avoid disappointment.  If your child is transported earlier to the venue and you wish to bring them home on the bus, you will need to book them a return seat on the bus.  Please book through Try booking on the link below: (




It is with mixed emotion that I leave Macarthur after six years of service.

I leave this wonderful school community to take up a position at Mater Dei in 2016.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement.  It has been a joy to see our school community grow over the past few years.  I look forward to watching the continued growth and development of Macarthur.  Thank you to our Community Partners, sponsors, donors and all the volunteers who make Macarthur a school of which we can all be proud.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and blessed Christmas break.  Take the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Sharon Pascoe-Thomas

Uniform Shop Hours During School Vacation

Monday 7 December will be the last day the Uniform Shop will be opened in 2015.

It will re-open on Monday 11 January 2016 as follows:

Monday 11 January, Wednesday 13 January, Thursday 14 January, Monday 18 January, Wednesday 20 January and Thursday 21 January the shop will be opened 9.00am to 3.00pm each day.

Monday 25 January, Wednesday 27 January, Thursday 28 January and Friday 29 January the shop will be opened from 8.15am to 3.00pm each day.

Sue McKell - Uniforms Consultant

News from the Junior Canteen

For a short time only there will be frozen apple and orange poppers available in the Junior Canteen for $1.00.  Orchys are now available again.  The students are enjoying the frozen gluten free twisted yoghurts which are available for $2.00.

I would like to thank all our volunteers for their help during 2015.  If you would like to help in 2016 please contact me on 0406-665-668.

I would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Marilyn Rowe - Junior Canteen Supervisor

Equestrian Australia Showhorse and Rider Championships

Congratulations to Ethan Hartley (Kindergarten) who has qualified to represent NSW at the Australasian Show Horse and Rider Championships.  

This is an exceptional opportunity for Ethan and a tremendous honour to be selected for this level of riding.  This competition is one of the most prestigious Show Horse championships in Australasia with international competitors travelling to compete at Werribee Park Equestrian Centre in Melbourne.

We wish Ethan all the best in this pursuit with his pony ‘Koorana Royal Sensation’ and trust that he will represent NSW and Macarthur will integrity and excellence.

From the Head of Junior School

The Year Draws to a Close

The end of the year is an exciting time for our students as they prepare to move on to the next level of their schooling.  It is often a little sad for their teachers and parents as they have spent a great deal of time developing a special relationships as they work together throughout the year.

Teachers have finished writing reports and they are ready to be posted home to parents shortly.  This means that it is time to begin planning for 2016.

The class construction process in the Junior School is complex, requiring the input and expertise of all classroom teachers to design learning communities for the next academic year.

During this process we discuss each child’s academic, physical and pastoral needs and construct intentional classes designed to support learning.  There will be movement between classes and being with a friend is only one element that is considered when placing a child in a learning group for the next academic year.  In fact, sometimes, being with a particular friend is not the best decision for constructing a learning (not purely social) environment.

The 2015 teachers will spend a considerable amount of time handing over to the 2016 teachers so that continuity of information and care is maintained.  The children (and their parents) will find out who their 2016 teacher and classmates are on the first day of school next year.  Meet The Teacher evenings will occur in Week 3 of Summer Term so you will all have an opportunity to get to know your new teachers very early in the year.

We all start to get excited as we 
plan a new year of learning, but it is important that we finish 2015 well.  It 
is my expectation that the children will all work right up until the end of the year as well as maintain their high standards in the areas of uniform and behavior.  Thank you to our parents who support us in ensuring a great finish even as we look to the year ahead.

K-4 Presentation Day  -  A Reflective Surprise !

Parents with students in Years K-4 have received an email via ‘ParentPaperwork’ recently, outlining the reflective ‘surprise’ the students have in store for their parents/grandparents on Presentation Day. In order to unlock the surprise we are asking parents to download a QR code reader app to their smartphone or tablet.  There will be a number of iPads available to those who do not have access to such devices.  Every student K-4 will have something on display and parents are able to take this with them at the conclusion of the K-4 Presentation Day on Monday 7 December at 11.30am in the Gymnasium.

This presentation gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the year and is a platform for our Junior School Ensembles to perform.

The Junior School String Ensemble, 1-2 Choir, 3-4 Choir and Recorder Soloists will be performing at this presentation. I look forward to seeing you all there as we celebrate our year in the Junior School.

Holiday Time!

The final weeks of Spring Term have been a true indication of our entire year of learning in 2015. Thank you to our community for a really positive and productive year together in 2015.  I wish each of you a wonderful holiday break celebrating the birth of our saviour Jesus, some time of relaxation and reconnection with families and friends and I look forward to learning with you and from you in 2016.

Kylie Elling

4H and KH Skip for Bibles

4N and KP Skip for Bibles
Writing, Drawing and Having Fun in Transition

In Transition we love to draw and write.  Everyone learns to ‘have a go’.

Our little fingers are working hard to copy modelled writing and drawing.

We are learning about letters and words and how we can communicate in many different ways.

We write our own name on our work and we like to play ‘schools’ and write on the whiteboard. Sometimes we make up little books with our own writing and pictures.

Our Workbooks are full of great work we have done this year and we are looking forward to taking them home to show our families.

Katharine Morse





Year 2 Excursion to Elizabeth Farm

Last term Year 2 studied the local history of Camden in HSIE.  A major focus of the unit was John and Elizabeth Macarthur and their shaping of Camden’s history.  In Week 1 of this term, it was all made real when we travelled to Parramatta to visit Elizabeth Farm, which is the restored original home of the Macarthur’s, built in 1793  just five years after the landing of the first fleet.  Making the home 222 years old! 

Upon arriving at the old homestead we were met by friendly guides who transported us back to the late 18th Century.  In the homestead our guide made us detectives in the drawing room to find out what the Macarthur family did in their spare time.  We found sewing, books, playing cards, music and letters.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find any televisions or iPads.  We were most impressed with the special ropes in each room that when pulled, calls a servant, and would very much like this system installed in our own houses.  We were not impressed, however, that there were no toilets in the house.  

Outside we played 18th century games of hoop and stick, quoits and cup and ball.  We were then made to wash the clothes which was hard work, before being able to write our names with a quill and ink.  We had a fantastic time and were overwhelmed with how different the Macarthurs’ lived compared to to how we live now.

Mr Langley and Mrs Stassen



Year 5 Excursion to Mogo

On the 22 and 23 of November 2015 Year 5 went on a adventure to Mogo.  It took a long four hours to get there but as we drove through the Mogo camp gates we all were relieved and excited.  When we got there we were assigned to our cabins.  The whole camp site was set up to look like the gold fields back in the 1850s. 

We did lots of fun activities like, panning for gold, looking at the establishments they had in an average town, like the blacksmith, the surgeon (which was also the barber), prisons, campsites and the wood smiths and we all made delicious damper.  The next day we had breakfast and then headed to Mogo Zoo.  Through the day we heard the animal keepers tell us about the animals we were observing.  This is an experience I think we all will remember.

Izzabella Davies


Year 6 and GATEway Excursion to Canberra

Sixty-four students and four staff headed off to Canberra, our nations capital, to reinforce those things learnt through the term about Democracy.  They achieved this by visiting the Electoral Education Centre.  They also had the privilege of going to the Australian Institute of Sport, Parliament House, The War Memorial and Questacon.  A highlight for the students with the many interactive and interesting exhibits.  The teachers were impressed with the students engagement and can see some future politicians amongst them after.  There was so much to do in Canberra and the excursion was a busy one.  It has supported the units studied this term with authentic experiences for the students to remember.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government contributed $20 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion and was included in our planning to reduce the cost of the excursion.


IPSSO Competitions

Each year we participate in the IPSSO competition and have had teams make it to both the Winter and Summer finals.  In the Winter finals we had seven out of our eight teams make it through to the finals which is the most teams we have ever had make it to the finals. 

Last week in our Summer finals day we had six out of our eight teams participate.  From this day we had some outstanding results with the most finals wins we have ever had.  We were the finals champions for the Junior Girls Soccer, Senior Girls Soccer, Junior Boys Cricket, Senior Boys Cricket and Junior Oztag.  Each of the students in these teams were presented with their champions medal on the day. 

A big congratulations to all the students involved in these teams and I look forward to our competition next year.  This has been a fantastic result and one that will be hard to match in the following years.

Daniel Hordern



From the Head of Senior School

Once again, it has been an extremely busy time of the year in the Senior School at Macarthur.  While at some schools this may be a time of winding down, at Macrthur it is the opposite.  Each of the Year groups in the Senior School have been involved in a wide variety of activities both in and out of the classroom.  Year 10 have been getting used to being a student in the Senior School, have enjoyed their cruise and are gearing up for assessment tasks that form part of their Record of School Acievement (RoSA).  Year 11 have been extremely busy this term with Connect (leadership and team building training day), UWS Open Day, Study Skills Day, a First Aid Course and a visit to UNSW and the University of Sydney.  Year 12 (2016) have enjoyed the Macarthur Ball on 23 October and are now gearing up for their first HSC assessment tasks in many subjects.

Austen Perich and Madeline Elliot represented the Prefect Body at the Year 10 Cruise. 

We appreciated their encouraging words over lunch.

Studying in the Break

As this is the last Bulletin before the end of the year it is important to think about what students should be doing these holidays.  The answer to this question depends on what grade you are in.  For Year 12 it is important that these holidays are used as a foundation that can be built on next year.  In order to retain information taught it is vital that students do a little bit regularly.  In English, for example, the workload continues to increase and as such it is imperative that students use this break to read the texts that have been issued.  The HSC is extremely competitive and one way to get the edge over students from other schools is to take the time to be up-to-date and complete additional work. Through doing this I have no doubt the HSC year will be much less stressful.  For students in other years spending some time going over notes from this term would be wise.

Scott Bedingfield

Year 10 Harbour Cruise - 5 November

It was wonderful to welcome Year 10 into the Senior School at the Year 10 Harbour Cruise.  This event marks the right of passage for students and is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate completing Middle Schooling and be encouraged as they enter the Senior School.  Apart from a great meal and an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company students heard from the Head of Middle School, Head of Senior School and from two school Prefects, Austen Perich and Madeline Elliot, who offered some further words of encouragement and reflection.



Year 11 Connect - 29 October

At the beginning of the new calendar year, Year 11 students participate in either the Peer Support Camp or Community Service camp and as such do not have an opportunity to develop skills as a cohort.  ‘Connect’ at Kiah Ridge, gives Year 11 this opportunity and endeavours to build relationships and develop leadership skills in our students.  As students move through the Preliminary year it is important to develop collegiality amongst Year 11 prior to their Higher School Certificate studies.




Year 11 First Aid Course

Over seventy Year 11 students and three staff recently completed the First aid Certificate with Royal Life Saving.  The students enjoyed the training with both Theory and Practical components.  The First Aid Certificate is a qualification that is valid for three years.  Congratulations to all students who took part.




Western Sydney University Open Day

Year 11 spent the day at Western Sydney University, Campbelltown Campus.  The day consisted of learning what University is like, participating in lectures, a range of other activities and lunch on the lawn (provided by the University).



Campus Visits - 25 November

Year 11 students attended the University of NSW and the University of Sydney to participate in Campus Tours.  This was a fantastic opportunity for students to see the options that are available to them when they finish school.  Students are always amazed at the size of these institutions and the number of co-curricular activities available at University when they finish.  Should students have any questions regarding University options they are encouraged to speak to Mr Bedingfield.

Year 12 Graduation Dinner