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NUMBER 12, 2016
From the Headmaster

For those students in the secondary years, the Annual Examinations are rapidly approaching.  At Macarthur the role of examinations as an assessment tool need to be placed within a context of the entire assessment programme.  As a tool of summative assessment, particularly of knowledge, there is a place for examinations.  In the entire scheme of assessing a student’s achievement and their abilities, they are but one tool.  Examination results need to be viewed in the context of other forms of assessment, just as rigorous but different in style.  

In the Academic Reports that will follow the end of the Academic Year, parents of secondary students will see in varying degrees the progress of their children reported both as a overall assessment outcome for the course as well as the examination in and of itself. It was felt important to report in an specific way on the Examinations, particularly in the senior years, because the HSC still relies significantly on examinations. Whether it is good assessment practice or whether individuals like it or not, it is the reality and needs to be addressed.

I do hope that students will continue to prepare for their examinations in a consistent, conscientious and diligent way and that they are able to perform to their best on the given days.

This coming Tuesday is the Create 2016 showcase of the Year 12 students’ Visual Arts and Design and Technology major works.  This is always an inspiring evening where the artistic and design talents of our students are on show.  I am always taken aback by the amount of work that these students put into their major works and the overall quality and depth of work that is displayed.  If you have children in the younger years considering doing either of these two subjects, it is well worth the time and effort to come and look over the displays and look at the amazing standard of work.

Parents would have received from me a letter on Thursday outlining changes I have made to the Headmaster’s Executive team.  As I stated in the letter, some of the changes come into effect immediately and other changes will take place from the commencement of the new calendar year.

I have provided below a diagram of the restructure which simply represents what I communicated in my letter.  An advert for a new Head of the Junior School is already on the website and will be placed in the SMH tomorrow.

I would also like to wish all our Fathers a very Happy Fathers Day on Sunday.

David Nockles

From the Deputy Headmaster

Remember those really hot days at school?  The mercury would hit 40 degrees and the playground rumour would start … the school would close and we would be sent home if it got too hot.  There would be some debate amongst the more vocal kids as to what the magic temperature needed to be, but there was little doubt it was possible.  But it never did happen. In fourteen years of schooling and many 40+ degree days not once did my schools close.

Myths and rumours get a life of their own in communities like schools.  And sometimes, it is not just children who believe them.  Here are some common myths that some parents and others in the community believe about Macarthur.

1.    The Anglican Church supports Macarthur financially.  They don’t.  Not a single cent comes to us from the Anglican Church.  Our finances come solely from Government funding and parent contributions.

2.    Macarthur is a ‘rich’ school.  It isn’t.  After wages and annual expenses are paid there is not much left.  Like most not-for-profit organisations we need to budget very carefully.  Building programmes can’t happen without significant donations, fund-raising and borrowing.

3.    Macarthur is an ‘expensive’ school.  There is no question that we are the most expensive school in our immediate area.  However, for the type of school we are, with the types of experiences and activities on offer and the service we seek to provide, Macarthur represents great value.  There are many schools in other parts of Sydney offering much less for twice or even three times the price.

4.    Parents who complain about a failure of service are nuisances.  Nuisances?  Hardly.  We may not even be aware of a problem until you tell us.  You’re our valued client, but more importantly a member of the ‘Macarthur family’.  No school is perfect.  If there’s a problem in our community we want to fix it.

5.    If I report an incident of bullying my child risks being bullied even more.  This is a persistent myth. There seems to be a great many parents scarred from their own school experiences.  In my experience at Macarthur the exact opposite is true.  Most bullies will cease once the mirror is held up to them.  If they don’t, they usually find the second chat with senior staff (and their parents) is a lot less pleasant than the first.  (By ‘their parents I mean the student’s parents. But if they had to chat with my parents too they certainly want to avoid it!)

6.    Teachers hold grudges.  We don’t expect perfect children and teenagers at Macarthur.  We expect bumps.  That’s what growing up is about.  Most teachers have 150-180 student interactions per day.  If they’re anything like me they hardly remember who they might have ‘chipped’ yesterday.  Teachers who hold grudges are in the wrong game and certainly at the wrong school.  Holding grudges runs completely counter to our Christian ethos.  If you think a teacher is holding a grudge, let us know.

7.    Teachers’ children get special treatment.  Okay, this is one is true sometimes.  In my case child number two blithely exited the car a couple of years ago without his blazer.  Somehow he had remembered his Nintendo DS, his handball and his treats for recess.  After an icy blast from me along the lines of, 'How do you think it looks when the Deputy's son is out of uniform???’ I ripped his diary out of his bag and gave him an MN myself.  ‘At least that will stop the mutterings from staff,’ I thought to myself.  Did he get special treatment?  You bet he did.

Andrew Kokic

From the Dean of Students

Uniform Matters

Students have been made aware they have the option of wearing either the full Winter uniform or Summer uniform after Fathers Day.  Please ensure that the uniform is not a hybrid of the two.

Sport uniform should only be worn on Tuesday or Carnival days.  It is an expectation that students wear their normal school uniform to and from school on the days in which they have PDHPE.  Time is always allocated for students to change into their sports uniform prior to the commencement of class and again afterwards.  Likewise, the Sports uniform is not to be worn in conjunction with any other sports apparel other than that purchased from the Uniform Shop.


A number of students have competed at recent Equestrian Carnivals at very high levels of competition.  Theses events occur over the course of a few days and require a tremendous commitment and and discipline to maintain high levels of skill to remain competitive against very high standards.

I am pleased to recognise four students who have been announced to ride as representatives of the NSW State Team at the Godolphin Australian Intershool Equestrian Championships.

Taylor Drayton – 95cm Combined Training

Isabella Tyson – Secondary Working Hunter

Grace Tyson – Intermediate Novice Dressage

Paris Kellner is a Reserve for Intermediate Novice Dressage.

This is a tremendous achievement to reach this level of representation against the many riders in NSW who have represented their schools in the hope of gaining a position in the NSW team.

Also worth mentioning is the achievement of Amelia Bobyreff (Year4) who attended both the Tara and Arndell Interschools competition earlier this month.  She represented Macarthur with pride and gained significant results in her events and came home laden with ribbons.  Amelia is someone to keep an eye on as she progresses in skill and experience over the years ahead. 

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award

On Wednesday, Stuart Hughes and I attended the Awards ceremony for Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients.  We were very pleased to see Sabrina Harris, Jack Steen (Year 12), Lachlan Hanley and Ruedi Holbeck (2015) be presented their Gold Award from NSW Governor Peter Hurley.  This is an outstanding achievement after nearly 4 years of commitment to completing the rigorous standards required to gain the Gold Award. 

Tim Cartwright

International Student News

Macarthur has recently hosted many international students during the busy tour season.  Students often come in July and August each year which is during their summer vacation.  We were delighted to once again welcome our friends from our sister school Nihon University the Third High School in Tokyo for a thirteen night visit.

Our school community has again been very generous in hosting students and you will see from the pictures below that they have shown our visitors many wonderful places in the local area.

Several students from China who visited us during the same period will be returning full time in the next few months and we look forward to welcoming them again.

Trish Cartwright




Student Achievements

Rebecca Mathews (Year 10) recently sat her AMEB Classical Singing Grade 6 examination.  To pass this gruelling examination Rebecca had to perform 6 classical songs in English, Italian, German and French plus oral work and theory as well as music sight reading.

Rebecca did an amazing job gain an A+ High Distinction!  Congratulations and well done Rebecca. 

Snowsports Update

Congratulations to the students who competed in the State Snowsports Championships at Thredbo last week.  Macarthur finished as the fourth Co-Educational School which is a tremendous effort considering the three schools ahead of us have campuses in the Snowy Mountains.

Apologies to Jessee Sales-Hobart for inadvertently not including her name in the list of students competing in the previous Bulletin.

We would also like to wish Sascha and Callum Masjuk, Jessica Hall and Jack Franklin all the very best as the compete in Australian Snowsports Championships next week at Perisher.

A full report on both the State and National competitions will feature in an upcoming Bulletin.  

News from the Farm

Last January a group of eight Macarthur students attended The Angus Youth Roundup held in Armidale NSW.  The students entered three school teams in the Nairn Park Angus sponsored Champion School competition.  As a result, the team that consisted of Stephanie Hennings, Richard Cartwright and Austin Ebeling were awarded as the champion school team, with the prize being a donated steer.  Last week saw the arrival of “Wally” from Walcha who is an Angus cross Charolais steer weighing 334kg.  The Agricultural Show Team will prepare and present him at the upcoming Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza held at Scone in late October.  We look forward to presenting him.

Special thanks must be extended to Rob Costello and family – Nairn Park Angus Stud  for donating the steer and transporting Wally all the way from Walcha.

In other news all four of the School’s ewes have successfully lambed with twenty-six new lambs born in the last month including many twins and two sets of triplets. Spring has sprung.

David Baker


From the Head of Junior School
UNSW Writing Competition Results

After a significant focus on Writing for the past 2 years it is wonderful to see the improvement in our student’s writing.

Congratulations to the following students who received awards in the recent UNSW Writing Competition:



Elizabeth Ha - Merit

Amelia Krvavac - Merit

Sebastien Cabrera-Yee - Credit

Tess Perich - Credit

Jack Pothen - Credit

Sebastian Seghabi - Credit

Nathan Simpson - Credit

Joel Sutcliffe - Credit


Daniella Cannarella - Distinction

Emily Chau - Distinction

Rhys Daley -  Distinction

Jessica Doria -  Distinction

Summer Herta -  Distinction

Lily Hreszczuk - Distinction

Ella Johnson - Distinction

Stirling Knox - Distinction

Lorelai Kowalski - Distinction

Siena Latham - Distinction

Max Medich - Distinction

Jackson Neumann - Distinction

Marcel Rickman - Distinction

High Distinctions

Mikaela Butler - High Distinction

Thomas Clark - High Distinction

Lucy-Lei Mingay - High Distinction

Felix Petrin - High Distinction



Isaac Barrett - Credit

Niamh D’Arcy - Credit

Bethany Davey - Credit

Rebecca Dunbier - Credit

Marielle Lucia - Credit

Oscar Mayer - Credit

Paige Prpic - Credit

Lachlan Siemon - Credit

Nicholas Stewart - Credit


Jaden Acres - Distinction

Luke Doria - Distinction

Nellie Jansen - Distinction

Jessica Doria - Distinction

Elias Lumba -  Distinction

Brian Shao - Distinction

Ella Johnson - Distinction

Stirling Knox - Distinction

Andrew Towell - Distinction

Ethan Watts - Distinction

Kylie Elling

Kindergarten Celebrates National Science Week

Last week was National Science Week.  In Kindergarten we have been conducting an experiment every day.  The experiments have been designed to be hands on, fun and educational.  We have encouraged the Kindergarten Scientists to make predictions or hypotheses and test these hypotheses.  Sometimes our hypotheses were correct and other times we had to test our hypothesis a few times.  All important steps in becoming a fantastic Scientist!

On Monday we examined things that will sink and things that will float. We experimented with some objects including a peg, pencil, elastic, glue lid and coin.  The students concluded that many of the things floated due to their light weight.  We discussed how things being able to float does not always depend on their weight.  For example, a big cruise ship is able to float.  How is this possible?  We learnt that objects being able to float depends on their density.

On Tuesday we had lots of fun discussing volcanoes and recreating a volcano.  We discussed how volcanoes are caused by tectonic plates that move beneath the earth’s surface.  The volcano explodes lava and sulphuric acid. We created our own volcano using vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.

On Wednesday we discussed forces and saw a vortex in action.  We learnt that water can be lazy and only moves as a result of the forces that push against it.  We learnt that for water to move in the shape of a vortex, it is being pushed by centrifugal forces.

On Thursday we learnt about drones which is part of the theme of this year’s Science Week.  We learnt that drones can be used for many reasons including movies but more importantly on farms.  We learnt how farmers can use the drone to check on their livestock and crops.  They are even starting to use drones to round up their sheep!  We watched as a drone flew over us and took video footage of us.

On Friday we learnt about hovercrafts.  We used the force of the air exiting the balloon to fly our hovercraft.  These were lots of fun.  On Friday we had lots of fun experimenting with all the science activities we had conducted during the week.  Students flew their own hovercrafts, made volcanoes, made paper planes and played with the sinking and floating table.

As you can see, Kindergarten had lots of fun with Science this week!

Mrs Pesic, Mrs Pleskun and Mrs Grady



Book Week Celebrations - ‘Australia: Story Country' 

On Friday 26 August Transition to Year 6 students celebrated Book Week with activities based around the theme ‘Australia: Story Country.’ Students have been involved in Library lessons reading, critiquing and completing activities based around the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlisted books. A favourite book in Junior School being ‘Piranha’s don’t eat bananas’ by Aaron Blabey. ‘Soon’ by Morris Gleitzman was by far the most popular book in Middle school, a fifth addition to the popular series ‘Once’. Seven students who entered the Headmasters Reading Award qualified for an honorary lunch with the Headmaster. The students enjoyed sharing stories about their favourite book, preferred mode and where they love to read. Can you believe Alexander’s favourite place to read is in the wardrobe? Two very deserving recipients received the Headmasters Reading Award- Jaden Acres Junior School and Tahlia Grounds Middle School.

Dressing up as a favourite book character is always a memorable childhood event. Year 1 and 2 students are no exception commenting that they loved being incognito in character, where no one knew who they were! Banners leading each grade’s parade reflected the depth of quality Australian literature read in the classroom. Lego creations prompted conversations into the favourite books they represented. Whilst 2:35pm couldn’t come fast enough for many students as they rushed home to read books purchased at the book fair. What a delight for executive staff taking time out of their busy schedules to read to Transition, Year 1 and Year 2. Giggles were heard as Year 2 shared how funny Mr Cartwright was reading ‘Wombat Stew’ with them, I’m not sure who had more fun. Year 4 to Year 6 were found head deep in the children’s newspaper, ‘Crinkling News.’

Donna Rawlins guest illustrator has worked in the children’s book industry for over 30 years.  Students from Year 3 to Year 7 were captivated by Donna’s artwork and stories. The research, design, editing and publishing process provided a great insight into the life of an illustrator. The students were privileged to see illustrations Donna is currently working on and were shocked to discover one page from a book, post draft may take up to 200 hours to illustrate.

Book Week is certainly a favourite event in the life of the school calendar. Paul McDonald from The Children’s Bookshop left us with a challenge to read daily, young and old stating that ‘If you read just one book a day to your child, they will have been read 1,825 books by their 5th birthday……EVERY BOOK COUNTS.’

Mrs Karen Williams - Librarian - IRC






From the Head of Middle School

Even though the weather was not kind to us this year, what a wonderful opportunity for Fathers or Grandfathers to take time out of their busy schedules to have a breakfast, visit a classroom and enjoy some fun games with their children at our Father’s Day Breakfast for student’s T – 6.

We hope that all fathers have a wonderful Father’s Day on Sunday.

Neil Davies




HICES Debating Quarter Finals

On Wednesday the 24 August the Stage Three debating team successfully made it into the quarterfinals of the HICES debating competition.  This debate was an impromptu debate which means we were given a topic and only had one hour to write and practice speeches while coming up with rebuttals.  We were debating against All Saints Grammar from Bathurst and we debated at Blue Mountains Grammar School.

The topic for this debate was- ‘Learning a foreign language should be compulsory for Australian school students from K-12’.  We were negative and didn't agree with this statement which seemed to be the more challenging side of the argument.

Hannah Davey was our first speaker

Luke Stewart was our second speaker

Sarah Peck was our third speaker

Joshua Ferguson was our fourth Speaker

We all spoke well and successfully rebutted the oppositions points.  But the opposing team put on a show.  We went on to win the debate and now progress to the semi-finals where we will be debating against Kinross.

By Luke Stewart and Joshua Ferguson

HICES Music Festival

Congratulations to our Macarthur Music students, Matthew Eder, Olivia Kowalik, Tiffany Lee-Walker, Amy Lidbetter and Jessica Turner who represented the School in the recent HICES Music Festival. Students attended a three day Music Festival at Stanwelll Tops where they were part of several distinct and top calibre ensembles.  The culmination of the Festival was an outstanding Concert at the Town Hall on on Wednesday 17 August.  Through an audition process, Macarthur students had key positions in the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Symphonic Winds.  A special mention goes to Olivia Kowalik who led the second violins of the Symphony Orchestra.  Students were accompanied by Peripatetic Tutor Antonia Todorova.

Mrs Inés Marrable

Create 2016 - Drama/Music

On Friday 19 August, Year 12 Drama and Music students treated us to an evening of entertainment of the highest calibre.  Create 2016 was a celebration of the hard work and effort that our students have put into developing their HSC Drama and Music major works, presenting to the audience highlights of their programmes.

Performances were presented by Joshua Batty, Jasmine Brooker, Claudia-Rose Hackney, Justina Hann, Jayden Houghton, Isabelle Ingram, Elise Mackey, Ernst Nel, Dion Tan, Lauren Romero and Charles Wearn.

We wish our students the very best in their upcoming HSC examinations.

Mrs Inés Marrable

Charles Wearn - Doing it for the Penguins

Ernst Nel - The Man in the Van

Cooking with Colours

Lauren Romero

Jayden Houghton

Justina Hanna

Elise Mackie

Claudia-Rose Hackney

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