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January 2016
From the Headmaster


Ordinarily at this time of year I write a letter to families. This year I am trying something a little different!

Nevertheless, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and to welcome you to 2016 at Macarthur.  I would particularly like to welcome those parents who are joining Macarthur for the first time this year.  I have no doubt that you will enjoy your association with the School.  The 2016 school year is rapidly approaching and the student holiday period will continue to be full of activity in preparing all that is required to welcome the return of the students.  

As Summer Term 2016 rapidly approaches, the staff continue to prepare for the return of the students, some to class and others straight off to camp.  As a staff we are looking forward very much to all that 2016 will bring.

The 2015 Academic Year has seen a number of excellent academic achievements.  At every level, students have produced outstanding work, showing their deep knowledge and understanding. Students have received accolades in statewide, national and international competitions for History, ICT, Science, Indonesian, Mathematics and English among others.  I am sure you will enjoy reading some of the successes below.

Looking forward to seeing you all when Summer Term 2016 commences.

Dr David Nockles

HSC and University Entrance Mark (ATAR) Successes

The 2015 HSC results and the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank used to gain entry into university courses have been outstanding again and demonstrate the scholarly commitment and work ethic Macarthur students possess.  The School Council and entire Macarthur staff are thrilled with the students’ exemplary results.  Macarthur places an emphasis on our students developing enduring understanding, not simply acquiring knowledge.  These outstanding results reflect Macarthur’s strong culture of thinking in which our students are encouraged to strive for excellence to the Glory of God.

Overall Success

Across the cohort the students achieved the following ATAR results:

          • 16% of students received an ATAR of 95 or higher

          • 28% of students received an ATAR of 90 or higher

          • 38% of students achieved an ATAR of 85 or higher

          • 49% of students achieved an ATAR of 80 or higher

          • 55% of students achieved an ATAR of 75 or higher

          • 65% of students achieved an ATAR of 70 or higher

Congratulations go to Macarthur’s Dux Robert Archer who attained an impressive ATAR of 99.10. Robert plans to study Media and International Studies at the University of NSW or Science at the University of Sydney.  Robert’s consistent achievement across subjects placed him on the HSC All Rounder Award Honour Roll.  Robert was also placed 2nd in the State in Indonesian Continuers.

Macarthur’s top achievers include Ellen House (ATAR 98.60) who placed 1st in the State in Indonesian Extension, 3rd in the State in Indonesian Continuers and 8th in the State in English Extension – a remarkable achievement.  

Other outstanding students include Alanah Monger (ATAR 98.90) who has been recognised as an All Rounder for attaining Band 6 results in at least 10 units.  

Importantly, these outstanding results mean that Macarthur’s students will be able to pursue their chosen field of study beyond school with a significant proportion choosing to study at a tertiary institution.  Over 60% of the students were offered Early Entry, Academic or Leadership scholarships at the leading universities. 

Approximately 40% of Macarthur students were recognised as Distinguished Achievers for attaining Band 6 or Extension Band 4 results and 83% of students gained Band 5 or Extension Band 3 results. Students also appeared on the HSC Honour roll 85 times.

The School always encourages students to balance their academic study with co-curricular involvement and sport. This has meant those students that are able to continue their sporting and co-curricular involvement while honing their thinking skills have the greatest opportunity for success in the HSC.

Macarthur’s top achievers have studied a wide variety of courses from the 35 subjects offered at HSC level.  For the vast majority of subjects, the results are well above the State Average with Software Design and Development, Geography, Legal Studies, Agriculture and English Extension 2 leading the field.  

An impressive 28% of students who presented for the HSC in 2015 attained ATARs of 90 and over with 15% of students gaining ATARs of 95 and above.  Just as impressive were the 49% of students who achieved an ATAR of 80 or higher with 38% achieving an ATAR of 85 and over.  A little over 65% of the 2015 cohort attained an ATAR of 70 and above. 

Macarthur students are planning to study courses ranging from Medicine, Veterinary Science, Agricultural Science, International Studies, Law, Engineering, Occupational Therapy, Languages, Computer Science, Architecture, Journalism, Teaching and Economics.

No doubt you join with all the Staff in celebrating these outstanding academic achievements and wish our 2016 HSC cohort similar successes.

Other Academic Success Stories

Junior School

Throughout 2015 there has been a particular focus on improving the writing skills of the students.  This is a focus that the School has planned for a number of years so as to improve the overall literacy competencies of the children.  As a result of this focus there have been some outstanding successes.

During 2015 Macarthur participated in an Australia wide writing competition, Write 4 Fun. The School has entered this competition for several years with moderate success. Late last year the School received a letter of commendation recognising the outstanding perforce of our students in 2015. Ten of the students did so well that they have now been invited to progress to the next phase of judging. This result has put Macarthur in the top 5% of that competition. 

Makyah Darby from Year 4, 2015 needs special congratulations as her writing was considered to be exceptional and has been selected for publication.  It is clear that the focus on writing is already showing success.


The NAPLAN results (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9) for 2015 were outstanding and demonstrate that Macarthur students are performing well at all stages and in all bands, achieving results above the State Average in the vast majority of  areas for all year groups with a significant improvement in writing as a result of the major focus on writing in Kindergarten to Year 6.  Impressively, the top band in each year group was well above State average.  It is important to remember that NAPLAN is diagnostic in nature and helps the teachers to plan future work appropriately considering each student’s abilities. These results have sadly become a means of comparison between students and even schools. This was never the design or intention for this assessment programme. Nevertheless, I am delighted with how the Macarthur students performed.

Record of School Achievement 

Like the HSC, the RoSA is intended to be assessment of student learning and therefore a summary of student achievement.

In the RoSA teachers assign grades to each student according to Board of Studies and Educational Standards (BOSTES) grading criteria and historical school grading patterns.  These grades are then moderated at a school level as well as being monitored by BOSTES.  As fits Macarthur’s historical results, the 2015 results were very pleasing with 88% of Year 10 students achieving either an A or B grade in at least one subject with 91% of Year 11 students attaining an A or B grade. 

Congratulations go to Madeline Elliott for attaining A grades for all her subjects in the Stage 6 Preliminary RoSA and to Sarah Alexander, Noah Gray, Julia Kokic, Laura Perich and Kaitlin Taylor for achieving A grades in all their subjects for their Stage 5 RoSA. Julia Kokic was also the recipient of a prestigious prize from Western Sydney University for winning the 2015 Young Writer’s Competition for her short story ‘ Conduct and Conductors’. Julia received a $20,000 scholarship for undergraduate study at Western Sydney University and an iPad Air.  

Joseph Hartono and Dante Petrin are also to be commended for completing the Stage 6 Preliminary Mathematics and Extension 1 Mathematics courses as accelerated students. Justina Hanna is also to be congratulated for achieving a Band 6 result for HSC Mathematics and an Extension Band 4 result (the highest band for an Extension subject) for HSC Mathematics Extension 1 which she completed as a Year 11 student.