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NUMBER 7, 2016
From the Headmaster

After the very mild and dry Spring, a wet Winter is on its way.  The predicted downpour over the weekend is expected to play havoc with the Year 7-12 School Athletics carnival on Monday and as such it has been decided to postpone it until Wednesday next week.  The Junior Carnival will remain unchanged on Thursday.

It has been a week of wonderful student successes in the various Cross Country carnivals.  An full update of the successes will be reported in due course but I am particularly pleased with the Year 7-12 results. In summary, 11 students have been successful in gaining AICES selection to compete in the CIS carnival later in the year.  This is a truly outstanding effort and the students should be well pleased.  Some of our younger competitors did wonderfully well too in the Junior NASSA carnival, which was held for the first time at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in Horsley Park.  This venue has proven to be a wonderful place to hold the NASSA Carnivals.

Speaking of Equestrian matters,  I was delighted that the equestrian event held on the school site on Monday was such a success.  Not only were there over 60 competitors but some of the older riders gave up their opportunity to compete in order to mentor and assist the younger riders.  Their selfless act is again a demonstration of our School motto “Go Out To Serve”. The equestrian programme in the School has certainly seen great growth over the years and I would like to publicly acknowledge the significant support and organisation offered by the parents, particularly Kathy Drayton and Kristen Gibbon.

Macarthur is used to musical success but I want to especially honour Bailey Pickles in Year 7 who recently placed third in a national young composers competition. His third place resulted in Bailey being invited to the NSW Parliament House and being presented with his award by the Governor of NSW.  Performance is one thing, composing is another altogether.  Congratulations Bailey.

20 June each year is Macarthur’s Foundation Day and as such the School has planned a day where we can celebrate the foresight of the men and women who established Macarthur and the tireless work of the early staff and parents.  Without their concerted effort, the truly wonderful school we have today would not have been possible.  You are of course most welcome to come and be part of the day.  As part of the Foundation Day celebrations we also hold the Festival of Performing Arts which is being held on Friday 17 June and I would encourage you to engage with this spectacular evening. Further information is available in the following pages.

David Nockles

From the Deputy Headmaster

“We must be big enough to admit mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” -  John C Maxwell.

No school is perfect. Not even Macarthur.  We have almost 800 imperfect students and just over 100 imperfect staff: the perfect recipe for some imperfect outcomes. We are all fallible. We have all made mistakes and despite even our best efforts, we shall all continue to do so.

In fact I owe my very position to human fallibility. A Deputy Headmaster would hardly be required in a school where teachers and students always did the right thing and never made mistakes. All schools I know have a Deputy Headmaster or similar.

Nevertheless, we should never resign ourselves to this unhappy condition.  The Roman Orator Cicero wrote, ‘Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in them.’ In other words we must learn from our mistakes and seek to do things better in the future.

However, to correct our errors we must know of them. Very often people and institutions do not see their faults clearly. Sometimes it must be gently shown to them. This can also be true of a school. At Macarthur, we are always working at ways to improve our services to students and parents. However, I have little doubt that occasionally some things occur (that shouldn’t) of which the leadership of the school are blissfully unaware.

For that reason parents should never feel sheepish about raising matters of service failure or other concerns. Whether perceived or real we all benefit by airing such things and discussing them with the right people. Despite the general perception to the contrary, parents who raise legitimate issues of concern are not frustrations to the School, but a blessing. How can we correct a problem of which we are unaware? Apart from any moral imperative, it does not make good business sense for the School to ignore or overlook concerns.

Schools can’t promise perfect outcomes. But Macarthur’s aim is to do its very best. To expect perfection from each other and our human institutions such as schools, governments and churches is a folly that sets us up for perpetual disappointment. We will do well to remember that when we vote on July 2.

The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, ‘To err is human; to forgive, Divine.’  It has become a proverb used to express the idea that forgiveness is a worthy response to the failings of our fellow human beings. At various times in their lives our children will require forgiveness or need to forgive others. It is for the adults in their lives to regularly model this divine attribute, forgive freely, teach them how we grow from mistakes and help them to move forward to a positive future.

Andrew Kokic

From the Dean of Studies

Elevating Student Learning

Developing Australia’s future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs requires new approaches to learning that identify and realise the highest potential in all students.  Recent research from UK-based Innovation Unit has identified the need for Australian schools to become more agile, creative and innovative in order to successfully equip students with the higher level skills that will be needed in the future.  “It is critical that schools be able to create the best learning environments possible to ensure that all students, particularly those with the highest potential, have the skills that foster innovation, creativity and higher level thinking so we can compete in the global economy” Dr Geoff Newcombe, Association of Independent Schools (AIS).

In response to this, the Association of Independent School’s Innovation Unit, in conjunction with the UK based Innovation Unit and the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership has designed the ELEVATE programme.  This robust innovation programme runs over three years and aims to support selected schools to collaboratively design and implement powerful practices to lift learning outcomes to maximise student learning potential, especially for high potential learners.

Macarthur has been selected as one of fourteen schools to be part of this programme. Macarthur’s ELEVATE team has been working intensively for the past eight months, to design new learning approaches that respond and adapt to the needs of our students at Macarthur.  Our teaching staff and selected student focus groups are currently brainstorming ways to respond to the following focus areas:

1. Developing strategies for students to push through learning challenges

2. Equipping teachers to be confident in facilitating critical and creative thinking in their lessons

3. Building self-efficacy and a positive growth mindset in our students

Students today are much less risk-averse than adults and are naturally curious.  If we can nurture those qualities, then we set them up to be the innovators of the future.  We are developing ways to help our students exude self-efficacy and embrace challenges.  We want to create an academic culture where our students see mistakes as learning opportunities.  We want to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and develop scholarly independence by valuing feedback and reflecting on their learning.

As part of this programme, the ELEVATE team is involved in ongoing robust professional learning and coaching from the AISNSW Innovation unit.  The value of collaborating and innovating beyond our school context and networking with other schools cannot be underestimated.  The “instant learning connections” have enabled multilateral conversations and given our Macarthur ELEVATE Committee a growing passion and vision for maximising student learning potential.

Our professional learning and coaching sessions have helped Macarthur establish a strong platform for collegial discussion where our teachers are examining the learning characteristics of our students and evaluating strategies to help them excel.  We are keen to develop ‘out-of-the-box’ effective teaching practices and co-curricular opportunities to help our students develop critical and creative thinking skills and become agile learners.

The ELEVATE programme has become an umbrella for the promising practices in our school, where teachers, students, parents and academics can be part of a community to determine best ways to stretch and inspire our learners.  We want our learners to be highly engaged and active in their own learning process, to understand how to extend their mental agility and take responsibility for their future learning growth.

Our students have warmly embraced participating in the ELEVATE programme and we are excited to tap into the power of student voice to guide effective “next practice” pedagogy that becomes the norm rather than the exception for our students.

We also welcome parent involvement in this programme and if you are interested in being part of a focus group, please contact Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Head of Innovation and Research or Melissa Gould-Drakeley, Dean of Studies on 4647 5333

Melissa Gould-Drakeley




Equestrian Event - 30 May

Monday saw the coldest start to the day in five years in Camden. The frost did not deter the students and their horses from coming out early on the Macarthur paddocks for a gymkhana. A chilly start soon turned into a glorious day, filled with sunshine and ribbons. Everyone had a fantastic time and we had the largest turn-out ever with 63 riders and their horses.

Many thanks to the fantastic efforts from the ten student assistants – a great turnout and their help is appreciated.

Thanks as always go to Kathy Drayton and Kristen Gibbeson along with the many parent helpers and volunteers who have given up their time and resources to make it a day to remember.



Festival of Performing Arts

On Friday 17 June Macarthur Anglican School is hosting The Festival of Performing Arts 2016, an evening of outstanding Music and Drama performances presented by Junior School Music Ensembles, Drama students and Middle School and Senior School Co-Curricular Music and Performance Groups. 

5.00pm  Festival of Performing Arts commences:

  • Year 11 Drama performances in the School Chapel
  • Junior School Ensembles in the Rehearsal Hall

6.00pm  Spit Roast Dinner

7.00-8.45pm  Music Concert programmes taking place in Rehearsal Hall and School Chapel

During the  Spit Roast dinner in the Macarthur Chapel Courtyard during the Drum Corps will entertain the crowd.

All Macarthur families are encouraged to attend what promises to be an exciting evening of quality entertainment and fabulous music.


Scenes from last year’s Festival


Chaplain’s Chat

Three student reports from the Oasis Getaway Weekend (27-29 May)

Oasis getaway weekend !! Where do I start !

What a great opportunity to spend time with friends, make new friends, create memories and strengthen or EVEN start your relationship with God

The 2016 Oasis Getaway did not disappoint. On Friday 27 May over thirty students and a number of teachers set out to Telford, Port Hacking.

With the focus of the camp being 'love', we listened to a variety of talks and were able to reflect in small groups on how we can spread God’s love and strengthen our relationship with him.

With the weather being on the cold side, there were many board games put into action and for some brave souls, THE WATER SLIDE!  Oasis camp is a great opportunity to get to know your own grade better and also meet some new faces. I would most definitely save the date for next year and come open minded and prepared for anything.

Tilly Offord

The Oasis Getaway Weekend for me was a thrill! - Since it was my last year I am able to attend the camp and because of my connection with God and, for me, to be able to get stronger with my relationship with Him. It was an enjoyable weekend with an amazing site and with amazing peers and leaders to hang with. God granted this opportunity for those who follow Him or even for those who are trying to find Him and I have to say it was a real blessing for me to have that fun weekend away with friends and the Lord.

Joshua Reid

Oasis Getaway Weekend was one of the best weekends of my life, if I'm honest. I got to chill with some incredible people who I hadn't necessarily before. Being new to the School I was absolutely terrified but it was so worth it. Good to grow in God with some amazing people (: 

Megan Fortescue

The Reverend David Hayman



Changes to Late Student Activity and Early Departures

In the past students have been required to sign in late at the Heads of School office but when leaving early have had to depart and sign out from the Administration building under the accompaniment of a parent/carer.

The process of late student arrivals will remain the same. However, from the beginning of Winter Term the changes to this process will be as follows:

  • T-6 students will be required to sign in late and depart early from the Heads of School Office. This is the only change for T-6 students.
  • 7-12 students will be required to sign in late at the Heads of School Office but may depart the school accompanied by a parent/carer from either the Heads of School Office or the Administration Office.

 Steps in the Departure Process for Year 7-12 Students    

  • A Year 7-12 student presents to the Head of School Office/Administration Office with a note in the diary for an early departure.
  • The Diary is scanned and stamped by the Attendance Clerk (Ritva) or the Receptionist (Linda)
  • The Attendance Clerk/Receptionist immediately enters the following details into the Attendance module of Denbigh:     Time of departure/Reason for departure
  • The student remains in the aforesaid office until collected by a parent/carer

 Minor Exceptions for 7-12 Students

  •  As an extra process students departing the school in their own vehicle must first present themselves to the Dean of Students or Head of Senior School for permission to leave without direct parent/carer supervision. The Dean of Students or Head of Senior School will countersign the diary.
  • Year 7-12 students who have a sibling in T-6 and who are leaving the school at the same time must depart from the Head of School Office only.
Student Achievement

Congratulations to Sabrina Harris (Year 12) on achieving her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.  This is an outstanding effort by Sabrina due to the fact that not many of our students complete the Award before leaving Macarthur.  Sabrina will be presented with her Certificate at a Vice Regal Ceremony later in the year. 


Congratulations to Bailey Pickles (Year 7) who was awarded third Prize in this year’s Harmony Day Song Writing Competition. Bailey received his award from the NSW Governor General David Hurley AC DSC at the prize giving ceremony at NSW Parliament House on 2 June. Bailey loves composing Music and dreams of writing film scores as a career. If he is writing songs of this calibre in Year 7 then he may well achieve his dream. Well done Bailey!

1-6 August 2016

Tickets on sale via Trybooking on 10 June
Forensic Workshop - Years 3-6

Students in Years 3-6 will have the opportunity to participate in a number of forensic workshops on Tuesday 14 June. This is an exciting hands-on programme where students will explore the fascinating world of Forensic Science by becoming investigators and solving a crime. They will hear the case background and will be able to examine the evidence found at the crime scene. Students will learn the real science that was carried out in the Forensic Laboratories and help to solve the crime just like a real Forensic Scientist.  They will conduct their own investigations in groups to crack the case! Evidence activities include fingerprinting, digital microscopy and DNA modelling. This will be presented by Education Interactive.

Writing - Year 3

Across the Junior School we continue to focus on Writing and the Six Traits of Writing including Voice, Ideas, Sentence Fluency, Conventions, Word Choice and Organisation.

Year 3 have been working hard to achieve their learning goals associated with Writing different texts. Enjoy the many similies and metaphors used by Lily and Siena in a text written about Autumn.

From the Head of Middle School

Starting Assignments Straight Away

Ever leave your assignments until the last minute?  Well here are five reasons to start work on your assignments immediately:

Get your  brain thinking about the topic:  At the very least, read through the requirements of the assignment on the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.

Find library resources: Although the Library may not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assignment. Reference books, resources and magazines will disappear quickly. It is not a good idea to only use Google.

Discover other resources: You could also ask your local librarian for any additional direction on where to look for resource material for your assignment. Librarians know how to help people access relevant information, in books, journals and in computer based references.

Starting early means more time to explore and ask for help: Your initial research might be on assignment points youve identified through the library, references your teacher may have given you, school textbooks, and/or general internet search engines. If you start this early, you could discover that you dont actually understand important concepts and that perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity.

Create a safety net: Starting your assignment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick, or something unexpected happens. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.

You can learn more about being more effective with assessments in the Assignment Skills unit of by logging in with these details:

Username: for as only

Password: 27results

Neil Davies

Study Skills Situations

Students in Year 8, 9 and 10 on Monday 30 May were presented information from Prue Salter from Enhanced Learning Educational Services.  The time was focussed on assisting the students with some of the following areas:

Year 8 and 9

  • Home study environment and organisation.
  • Managing your time and workload.
  • Improving the ways you study.
  • Managing study using learning styles.
Year 10
  • Three reasons to make the most of their final years of school.
  • Setting up good afternoon routines.
  • So why should you be making study notes.
  • Summarising techniques.
  • Improving examination techniques.
  • Self evaluation of school.
Students received information in these sessions that it would be worth discussing with them.
Inquisitive Minds

On Wednesday 1 June ten Year 6 students from GATEway travelled to Glenfield Public School to take part in a maths problem solving workshop run by Inquisitive Minds. It was called the Out of the Box Talented Workshop.

There were a variety of different maths puzzles and problems that we were presented with. Some we had to solve independently and some we had to solve in pairs. We were rewarded for our correct answers with stamps and sometimes lollies. There were extension questions to keep us busy. Peter and Rowan were the first pair to correctly solve all of the questions, including the extension and they were then asked to complete a subsequent challenge.

In the second part of the day, we were able to get to know students from a variety of different schools. As we were taught a range of problem solving strategies we had to work collaboratively with each other to find the correct answers.

To finish the day we were put in school groups to figure out nine very complex mathematical challenges. We enjoyed being able to work collaboratively as a team and being able to use everyone's strengths and strategies to solve the problems. We were the first team to complete all of the questions correctly and we scored a total of 16 points out of a possible 18 the runners up were Ingleburn Public School scoring 13.

It was a great brain stretching day and we were all able to walk away with some new strategies and valuable problem solving skills.

By Josh Ferguson, Rose Jansen, Hannah Davey, Claire Sich, Megan Baker, Isaiah Gray (group effort as we reflected on the bus on the return journey)



5W Sunset Artwork

Year 5 have been investigating the properties of light in Science. They have discovered that when a beam of sunlight strikes a molecule in the atmosphere, it's called ‘scattering’. This is where some the different wavelengths and colours of light are scattered. It happens millions of times before that beam reaches your eye, and is why we see the great array of yellow, orange, red and even pink and purple purple at sunset or sunrise.

5W have tried to replicate the sun set or sunrise image with a visual art work. The students glued a patch-work of coloured tissue squares to art paper. They then placed a black cut out of a tree over the sun set colours to create a silhouette. Their completed products are very effective.

Mr Wood



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