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NUMBER 5, 2016
From the Headmaster

During this past fortnight the Parent Teacher Interviews for Year 5, 6, 7 and 11 took place.  From what I observed and the discussions I had with a number of parents, the evenings were a great opportunity for students and their parents to get personal and significant feedback on academic progress so far.  Students in Year 8 and Year 10 have their interviews a little closer to the subject selection evenings which we have found to be so helpful in the past.

We had a fantastic morning to celebrate Mother’s Day this morning with the T-6 Mother’s Day Breakfast wonderfully attended again this year. It is a real testament to the support the School receives from the parent body - thank you.  I trust that all the mums had a wonderful time in the beautiful Autumn weather and received a token of their children’s love, which will no doubt become a cherished gift. Let me take this opportunity to wish all our mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Today also saw the Year 7-12 Cross-Country Carnival take place with the Year 3-6 Carnival occurring on Monday.  For those who competed so well today and for those who will do so on Monday, let me pass on my congratulations and encouragement to you.

NAPLAN testing takes place next week for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.  The NAPLAN tests can be very helpful to us as a school to gauge areas of strength and therefore weakness within the general student population as well as with individuals.  Because it is such a useful diagnostic tool, Macarthur commissions a company to conduct other profiling tests for those students in Year 4, 5, 8 and 10.  These profiling tests are particularly helpful to the teaching staff in programming appropriately as well as setting engaging and useful assessment tasks.  All this data helps the School to target the academic programmes we have in the most appropriate way.

Having diagnostic tests such as these allow us to set a curriculum that  continues to develop the thinking skills of the students, those soft skills of creative and critical thinking, teamwork, innovation, agility and a love of learning.  While the students never love tests, they are so important for us as a school.  Unfortunately the politicisation of the NAPLAN results and their use to compare schools takes away for the intent and usefulness of the tests.  Nevertheless the data we receive is invaluable.

David Nockles

From the Deputy Headmaster

My mother made it her habit to never intervene in my childhood arguments with the boys I played and grew up with in the neighbourhood.  “You kids will get over it,” she would say to me in answer to my complaints of injustice.  “That’s the difference with kids,” she would add, “They will get over it much better than adults.”  She was right.

Our arguments, usually over a backyard cricket game, would literally result in one of us “taking our bat and ball and going home.”  A few days silence between us boys would follow before unendurable boredom would cause one of us to succumb to a humbling reconciliation. ..and the test match would resume.

One of the neighbourhood mothers did not share my mum’s homespun philosophy. She came out fighting every time and always on behalf of her son.  As kids we resented her and her mollycoddled son for this unwelcome intrusion.  A ball hit over the fence was six and out no matter how unfair she thought it.  After all, she didn’t have to fetch it from the dog who now regarded it as his property. 

Despite my mum’s disapproval of such adult intrusions in the minor world, she had the good sense to continue to stay aloof from the fray, even when such injustices were perpetuated within her view.  We would get over it … we would even get over this small injustice … and we did.

Sadly, one day another parent in the neighbourhood decided to take on the mollycoddling mum.  The results were truly devastating.  For years, although both boys lived next door to each other, neither set foot in the other’s home again for many years.  Cricket could only be played on neutral turf … mine.  Our collective childhood became a far more complicated affair.

Many parents at Macarthur have formed friendships through their children … which is wonderful … until something goes wrong between the children.  And sometimes, because we are reasonable people, we assume that every other parent is also, and a gentle chat with the other parent (or more insanely) with the other child, will put things quickly aright.  Wrong!

Dear friends, that may have worked in the 1940s and 1950s, and I agree it would be nice if things still worked that way, but it is just not our present day reality.  And willing it to happen won’t make it so.  These days seemingly rational people can become incredibly unhinged when their children are accused of some misdemeanour.  And good friends can fall out over minor scrapes between their children.  Most modern parents (myself included) can all have a least a hint of this madness.

When something is occurring between children at school (and especially the children of your ‘friends’), my strong advice to parents is to have the school manage the situation.  We know how to be discrete so as not to cause any unnecessary awkwardness between the families.  We also have the capacity to investigate two sides of a story and get independent witnesses to events.  And most importantly, we provide an objective view and if necessary, an objective sanction.  Once dealt with, the kids will usually ‘get over it’ even if they feel a bit hard done by.  If, however, you get directly involved with the other family … it could end in tears.  And then, I really can’t help you 😢

Andrew Kokic

From the Dean of Studies


Half-Yearly Reports for all students will be issued this term.  These will be distributed in a staggered manner, commencing in Week 5 for students in Years 8 and 10.  It is important for students and parents in these year groups to start thinking about subject choices for Years 9 and 11 respectively. Information in the reports should help parents guide their children to choose appropriate subjects.  An information evening is also being held on Thursday 9 June.  More information about this will be sent to parents.

Reports for students in Years 9 and 12 are scheduled to be issued in Week 6, followed by Transition - Year 6 in Week 8, Year 11 in Week 9 and Year 7 in Week 10.

NAPLAN – Years 3, 5, 7 and 9

NAPLAN assessment will be taking place from 10-12 May with 13 May scheduled to be a make-up day.  Parents should have already received a letter about these tests and where relevant, offers for special provisions to match the support students are receiving in class.  If you believe your child should be receiving a provision and have not been contacted by the School, please contact the Assistant to the Dean of Studies, Mrs Anita Lesmana on 4647 5333.

At Macarthur, we don’t place a huge emphasis on NAPLAN by setting aside numerous lessons for students to practise NAPLAN-style tests.  However, students are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the test format and practise some narrative and persuasive writing tasks.

As NAPLAN is diagnostic in nature it helps teachers plan future work appropriately for students after reviewing the results.  It also helps the School identify any areas of weakness that need to be addressed as well as highlighting strengths.

We want NAPLAN to be as accurate a record as it can be of the students’ achievement of literacy and numeracy skills at a point in time.  We also don’t want students to become unduly stressed about these tests.  We encourage all students, whatever their ability to sit the tests and try their best.

Macarthur has been fortunate in having some of our teachers selected to participate in the NAPLAN training and some of them have marked the NAPLAN writing test.  Last year Mrs Karen Williams marked the NAPLAN writing test and this year Mrs Sarah Stewart will be marking the writing papers.

Melissa Gould-Drakeley

From the Dean of Students

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Hike

The qualifying hike for Bronze Duke of Edinburgh was conducted over the final two days of last Term with over fifty students successfully completing all aspects of the hike including food preparation, overnight shelter, and demonstrating the physical endurance of a two day hike.

Students who enrol to be part of the Award Scheme understand that the requirements for success demand they be self governed in their preparation and journaling of their progress as they complete each aspect of their Award.  Inevitably, students need guidance as they learn to manage their time and negotiate difficulties that they face during the course of the program and to this end Macarthur staff guide and encourage students at each level.  It really is a wonderful partnership with students as they progress towards their final Gold qualifying hike of four days.  The development of confidence and a more refined understanding of what really are the essential items to be carried over a four day hike are obvious changes from the beginnings of their Bronze qualification.

I am pleased to see the popularity of this co-curricular activity continue and have no doubt of the benefits this program has on our students that take part.  Many of the School memories mentioned by past students involve the experiences faced throughout the Duke of Edinburgh program.  I know students also appreciate the efforts of the accompanying staff who give up their time to supervise the hikes and are always there to offer support when the going gets tough.

I encourage all participating students to maintain logs of their progress by regularly visiting the Duke of Edinburgh website and to collate a profile of their journeys by uploading photo’s and descriptions of their experiences.  The Skills, Community Service and Physical Activity components are equally as important as the hikes and must be well documented and supported by an assessor who will sign of at the completion of the course.

Well done to all Bronze students and I trust that many more hikes will be as enjoyable and rewarding as this last hike.

OPAL Card Users

A reminder to all students using OPAL cards when travelling to and from School.  It is important that every trip is registered by all users by tapping on when entering the bus.  The bus companies are funded by the usage of each bus service and will run regular audits of bus routes.  It is important that accurate usage of each bus route is recorded to ensure the ongoing provision of bus services to and from the School.

It is important to note that students OPAL cards are not enabled for travel on weekends or during school holidays.  They are reactivated during normal school opening hours.

Timothy Cartwright

Chaplain’s Chat

Camps Camps Camps

Spending time at a camp is a terrific way to develop friendships, have fun, develop skills and, with the camps below, have good Christian fellowship and grow in your walk with the Lord.

Oasis Getaway Camp (27-29 May)

This is a weekend of Christian fellowship, fun and good teaching that we hold every year for students from Years 7-12.  We will be going to Telford, Port Hacking.  I expect a group of about forty students. Mrs Tuft, Mrs Wong, Mr Langley and I will be there to guide the weekend and the Monday Ministry team is busy finalising an engaging program.  If you would like more information, please get in touch with me as soon as you can.  Bookings close on 19 May.

July School Holidays.

Crusaders run excellent camps in the holidays and many students from Macarthur attend – but let me plug one … the Super Cru day camp for K-6 held from 11-15 July here at Macarthur Anglican School! This camp is during the day (from about 8.00 am to 5.30/6.00pm) and run by a partnership between Crusaders, local churches and Macarthur Anglican School.  See the picture below for the cru camps and contact for details.

Lastly if you are in Years 9-11 and want to be an assistant leader on the Super Cru camp please get in touch with me as soon as possible or register online at 

The Reverend David Hayman

Winter Uniform

Please note that from Monday 9 May full Winter uniform must be worn by all students.

Equestrian Report

The Equestrian NSW Interschools Clinic was held at Camden during the April school holidays.  Macarthur Anglican School was well represented with Megan Baker, Codi Gibbeson, Aislinn D’Arcy, Taylor Drayton and Brooke Baker attending for eventing, Leah Macklinshaw for dressage and Amelia Bobyreff and Sakura Beh in Showhorse.  Amazing improvements were shown by all over the three days and a lot of fun was had by all.  There was even an opportunity to watch the Equestrian Eventing High Performance squad undertaking some training.



Macarthur Art Teachers Achieve International Success

Congratulations to Harriet Geater-Johnson and Jackie Murphy whose work was selected for the annual exhibition Sculpture at Scenic World.  Only thirty-three artists were selected by an independent panel showcasing highly accomplished artworks across all sculptural and installation mediums, by local, interstate and international artists.

The spectacular setting added to the inspiring and creative artworks.  Harriet and Jackie’s installation ‘Pit Pony’ is poignantly suspended amidst the winding lianas and tree canopy of the Blue Mountains ancient Jurassic rainforest. 

Harriet and Jackie developed the life-like piece from their interest in the roles that humans have forced upon animals.  Their artwork focusses on the different ways we use animals, observing our treatment and expenditure of them.  Historical resources document a glib existence for pit ponies, who were transported down to the coal face, and often slaughtered when they ceased to be an asset to man.  So accustomed to the dark, that on the rare occasion they were released into the light, it is reported they could not cope and sought the comfort of the shadows.

They used ceramic slip casting, combined with woven metal and hessian to suggest both the fragility of a disposable commodity, and the mechanical influence of human intervention. 

Prior to the use of ponies in the Industrial Age, women and children were required to do this work. The vulnerability of the suspended animal illustrates the aberrant practices that were inflicted upon them, as they were transported vertically down the shaft, blindfolded, and left to hang precariously from a winch.

Football and Netball Academies

Macarthur Anglican School, in association with Absolute Sports Academies, is proud to announce the establishment of a Football (Soccer) and Netball Academy on Wednesday afternoons during Autumn Term, commencing Wednesday 25 May until Wednesday 29 June.

Designed to improve the footballer/netballer from whatever level they are at - beginner, competent or advanced, this is the academy for your child!

The Western Sydney Wanderers Skill Intensive Program caters for different age groups and abilities while challenging all in a fun and yet professional environment.  All coaches involved are professionals with all accreditation and experience necessary to deliver a great enjoyable training program. The participants will follow a progressive development program, learning to play the Wanderers Way.  Aligned with the FFA Curriculum, each session will maximise the player's learning and development but most importantly their enjoyment playing the game. 

Netball NSW provide fun and safe netball clinics for all abilities from ages 5-15 years old.  Whether you are new to the sport or already playing, you will be sure to learn new or improve your netball skills!  Our accredited coaches will teach you netball specific skills and guide you through some match play.  Get some exercise and make new friends these holidays while playing netball!  Includes a Netball NSW showbag.

Special Bonus for Year 3-6 Macarthur students - Register now for complimentary child care from 2.30pm-3.30pm each Wednesday.  Follow the IN FOCUS links on the School website.



Callum Masjuk (Year 10) spent last term training and competing in various events in the USA.  In early April Callum competed in the USASA Nationals where he placed Third overall in the 14-15 years group.

We have also been advised this week that Callum is now ranked fourth in the world in Snowboard Cross and second in Australia!  


All of our T-6 mums were treated to a scrumptious breakfast this morning.  It was lovely to be able to spoil our mums and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do.







Year 1 Summer Term Projects

Year 1 students presented astonishing projects exhibiting proof of their learning over the ten weeks of Summer Term.  Students were introduced to ‘Project Based Learning’ and had to use their understanding of the Mathematics unit to plan their exhibition space.  The backbone of the exhibition was the Art projects combined with facts learned in our Science and HSIE units.  Students had the opportunity to share their knowledge and thoughts first of all with fellow students and then followed the highlight of their day, sharing it with Dr Nockles, Mrs Elling and their parents and grandparents.  What a delight to see them shine!

Mrs Elma Stassen - Year 1 Teacher



From the Head of Middle School

As we started a new term, students in the Middle School are reminded to take ownership of their learning.

Autumn Term brings with it a number of events for students in the Middle School.  Year 5, 6 and 7 have started with parent teacher night.  If you were unable to make these evenings please contact your son or daughters’ teacher or Head of House to discuss their progress.

Other events for the students in the Middle Years consists of NAPLAN testing which will occur in Week Three for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9.  The Cross Country, NASSA Gala Days, Chess Tournament and Debating are other events occurring this term. The students in Year 5 and 6 who are part of the musical are well underway with rehearsals for the production later in the year.  For more details of the events for Autumn Term please refer to the Significant Dates which are on our website. 

With the many activities and opportunities for students, organisation and using the diary and planning continues to be a high priority.  It is very important for students to get into good habits.

Along with the scheduled carnivals and events for student in the Middle School the regular Co-Curricular opportunities continue to cater for a range of interests.

Study Skills Handbook

Starting Assignments Straight Away

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


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.


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.


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.


Your initial research might be on assignment points you’ve 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 don’t actually understand important concepts and that perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity.


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: formasonly

Password: 27results

 Neil Davies

ANZAC Day March in Camden

Friday Afternoon Running Club

Macarthur Lions Club Fun Run


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