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Welcome to the 2018 academic year!

It is my pleasure to begin the year by welcoming a number of new teachers to the Senior School:

  • Jade Bester is our new Curriculum Support teacher
  • Ana Christensen joins us to teach Humanities and English
  • Jacqueline Cook is our new Drama and English teacher
  • Laura Desmond joins us as a teacher of English and Drama
  • Louise Firth is a new Maths, Science and RAVE teacher
  • Jonothan Gill joins us as a Year 8 Mentor, teaching Science and Maths
  • Chris Holden will be teaching Maths and Science
  • Leigh Kube joins the Maths faculty as a teacher
  • Michael Lucas is a new PE/Health teacher
  • Cassie Pope joins our Music Faculty, taking both classroom Music and a number of ensembles
  • Christopher Romanos joins us as a Technology teacher
  • Geoffrey Tinagli is a new Maths teacher

Such an injection of new skills, personalities and passions for teaching will only serve to enhance our already outstanding staff team. If your son should find himself being taught by one of our new staff, I am sure you and he will make them feel welcome.

New facilities
There have been some significant changes to learning spaces for both the Languages and Music Faculties over the holidays. The new spaces bring great excitement for the staff and we are confident that the boys will also enjoy exploring the new facilities.

Our Languages Faculty (French, Chinese, German, Spanish and EALD) have relocated from the Hill Wing to the lower-ground floor of the Gordon Building. What was previously the Evans Theatre and two large classrooms has been converted to six beautiful new learning spaces and a staff office for the team. This means that our Senior School boys will get to enjoy the new, light-filled, contemporary spaces and that our Languages program will, once again, be at the geographical heart of our learning program.

Our Music Faculty is busy settling into the first of a two-stage renovation of the Hill Wing, vacated by Languages. The move for the team from the first floor of Old School House will see the Music program continue to grow. With new performance and rehearsal spaces, impressive storage facilities, staff offices and classrooms, we are sure the new Music Centre will inspire the boys.

2017 Year 12 Results
I would like to congratulate our Year 12 cohort of 2017 on their outstanding results. Once again, our boys’ results confirm our excellent reputation as a leading school in Australia. The median ATAR (SACE and IB combined) was 90.10, which is extraordinary when we reflect on the fact that our “boy in the middle” of the cohort has over 90 as an ATAR. We had 35% of the cohort earning an ATAR over 95, which is the highest percentage ever in this bracket for the School.

I particularly congratulate our highest achievers, Isaac Tennant, Andrew Zhang, Chris Burton and Atacan Ertugrul, all of whom achieved an ATAR of 99.85. This is an extraordinary effort from these young men. Equally as extraordinary is the fact that four boys in the IB – Thomas Song, Xinyan Zhang, DeYu Zhao and Sikai Zhu received what is known as a bilingual diploma from the International Baccalaureate Organisation. This means that five of their six subjects were studied in their second language! What incredible dedication they have shown over two years. These provide us with inspiration for the year ahead. They also affirm us in the work that our staff and boys do, not only during Year 12, but in the many years of hard work leading to these final results.

I look forward to reporting more on our top-achieving students, including their plans for 2018, in the next newsletter, following our special Academic Muster in Week 3.

Academic Questions or Problems?

As the year gets under way, there may be times when advice or assistance is required. Each of the staff below are highly experienced and caring, and would welcome your call or email. Please feel free to direct any academic enquiries to one of the following people:

  • Your son’s Mentor or Head of House should always be your first point of contact. They know you and your sons best; they see them every day, often twice a day. They are able to chat through issues and, if necessary, point you in the direction of others in the School who can help.
  • Our two School Psychologists, Kirsty Jackman and Mike Oliver, are incredibly caring and skilled in helping with a broad range of issues including stress and anxiety, depression, social problems, time management, and grief. You are welcome to contact either of them ( or
  • For advice and assistance in the International Baccalaureate DP see our IB Coordinator, Paul Hadfield (
  • For information and support regarding SACE program, including special provisions and assessment, plus any subject counseling or timetable matters (Years 7 to 12) contact Sam Cheesman (
  • Your subject teacher will be able to help with course-related matters, advice on study, student progress and managing assessments in the subject. Alternatively, you can speak with the Head of Faculty if you prefer.
  • Carmen Bester ( is our Coordinator of Diverse Learning Needs. You can speak with her about learning difficulties, gifted and talented programs, special provisions for examinations and student testing.
  • If you need information about careers, university courses and entrance requirements, prerequisites or studying overseas, then Mark Colsey, our Careers Counsellor, is ready to help (

Upcoming Academic Events

  • Wednesday 14 February (Week 3) Special Academic Muster – we invite our highest-achieving Year 12 students of 2017, and their families, to return to Memorial Hall so we can congratulate them.
  • Monday 19 February (Week 4) Year 12 Parent & Student Information Evening, commencing at 7pm in Memorial Hall. This is a terrific opportunity for parents and students to hear about the Year 12 journey awaiting them, ask questions of the School, and source key information to assist them this year. Parents will already have received an invitation to this event via email.

As the year gets into full swing, you are very welcome to contact me should you have any questions or comments. I look forward to speaking with many of you in the term ahead.

Emily FitzSimons, Director of Learning and Teaching Excellence