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SSC Newspaper : February 2014
16 Strathfield Scene FEBRUARY 2014 EDUCATION HSC HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE CLASS OF 2013 – 48% gained an ATAR of 90 or more – 9% received All-Round Achievers Awards, gaining the equivalent of 90% or more in at least ten units – 147 Distinguished Achievement (Band 6) results – 1st in NSW in Heritage Chinese (Mandarin) – 1st in NSW in Korean Background Speakers Meriden girls make their marks. Since 1897 Meriden has produced confident and articulate young women, renowned for making their marks academically and in the global community. Open Morning at Meriden – Tuesday 18 March, 9am to 11am FOR FuLL dETA ILS vISIT MERIdEn.nSw.Edu.Au Prize winners from Meriden’s Class of 2013 with Principal, Dr Julie Greenhalgh – 3rd in NSW in Mathematics – 4th in NSW in History Extension – 17th in NSW in Ancient History – 3 Drama students selected for OnSTAGE performances – Several traineeships awarded by Australia’s top professional organisations – Full Scholarship awarded by leading University in the USA “It’s hard to compete with schools that have the W hile hundreds of Strathfield students received their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), the results highlighted a growing dilemma for some of Strathfield’s best state schools. Despite standout individual cases, many schools dropped dramatically in the rankings. Homebush Boys High School, one of the area’s most popular educational institutions, fell from 176 in 2012 to 251 in 2013 – a whopping 75 places. But principal Tim Jurd says the rankings are not a true reflection of the quality of the school’s education. Many Strathfield and Homebush parents push to send their children to government selective schools, taking a good chunk of the most gifted students out of the area, he maintains. Mr Jurd insists that students who decide to continue their education at non-selective local schools still do well and go on to university. “ The students who decide to continue on to year 11 and 12 at Homebush Boys are not affected at all – in fact, they still do extremely well,” he says. “ We had some students who got great results in their Higher School Certificates – we had two students who received an ATAR of 99.7 and were accepted into difficult courses. They were accepted into bachelor of science combined with a masters of physiotherapy, an incredibly difficult course to get into. " We also had several boys who got into combined law degrees at the University of NSW and the University of Sydney. “Our students are keeping up their standards and I am happy with the results but it is known that in the Strathfield community and among the parents, ranking is very important. But what they have to realise is that it is hard for us to keep up against schools that have the cream of the crop from every part of the state.” Mr Jurd said that after the state government increased the school-leaving age to 17, some students who may have left in year 10, to take apprenticeships, struggled academically. “ What we do is we try and achieve the very best each student can attain,” Mr Jurd says. " The staff and myself scrutinise the results very carefully. We had a lot of students who got results in band 6 in certain subjects. “And this changes every year depending on the group of students. For instance, this year, we had lots of boys who studied English Homebush Boys High principal Tim Jurd with cricketer and former student Mitchell Starc. “Our students are keeping up their standards.”