Macarthur Anglican School Bulletin
No. 1, Week 2 - Summer Term 2017
From the Headmaster

Welcome to the first Bulletin for 2017. With so much that has happened in the last fortnight it seems a little strange to send out a welcome. However, especially to the new families at the School, it is another opportunity to welcome students and parents back for another great year at Macarthur.

By way of a further welcome, the New Families Welcome Breakfast takes place next Tuesday morning and if you have not already responded to the invitation I would encourage you to do so by clicking on the following link (

This evening is the annual Year 7 BBQ which allows both existing families and new families with students entering the secondary years of schooling to meet together, share a meal and watch the camp video which is always such a hit.  We have moved this function from the Gymnasium to the Chapel and Rehearsal Hall because of the oppressive heat.

Camps for the secondary students were again a roaring success, even with challenges the heat had on the programmes.  The Year 7 Camp was unfortunately impacted by that terrible vehicle accident on the M1 last Tuesday, but alterations to the plans meant that Year 7 and the Year 11 Peer Support Leaders were able to participate in a range of activities close to school before leaving in the early evening. This proved to be a very wise decision and avoided the students being caught in hours of traffic delays in stifling heat.

The Meet the Teacher night for K-6 parents was also a great success this past week and we would hope that parents would continue to be engaged with their child’s learning as they progress through the year and indeed their years at Macarthur.

For the majority of parents who have children returning this year, the Senior Cafeteria, Junior Canteen and Café have seen a major shift in operation.  I want to thank Made Fresh for working so well with the idiosyncrasies of Macarthur and thank the parents for being supportive while minor issues are ironed out.  The initial feedback is all very positive and so I look forward with great anticipation to the partnership continuing.

Unfortunately we have had a delay (not completely unexpected) in the delivery of the IRC furniture and now hope to have it in place by early March. As when you order furniture for home and they promise 6 weeks, you can usually bet on 10. Schools are no different, however even given this, the new space in the IRC is working well and the temporary furniture is allowing the students to achieve most of what we would want.  It is a good lesson in patience. 


David Nockles

From the Deputy Headmaster
“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”
— Jimmy Carter(former US President)
Around five hundred Year 7-12 students have returned from their first week at camp.  For most, the experiences of camp week will add to the catalogue of many fond experiences of their school days and will remain in their memory long after they have forgotten every classroom lesson they have ever experienced.  The clearest evidence of this fact is that when students are surveyed, Macarthur’s Outdoor Education Programme rates very highly as their favourite activity throughout their schooling at Macarthur.  It is borne out annually at the recounting and reminiscing of camp experiences at every final Year 12 assembly.
The irony of all this is the fact that camp is not always easy.  In fact throughout the week there can be many tears: homesickness, physical and mental challenges, tiredness, frustrations with others and minor scrapes and injuries.  Such things are always concurrent with the fun and laughter of camp activities.
However, it is the negatives of camp week that are often just as important as the positives.  In an era of ‘bubble-wrapped’ children it is easy to neglect the benefits of discomfort, failure, challenge and risk.  One of the ways we can help the development of our children and prepare them for adult life is to expose them to necessary discomfort, possible failure, difficult challenges and managed risk.  When we ‘protect’ our children from these things we prevent them from learning how to master important life skills.
For example, in camp activities such as ‘high ropes’ and ‘rock-climbing’ students are compelled to judge their capacity to take on particular challenges.  They are forced to scope a situation and determine hazards for themselves.  They will learn to take calculated risks.  They may fail at first attempt, but they will also learn how to overcome such failures.  It is not easy.  It is not comfortable.  But the benefits of such life-skills are beyond measure.
At times, there may be some small injuries.  But overcoming challenges is never completely without risk.  However, at Macarthur’s school camps, risk is managed and adults are ever-present to help students learn to cope with adversity.

Camp week presents challenges for parents as well.  This year my daughter went white water rafting on her Year 12 camp.  Was I anxious for her?  Yes.  Were there risks in the activity?  Definitely.  Would I rather her be safe at home under my watch reading a book?  Absolutely.  But would that be the best thing for her growth and development into adulthood?  Absolutely not … but she still can’t marry until she is 30!
Andrew Kokic
Extended Leave

By law, only the Headmaster may grant an exemption from attendance at school and only for a small number of reasons.  The law does not give the right to parents to absent their children from school without due authority.  Parents must apply directly to the Headmaster, in writing, when seeking leave for a student for a family vacation during the school term.  For other circumstances where exemption is sought as outlined below, parents must apply directly to the Headmaster using the official application form for an Exemption from Attendance (available on the School’s website).  If successful in applying, the Headmaster is required to provide parents with a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Attendance at School.’ The Certificate is only valid for the specified period and may be revoked by the Headmaster should conditions alter. Further, it cannot be issued retrospectively. Such absences without approval will be recorded as ‘unexplained or unjustified absence’ without the ability to change it retrospectively.
Parents may seek an exemption from attendance at school on the following basis:
  • Exceptional domestic circumstances, including but not limited to participation in family holidays during school term subject to being satisfied that this is in the best educational interests of the child.
  • Other exceptional circumstances such as health of the student where sick leave or alternative enrolment is not appropriate.
  • The child being prevented from attending school because of a direction under section 42D of the Public Health Act 1991.
  • Employment in the entertainment industry or participation in elite sporting events for short periods of time i.e. for one or two days, and at short notice.
The Headmaster may only grant exemptions for fifty days in any year (cumulative) to any one student. Parents seeking exemption for the children beyond fifty days may be directed to state authorities for approval.
Parents should be aware that there can be no substitute for a student’s regular attendance. The School will not be responsible for providing extensive details of work that a student will miss. If an application for work is made through the Head of House, the school’s responsibility will be limited to:
  • Advising topics which will be covered in each subject
  • References to textbooks (where these are used).
Would parents with students in Years 7-12 please check that your child/ren brought home all their belongings after attending camp last week.  There is currently a number of items, which have no names, at Reception in the Administration Centre to be collected.  

Chaplain's Chat

Diary Dates for Summer Term 2017
Dads and Daughters Weekend Away 17-19 March
I am looking forward to the Dads and Daughters weekend away 17-19 March.  Year 3-7 girls and their dads have a fun-filled weekend with an opportunity to reflect on and build their relationship.
This year we will be going to a new destination, Kaloona, a Youthworks site near Nowra, but we will still enjoy a range of activities (canoeing, archery, billy cart making, giant waterslide) and an outing where each dad takes his daughter out for a meal.
We have so much positive feedback from both dads and daughters.  Numbers are limited.  Get in touch with me, initially, if you want to book in.  I will be sending home a brochure with the girls shortly and will set up Flexischools Accounts and Parent Paperwork.  Cost will be $395 for Dad and Daughter together.
Easter Service
We are planning to have a whole school Easter service Friday 7 April at 1.50pm in the St Paul area (near the Junior School Canteen).  Parents are welcome to join us.
Voluntary Activities for Students
Every week there are a number of opportunities for students to get involved in voluntary Christian activities - all students are welcome.
Every Morning - Year 7-12 Student Devotions MC1 8-8.08am

Monday Lunch
Faith in Action (Girls Year 7-12) Drama room (run by Senior Girls)
Guys, Games and God (Boys Year 7-9) Gymnasium (run by Senior Boys)
Chapel Band rehearsal – Chapel

Tuesday Lunch - Oasis in the Middle Year 5-6 Gateway room

Wednesday Lunch - Ministry team meeting Chaplain’s office

Thursday Lunch - Bible study –Year 7-9 Chapel Foyer, Year 10-12 RR5

Friday Lunch - Junior Oasis Year 3-4 After School Care room (assisted by Senior students)

Reverend Hayman  4629 6225

Community Chat
Welcome to 2017!
If you are a new family to Macarthur Anglican, you should have received an invitation to the New Families Breakfast on Tuesday 14 February from 7.30am in the Cranmer Room.  The New Families Breakfast provides an opportunity to meet with other new parents, the Headmaster and members of staff, and your children are welcome to join you before school starts.  There is no cost for this event however, for catering purposes, please RSVP using the link
Women@Macarthur (W@M) and Men@Macarthur (M@M) are our parent groups, specifically designed to help parents and families to network and support each other.  The two groups are responsible for planning and hosting a number of events throughout the year to which the entire school community can attend.  Please contact me if you would like more information or would like to be involved.
If you are interested in Volunteering at Macarthur, please let me know.  Whilst teachers will ask directly for help in their classrooms, particularly in the Junior School, there is also a range of activities around the School where your help is greatly appreciated.
My contact details are or 4629 6207.
Lastly, Playgroup resumes Monday 20 February at 8.30am–9.30am.  We have moved down to the After School Care Room, next door to Learning Support and situated near the Heads of School Office. Playgroup continues to grow with a number of new families ready to join in the fun this year.
Karyn Ingram

Student Achievements

The Australian Regional Softball Championships are held every year and bring the top U15 girls and boys from around Australia to compete at the highest level. This year the Championships for the girls were held in Perth from 15-21 January. Our very own Madison Baker (Year 9) played in the NSW Metro Green Team that won the Championship. Congratulations Madi!
Olivia Kowalik (Year 10) completed her AMEB Piano Grade 8 examination in December and was awarded an A+.  She also recently participated in The Sydney Zhang Violin Competition and was awarded the Gold Award.  Olivia played Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn.  Well done Olivia!

Running Group Year Group 3-12 3.00PM–4.00pm Fridays Starting Week 5A
Time and Meeting Place
  • Year Group 3 – 6 Lloyd Court Yard 2.45
  • Year Group 7 – 12 at the Oval 3.00pm
Will continue into Autumn and Winter Term.
We will be entering a few Fun Runs through the year if you are interested.
If you would like to prepare for the Cross Country then you should be doing a couple of runs each week with a friend.
  • 7 – 12 Cross Country Monday 6 March
  • T – 6 Cross Country Monday 6 March
Age Distance Age Distance
  • Year 1, 2                  1 km
  • 8, 9, 10 year olds     2 km
  • 11 Years                   3 km
  • 12 Years                   3 km
  • 13 Years                   3 km
  • 14 years                   4 km
  • 15 Years                            4 km
  • 16 Years Girls                    4 km
  • 16 Years Boys                    6 km
  • 17 Years Girls                    4 km
  • 17 Years Boys                    6 km
  • 18 Years Girls                    6 km
  • 18 Years Boys                    8 km
For more information see Mr Davies in the Administration Office
Snowsports Programme 2017

Information regarding the 2017 Snowsports Programme will be emailed to students in Years 7-12 and to parents of Years 3-6 on Monday (13 February).  Should you wish to know any more information prior please click on the link below:
Cricket Coaching
From the Head of Junior School

Some photos from Transition of their first week of school.
Senior Indonesian Study Tour

Studying in the holidays might not sound like the most exciting plan ever, but five keen and adventurous Year 11 and 12 Indonesian students opted to join Mrs Gould-Drakeley and Miss Fenton for a study tour to Yogyakarta this January.  We each completed more than twenty hours study in our week-long trip! 
Of course, when we weren’t studying we had plenty of opportunities to visit fascinating and beautiful historical sites such as Borobodur and Ratu Boko temples, visiting a traditional market to buy ingredients for our cooking class, and learning about the traditional culture and impact of religion during our visit to the Sultan’s palace.

We enjoyed some fine dining experiences in Dutch colonial-era buildings, ricefields and the latest cafes.  One evening we even ate on a private terrace while our own personal guitarist played songs to entertain us throughout the meal.  We also celebrated Asheigh Sherrell’s 17th birthday with both an Indonesian traditional rice cake and a Western birthday cake.
There were so many unforgettable moments on this tour and we know that the students have returned with much improved speaking and listening skills.  We could not have been prouder of the students’ achievements and enthusiasm for the many opportunities that came their way.  We are confident that this experience and the deeper knowledge and cultural awareness they have gained will stand them in good stead for their HSC studies over the coming two years.
Miss Fenton and Mrs Gould-Drakeley

Reports from Camps

Year 7 

My body was in sleep mode, exhausted from a jam packed day of excitement.  Did they really have to be that loud?  Surely it wasn’t 6:30am yet?

Year 7 camp was the best way to start the year and make new friends.  We had a most enjoyable time even though we had an alternate programme at school on the first day due to a lengthy delay on the motorway.

People faced their fears, got to know not only other Year 7's but also the Year 11 Peer Support Leaders and teachers.  We had many hilarious moments and I want to share this one with you.

He had his harness on, check.  The ropes were safely attached.  They took away the ladder he was sitting on, leaving him dangling in the air, while they told his group to haul him up using the rope.  It was hard work for he was heavier than a lot of the Year 7's.  We all knew he would have liked us to get him up there faster so that he could get it over and done with.  He was finally at the height of 12m at the top.  We braced ourselves holding onto the rope waiting for him to pull the rope and go swinging.  “Three, Two, One” the instructor yelled.  The rope was yanked down and off he flew.  As he swung his mouth widened letting out an ear-splitting scream that matched his face full of fear and terror.  No, this wasn’t a Year 7 or a Year 11 this was Mr Morgan!   It’s not surprising that when the grade was asked their favourite activity all you could hear was THE GIANT SWING being shouted.

From mud world to scary stories at the campfire, team-building activities like raft building, canoeing and sailing, the dual flying-fox and high ropes there were plenty of activities that provided us with four fun-filled days at camp at Morisset.  We also met in our peer support groups with our Year 11 leaders and Mr Morgan’s inspiring bible talks encouraged us to consider that God exists and to cast our burdens on to him.  Yes, Year 7 camp was definitely the best way to start the year.  Thank you teachers for all your hard work, effort and patience.  
Hannah Davey
Year 8

Camp this year was the best camp I've been to at Macarthur.

The staff at Wesley Vision Valley were all extremely helpful when I wasn't sure how to do something, they were all really experienced in their areas of teaching, but had a way of making the activities fun at the same time.
Some of the activities included a 2km canoe ride, both up and down the river.  Mountain biking on a really great track surrounded by trees and bushes.  I loved this activity.  Next was the rock climbing activity, on two massive rocks, one challenging rock and one not so challenging.  These are just a few of the outside activities.  We also had night time activities such as outdoor movie night and "Minute to win it".  These were also great fun.  We all had our turn to complete challenges which made us think under pressure and answer questions which tested all of us.
The Year 11 leaders kindly gave up their own camp to come to ours and they all participated in the activities.  They were all really supportive and continuously giving us help when needed.  There was also an excellent choice of teachers at Year 8 camp.  They were simply amazing!  They were so bubbly and exciting, they all participated in the activities as well, and encouraged the students to do their best.  Mrs Allen did an amazing job organising the camp and getting everyone to have such a great time.  We were also fed really well and I loved the meals.
I really enjoyed this year's camp.
Bailey Pickles
Year 9 

After a long and enjoyable eight week holiday, we came back to school in 2017, only to go to camp.  On 30 January around 70 enthusiastic Year 9 students, set off to Broken Bay for camp.  Going to camp on the first week back at school is one of the best ways to start off the school year, because after a long eight weeks of only seeing our friends every so often, we get to have a whole week seeing them every minute of every day - and as tiresome as that sounds, it's very amusing.

On this five day adventure we did various activities such as; abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, high ropes, the flying fox, archery, camping out in a tent, and my personal favourite, the hike.  The hike was one of the highlights of this camp, as we walked through the beautiful and vibrant forest with our best friends, and had a great time overall.  One of the things that we found challenging was sleeping in a tent on the beach, because as we were trying to go to bed, a massive thunderstorm struck us and rain began to bombard our tent.  Despite this however, it didn't stop us from having a memorable time.  Altogether, I believe that camp is an experience that we as a year group, will never forget.

Timothy Gidiess

Year 10

An awesome Year 10 Camp programme again this year.
There were three amazing groups of students who were supported by eight equally amazing Macarthur staff, many of whom are new to the School and camping in general, although the students would not have picked it.
The students were involved in river sledding, mountain biking, hiking to Kosciusko, raft building, abseiling, rock climbing and camping out.  Most importantly, they were involved in demonstrating initiative, teamwork and supporting each other.
The conditions were perfect this year, much cooler than Sydney, which made the week bearable, even though the activities themselves are very strenuous.  All the students had a positive attitude whilst they were pushed to challenge themselves and do things that they would not usually do.
The ALI staff at Jindabyne are truly wonderful and made our week extremely enjoyable.  It also helps that the food is great too!  An important fact for 15 year olds!
Nadine James - Head of Year 10 Camp
Year 11
Our Year 11 Moving Mountains camp to Katoomba got off to a blistering start with the warm weather.  What an experience it was for students to shop for their group to enable them to cook for the week at the local Woolworths.

Twenty-five of our Year 11 students spent the week giving back to the local Katoomba community through service at the Katoomba Wild Plant Nursery, with local community neighbours that were unable to maintain their garden, bush regeneration and St Hilda’s Anglican Church. 

Students attended a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony on our first night by an inspiring Christian Gundungurra Traditional Custodian, David King. 

The highlight for most was the horse riding at Centennial Glen Stables in the picturesque Blackheath Valley.  Students could absorb the peace and quiet offered by the valley, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the fantastic mountain views.
Belinda Watson - Head of Year 11 Katoomba Camp
Year 12

The "year of lasts" commenced with our last camp.  In Coffs Harbour, we anticipated a week of relaxation and bliss; laying on the beach before the tumultuous year ahead.  And it did start off that way.  After the long bus trip which was quickened by movies, the afternoon was assigned to just lapping up the waves at the beach.  Many of us were ignorant to the jam-packed but exciting activities in store for us.  A two hour drive away, with an organisation called EXODUS, we enjoyed canoeing on white water rapids.  Let's just say the sea didn't part for us....

Speaking of the Bible, evenings consisted of Christian Ministry and important messages to reflect on during our time away together.  But our deep theological discussions were always followed by light-hearted games which often sent us into giggling fits. 

One particular day made it seem this camp's objective was to wear us out so we would be too tired to misbehave back at school.  The day started with a speed boat ride to an island called Split Solitary, where we snorkelled.  The explosive colours of the fish, coral and the occasional small (and harmless) shark made the activity truly wonderful. 

Most of us with a year of driving experience tried to translate those skills into Go-karting.  The teachers proved they could be speed junkies when demanded. 

Among these activities was the Big Banana Waterpark, Trivia night, Commando course and Kegel Bowling. The final day was spent at the beach sea kayaking, beach rafting and surfing.  All of the activities gave us intense enjoyment, fun with friends, and lavished us with sunburn.

It was a wonderful way to begin our final year of schooling.  And among everything we learnt about our peers, teachers, the year ahead and the beach, there is one message that we are obliged to pass on - check the expiry date of your sunscreen.

Julia Kokic

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