Blue Mountains students excel in HSC results


Fifty-four Katoomba High School received an HSC. Some of the high achievers on the Honour Roll included:

Annabel Pettit: English Extension 1, English Extension 2, French Beginners, German Extension.  Annabel received an English Extension 2 mark of 48/50. ATAR: 97.3

Melanie Farry: English Advanced, Ancient History, Legal Studies . ATAR: 94.3

Jack Coggins: Industrial Technology Multimedia with a mark of 96. Jack’s major work has also been nominated for inclusion in the In-Tech showcase. His Drama Group performance was also nominated for Onstage, the HSC showcase. ATAR 92.65

Hannah Ebbings: Ancient History and Drama. Hannah was also nominated for Onstage for her Drama group performance. ATAR: 92.3.

Grace Searle: Ancient History. Grace is also the recipient of the Blue Mountains Trust Fund Scholarship (for regional students starting tertiary studies in Health Sciences). ATAR: 90.

Jessica de Latour - Music 1.

Makeda Bryson - French Beginners, Spanish Beginners (studied externally).

Alara Grygar: Turkish Continuers - 3rd in state (studied externally)

Two out of three school group performances in HSC Drama were nominated for On Stage. 

“As principal of Katoomba High I am extremely proud of all of our students,” said Jenny Boyall. “The combined effort of Year 12, staff and community have allowed these students to grow into young adults who have not only reached their goals but are now well-equipped to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.”


Individual highlights include two students being recognised as Top Achievers by the NSW Educational Standards Authority. Tahlia Curley placed fifth in the state in French Beginners and Charlotte Hitchcock placed 16th in the state in Mathematics. Tahlia received a mark of 99 in French Beginners, and Charlotte gained a mark of 100 in Mathematics.

Outstanding ATAR scores were achieved by Zachary Mann, 96.45; Alexandrine Curtis, 90.55; Catherine Schweinsberg, 90.4; and Luke Simson: 91.15.

The school received 24 mentions on the Distinguished Achievers List, encompassing the achievements of 18 students across 10 subjects, which attests to the range and depth of students’ achievements across the curriculum.

The school’s 3+3 Compacted Curriculum model for HSC delivery means the top and distinguished achievers may have been completing their first or their second year of HSC exams. Completing her first three subjects and exams, Tahlia achieved three Band 6 results, meaning she received marks of 90 or more in all of her subjects this year. Catherine Schweinsberg was completing her final two HSC courses and achieved Band 6 results in both.

“We are a public comprehensive school, and proud to be comprehensive in advancing our students’ learning, wellbeing and possibilities in life,” said principal Dr Mark Howie. “This is evident in our 2017 HSC results and other recent exciting news. We applaud the achievements of students in the HSC and the full scope of school life.”

Dr Howie said that Springwood High students have also been publicly recognised in a notable way for their achievements in recent times. “This attests to the uplifting possibilities available to students through public education and Springwood High.”

Elite athlete Jackson Sharp, who was also completing his first three HSC courses and exams this year, finished 4th in the 1500m at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July. Jackson has since been awarded a CHS Blue, the highest award for sport in NSW public schools. In addition, the Sydney West School Sport Association awarded him Blues for Athletics and Cross Country, the President’s Award for achieving two Blues, and the Premier’s Sporting Scholarship.

Year 10 student Jessica Johnson, a proud young Wiradjuri woman, has been recognised by Adam Goodes, Michael O’Loughlin and the Board of the GO Foundation, being awarded The GO Foundation Scholarship. This will support Jessica in her education, and help her to further develop her leadership skills.

Year 9 student Ella Newton, also a proud young Aboriginal woman, has been awarded the Harding Miller Education Foundation scholarship supporting girls of high potential. This will support Ella’s educational achievements and career aspirations.

“Our best wishes go to our students as they move to the next stages in their lives,” said Dr Howie. “Our students are well-equipped for further study, the workforce, and for facing the challenges of their life goals and ambitions.” ​ 


The staff of Blaxland High School is extremely proud of the 2017 HSC cohort and their achievements. Overall 110 students earnt 76 Band 6s and 195 Band 5s. Special mention goes to Samantha Millett who achieved a Band 6 in all her subjects, a perfect score for Maths Extension 1 and an ATAR of 99.7.

Other 90+ ATARs known by Monday morning, December 18 were Sarah Blackwell 97.4, Presley Liauw 94.1, Kathryn Chapman 92.02, Olivia Busby 90.7, Matthew Carter 93.8 and Holly Swatridge 94.65.

The school had nominations for Call back, InTech and InStyle and April Fasano's major work has been selected for exhibition in Art Express.


In the Sydney Morning Herald Honour Roll of Band 6 students (students who gained a mark of 90 or more in a 2U course, or 45 or more in an Extension or 1U course) Grammar had 39 mentions from 21 students, in 17 out of 37 HSC courses studied at the School. This means that 28 per cent of the students in Year 12 gained at least one Band 6 or Extension E4. Overall 83 per cent of the Year 12 cohort achieved one or more Band 5 or 6 result. A number of courses have recorded several times the state averages of students in the top bands.

“These are phenomenal achievements for a non-selective school that caters for a broad range of students. It speaks volumes of the dedication of the students to achieve their best, and the incredible support they receive from the teaching staff,” said a school spokesman.  

Subjects where students performed particularly strongly included Visual Arts, Music 1, Music 2 and Extension Music, PDHPE, Biology, Physics and the Mathematics courses, including General, 2 unit and both Extension courses all received Band 6s (or E4s). their marks. 

A number of students’ practical works have been singled out for inclusion in various showcases. In particular, Paris Fitzpatrick had both her Drama Costume Design project and her Design and Technology major work nominated for the respective course’s showcase. Paris’ Design and Technology major work was subsequently selected to the Showcase. Diana Babajanyan and Thomas Weaver have both been nominated for the Music showcase – Encore, and Juno Bennett and Adam Bosch had their work nominated for ArtExpress, with Juno gaining selection.  

“As a school we want to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of this fantastic group of young men and women. We wish them all the very best for their life beyond school. As a group they have demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving their very best, and they have not limited this to academia, but have maintained a strong commitment to a range of sporting, debating, advocacy, musical and performance-based activities. They have continued to lead the school in a range of service opportunities within the community and further afield. They have shown grit, some of them working through difficult circumstances, in order to achieve this milestone of successfully finishing their HSC. We are proud of the Year 12 2017 class, and look forward to hearing of further successes in the years ahead.”

The school will publish a more detailed analysis of the 2017 HSC results in its HSC Review in February.


Callum Branley received the school’s top ATAR with 99.65.

Principal of St Columba’s Catholic College, Paul Ryan, said that he and the teachers were extremely pleased with the achievements of the 2017 HSC students.

“We are proud of the consistent work students applied to their studies throughout the year. It is the individual learning gain and achievement of each and every student that the college celebrates at this time,” he said.

A number of the school’s students achieved excellent results that have been formally recognised. These include an All-Rounder Achiever, a Top Achiever in Course, 33 Distinguished Achievers, six Art Express nominations, and two Art Express selections.

Early next year, the college will formally acknowledge all our high achievers, including:

All-Round Achiever: Callum Branley; Top Achiever in Course, Callum Branley, 10th Mathematics Extension 1.

Distinguished Achievers; Callum Branley; Freya McNair Cecilia Hunt; Polly McCauley; Sophie Bray; Jade Begang; Madison Stevenson; Kahra Hutchings; Alexandra Zierholtz; Emily Hannen; Scarlett Marx; Jake Ayres; Isabella Carr; John Kane-White; Ellie McNichol; Liam O’Brien; Amelia Jackson; Mitchell Dougan; Matthew Field; Courteney Hills; Genevieve Heggarty; Isabelle Lovric; Daniel Madden; Kieran O’Rourke; Corey Oag; Anthony Pujic; Matthew Sands; Dominique Sarazen; Nadia Simpson; Nadia Wright; Oliver Vallieres; Samuel van der Walle; Chloe Ward.

Art Express nominations: Jade Begeng, “Feminine Patterns of Imperfection”; Sophie Bray. “Forgotten Mutalism”; Isabella Carr, “The Social Glorification of Self-Deprivation”; Kyprian Drugakov. “Moore’s Law”; Emily Hannen, “Odin’s Oculus”; Madison Stevenson, “Language of Lunacy”.

Art Express Selection: Kyprian Drugakov, “Moore’s Law”, Emily Hannen “Odin’s Oculus”.


Winmalee High School students achieved 41 Band 6s and one notational Band 6 in Mathematics Extension 2.

Congratulations goes to Natalie Schroder the school Dux with an ATAR of 98.75. Natalie has the honour of gaining first place in the state for her VET Human Services Course (Nursing). She studied this course through Nepean Hospital over the last two years. In addition, Natalie came fourth in Spanish in the state.

The next three outstanding results were Kayla McNicoll with 95.1; James Boidin 94.3 and Mattia Skinner 94.25.

Other strong results came from Lucy Taylor 93.55: Hugh Ward 93.5 and Nicole Friel 92.95; Hannah Kadi 89.75; Will Vidler 88.1; Emily Law 87.25; Georgia Fodor 87 and Annabel Baddock 87.

The school received some excellent results in Languages with Zuzanna Baran coming fourth in Polish in the State and Minah Lebreton came fourth in French in the State.  Emily Law was the recipient of a UTS scholarship for $49,500. 

The Gazette will be updating our HSC story as we receive new results from schools. Email: