2018 HSC results snapshot

December 18, 2018

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am very pleased with our HSC results for 2018. Yesterday, I hosted a morning tea attended by many of our high-achieving Year 12 students. It was an exciting time as so many were able to convey to their friends and to me that they have already received offers to their preferred course at their first choice university.

The top mark this year was scored by both Alex Chorley and Noah Oshiro, each with 50/50 in Extension Music and our HSC dux is Luke Stewart-Yates with an ATAR of 98.8. Ashton Trollor has come third in the state in Senior Science. A number of our students have been nominated for the state-wide showcases of the best performance and practical pieces in NSW. These are Alex Chorley, Tess Atutahi and Noah Oshiro in Music, Alex Chorley, Will Rogut and George Cowan in Drama, Alex Chorley and Ruben Wall in Design and Technology and Alex Chorley in Industrial Technology.

Eight of our students, Jason Cleary-Gorton, Ben Mickan, Luke Stewart-Yates, Sam Hagan, Rachel Nixon, Samantha Peirson, Elle Sabados and Grace Yarrow, were just a couple of marks in a couple of subjects off meriting an appearance in the all-rounders list, that is, those with Band 6 in 10 or more Units. In Luke’s case, he missed out on this honour by one mark in one subject.

In terms of particular subjects, the news is very good. We are above the state average in nearly everything, significantly above in Design & Technology and Senior Science (12 marks and 11 marks). The results in English and the various Science subjects are the best in the HSC during my nine years so far at SACS.

Although the average of our results and the ATARs to which they convert seem about the same as last year, we don’t have as many “stars” at the very top of the range. This is largely because in this particular year (unlike the year before) the majority of the most capable students chose the International Baccalaureate Diploma instead of the HSC, and so their results do not appear in the current tables. However, it is clear that students who are able and work hard have done very well in the HSC at SACS. The table below indicates ATARs (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks) above 80.

Our top 2018 HSC student ATARs:

  • Luke Stewart-Yates – 98.8
  • Benjamin Mickan – 97.2
  • Grace Yarrow – 97.2
  • Name withheld by request – 97
  • Samantha Peirson – 95.95
  • Nicholas Austen – 95.85
  • Samuel Hagan – 95.1
  • Name withheld by request – 94
  • Name withheld by request – 93.15
  • Adam Baldock – 92.1
  • Rachel Nixon – 91.95
  • Alex Chorley – 90.5
  • Name withheld by request – 90.5
  • Elliot Duncan – 90.1
  • Ashton Trollor – 88.8
  • Ruben Wall – 87.8
  • Alyssa Brown – 87.75
  • Catherine Ogborne – 87
  • Zoe Campbell – 86.65
  • Christopher Rogers – 86.4
  • Aleksa Novicic – 85.85
  • Name withheld by request – 85.2
  • Name withheld by request – 84.65
  • Kaiwen Hong – 84.25
  • Isabel Jung – 83.7
  • Ivry Barker – 83.55
  • Sienna Schroeder – 83.5
  • Name withheld by request – 83.5
  • Name withheld by request – 83.3
  • Name withheld by request – 83.05
  • Name withheld by request – 82.85
  • Rhys Tucker – 82.8
  • Name withheld by request – 82.75
  • Noah Oshiro – 82.45
  • Name withheld by request – 80.95
  • Name withheld by request – 81.25
  • Bianca Stanica – 80.15
  • Tianhan Zhou – 80

All these students have achieved the very creditable result of an ATAR in the top 20% of possible ATARs in Australia (bear in mind the ATAR is a place, not a mark).

These ATARS are a combination of the exact results passed on by students (confirmed by our statistician) and the statistician’s estimate, which will be within a couple of decimal points, if not exact. Most of the names withheld by request are students we have not been able to contact to gain their permission to place their names next to their ATARs. Understandably, many are away on holidays, some of them overseas.

While achieving 66 scores of Band 6 (marks above 90 in 2 unit subjects, or above 45 out of 50 in 1 unit subjects) we were considerably down on the previous year, however, there were a huge 227 Band 5s (marks between 80-89). Indeed, we achieved our usual high number of 88s and 89s, that is just below the 90 cut-off for a Band 6. Hence the difference between a low Band 6 and a high Band 5 is not material. This is a very solid result and makes the media focus on Band 6 alone rather misleading. The best description of our Year 12 students for this year is solid Band 5s varied by perhaps a Band 6 and a Band 4. The tail of the results was fairly small; there were only 2 students who gained an ATAR of less than 40.

For those who have studied the media rendition of HSC results across NSW, I hope it will be noticed that as always, the results were dominated by government and independent selective schools. SACS is a proudly comprehensive school. Moreover, we are a very inclusive school, admitting as part of our Christian mission of service many students with significant learning difficulties who are unlikely to score a Band 6 in the HSC. Their talents are elsewhere and we celebrate them as much as we do our academic high performers. This is because we are concerned about whole people and not dismayed by some students who may pull down our averages and therefore our rankings. Indeed, some of these students have earned all accolades by staring down disabilities and difficulties in order to complete the HSC, and in many cases achieved personal bests.

In January, the results of the other third of our Year 12 students will be released, those who have studied the International Baccalaureate Diploma instead of the HSC. Already we know some of them have been offered university places and even scholarships on the basis of their predicted grades. Marissa Payne has won a scholarship to Sydney University which was contested by thousands of people. Susie Douglas has won the Ben Lexcen scholarship to the University of New South Wales. The We look forward to receiving the results for our IB Diploma students early in January 2019. Until then, well done HSC students and Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Dr John Collier
Head, St Andrew’s Cathedral School