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From the Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning, Ms Lynsey Porter

Ms Lynsey Porter, Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning

Ms Lynsey Porter, Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning

This week, we would like to acknowledge the work that our teachers are doing to facilitate rich learning experiences that bridge the gap between the world of school and post-school, particularly in our HSC and Preliminary HSC courses. In the last week or two, we have had students pursue an external course in quantum physics, participate in flying lessons to learn about aerodynamics in Engineering Studies, work with published writers at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and contribute to hands-on field work at Barangaroo for Geography to name but a few. You can learn more about these experiences below.  

These experiences speak to the work we are doing with the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) on Deep Learning and the six global competencies of Character, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. In fact, the global competency of Critical Thinking manifests in students who experiment, reflect and take action on ideas in the real world. The experiences outlined below offer a space where students can apply critical thinking authentically and in-line with their specific HSC courses.


Ms Lynsey Porter

Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning


Year 12 Student Declan McAuliffe Attends Virtual Quantum Academy Camp

Year 12 student, Declan McAuliffe, who has a passion for physics and is aspiring to a career in quantum engineering, recently participated in the Sydney Quantum Academy Computing Camp. This virtual event, held over three days from 9am-3pm aimed to introduce high school students to the fascinating world of quantum computing and other quantum technologies.

The Quantum Tech Camp provided a comprehensive introduction to quantum learning pathways, quantum careers, and the Australian quantum ecosystem. Declan took part in a variety of workshops that delved into quantum mechanics, quantum coding, quantum algorithms, quantum hardware, and the practical applications of quantum computing.

Declan McAuliffe - Virtual Quantum Academy Camp

Each day, Declan had the opportunity to listen to speakers from both the Australian and international quantum community. These experts shared unique insights into different study and career pathways in the field of quantum science. They also showcased real-world applications of quantum technology happening right here in Sydney and across Australia.

The camp featured talks from students, academics, and industry professionals who shared their personal journeys and highlighted why quantum is an exciting career option. Participants learned about cutting-edge quantum research and other applications from universities and industry leaders within the Australian quantum ecosystem.

Declan found the camp to be an incredibly valuable learning experience, further igniting his interest in quantum computing. I am proud of his dedication and excited to see where his passion for quantum engineering will take him!


Ms Kathryn Knowles

Senior Studies and Careers Coordinator


The Impact of Urban Renewal on Barangaroo – Year 12 Geographers Investigate

Year 12 Geography students as part of their study of Urban Places, investigated the impact of urban renewal on Barangaroo. 

A former waterfront, the area highlights how effective urban design can create and transform a suburb into a thriving commercial and economic precinct, boasting a six star rating for ecological sustainability. 

The field work was invaluable for the students in preparing for their upcoming assessment task, and ultimately their HSC exam. 

Year 12 Geography - Barangaroo

Year 12 Geography - Barangaroo

Year 12 Geography - Barangaroo


Mr Adam Wallington

Head of HSIE


Year 12 Engineering Studies Flight Training Excursion – Appreciating Aerodynamics

In the pursuit of knowledge, there is often no substitute for hands-on experience. For students delving into the intricate world of aerodynamics, this rings especially true. Rather than merely studying theories in textbooks, we took an immersive approach and provided the opportunity for our Year 12 students who are studying aeronautical engineering concepts to fly an aircraft.

Students at Aviation excursion

Picture a classroom where the ceiling is not a limit but a vast expanse of the sky. This was the reality for our Year 12 students who took part in a learning experience that integrated a flying lesson into their week’s learning. Although it was only a small propeller aircraft, the opportunity to take the controls and feel the forces of flight firsthand was an unparalleled educational experience.

Students take part in aviation lesson

Aerodynamics, the study of how air interacts with objects in motion, can be a complex subject to grasp from textbooks alone. However, when the Year 12 students were seated in the cockpit, the principles of lift, drag, thrust, and weight suddenly became tangible concepts. By adjusting control surfaces and observing how the aircraft responded, students gained a much deeper understanding of aerodynamic principles that would not have otherwise been achieved by studying from textbooks alone.

Student and pilot take selfie while flying

What did the students think of the experience?

“I understand the forces of flight so much better now!”
“It was so much fun and I never thought Sydney was so big!”
“Oh I don’t want to feel those G-forces again!”


Ms Silvia Baylie

Engineering and Science Educator / Ecology Coordinator


Wonderful Learning Experiences at the Sydney Writers’ Festival

On Wednesday last, Ms Ryan and I were lucky enough to spend the day with a group of Year 11 English students at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

We were treated to three wonderful and varied sessions;

  • The Craft of Writing: The Craft of Creative Non-Fiction with Kate Rossmanith
  • The Craft of Writing: The Craft of Short Fiction with Melissa Lucashenko
  • The Craft of Writing: The Craft of Poetry with Maxine Beneba Clarke and Solli Raphael

School children listen to speaker in auditorium

Here are some of our reflections on the sessions:

Session 1: Ms Ryan

On route to Carriageworks, many students asked the question ‘But what is creative nonfiction, Miss?’.

Kate Rossmanith is an author, essayist, and an Associate Professor at Macquarie University, where she teaches creative writing. Kate’s non-fiction work includes the book, Small Wrongs, and pieces written for The Monthly, The Australian and Sydney Review of Books. Ms Rossmanith offered some truly interesting insights to the many forms creative nonfiction can take: memoir, personal essay, discursive essay, literary journalism, to name just a few. 

What struck me was the essential nature of research as well as the genesis of ideas. Ms Rossmanith’s Small Wrongs sounds like a fascinating read – a deep dive into the experience of remorse in the justice system. To be a creative nonfiction writer, “Keep asking the questions that need to be asked”. 

To Year 11 and Year 12 students, the most important message was the need to keep writing those drafts and expect to edit and edit and edit. Find your own authentic voice.

Session 2: Nicholas Zanapalis

In our second seminar of the day, we were privileged to listen to Melissa Lucashenko, a highly celebrated indigenous writer from the Bundjalung nation. In her speech, she talked about her passion for telling the Indigenous stories of Australia – notably focusing on her hit novel Edenglassie. She also gave some very helpful advice for students’ writing, speaking about writers being either: Pantcers (write first, think later) or Plotters (think first, write later), and how to succeed as either. Ultimately, the speech was insightful and interesting, offering much to take away.

Session 3: Harry Bowcock

After filing languidly into the auditorium and taking our seats, the third session of the day began, presented by Maxine Clarke and the young Solli Raphael. 

Scattered gasps escaped the juvenile crowd when Raphael announced he himself was still a teenager. We couldn’t believe it! How could someone barely a year or two older than us already be so accomplished? Upon taking this in, we sat ourselves up straight in our seats and attentivity returned stronger than ever. Raphael, by simply being a young person himself, ushered our ears and minds open to anything he had to say. He was a breath of fresh air, a hidden gem amid the incessant hum of adult speakers. Subsequently, we all left that session with a deeper insight into poetry and a newfound appreciation for its ability to address social concerns.

Session 3: Lieme Chan

Why does poetry appeal to young people?

“Connection helps us discover who we are, it is a product of human interpretation.”

Poetry; the creation of vast worlds with hidden agendas and different beliefs entailed in a sense of expressiveness that can only be acquired through one’s own imagination. At the Writer’s Festival 2024, we got the privilege to be addressed by Maxine Bareba and Solli Raphael; two incredible writers each pronouncing their own authenticities and beliefs through their writings. From these two individuals, we uncovered the passion of free verse as a form of poetry and the importance of drawing inspiration from historical poets and contemporaries in order to derive your own perspective. This was reinforced with Solli’s demonstration of his new poem, ‘Free your mind’, illustrating contemporary society as a restrictor of our curiosities.

As a final remark, Solli Raphael expressed, “Do things with words that might seem unorthodox, but with heart.”

school boys gather outside Sydney Writers Festival

Mr William Roberts and Ms Mary Ryan

Head of Library and Literacy Coordinator and English teacher