The McDonald College
|The McDonald College|
Strive for Excellence
|North Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia|
|Type||Independent, Co-educational, Day & Boarding|
|Chairman||Geoffrey A. Markham|
|Colour(s)||Red, Navy and White
The McDonald College is an independent, co-educational, non-denominational, performing arts, day and boarding school, located in North Strathfield, an inner western suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Established in 1984, the school currently caters for approximately 495 students from Preparatory (4 years of age) to Year 12, including 37 female boarders from Year 7 to 12. It is Australia's only P to 12, independent school that provides specialist training in the Performing Arts on a daily basis.
The college is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA), and the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales (AISNSW).
Whilst officially established in 1984, The McDonald College has a tradition and history dating back to the establishment of the Ann McDonald College of Dancing by Ann McDonald, a dance and singing teacher, in 1926.
On Ann McDonald's retirement her daughter, Margaret Markham, took over the Ann McDonald College of Dancing. In 1983 Markham saw the opportunity for establishing a specialist academic and performing arts school for gifted children, and subsequently, in partnership with Ann Fraser and Maxine Kohler, agreed to change the Ann McDonald College of Dancing from a private company into a community-based, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, thus facilitating the establishment of The McDonald College Limited.
Since 1999, The McDonald College has been located at North Strathfield, adjacent to North Strathfield Station. The school is close to the Olympic site and Bicentennial Park, and is 25 minutes from the Sydney Central business district.
Facilities include air-conditioned classrooms, science and computer laboratories, art studios and exhibition space, nine dance studios, music studios and recital room, acting studios and performance spaces, television studio, recording studio, library, canteen, adjoining facilities and play equipment for junior students, and a boarding residence for up to 30 girls.
The McDonald College is registered and accredited with the New South Wales Board of Studies, and therefore follows the mandated curriculum for all years. The school is however unique in that its curriculum includes a performing arts focus.
In Preparatory year, the academic program is designed to ensure students achieve age appropriate developmental and learning goals. Students also have access to specialist performing arts programmes including drama, dance and music.
Junior School (Kindergarten to Year 6) students participate in performing arts, together with the Key Learning Areas as set out by the NSW Board of Studies. A Gifted and Talented program is integrated at this stage to cater for students identified as 'academically gifted'.
The Middle School caters for students in Years 7 and 8. At this stage, the academic curriculum consists of the core subjects in English/HSIE (Human Society and its Environment) and Maths/Science. Specialist staff are utilised for subjects such as LOTE (Languages other than English), Design & Technology, Visual Arts, Music and PDHPE (Personal Development, Health and Physical Education). The Middle School day also incorporates a challenging performing arts programme.
In Years 9 and 10 students are prepared for the New South Wales School Certificate. At this stage students continue with the core subjects and also choose electives. The performing arts programme is an extension to the mandated academic curriculum and typically supports much of the study in the elective courses. Students participate in a performing arts programme for two hours each day. Students experiencing learning difficulties are assisted through the 'Learning Assistance Programme'.
The Senior school (Years 11 and 12) provides students with the opportunity to focus on areas of their academic study and performing arts programme, in order to be prepared for the Higher School Certificate (HSC). Except for English and Maths, all other subjects are studied intensively for up to eight hours per week, and most students will sit for their HSC in two subjects during the first year of senior schooling (year 11). In the second year of senior schooling (Year 12) students sit for the remaining HSC subjects, accumulating the HSC over two years, or longer if necessary. All students have the opportunity to choose any combination of subjects in the Creative and Performing Arts for HSC study.
Upon enrolment at the McDonald College, students choose a core area of study, from Acting, Classical Ballet, Dance, Music or Musical Theatre. The selected core area will be studied for four days per week.
On the remaining day of the week, the elective areas of study, may involve activities such as Photography, Sport, drama, Hip hop, Short Film Making, Jazz, ballet, funk, tap, modern dance, or Music Audition Repertoire.
The school was recently recognised for launching a breakthrough musical theatre production, known as "Putting it Together", at the Parade Theatre, NIDA on 17 September 2011.
- Luke Baines - Actor and model
- Josef Brown - Dancer and actor. Former soloist with The Australian Ballet, Matt Turner on Neighbours
- Kathleen de Leon Jones - Member of children's group Hi-5; theatre and television actress
- Amy Edwards - Actor/Singer/Dancer, original cast member of the West End production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
- Kip Gamblin - Actor, best known for his role as 'Scott Hunter' on Home and Away
- Sophie Lowe - AFI Award nominated actress
- Sarah Murdoch - International model, wife of Lachlan Murdoch (also attended Pittwater House Girls' College)
- Bojana Novakovic - AFI Award winning actress
- Tommaso Parisi- Musician; Winner of triple j unearthed high
- Josh Quong Tart - Television and theatre actor; Singer
- Rhys Wakefield - Actor, best known for his role as 'Lucas Holden' on Home and Away
- Nikki Webster - Singer (also attended MLC School)
- Julie-Anne Bayliss - Producer
- "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). The McDonald College. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Schools: The McDonald College". Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "About the College". The McDonald College. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "AHISA Schools: New South Wales". Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. April 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "NSW Independent Schools by Region". Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Annual Report 2006". The McDonald College. Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
- "Prospectus" (PDF). The McDonald College. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Academic Studies". The McDonald College. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Preparatory". The McDonald College. Retrieved 2007-09-12.[dead link]
- "Primary". The McDonald College. Retrieved 2007-09-12.[dead link]
- "Middle School". The McDonald College. Retrieved 2007-09-12.[dead link]
- "Senior School". The McDonald College. Retrieved 2007-09-12.[dead link]
- "Kip Gamblin". Home and Away: Meet The Cast. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Rhys Wakefield". Home and Away: Meet The Cast. Retrieved 2007-09-12.