Arndell Anglican College

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Arndell Anglican College
Arndell Anglican College crest. Source: (Arndell Anglican College website)
Arndell Anglican College is located in Sydney
Arndell Anglican College
Arndell Anglican College

Coordinates33°37′15″S 150°51′0″E / 33.62083°S 150.85000°E / -33.62083; 150.85000Coordinates: 33°37′15″S 150°51′0″E / 33.62083°S 150.85000°E / -33.62083; 150.85000
TypeIndependent co-educational primary and secondary day school
MottoLearning through Christ
HeadmasterGareth Leechman
Enrolmentc. 1,000
Colour(s)Red, blue and white
SloganLearning Through Christ
School feesAs of 2019, A$10,170 for Year 12 students.[2]

Arndell Anglican College is an independent Anglican co-educational primary and secondary day school located in the Sydney suburb of Oakville, New South Wales, Australia. Arndell Anglican College caters for students from Prep to Year 12 and is a member of the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation.


Arndell Anglican College was named after Thomas Arndell. He was one of Hawkesbury's first settlers and founded the Ebenezer Church in 1809, which is Australia's oldest church. The College was originally established on the Macquarie Retreat, Threlkeld Dr, Cattai in 1990 with Mr Craig Laffin as the first Headmaster.


  • In 1993, the College was relocated to its present location at Oakville.
  • In 1995, Mr Peter Walker became the Headmaster of the College and the population grew to over 800 students from K-12.
  • In 1996, Arndell Anglican College became part of the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation.


  • In 2003, Dr John M. Goddard became the Headmaster of the College. He improved the curriculum and the co-curriculum and undertook a number of building projects.
  • In 2009, Mr Gareth Leechman became Headmaster of the College.


  • In 2014, Arndell Anglican College introduced a laptop programme, offering students from years 7 to 12 with laptops and needed software. Comparably, iPads were given to junior years.
  • In 2015, the College embraced its growing population by dividing the Senior School into two cohorts to ensure the better welfare of students. Years 7 to 9 were deemed Junior Students, whereas years 10 to 12 were deemed Senior Students. Furthermore, 2015 was the 25th Anniversary for Arndell Anglican College. The school celebrated with an entire school day devoted to activities for the students, as well as other events throughout the year.
  • In 2016, the College was ranked within the top 150 schools in NSW based on HSC results.
  • In 2018, the Headmaster Mr Gareth Leechman signed a petition with the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney to retain s 38(3) in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) which allows private religious schools to discriminate against staff and students based on sexual orientation.[3] In the petition it was argued that 'a more general right' to religious freedom should exist, and the existing statutory 'exemptions should remain'.[3] The letter received censure from the domestic and international media as being discriminatory against gay people.[4] The Headmaster publicly denied the allegations of discrimination despite supporting partial repeals to anti-discrimination legislation.[5]
  • In 2019, a student of the College, Connor McLeod, spoke at TEDxSydney.[6][7] He reflected upon his successful campaign in 2016 which lobbied the Reserve Bank of Australia to print tactile banknotes for visually impaired people.[8]


The following individuals have served as Headmaster of Arndell Anglican College:

Ordinal Headmaster Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 Craig Laffin 1990 1994 3–4 years
2 Peter Walker 1995 2002 6–7 years
3 Dr John M. Goddard 2003 2009 5–6 years
4 Dr Gareth Leechman 2010 present 8–9 years

Craig Laffin oversaw the establishment of the College at Cattai and its subsequent move to its current site at Oakville. He drew together the students, staff and families of the College to build a school community and educational ethos that continues to influence the philosophy and daily life of the College today.[9]

Peter Walker saw the student population grow to over 800 from Kindergarten to Year 12. He also oversaw the transition of the College into the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation. The building infrastructure and financial security of the College was established during this time.[9]

Dr Goddard worked with the College to build the curriculum and co-curriculum, especially in the faculty of Music. He oversaw a significant number of building projects in the development of the College.[9]

The current Headmaster is Dr Gareth D Leechman. Leechman previously served as the Headmaster at Clarence Valley Anglican School in Grafton, and has also been the Head of History and Head of House at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore). Leechman regularly participates in his local religious community and practices the Anglican faith.[10] In 2018, Mr Leechman signed a formal petition to retain s 38(3) in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) which allows private religious schools to discriminate against staff and students based on sexual orientation.[3]


  • The following studies were available to senior students in 2019:
    • English
      • English Studies
      • English Standard
      • English Advanced
      • English Extension 1
      • English Extension 2
    • Mathematics
      • Mathematics Standard
      • Mathematics Advanced
      • Mathematics Extension 1
      • Mathematics Extension 2
    • Science
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Earth & Environmental Science
      • Investigating Science
      • Physics
    • Technologies
      • Agriculture
      • Industrial Technology: Graphics
      • Industrial Technology: Wood
      • Information & Processes Technology
      • Software Design & Development
      • Textiles & Design
    • Social Sciences
      • Business Studies
      • Economics
      • Geography
      • Legal Studies
      • Society & Culture
      • Studies of Religion I & II
    • History
      • Ancient History
      • History Extension
      • Modern History
    • Creative Arts
      • Drama
      • Music I
      • Visual Arts
    • PDHPE
      • Community & Family Studies
      • Personal Development, Health & Physical Education
      • Sport, Lifestyle & Recreation Studies
    • Languages
      • French Beginners
      • French Continuers
      • French Extension
    • VET
      • Hospitality
  • Students also attend mandatory Biblical Studies classes.

College Eethos[edit]

Arndell Anglican College is a Christian school and therefore advocates religion strongly. Once a week, students attend Chapel which consists of sermons concerning faith, the afterlife, and Jesus. The Arndell Way of Life includes Christian morals, which incorporates themes of unity, companionship, and acceptance. Similar understandings of life are taught in Biblical Studies, a class Arndell Anglican College insists all of its students attend regardless of religious denomination or faith. If students wish to continue their studies of faith outside of their predetermined schooling times, programmes at lunch are available and after school through the local Pitt Town Church.

The College is also found to aid many charities, such as the 40 Hour Famine for WorldVision.

The College Principal signed a petition on behalf of the School in 2018 to secure s 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) which allows private schools to discriminate against students based on sexual orientation,[3] reflecting the College's political conservatism and religious traditionalism. The College also advocated for strengthening religious freedoms in the petition.

College culture[edit]

The College Crest builds on the legacy of its earlier incarnations. It is dominated by the central cross, indicating the importance of Christ and his teachings in all our endeavours. The rays coming from the cross indicate the infusion of Christian thought in all that we do. The undulating lines represent the Hawkesbury River. The school colours of red and blue are distinctive among schools in the Hawkesbury region.[9]

Greenway House is named in honour of the convict architect, Francis Greenway, who designed many of the fine buildings of early New South Wales, a number of which still stand in the Hawkesbury region. Greenway’s colour is green and its verse comes from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Johnson House is named in honour of the Reverend Richard Johnson, the first Chaplain of New South Wales. Johnson’s colour is blue and its verse comes from Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Macquarie House is named in honour of Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth Governor of New South Wales, responsible for converting the penal settlement into a genuine colony and perhaps its most significant early administrator. Its colour is gold and its verse comes from Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Tebbutt House is named in honour of John Tebbutt, the distinguished Australian scientist and astronomer who lived in the Hawkesbury region and whose observatory still stands a few kilometres from the site of the College. Tebbutt’s colour is red and its verse comes from 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”


Arndell Anglican College is located in Oakville, New South Wales, 54 kilometres north west of Sydney. The Junior School & Senior School are on the same campus.

The current facilities of the college include:

  • Two administration buildings
  • Four blocks of classrooms in the Junior School with SMART Boards
  • The Stubbs Junior Library including a reading pit with cushions, Printer & Photocopier, 30 computers with two SMART Boards & classrooms equipped with SMART Boards.
  • Two Basketball Courts in the Junior and the Senior Schools
  • Gymnasium in the middle of the campus for both Junior and Senior School use
  • The Mears Senior Library including two printer/photocopiers, with a mezzanine study area upstairs
  • A TAS Building with a Food Technology Kitchen, Commercial Kitchen, Two Textiles classrooms, Strategic Learning Support Office and One IT Classroom. All except the Commercial Kitchen are equipped with SMART Boards.
  • Three Art Classrooms equipped with SMART Boards
  • Five Science Lab Classrooms equipped with SMART Boards
  • Two Canteens in both the Junior and Senior Schools
  • The John Lambert Performing Arts Building with an Auditorium that seats 550 people, a Music Computer Lab with 16 computers and a SMART Board, Two Music Practice Classrooms with SMART Boards & a Dance & Drama Practice Classroom equipped with a SMART Board.
  • Six blocks of classrooms in the Senior School
  • A Sporting Field in the Junior School and two Sporting Fields and two Cricket Nets in the Senior School.
  • Grassed area at the front of the college


Arndell Anglican College is governed by a school council. The College council helps develop the facilities and the growth of Arndell Anglican College. The current chairman of council is Mrs Brenda King.

The College is part of Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation and is affiliated with the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney. The College closely aligns itself with the Diocese. For instance, in 2019 it supported the Diocese in repealing s 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) to promote religious freedom.[3]

HSC results[edit]

Depicts a graph of HSC ranking across time. In 2013 Arndell ranked 280th. In 2014, 247th. In 2015, 259th. In 2016, 143rd. In 2017, 294th. In 2018, 185th.

To the left is Arndell's HSC ranking according to compared to all other schools sitting the HSC. 2016 was Arndell's best year with a ranking of 143 making it into the top 150 schools.


  1. ^ "Arndell Anglican College – Introduction". Archived from the original on 12 September 2009.
  2. ^ "2019 Fee Schedule" (PDF). Arndell Anglican Colleg. 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sullivan, Rebecca (1 November 2018). "Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney's open letter asking politicians to keep laws that allow gay teachers to be fired". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  4. ^ Albeck-Ripka, Livia (18 October 2018). "In Some Australian Schools, Teachers Can Be Fired for Being Gay". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  5. ^ Falson, Sarah (9 November 2018). "'We're anti-discrimination': Arndell Anglican College principal". Hawkesbury Gazette. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  6. ^ "TEDx Youth Event 2019 | Young Tedx Talks". TEDxSydney. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Connor McLeod". TEDxSydney. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  8. ^ Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (30 August 2016). "New tactile bank notes let blind people get a feel for money". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "History and Culture". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  10. ^ Arndell Anglican College. "Headmaster Biography". Retrieved 11 April 2019.

External links[edit]