Cumberland High School (Carlingford)

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Cumberland High School
Carlingford, New South Wales
Australia  Australia
Coordinates 33°47′3″S 151°2′13″E / 33.78417°S 151.03694°E / -33.78417; 151.03694Coordinates: 33°47′3″S 151°2′13″E / 33.78417°S 151.03694°E / -33.78417; 151.03694
Type Public, Co-educational
Motto Latin: Finis Coronat Opus
(The End Crowns the Work)
Established February, 1962
Principal M. Pikoulas
Enrolment ~769
Campus Suburban
Colour(s) Green, White & Brown

Cumberland High School is a co-educational comprehensive secondary school (high school) located in the north-western metropolitan Western Sydney region of New South Wales, Australia.


Cumberland High School opened in January 1962 with an initial intake of 270 students in First Form (now known as Year 7). This student cohort commenced high school under the Wyndham Scheme, which extended New South Wales high school from five to six years and placed a greater emphasis on science and mathematics.

The foundation headmaster was George Heery (1962–1965), who was responsible for the selection of the original school colours (brown, green and white), the school motto "Finis Coronat Opus", ("the end crowns the work") and the Cumberland school song.

In addition to students from Carlingford, early students were drawn from as far afield as Pennant Hills, West Pennant Hills, and Beecroft to the north; from Epping, Ermington and Rydalmere to the east; from Dundas, Dundas Valley and Telopea to the south; and North Parramatta to the south-west. Subsequently, the student catchment area contracted with the establishment of nearby high schools, particularly Castle Hill High School (1963), Pennant Hills High School (1966), Carlingford High School (1968), and Muirfield High School (1976).

In 2008, four Cumberland students took part in the Beijing Olympics, as members of the Olympic Games Orchestra.


Cumberland High is located at 183 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford, New South Wales.

The site was originally part of portions 100, 101 in the Parish of Field of Mars, County of Cumberland. Portion 101 was granted to William Evans by Lieutenant Governor Francis Grose on 11 April 1794. The grant is described in the Grant Register as "laying and situated at The Ponds adjoining Carver's Farm". Portion 100 was granted to William Butts on 19 November 1794, and described in the Grant Register as "laying and situated in the district of The Ponds".

The site is separated with blocks lettered with a certain letter. A Block: (Used for Food Technology and Art on lower floor;Second Floor used for History, Computing and Drama) B Block: (Used for Toilets, Gym and Canteen) C Block: (Used for Computing, Metalwork and Woodwork ) D Block: (Used for the office ; Second Floor used for Music, Language, Geography, Business Studies, Legal Studies and Society and Culture .) E Block: (Used for English, PDHPE and Science on first floor; Maths and a dedicated Learning Centre on the second floor.) F Block: (Used for the hall ) and G Block: (Used for Science Labs downstairs and Library.

The toilets have undergone significant renovations, and a Gym has been added to B Block as well.

The current principal for Cumberland is Mechel Pikoulas.

A number of positive changes have taken place over recent years including more than $2M spent on new playground surfaces and equipment, rain-water tanks, air-conditioning of the entire school, as well as new computers, an interactive, online classroom and one of the fastest internet connections of any school in NSW.

Student profile[edit]

The school has a traditional format and organization. Its administration places emphasis on discipline and requires students to wear a school uniform. The school is populated with 35% of students coming from outside the school's designated local area. Students come from families that are very diverse, socially and economically. In recent years, there has been an increase in enrolment by non-English speaking students (56% in 2005) with 35% of all students receiving English as a second language (ESL) program support. In 2005, 37 international students were enrolled, out of a total of 769. The International Students Program has been established at Cumberland High School with the work of Ms S. Kitson being showcased by the International Student Centre as an example of excellence in the education of international students.

Through involvement of students and staff from many cultures, Cumberland High School has experienced a massive celebration of multi-culturalism in Harmony Day and Multicultural Day. Students from many backgrounds have also developed the educational achievements of all students, with 1 in 5 students achieving a UAI above 90 at the HSC 2007

Recently, Cumberland has involved 4 of its students in a revolutionary Science program in partnership with Lachlan Macquarie College, Merck Sharpe & Dohme and Western Sydney University, with the students attending sessions at Western Sydney University: Hawkesbury Campus to utilise state-of-the-art equipment in a research program. In addition to this, one of the Science teachers, Mrs. K. Stead organises annual Science showcases to coincide with National Science Week and "tours" around local primary schools to try and engage younger children in Science.

In 2009, Cumberland's neighboring school, James Ruse Agricultural High School came 1st in the HSC rankings, along with Baulkham Hills High School in the same region, coming 2nd, displaying the community's eagerness to achieve high results and constant encouragement of the students.

Student government[edit]

Cumberland students are encouraged to develop leadership skills in various ways. Student leadership roles include the Prefect System, peer support program, and student representative council. The school also provides a comprehensive welfare program focusing on peer support/mentoring and conflict resolution, anti-bullying and anti-racism, which relies heavily on student involvement in running workshops for the rest of the student body.


The Faculty of Arts provides a broad range of high level opportunities for all students at Cumberland High School. Students can participate in one of the many ensembles such as Concert Band, Stage Band, String Ensemble, Drumline, Rock Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble while private music tutors provide individual music tuition for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Trumpet, Classical and Rock Guitar, Composition and Bass Guitar.

Each semester the Ensembles travel to many local primary schools to perform an hour show. The Band Tour also extends to rural schools.

The annual art exhibition and performance evening, MAD, includes all students from Years 7 - 8 (for whom music, art, and drama form a compulsory part of the curriculum), as well as the elective music, art and drama classes from Years 9 - 12. The finale for each show comprises all participating students in a performance of a classical massed choral and orchestral work.

Students from The Faculty of Arts have travelled to Beijing as part of the Olympic Games Orchestra, performed in the backing choir for Australian Idol finals at the Sydney Opera House. In 2008 Seungmin Oh left Cumberland High School to take up a position at the Juilliard School in New York where he continued his piano studies.


Cumberland High School boasts a long tradition of achievement in inter-school sports competition. Cumberland was one of eight schools that comprised Cumberland Zone as part of the New South Wales Combined High Schools Athletic Association. Using the same name for both the school and the zone caused confusion, however.

Cumberland partakes in the yearly carnivals of Athletics, Swimming and Cross-Country, where students have the opportunity to compete and represent their houses: Cumbora - Red, Derringbong - Green, Brigalow - Yellow and Algona - Blue. Students who place in these events go on to represent the school at further levels.

In the first semester of the year, Cumberland High School and rural Wauchope High School compete in an inter-school sporting competition. This event consists of a team of 100 students from one School travelling to the other for 3 days, where the students not only compete in Rugby, Soccer, Netball, Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball, and Athletics, but also have the chance to socialise and form friendships as a result of billeting at student's houses and attending the 'disco', held on the second evening of the visit. The Cumberland/Wauchope Visit is a highlight of Cumberland's sporting calendar. For more than 30 years the two schools have made the annual visit - a tradition unparalleled by other schools in Australia.

2009 Cumberland HS Rugby Team Kit
Cumberland Team Kit

Another Annual Tradition is the sporting Gala Day between Cumberland High School and their neighbours, James Ruse Agricultural High School. The Gala day is held in the final term, and teams consist of the schools' year seven students. The students participate in various sports throughout the day, walking from one school to another under teacher supervision. As Year Seven students are unable to compete in Grade Sport, this is a highlight in their calendar.


Social Events[edit]

Cumberland celebrates a range of social events including:

  • Discos
  • Maths Contest
  • Annual Talent Quest
  • Harmony Day Celebration
  • Multicultural Day (Including Multicultural Soccer Competition)
  • High Achievers Assembly
  • MAD (Music Art Drama) Night - MAD08 was a successful celebration of the arts with over 150 students participating in either singing, dancing, creating artworks or drama performances, and began the annual tradition
  • Bandana Day
  • Science Week and Roadshow
  • Writers' Festival
  • Open Night
  • Gala Day
  • Wauchope/Cumberland Inter-school Sports Visit (a tradition lasting in excess of 30 years)
  • Band Tour (includes tours to country NSW)

Notable teachers[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Miranda (Mandy) Downes, (1949–1985), film scriptwriter. "Fields of Fire" (1987) TV mini-series (writer); "Undercover" (1983) (writer).
  • Dr Bruce Walker AM, CEO of the Centre for Appropriate Technology Inc, the national Indigenous science and technology organisation. He was awarded the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Medal in 1999 and in 2003 a Centenary Medal for service to remote area education and health.
  • Ray Price, Parramatta, NSW and Australian representative in Rugby Union and Rugby League.
  • Alex Hawke MP, Liberal politician. Member of the House of Representatives for Mitchell (2007-present) [1]
  • Jenifer (Jeni) Gae Klugman, B.Ec., LL.B., (Sydney), 1988 NSW Rhodes Scholar. First New South Wales female Rhodes Scholar.
  • Hollie Favre, A rugby union rep
  • Peter Gilmore, award winning Chef at Quay Sydney, rated in the world's Top 50 Restaurants
  • Janet Bolton, 1974 world top 10 swimmer 800m freestyle; captain Australian Women's Country Water Polo Team; NSW Water Polo rep



  1. ^ Hooper, Chloe. "Young Libs in the Chocolate Factory", The Monthly, June 2005

External links[edit]