Macquarie Fields High School
|Macquarie Fields High School|
Loyalty, Sincerity and Generosity
|Macquarie Fields, New South Wales
|Type||Public, Co-educational, Secondary, Day school, Partially Selective|
|Colour(s)||Maroon, Green, White, Grey|
Macquarie Fields High School is a selective and comprehensive high school catering for grades seven to twelve, located in the south-west of Sydney. The school is administered by the New South Wales state government. The school has two avenues for admission and runs two streams of classes: "Selective", in which students are accepted after sitting a state-wide competitive entrance examination, and "Community", in which students are allowed to reside in the local community.
The school began operating at the current site in 1981. It was originally set up as a temporary school in demountable accommodation, to provide for the growing number of students between James Meehan High School and Ingleburn High School during the 1980s. The parents fought hard to establish a permanent school on the site and eventually were successful in achieving their goal. The first Year 12 group was educated in demountables.
The first Principal was Mr. Don Harwin and his Deputy was Mr. Mike Wilson. Harwin began in 1981 with approximately fourteen staff members and was appointed to Menai High School in 1988. His term was considered a great success in terms of building strong community links and academic programs.
The permanent school building was completed in 1987 and the new buildings were fully occupied for one term before the end of that year. The hall/gymnasium is the oldest building at the present site.
During most of its early history, the school catered for students with a wide range of abilities and socio-economic backgrounds. The school was funded by the Disadvantaged Schools Program until the end of 1989. During 1988, the school was targeted to become one of a number of new Selective High Schools that were to be established the following year. The school was chosen because of its strategic location in relation to transport and also because the two other High Schools were in such close proximity. It was felt that the population explosion had largely passed and that the two neighboring schools would be able to cope with slightly increased enrolments resulting from our school being made a Selective High School.
Since 1989, the school has had a mixed mode intake of selective and community students. In 1994, in response to parents concerns about an imbalance between the number of selective and community students in Year 7 intakes the Department of School Education established a special committee of review to determine the future composition of the student body. The recommendation of the review committee was that the school would continue in the mixed mode for the foreseeable future. Each Year 7 intake is to have a maximum of 90 selective and 90 community students.
The school, located within the internalities of the residential area of Macquarie Fields has created challenges for the majority of selective stream students who commute from a broad geographical area within Sydney. Due to inadequate bus services provided by Interline transporting a portion of students from Ingleburn Station in the morning and to Macquarie Fields Station in the afternoon, this has thus lead to spectacular scenes of students mass-commuting on foot to and from Macquarie Fields Station and the school along a stretch of road 3.5 km in length. "The walk", locally known, especially in the summer with Saywell road (part of the route) with a substantial uphill gradient has been cited by many students of difficulty in reaching both the remotely, sparsely serviced train station and the relative remote location of the school.
The school is situated on Harold Street in Macquarie Fields, a suburb of South-Western Sydney. The school features many gardens named after the school's many achievements and notable people including:
- Yellow Ribbon Grove: A looped road branched off from Harold Street leading into the school reflecting the Yellow Ribbon program in which senior students are trained as support people and points of contact for junior students.
- Robbyn Kidd Grove: Dedicated to a notable former principal of the school and for her contributions to the school
The first building encountered when entering the school, with a specially designed office allowing service to either In-school personnel or out of school personnel including guests, parents and caregivers.
The Library is a modern, well-equipped and technologically advanced one boasting segmented areas for learning including:
- Senior Individual Learning Centre-"SILC Room"- A room especially designed for use for senior students during study periods with a wide range of study books for all subjects, including computers for research purposes. When not used for study time, it also serves the function of a classroom for a variety of subjects as a well as being the home of the Open High School for students who have elected to study a language through correspondence.
- Tiered Learning Space (TLS)- Features a university-like lecture room area efficient for multimedia presentations through a data projector.
- Computer Lab- Within the library itself, there are enough computers running the latest with Pentium Dual Core Processors, 2 Gigabytes of RAM and Windows 7 Enterprise.
- Lounge Area- An area where comfortable seating is available for students to relax and read with spectacular views to a wide window onlooking to the Quadrangle or to enjoy a school video productions on an LCD television.
The school oval had major changes during the final months of the former principals tenure, with the removal of the popular beach volleyball courts. Upon the removal of these, two large concrete slabs were laid funded through the annual P&C fundrasier. As of November 2010, the slabs have seen no further progress in making them usable as the designated replacement courts listed under the School Ground Development Goals of 2009 and as such the school currently has two beautiful, pristine white concrete blocks awaiting usage.
Recently refurbished following an arson attack, in which the hall was gutted and left standing as an unused hollow shell, provides a multipurpose indoor space for special events such as Half Yearly, Yearly, School Certificate and Higher School Certificate Examinations and special assemblies. The hall dedicated as the centerpiece of the Physical, Health and Development Department features changing rooms, as well as shower blocks. The hall features a state of the art P.A system along with a sturdy lock up cage for the protection such equipment.
Though small, it is a well established and integrated part of the school with a dedicated Agricultural Club.
There are currently approximately 1030 students enrolled through Years 7 through to 12. Macquarie Fields High School is both a community and academically selective high school; admission to Macquarie Fields in Year 7 is by a government examination, the Selective High Schools Test, which is open to all Year 6 students in NSW or opened to students living in the Macquarie Fields student catchment area. A small number of students from other high schools are accepted into years 8 to 11, with application made directly to the school. Of the student population, over 72% are from a non-English-speaking background, predominantly Vietnamese (35.7%), Chinese (26.9%), Bangladeshi (16.3%), Indian (10.2%), Filipino (4.4%), Arabic (4%).
The school contains several departments, teaching one or a variety of related Board of Studies–endorsed subjects. The departments are:
- English (Subjects: English(Advanced), English (Standard), English Extension 1, English Extension 2, Drama.)
- Mathematics (Subjects: General Mathematics, Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2)
- Science (Subjects: Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Senior Science)
- Creative Arts (Subjects: Visual Arts, Music)
- Social Sciences (Subjects: Geography, Commerce, Business Studies, Economics, Society and Culture, Psychology)
- History and Languages other than English (LOTE) (Subjects: Ancient History, Modern History, History Extension, Studies of Religion I, Studies of Religion II, Legal Studies, French, German, Japanese)
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
- Industrial arts (Subjects: Agriculture, Design & Technology, Technical Drawing, Engineering Studies, Software Design and Development, Information Technology (SVET))
- Home Science (Subjects: Food Technology, Hospitality (SVET))
As of 2012, the school has introduced a new "Sped Department". With three newly opened year 7 classes namely Gold, Green, and Blue, providing secondary education for students in a way that addresses the students' individual differences and needs.
Although being a partially selective high school, the friendly and highly co-operative environment between non selective and selective students have contributed to academic results increasing every year in government NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests, School Certificate Tests and the Higher School Certificate. These advances have ultimately resulted into Macquarie Fields High School being among the state's leading schools. The school was ranked just out of the top 100 of New South Wales Schools in terms of 2011 HSC outcomes, ranking 105th and of 2015 ranking 88th.
Centre of Excellence
In 2009 Macquarie Fields High School was selected as one of thirteen primary and secondary schools around the state to become Centres for Excellence. The school will receive extra resources, and be linked to a university which will be able to send its teaching students to the school at any time during their course rather than the traditional internship. The school's is not really a Center Of Excellence.
Extra curricular activities
- Inter-School Debating
- Celebration Day
- Public Speaking
- Chess Club
- School Band and Choir
- Schools Spectacular
- Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year
- Visual Arts Competition and Community Arts Project
- Variety Night
- Premier's Reading Challenge
- Inter-School Knock Out Sporting Competitions
- Regional and State Sporting Representative Competitions
- Annual Music and Drama Productions
- Duke of Edinburgh
- Social Justice Club
- Art Club
- LEAPS (Lawyers Encouraging and Assisting Promising Students)
- Tournament of Minds
- Maths Debating
- Science Club
- Mathematics Peer Tutoring
- Future Teachers Club (First Ever in Australia)
- Film Committee
- Brett Emerton - International Australian soccer player
- Alyson Annan - Olympic hockey player
- Shayne McMenemy - Former professional Rugby league player
- Simon Dwyer - Former National Rugby League player
- Jerry Lealamisa - Current Olympic wrestler
- Prince Mak - Idol group member of Korean boyband JJCC
- "Macquarie Fields High School". MySchool. 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Macquarie Fields High School website (Current Site)
- Macquarie Fields High School website (Preserved former site)
- NSW Department of Education and Training: Macquarie Fields High School
- NSW DET Announcement School Centres for Excellence, 30 September 2009
- Sydney Morning Herald article 'Excellence hubs: 50 schools recognised' 31 July 2009