HSC Results Brochure 2020 Pymble Ladies' College

Page 1

Congratulations TO T H E C L A S S O F 2 0 2 0 !

We know who you are: you are compassionate and courageous Pymble women, masters of your own fate, who will go on to influence and change the world. Whatever you choose to do, whoever you go on to be, we are proud of who you are now.

Congratulations to our ‘open hearts and minds’, our Class of 2020 It is a much-loved tradition at Pymble for our Year 12 Prefects to begin their final year with the announcement of a bespoke theme they have created to support the entire student body throughout the year. This year, our girls chose wisely. 2020 Vision: To open hearts, to open minds was exactly what our Class of 2020 needed to complete their Higher School Certificate.

With their open hearts and minds, and supported by our outstanding academic and IT staff, our girls pivoted seamlessly from face-to-face learning to remote online learning and back again...

With their open hearts and minds, and supported by our outstanding academic and IT staff, our girls pivoted seamlessly from face-to-face learning to remote online learning and back again, with a maturity beyond their years. They embraced their re-imagined final year of schooling, overcoming the many and varied challenges they faced, with grace and resilience, never failing to embody the College values of Care, Courage, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility. It was especially gratifying to see many of our Year 12 girls participating in the voluntary programs the College launched during isolation: Pymble Gives Back to help those in need; and Principal’s Project, which inspired students to take a deep-dive into a passion project of their choice. Their enthusiasm for these programs, in addition to their ongoing study, assessments and revision, was a truly impressive display of their love of learning and commitment to helping others. In turn, our Year 12 girls were wonderfully supported by their ‘sisters’ from the Class of 2019, who volunteered as HSC Study Buddies. As our newest alumni, our Class of 2020 will continue to be supported by the Pymble community, through our online mentoring program Pymconnect, which links graduates with personal and professional mentors, and our Ex-Students’ Assistance Program offering personal coaching. While this publication provides a summary of HSC results, it’s important to note that graduating from secondary school is not all about subject marks or university rankings; it’s about celebrating personal growth, the development of skills, character and mindset, and the ongoing learning journey. We are delighted to share a range of reflections and stories in this publication. I am even more thrilled – and Pymble Proud – to reveal 205 early entry university places were offered to our girls before they received their HSC results, based on their accomplishments throughout the years. Congratulations to our extraordinary Class of 2020. You have grown into resilient and compassionate young women who have the hearts and minds to step confidently into the bright future that awaits.

Dr Kate Hadwen PRINCIPAL

These are incredible results in what has been an extraordinary year. We are so proud of all our Pymble students and wish them every success in the future.

Striving FOR THE HIGHEST I am delighted to provide a summary of our wonderful results in 2020. 248 Pymble students excelled in a large variety of 47 HSC courses including two new ones in 2020 – Design and Technology and Software Development and Design. When compared to the state average, our results in Bands 5 and 6* (2unit courses) and Bands E3 and E4* (Extension courses) have remained consistently high. On average, 78 per cent of Pymble candidates across all 2-unit courses offered at the College achieved results in Band 5 and 6, compared with 43 per cent of students across the state in the same subjects. An area of improvement in 2020 was the performance of our girls in the 1 unit Extension courses; 100 percent were placed in Band E3 or E4, compared with 64 per cent across the state. This is a testament to the hard work of both students and staff to achieve these results in such challenging courses and I hope it will encourage future students to study at this level.

Pymble shone in the following subjects in which the combined Band 5 and 6 results were 30 per cent or more above the State percentages: Agriculture, Biology, Geography, Drama, PDHPE, Modern History, Dance, Food Technology, Legal Studies, Earth and Environmental Science, Business Studies, Textiles and Design, Economics, Ancient History. 63 per cent of our students had at least one Band 6 result placing them on the Distinguished Achievers list. Three outstanding subjects in 2020 were Italian Beginners, with Pymble claiming 1st, 2nd and 4th in the state; Agriculture, with 100 per cent of students in Band 5/6; and Drama, with 95 per cent of students in Band 5/6 – and a record 11 nominations for OnSTAGE. In the period from 2019 to 2020, the following are examples of percentage improvement in Band 5/6 results or Band E3/E4 results: • Italian Beginners: 50 per cent • Studies of Religion: 40 per cent • Science Extension: 28 per cent • F rench Continuers: 22 per cent • Agriculture: 20 per cent • E nglish Extension 2: 20 per cent • PDHPE: 17 per cent • T extiles and Design: 15 per cent • G eography: 13 per cent • E nglish Extension 1: 12 per cent • Music 1: 10 per cent

arth and Environmental Science: • E 8 per cent • Biology: 3 per cent • Modern History: 2 per cent • Investigating Science: 2 per cent. We are very excited that Pymble has one student selected to have their major work exhibited at every HSC Showcase and Exhibition – Drama, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Textiles, Design and Technology, along with multiple nominations. COVID-19 created many obstacles around completing these major works so students and teachers worked long hours over individual video chats on Teams to keep these projects on time while maintaining such a high standard. These are incredible results in what has been an extraordinary year. We are so proud of all our Pymble students and wish them every success in the future. *Band 5 is a mark above 80; Band 6 is a mark above 90 out of 100 in that HSC course. *Band E3 is a mark above 35; E4 is a mark above 45 out of 50 in that Extension Course. Mrs Natasha Stanfield DIRECTOR OF STUDIES REPORT

ATAR HSC performance Pymble Ladies’ College performed exceptionally across Best in Subject, Top Achievers in Course list and All-round Achievers, with 43 mentions across the three categories.

BEST IN SUBJECT The following students achieved first place in a course: Akina Li Latin Extension English Extension 1 Sascha Duggan Italian Beginners In addition, 12 students earned a place in the Top Achievers in Course list across a variety of courses: Elizabeth Backhouse 10th in Agriculture Sabrina Nogueira 5th in Ancient History Claudia Xin Yi 7th in Chemistry Nahanni Rinas 4th in Chinese Continuers 4th in Chinese Extension

Jennifer Zhou 6th in Design and Technology Faith Sherwood 2nd in Drama Annabelle Richens 6th in Drama 10th in History Extension Akina Li 4th in Latin Continuers Simonie Jenkins 10th in Geography Claudia Xin Yi 2nd in Italian Beginners Imogen Gardiner 4th in Italian Beginners Joy Hu 5th in Japanese Extension

28 Pymble students were named in the NESA All-round Achievers list. This list acknowledges the students who achieved a result in the highest band possible (Band 6 or Band E4) in ten or more units of courses in their current pattern of study: • Naveesha Aratchige • Sophie Brasher • Corinna Chen • Rachel D’Cunha • Sascha Duggan • Imogen Gardiner • Christine Ha • Shivashankari Kathirgamalingam • Selena Lau • Akina Li • Chloe Luzar • Jessica Oppenheim • Charlotte Philipp • Amelie Read • Annabelle Richens • Sophie Roe • Hannah Shaw • Faith Sherwood • Amy Shi • Teresa Su • Rachel Tang • Tiffany Tang • Viveca Tang • Alannah Webster • Claudia Xin Yi • Stella Yu

Distinguished ACHIE VERS 2020 ATAR RESULTS The highest reported ATAR achieved was 99.95, which was achieved by Akina Li. Other outstanding ATARS were: Claudia Yi – 99.90 • Corinna Chen – 99.85 • Imogen Gardiner – 99.80

100 80
















The Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) does not provide the College with ATAR results. The Acting Director of Studies generates an estimate based on HSC results and compares these estimates with the ATAR results provided by those students who agree to provide the information. There is a high degree of correlation between the data sets. It was difficult to estimate ATARs in 2020 because new mathematics syllabuses and two courses were examined for the first time.

The NESA Distinguished Achievers list acknowledges the students who achieved a result in the highest band (Band 6 or Band E4) for one or more courses. In 2020, Pymble students earned 453 mentions achieved by 155 students.

Our top achiever A career in medicine is on the cards for 2020 Pymble dux Akina Li, who is thrilled with her ATAR of 99.95 – one of 48 students in New South Wales with a perfect score.

Her countdown to receiving the result was documented by the Sydney Morning Herald, who profiled Akina as one of the state’s highest achievers and captured her delight and surprise when she received the top score. Speaking to her teachers and cohort on 18 December – via Microsoft Teams – Akina said: “I did not expect the ATAR I ended up getting.” Her teachers were full of praise – Head of English Mrs Mandy Reynolds said Akina “is a natural scholar” with a “voracious appetite for knowledge”. “She has an incredible inquiring mind and offers provocative contributions to discussions. Her thoughts about texts are original and perspicacious.

Latin Extension teacher, Ms Stephanie Centner, commended Akina for her “utmost dedication and enthusiasm for her studies”.

Image credit : Newspix / Richard Dobson

Akina made front page news when it was announced that she had achieved First in Course for Latin Extension and English Extension 1, and fourth in the state for Latin Continuers.

“Her hard work and perseverance have definitely paid off. She is a very worthy recipient of her First in Course and I could not be more proud of her.” The Academic Learning Co-captain and 2019 Languages Captain also took out the English Extension 1, Latin and Distinction awards at Speech Day, and was named College Dux – a moment she said was one of “shock and sheer disbelief”. “That moment was genuinely the whole underwater, ears ringing and everything-ablur experience,” Akina said. “There are so many hardworking and academically talented girls in our grade, so it was really unexpected and also a huge honour.”

That moment was genuinely the whole underwater, ears ringing and everything-ablur experience.

Enriched BY THE ARTS

Pymble’s dynamic 2020 Head Prefect Annabelle Richens finished 2020 on a high, receiving an ATAR of 99.75, achieving sixth place in the state for Drama, tenth for History Extension and earning a place in the NESA Distinguished Achievers list. Annabelle also secured the Ancient History, History Extension, Visual Arts and Distinction Speech Day awards and was selected to show her short film at the prestigious OnSTAGE showcase. She said studying creative subjects was the perfect way to create balance in her study load. “To have something that you enjoy, that perhaps comes more easily to you than writing an essay or assessment, can incentivise you to focus on other subjects with the promise and reward of working on something that requires a completely different part of your brain.” Annabelle plans to continue her studies in creative arts at university.

California HERE I COME! Being awarded ‘Sports Girl of the Year’ and the ‘Biology – Mollie Drummond Memorial Award’, Imogen Gardiner is a perfect example that creating balance is the key to success. With an ATAR of 99.80 and heading to Stanford on a track and field scholarship, Imogen is armed to change the world. What will you be studying at Stanford in 2021? I don’t have to declare a major until my second year, but I am planning on studying Human Biology or Bioengineering. What made you decide on Stanford? I chose Stanford as it offers a unique opportunity to combine world-class academics and athletics within the NCAA collegiate system, which provides a critical stepping stone between junior and senior athletics. I value Stanford’s emphasis on both education and sport which allows student athletes to excel in both areas without compromise. The campus looks beautiful (although I haven’t been able to visit!) and I am looking forward to the challenge of living abroad. Above all, I feel well-connected to the coaches and my future teammates despite only meeting them via Zoom.

You have achieved well both academically and in sport. How does sport help to create balance in your academic studies? Sport has taught me how to translate difficulties into opportunities, which I have applied to academics and to life on a holistic level. I thrive off a busy schedule and I have developed strong time management skills, allowing me to be more efficient and balanced in the classroom. (Pymble Elite Sportswomen’s Program Co-ordinator) Miss Halliday also played a critical role in helping me find balance through the PESP program. Sport has shown me the importance of embracing discomfort and challenging myself to overcome the fear of failure – the races that haven’t gone to plan have made me a better athlete in the long term. The same applies to academics – you learn so much from making mistakes and proactively responding to feedback.

Pymble offers every student an incredible amount of choice...

What has been a highlight at Pymble? My highlight was travelling to France to represent Pymble at the World Schools Athletics Championships in 2017. Our Pymble team exceeded expectations by winning the competition which demonstrated the power of teamwork and made me exceptionally proud to be a Pymble girl. The whole experience was incredible, and it opened my eyes to the opportunity to combine my passions for athletics and travel. What is the best aspect of an education at Pymble? Pymble offers every student an incredible amount of choice through diverse opportunities in academics, music, performing arts, and sport. This allows you to guide your own education by staying true to your passions and also gives an empowering sense of autonomy. I have thoroughly enjoyed having control over my learning through elective subjects, depth studies and academic opportunities that align with my goals and passions, which may differ from my classmates. Where do you hope your studies will take you? I have always aspired to become a doctor as I love to help others and I believe this would be a fulfilling career that allows me to experience the world and engage with a diverse range of individuals. Ideally, I would love to find a career that allows me to continue to train and compete at a high level too!

Good as Gold! Eight Pymble students were awarded the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in 2020. Sascha Duggan, Emma Goktas, Beatrice Guo, Sophia Hardas, Emma Linfoot, Lucia Massaro, Sabrina Nogueira and Jessica Oppenheim successfully completed all four elements required to attain their Gold Award: Voluntary Service, Physical Recreation, Skill and Adventurous Journey. A recurring theme in the girls’ journeys to achieving the Gold Award was organisation and balance during their HSC journey. Director of Experiential Learning, Mr Stuart Clark, said: “I am always very proud of students who attain the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, a process which requires tenacity, initiative, creativity and commitment. But in 2020, given the additional challenges faced, it is even more of an accomplishment. “In fact, this achievement mirrors the values of this important self-development program and makes it all the more relevant in today’s complex, dynamic and unpredictable world – the skills our students have learned are certainly life skills that will help them navigate and negotiate that shifting landscape.”

Sabrina Nogueira volunteered at the SAN Hospital each week, jogged for an hour each week, practised her singing skills in the Pymble Chorale and undertook the Urban Odyssey journey, which included bush and coastal hikes, as well as city challenges.

Emma Linfoot, who volunteered her time in the College Archives, played netball, developed her embroidery skills and took self-directed hikes, said participating in the Award ensured she had to stay focused and organised.

The recipient of the Ancient History and History Extension Speech Day awards said that her schedule benefited from the structure the Award demanded, as well as improving her confidence.

“I had to balance the weekly commitments for DoE as well as my schoolwork. As a result, my academic performance improved as I completed tasks well before the due date and developed a regular study schedule.”

I am always very proud of students who attain the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, a process which requires tenacity, initiative, creativity and commitment...

“Participating in the Awards has allowed me to become more independent and confident in my own abilities,” she said.

“The different components, such as skill and service, are required to be completed each week alongside my academic studies. I found that having the commitment of logging the activities weekly was good as it ensured that I had a balanced yet busy week, and as a result would use my time at home and school during assessment periods more productively.” Jessica Oppenheim – who received prizes for Distinction and Citizenship at Speech Day – committed to volunteer work with dementia patients at HammondCare Wahroonga, played

soccer, read one book per week and embarked on the Somerset Urban Challenge for her Award. Hoping to study Law at university, Jessica agreed that organisation was a major factor in balancing her schoolwork with the DoE. She said her Gold journey taught her the value of problem-solving… but was also great fun. “It was a great way to make new friends, experience new things and provide me with skills that I can use as I move on from school. A highlight would definitely be the camps. I did them since Bronze with my friends and we still talk about them today.”

Lucia Massaro, who took home the Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Goulburn, Old Girls’ Association Award and a Bronze medallion at Speech Day, said the DoE provided a rest from schoolwork. Lucia, who said Sony Camp (below left) was among her favourite Pymble experiences, continued her commitment to community service by volunteering at HammondCare Wahroonga. She also attained her licence, played soccer and undertook the Urban Challenge journey. “Participating in the award has benefited my academic studies as it provided a break from the stress of my work and allowed me to be active and do many activities which really helped my overall wellbeing especially during the HSC,” she said. “I think the benefit of participating in the awards during my Pymble education was that it required me to participate in a wide range of character-building activities that I would never have tried otherwise. It also helped develop my leadership and communication skills.”

It was a great way to make new friends, experience new things and provide me with skills that I can use as I move on from school.

Our next frontline Our class of 2020 will go down in history, completing their HSC year throughout a global pandemic. Pymble Ladies’ College was one of the first schools in New South Wales to implement online learning amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, a transition two years in the making. Meet the ladies from Pymble, with their hearts set on becoming our next frontline. MEDICINE Akina Li “I was inspired to become a neurosurgeon after reading Paul Kalanithi’s memoir ‘When Breath Becomes Air’, when I was younger. Neurosurgery is apparently one of the hardest streams to get into, so from a practical standpoint it might not be what I end up doing, but you can dream,”

NURSING Isabelle Croudace “In 2021, I am hoping to join the Australian Defence Force to undertake a Gap Year as an Administration Assistant in the Army. The following year I will return to Sydney to complete a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Technology Sydney. Upon graduation, I hope to either specialise in an area such as paediatrics in a civilian hospital or re-enter the ADF as a Nursing Officer. I was inspired to become a nurse and to join the ADF because both careers will allow me to make a genuine impact on people’s lives when they need it most, which is something that is incredibly dear to my heart”.

TEACHING Beate Mannes “I chose a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and a Bachelor of Arts because I feel like I could find a place to make a small difference that can impact on a larger scale in the lives of others, while immersing myself in the subjects that I love already”.

TEACHING Olivia Anderson “The global pandemic has influenced my decision to enter education; however, long before the pandemic I have been interested in become an educator. Through my years of schooling I have been involved in programs where I was able to work closely with younger children, alongside my multiple jobs with teaching and supporting children. Having parents as teachers through a pandemic, with myself and 3 other siblings all in school, has opened my eyes into the effort and ability a teacher has. Although COVID-19 has come with mountains of challenges, it allowed me to really understand why and how important teachers truly are”.



At Pymble Ladies’ College we have become experts at connecting in new ways in 2020. Our traditional HSC results celebration moved online, with the girls and their teachers sharing stories in our new way. The excitement was still felt far and wide!

HSC Showcases AND E XHIBITIONS Students who complete major works and projects for HSC arts and technology subjects are invited to submit their work for showcase or exhibition. ARTEXPRESS An exhibition of exemplary artworks created by Visual Arts students. SELECTED NOMINATED

Julia Parkinson Isobel Clift, Beatrice Guo, Jasmine Widjaja

CALLBACK A showcase of exemplary Dance performances and compositions. SELECTED NOMINATED

Chloe White Chloe White, Chloé Clarke, Melissa Tay

ONSTAGE Presentation and exhibition of group and individual Drama performances and projects. SELECTED NOMINATED

Annabelle Richens L aura Hedley, Maya Hodgman, Anna Meldrum, Eshvari Puttaswamy, Faith Sherwood, Ruby Stewart, Phoenix Surridge, Erin Thomas, Stephanie Volos, Lili Wymond


A program of outstanding performances and compositions by students from the HSC Music examinations.

SELECTED Hui Shan Pan NOMINATED Madeleine Morris, Faith Sherwood,

Madeline Warden, Lili Wymond, Yue Yu, Yujia Zhai


Exhibition of exemplary Major Projects from HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design students.


Yijia (Jennifer) Zhou Charlotte Philipp, Clarissa Reed


Texstyle is an exhibition of Higher School Certificate Textiles and Design Major Projects.


Isolde Mamo Isobella Price, Isabel Walker, Sarah Wilson

Scholarship a hit for Mikayla After being encouraged by tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley to apply for a scholarship to Pymble through her eponymous foundation, Mikayla arrived at Pymble in 2019 from her hometown of Townsville in north Queensland. The two-time winner of the under-18 girls’ championships at the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival and two-time recipient of the Evonne Goolagong Medal of Excellence counts Goolagong Cawley and Ash Barty among her mentors and was able to devote time to tennis through training, competitions, the Pymble Elite Sportswomen’s Program (PESP) and Year 12 studies. Despite the temporary halt to most sporting events caused by COVID-19, Mikayla is getting ready to pick up her racquet full-time, while studying communications at the University of Queensland. “The scholarship has influenced my life greatly,” Mikayla said. “I’ve received a world class education at a top girls’ school in Australia, I’ve met the most amazing people who I’ll be friends with forever, I’ve adapted and overcome challenges that have influenced my life and changed me for the better. Not to mention the outstanding tennis program that I was involved in, my tennis has improved greatly, and I’ll now be chasing my dreams.”



It was a life-changing trip to Italy that instilled in Sascha Duggan a deep love for Italy, inspiring her HSC studies in Italian – which resulted in a First in Course for Italian Beginners. In Year 10 Sascha travelled to Liceo Marco Foscarini in Venice, which she said was the standout part of her school journey. “It definitely shaped both my personal life and my studies in the best way possible,” she said. “I was determined that the next time I went back to Italy, I would be able to talk to people in Italian rather than in English, and I guess that pushed me to work harder and learn more.” Her teacher, Mrs Sorina Cepraga – affectionately known as ‘Prof’ – was thrilled with Sascha’s results. “Special congratulations to Sascha … her humble and generous nature always made a great asset to the class.”

Sascha said she was “surprised” when NESA advised she had achieved first place. “I honestly didn’t believe it at first but after the news sunk in, I was just so happy to know that my hard work had paid off.” She hopes to travel back to Italy as part of her university studies. “Next year I’m going to study a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences at ANU, but I definitely want to keep up my Italian, either as an elective or cocurricular. Also, ANU offers semester and year-long study abroad programs to Italy that I would love to apply for once they become possible again!”

It shaped both my personal life and my studies in the best way possible.

Watch us Change the World A snapshot of the diversity of career paths. Our girls learn to lead with courage and compassion. They don’t just dream, they do. Grace Collins

Holly Hall

Ashley James

Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England, Armidale

Sports and Exercise Science or Medicine – University undecided

Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at ANU

LEADERSHIP Cattle Team Captain, Sailing Captain

LEADERSHIP Goodlet House Deputy Captain

ACTIVITIES Rugby Sevens, Touch Football, AFL

ACTIVITIES Sony Camp Volunteer, Hockey, Army Cadets

ACTIVITIES Triathlon, Rowing, Netball

My highlight at Pymble was all the sporting opportunities. Next year I’m looking forward to living on campus at College.

I’m grateful for the support and guidance my teachers provided me during this tough year.

Lilli Johnston

Isolde Mamo

Isabel Ryan

Bachelor of Commerce Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

Aerospace Engineering

Bachelor of Communications: Media Arts and Production with a combined degree of creative intelligence and innovation at UTS

ACTIVITIES Touch Football, Netball, Eisteddfod Dance I am grateful for all of the incredible teachers and staff at Pymble who taught me amazing skills that I will continue to use and develop throughout University and further. The constant support, help and bubble personalities made learning at Pymble so much more enjoyable.

LEADERSHIP Boarding Prefect – Environmental Sustainability ACTIVITIES Basketball, Netball, Tennis Next year I’m looking forward to meeting new people with diverse experiences. My highlight at Pymble was completing my Textiles Major Work with access to amazing equipment. I’m grateful for the Boarding staff who helped us through a difficult year.

Ruby Stewart

Isabel Walker

Bachelor of Criminology at ANU

Nutrition at University of Newcastle or Bachelor of Science at Sydney University

LEADERSHIP Senior School Liaison Prefect ACTIVITIES Drama Productions, Musical Productions – FAME, School Choir I am grateful for all the amazing teaching staff that lead me along the way, guiding me step by step insuring the best possible learning experience.

Elizabeth WilloughbyWinlaw Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Secondary Education (humanities) at Sydney University in the Dalyell Scholars program

LEADERSHIP Prefect - Thomas House Captain

ACTIVITIES Rowing, Tennis, Eisteddfod Dance

LEADERSHIP Prefect - Captain of Community Service K-6

ACTIVITIES Sony Camp Companion, Tennis, Drama Productions

I’m very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that an education at Pymble allowed me to have. I'm really looking forward to what 2021 holds for me.

ACTIVITIES Rowing, Tennis, Eisteddfod Dance

I’m grateful for my teachers for standing by me this year and believing in me right through to my final exam.

I’m grateful for the opportunities that Pymble offered me. From exchange to community service and leadership, every part of my Pymble experience has allowed me to grow as a person and I now feel confident to start my next chapter in the world.




2-UNIT RESULTS IN BANDS 5 AND 6 Pymble Average Combined Band 5 and 6 results were 30 per cent or more above the state percentages in the following subjects: Agriculture


NSW Average


Ancient History Biology




Business Studies Dance Drama


Earth and Environmental Science Economics Food Technology Geography Legal Studies Modern History PDHPE Textiles and Design


PYMBLE Students sat for