Principal Antoinette McGahan and Deputy Principal Kerrie McDiarmid, who have just completed their first year at St Clare’s College Waverley, couldn’t be more thrilled with the school’s HSC results – the best scores since 2012.
The comprehensive girls’ school ranked 92 in the top 100 schools list, surging 187 places from its ranking of 275 last year.
The SMH even described the school as one of “the biggest movers and shakers for overall performance in the HSC”.
Mrs McGahan said a culture of students caring for each other and celebrating each other’s achievements was key to the school’s success.
“We’ve moved towards a strong learning culture based on a combination of good relationships, strong leadership and having teachers who really understand their students’ strength,” she said.
“It’s a climate where there are no limits, and students and teachers are hungry to succeed,” added Mrs McDiarmid. “Our school culture places emphasis on collaboration, listening, feedback, and growth, so we come from a place of strength, not deficit.”
This year a larger number of students than in previous years achieved UAI scores above 90. The school’s Captain, Caitlin Madeira, achieved a UAI of 98.00, only 0.1 of a mark behind the College Dux Michaela Hall.
“We all worked really hard and helped each other out,” said Caitlin. “We’re all close and good friends. We never felt that we needed to compete with each other. Instead we inspired each other and worked together that’s why it’s rewarding for us as a whole school.”
Caitlin, who plans to study secondary teaching at the University of NSW, said that her own teachers’ knowledge and confidence inspired her to achieve.
“Having my Year 12 cohort happy with all their results pleases me even more than getting a score above 90,” added Caitlin.
Another of the school’s high achievers, Jeet Pavlovic, ranked 8th in the state from a candidature of 1000 students who sat the English Standard exam.
“Only 118 students achieved Band 6 results in this HSC subject, and we had two students achieve this mark, while one student came very close,” said the college’s Director of Studies, Jennifer Leaver.