Penrith Selective High School

July/August Newsletter 2021

From the Principal

Welcome to our latest newsletter. As has been the case for much of the year, the situation facing all of us changes regularly and it is testament to the skill and commitment of the staff, students and families that learning continues at such a high level. I continue to express my thanks to everyone for all that each of you do, to support the ongoing focus on learning, wellbeing, co- curricular and enrichment.

Current Return to School Dates

As I shared in last week’s family update email, the NSW Government has published the current plan for a staggered return to school. The key details are:

  • From 25 October, HSC students (Year 12 and accelerated students) will have full-time access to school campuses and their teachers.
  • From Monday 1 November, students in Years 2, 6 and 11 will return to school sites under Level 3 plus settings. (Level 3+ settings means a staggered return and students/staff are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors and allocated playground areas to minimising mixing)
  • From Monday 8 November, students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 return to school sites under Level 3 plus settings.
  • HSC exams will be delayed until 9 November with a revised timetable and guidelines for a COVID-safe HSC to be released by NESA in early September.
  • Double doses of COVID vaccinations will be mandatory for any staff on school sites from 25 October and for all school staff from 8 November.

Communication remains essential, so please ensure that details are up to date so each emailed Family Update is received. As a school, we will also use zoom to share important details with students and families.

Messages of Gratitude (Students to Staff)

Two weeks ago, a 48 hour window was available for students to write messages of gratitude to their teachers and other staff who are working incredibly hard across the school. The messages were then collated and posted to the homes of staff as a surprise. 756 messages were sent from students and I know that all of the staff were very appreciative for the heartfelt notes sent by an amazing group of young people. Thank you and well done students!

Student Merit Awards

A number of merit assemblies have been held during the Learning from Home period and last week, over 600 awards were posted to students. Well done to everyone who has received a merit award for this term and thank you to our administration staff for sending these to students.

8-11 Applications for 2022

We once again had a record number of applications for placement into years 8-11. Our school was one of 10 selective high schools who were planning to share the HAST results, but this is not possible for 2022 given the lockdowns. The Principals of the schools agreed to use their own process for admission and we will revert to grading applications against our rubric to capture academic excellence and well rounded scholarship. First round offers will be made in the coming weeks. Thank you to the team of expert readers who assisted with this process and the administration team for managing the enormous task of online submissions.

Our Yarning Circle

Our school has a rich history of success achieved by our Aboriginal students and prior to lockdown, the school’s Yarning Circle was completed. The construction of that space, located at the rear of the school has been a wonderfully rich experience and I am looking forward to students returning to the site to enjoy the area and to further deepen our collective knowledge of first nations people and culture.

Former student and aboriginal woman, Divinia Eather (class of 2019) led the project through her family business (Eather Group) and the project involved 6 indigenous companies including design, landscaping, artwork, cultural consultation and labour.

A large mural project will complete the project and will involve students working with a local indigenous artist when students return to site.

Thank you to all involved and particularly, Business Manager Maria Ryan, for her coordination of many capital works around the school before trades were not allowed onsite.

The Blue Mountains Gazette published this article about the Yarning Circle:

Special Thanks

To conclude my Principal’s message for this newsletter, I wanted to express my sincere thanks to the staff for the work they are doing in very trying circumstances. The days are long and the weeks are short and it is fair to say that the harder days are still ahead of us, but that we will get there.

Thank you also to so many of our parents who are working in front line roles in the health system. We have many parents, family members and alumni working as Doctors, Nurses, executive staff and many other roles that are getting us vaccinated and taking care of so many who are unwell. This of course brings additional stress and pressure at work and home.

Thank you to everyone for the ongoing spirit of collaboration and patience. If the school can assist at all, please reach out.

Warm regards,

Mark Long


Update from the Year 7 and 10 Deputy

Thank you to all of our families and students for the many, many emails we have received filled with kind words and thanks. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful community supporting us during this time.

If there is anything we can do for you, please make sure you reach out.

A challenge to our families:

If mobile phone use is an issue in your home, I would like to share a little bit of a challenge to our Year 7 and 10 families. I recently discovered an app called ‘Flora’ which is a free app that helps manage screen time via a virtual garden. Each time you put your phone down, Flora plants a seed and a tree begins to grow. The less you use your phone, the better your garden grows. The best bit is you can use Flora with a friend or family member and grow a garden together! See below

Year 7: You have transitioned to learning from home so well! I know the way the PSHS approaches learning from home is very different than what you experienced last year. The resilience you have shown is truly remarkable. Please remember that Ms Alrubai, Mrs Kwiet and I are here if you need anything!

Year 10: I imagine by now learning from home is beginning to wear thin for many of you. It is important to remember that we are all in this together and the expectations around our school values – citizenship, courage, diligence and integrity are the same during online learning as they are when we are on-site. Please remember that Mrs Wallace, Mrs Holloway and I are here if you need anything!

Ms Jaclyn Cush

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Penrith High School's 70th Anniversary Reunion is to be postponed to Saturday 26 March 2022. Tickets already purchased will be transferred to the new date. If the new date is not suitable for you, a full refund will be made.

Venue: Penrith Paceway.

Years: 1950-2010

Time: 12 noon, for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets went on sale on Monday 21st June and will continue until 4th March 2022 or all sold and will cost $75 each.

Tickets are only available from Eventbrite​

Thank you Derek!

A special thank you to former student and committee member for the 70th Anniversary Luncheon, Derek Thompson, who has colourised this photo below of the old Towers Mansion that was on the site before it was knocked down to build the school. The 2 remaining sandstone pieces of the Towers can be found in the Alumni Garden. The Towers is also the name of our Annual School Magazine that has been published every year (except '51 and '88) since the school's opening in 1950 as well as being integrated into the name of this newsletter produced quarterly.

Towers sat where the current carpark and A Block are now.

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An early view of the school from Penrith Primary School

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Mathematics Update

Term 3 has been an interesting Term and the Mathematics Staff adjusted quickly to online teaching, learning many new technology skills. Our competitions have all been moved to online platforms as well as our Term 3 Tasks. Peer Tutoring has continued to run over zoom but not at its usually full capacity. Unfortunately, we had to stop our Primary Peer Tutoring program for Terms 3 and 4. Hopefully we will be able to resume this valuable program again in 2022.

Applications to study Mathematics Extension 2 in 2022 are closing soon, please complete your forms and upload them. No late applications will be accepted.

On 9 June we had our largest group ever of 19 students participate in the annual UNSW Mathematics Competition. It is an intensive 3-hour competition, and we were fortunate enough to be able to sit it in the hall before Covid hit! There has been a delay in the papers being marked as UNSW was shut down because of COVID, but the papers have been collected by the markers now so hopefully we will get the results early in Term 4. Our team consisted of:

Timothy Gonzales Year 9

Jaide Knaus-Petrie Year 9

Hazel Malhotra Year 9

Sanskar Tibile Year 9

Satvik Warrier Year 9

Muhammad Abdullah Year 10

Muhammad Maouz Saeed Year 10

Ayaan Shaikh Year 10

Aaditya Manek Year 11

Gurveer Khalsa Year 11

Dismitha Maha Baththanaralalage Year 11

Marc Mumford Year 11

Eric Ruan Year 11

Harrison Shi Year 11

Jamieson Berida Year 12

Keeno Mendoza Year 12

Beonrik Pascual Year 12

Anaf Sayed Year 12

Samuel Tint Year 12

The Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (A.I.M.O.) will be held on Thursday 9 September, Week 9. We have seven keen students from years 9 and 10 sitting the intensive 4 hour Olympiad. They are:

Hazel Malhotra from Year 9

Muhammad Abdullah Year 10

Celis Pascual Year 10

Ayaan Shaikh Year 10

Kirk Murillo Year 10

Vedang Purohit Year 10

Siqi Wang Year 10

The Australian Informatics Olympiad (A.I.O.) was held online on Thursday 26 August. The 3-hour Olympiad Competition was run from 9 am until 12 am. We entered 12 students: eight in the Intermediate Division and 4 in the Senior Division. The students had to write computer programs to solve 6 logic problems. This year we had a team made of students from Years 7 through to 12. The team consisted of

Anoushka Singhal Year 7

Heer Panchal Year 7

Jeremy Tjiantoro Year 7

Shayaan Sayyed Year 7

Prabin Ojha Year 8

Vedang Purohit Year 10

Kirk Murillo Year 10

Prabesh Ojha Year 10

Gurveer Khalsa Year 11

Anaf Sayed Year 12

Jamieson Berida Year 12

Beonrik Pascual Year 12

The AMC – On Wednesday 4 August all of Years 7 to 10 and 25 Year 11 and 12 students participated in the Australian Mathematics Competition, AMC. This year the AMC was held online. AMC is Australia’s premier problem-solving competition. The AMC is made up of 30 questions that help students explore and develop their problem-solving skills, all of which are solved without the use of a calculator. Results should be back early next term.

The Euler, Gauss and Noether Enrichment Programs – is winding up at the end of Term 3. Application forms will be handed out mid Term 4 for enrichment in 2022. Euler is for Year 8 students, Gauss for Year 9 students and Noether for Year 10 students. It is designed to encourage students to develop their higher order problem skills. It is for the more able students. Whereas Peer Tutoring is for students in Years 7 to 11 who need help with their mathematics class work or if they would like help before the yearly exams, please email Anuja or Juveena at and they will match you with a peer tutor who will help you with your maths for free.

The Year 9 ESSI Financial Competition – was held during weeks 6 and 7 of Term 3 for all of Year 9. The competition educated the students about budgeting, credit cards, saving money, spending money, incomes, taxes, scams. The students had to get a job, answer quizzes and complete diary entries whilst building their financial empire. At the end of the competition the winners were determined by who had the most money, answered quizzes and completed at least 3 diary entries.

The overall Year 9 winner was Dinel Perera, in second place was Reeve Dudhia and in third place was Alex Gange. These gentlemen will receive canteen vouchers when we are all back at school in mid Term 4!

The top three students from each class will receive their certificates next term. They were:


Aarush Mittal $36 521.76, Ranuga Jayaweera $35 419.15, Tishya Aggarwal $35 160. 69


Aryan Modak $35 636.42, Ken Labiga $34 468.17, Jocelyn Yunardi $33910.24


Reeve Dudhia $39 381.14, Alex Gange $37 118.68, Aariz Ahmed $36 970.16


Dinel Perera $40 689.64, Nicole Chen $32 329.73, Fernando Toenroe $27 949.73


Simardeep Bedi $35 008.73, Ronish babu $35 010.26, Aaradh Singh $33 302.69

We are looking forward to being back at school (hopefully) next term!

We will also be welcoming Mrs Norman back from maternity leave in term 4.

Mrs Sue Briggs

Head Teacher of Mathematics

Peer Tutoring Coordinator

Smoking Ceremony during NAIDOC Week

During NAIDOC Week on Multicultural Day Uncle Graham Cooper, an Aboriginal Elder from the Dharug community, conducted a Smoking Ceremony. It is an ancient Aboriginal custom that involves smouldering native plants to produce smoke, believed to have healing and cleansing properties. This aligns with this year's NAIDOC Week's celebration theme of Heal Country. It was an honour to have Uncle Graham attending and we are very proud to have been able to witness and share this tradition with staff and students at PSHS.

NAIDOC Week is nationally celebrated between the 4th-11th July which falls in our school holiday period.

Thank you to Mrs Pipio, Mrs Holloway, Mrs Wallace, Ms Ross, Ms Scardanas and Dr Katyal for working together to organise this event.

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Multicultural Day

During NAIDOC Week PSHS held its annual MUticultural Day.

The students and staff came dressed in their beautiful traditional costumes and throughout the day the students had stalls selling their delicious food dishes from the different countries represented at our school.

During recess and lunch a concert took place in the hall and of course a highlight was the Year 12 dance.So entertaining!

We were extremely fortunate to have this day of celebration before we were put into lockdown.

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Win at Quad Schools

On 25 June, the last day of Term 2, our school participated in the annual Quad Schools Competition with James Ruse, Baulkham Hills and Girraween High School. The competition consisted of four sports; basketball, soccer, touch football and volleyball with 3 rounds played per sport against every school.

For the first time, Penrith came in 1st with a score of 47 points. A win by just four points shows the importance of every win and tie from the 8 teams. This is the first time a school other than Baulkham Hills has won the competition and all students should be very proud of their efforts as they have trained every week over the past 3 terms.

Alison Joseph

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Sydney West Cross Country

On June 9, PSHS had 14 students participate in the Sydney West Cross Country Carnival, all of whom had placed in the top 10 at the Nepean Zone Carnival in May. Nine of these students were from Year 12 and all students are to be commended on their amazing effort.

The following students participated in the Carnival

Kavin Balachandar (12)

Ryan Wen (14)

Parth Purohit (16)

Arvind Janardhan (16)

Zoe Adrienne Elizalde (17)

Sinduja Sureshkumar (17)

Alison Joseph (18)

Tamara Jaglica (18)

Minuli Nanayakkara (18)

Luke Boyes (18)

Nicholas Whelan (18)

Marco Perri (18)

Guntash Singh (18)

Siddak Kisana (18)

Congratulations to Luke Boyes, Nicholas Whelan, Alison Joseph and Kavin Balachandar who moved on to CHS Cross Country

(see photos below)

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House Captains 2020/2021

Over the past year, the House Captains have worked hard to increase House spirit and sports participation. This has seen an increase in collaboration between other Student Leadership groups and Clubs, and we have had the privilege to work with the SRC, Prefects, Volunteering Club and Photography Club. In Term 3 2020, we collaborated with the Volunteering Club on a Clothing and Food Drive Competition. We did this by painting boxes in our house colours where students could place donations in their house box, allowing them to earn house points. We assisted SRC in the Pink Up Penrith by collecting money and selling nail files and wristbands. Later on, we collaborated with the Science Prefects on a House Mufti for Halloween. We had another House Mufti Day that term which raised money for great causes including a Toy Drive, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and the Rowing Club. To finish off the term, we collaborated with SRC on the PHS House Cup Competition where students could participate in novelty, sporting and intellectual activities. This event was a huge success with all students engaged in activities of their choice.

Over the past year there have been exciting new changes implemented by the House Captain group. In Term 1 we launched our House Instagram page @phshousecaptains where we have been able to post regular updates on our Intra School Competition, Quad Schools, Carnival Events and house points. This account has been an engaging way to communicate with students and provide recognition for students, including those who represented PHS at the Nepean Zone and Sydney West Carnivals. Throughout the year we ran the Intraschool and Tri-school Competition. This allowed students to participate in a range of sports including soccer, touch football and basketball with games played numerous times during the week at recess and lunch. This competition was a huge success with a large number of participants from all year groups. It has also gained much popularity amongst spectators, evident by the large number of students who watched either in the gym or on the oval. Throughout the year, we have been able to run numerous Student-Teacher games across various sports including soccer and basketball which has again been popular amongst both participants and spectators.

We were also lucky to run all three of our school carnivals including Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics after unfortunately not being able to hold them in 2020. In Term 1, we ran the Swimming Carnival and Cross Country Carnival where there was an enormous level of school spirit. During the Term 1 holidays, we launched the Minecraft Challenge where students could design the CAPA block on Minecraft with the top 3 designs recognised at assembly. These designs can be viewed on our House page. Term 2 kicked off with the Athletics Carnival which was a two day event. During this, students could participate in a range of track and field events as well as numerous relays of the 4x100m sprint that showcased the best athletes by house and age. We finished the term with Quad Schools, where our school came in 1st place. There are numerous photos from the day that can be viewed in this newsletter as well as our House Instagram page where we posted numerous score updates throughout the day and have score posts for all the games played.

These events and carnivals would not be possible without the massive participation rates from students and the incredible work of staff, particularly the PDHPE Faculty including Mr Matic, Mr Elias and Mr Rutherford. We would also like to thank our previous house coordinator Ms Alrubai who had us up to the start of Term 2 and Mr Rolls whom we had this term.

We wish all the best for the 2021/2022 House Captains!

Alison Joseph

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The new Prefect Interns for 2021/2022

Academic Team

Athena Xin Tian Auw

Rachel Mathew

Veerja Patel

Zoe Elizalde

Social Justice and Equality Team

Alisha Ahmed

Andre Dubier

Gabriel Cant

Halis Rishamsulkamal

Samantha Buda

Seniru De Silva

Faculty Team

Arya Chavan

Christopher Kwon

Rionne Bondal

Riya Jain

Shreya Patel

Enrichment Team

Eric Ruan

Joshua Gange

Papri Mallick

School Functions Team

Luke Byun

Olivia Lee

Shivangi Agnihotri

Academic Prefect Interns

As Academic Prefect Interns, our main responsibilities include overseeing students from Year 7 to 12, organising study groups, peer support and the school curriculum. Since lockdown, it has been really difficult for the students to actively interact with each other, so, our team has implemented a range of initiatives to help students stay on top of their studies despite the difficult conditions. We hope that our initiatives influence students to develop positive study habits during online school and encourage constant collaboration with each other.

One of our initiatives is the “Study with the Prefects” Zoom sessions which occur on Mondays and Thursdays after school. These are designed to create an environment where students are motivated to study. It allows for junior students to ask senior students questions regarding subjects, homework, or any other questions. To encourage more participation, we integrated a point system where students can earn a point per minute after joining and engaging with the session for at least 30 minutes. Students can gain points for both individual awards and English classes (Year 7, 8, 11, 12) or Science classes (Year 9, 10). So far, the sessions have been pretty successful with both the juniors and seniors joining to study.

We recently implemented a peer tutoring system in line with our zoom sessions to allow the seniors to provide a helping hand to students in the younger grades. This peer tutoring system covers a range of subjects from Mathematics all the way to Commerce. Applications to become tutors have been sent out! If you wish to be tutored, an email was sent earlier this month with regards to it.

Athena Xin Tian Aux, Veerja Patel, Rachel Mathew, Zoe Elizalde

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School Functions Prefect Interns

You might think that because of COVID-19, the School Functions team has had nothing to do during quarantine. Although it is unfortunate that many exciting events have been pushed back, we are still working hard with the rest of the prefects to push for a motivating lockdown school life for our students!

As the School Functions Prefects, our roles and responsibilities entail the organisation of initiatives and events that help us stay connected with the student body. As our current circumstances heavily restrict us, we’ve decided the best way to stay connected with the students and staff is through the media, organised and operated by our dedicated team members.

Right now, the School Functions team is collaborating with the Social Justice team in a series of “Lockdown Wellbeing Challenge” videos, where we present a handful of prefects participating in fun activities. We aim to encourage students to follow through and participate with the activities we are showcasing, provide entertainment and possibly help students gain new hobbies to stay motivated and occupied through online schooling and the tough times we’re having during COVID!

To deal with the lonely times, the Prefect Interns have worked together with the Prefect Media team to deliver Spotify playlists in several themes. These themes include workout, study, night-time playlists and more. The prefects have customised these playlists with their own personal favourites, including the songs they are currently listening to during lockdown. To resonate with the themes of the playlists, the Prefect Media team has worked to produce some of the best playlist covers!

We plan to try and stay more connected with the school through social media, and we have a lot of fun stuff planned for the future. Until then, thanks for supporting the School Functions team!

The School Functions team - Olivia Lee, Shivangi Agnihotri, Luke Byun

Enrichment Prefect Interns

As the Enrichment Prefect Interns, our main responsibilities lie in the organisation and execution of a large array of enrichment activities available to Penrith Selective High School students. Due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to online learning, the Enrichment Prefects have not been able to perform many of the tasks we usually would in a physical school setting, such as organising Duke of Ed, Penrith in Performance, and academic competitions such as ICAS. However, we have been working on a few ways to keep school fun and engaging during lockdown.

The Enrichment Prefects have been busy lately with the Prefect Olympics Competition, where students were challenged with a series of quizzes, each based on a different school faculty, starting with Science, which was followed by Maths, CAPA, and so on, for the duration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. These quizzes were a huge success, with 990 quiz submissions recorded across the 9 days that the quiz ran. After the conclusion of the Prefect Olympics, which coincided with the end of the real Olympics, the Enrichment Prefects have now set our sights on reestablishing the various peer tutoring programs run by different faculties. Expression of interest forms have been sent out to all junior students, who may wish to be tutored, and all senior students who may wish to become a tutor. These Peer Tutoring sessions will be run over Zoom during the Prefect mass study sessions, held on Thursday afternoons from 4:30-6:30PM.

Stay tuned for more fun events that we are planning to keep you all connected and entertained.

Joshua Gange, Eric Ruan and Papri Mallick

Faculty Prefect Interns

The Faculty Prefect Interns are a part of the Prefect Intern body for 2021/22, and we are responsible for all events and activities that involve the 9 school faculties including Science Week, Presentation Night and Parent Teacher Interviews. This term, during lockdown, we have been working with the Enrichment Prefect Interns on the “Prefect Olympics”, which is an event where students are able to participate in challenging quizzes that focus on each of the 9 faculties. This was made to boost Olympic spirit during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and to also encourage students to actively participate in school activities while also maintaining their wellbeing. As of now, we are working on many other fun and engaging activities to get the school through lockdown. We hope to release these projects soon!

Arya Chavan, Rionne Bondal, Riya Jain, Christopher Kwon, Shreya Patel.

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The Social Justice and Equality Intern Prefects

On 27 August, PSHS celebrated the annual Wear It Purple Day run by the Social Justice and Equality Prefects.

This event celebrated the diversity of our school community and aims to foster a culture of acceptance and awareness for LGBTQ+ individuals. More details on the cause can be found at the following link:

Students were invited to participate by choosing a purple zoom background, purple zoom profile picture, AND/OR wear purple clothing or accessories on Zoom. As well there was a Wear It Purple Day Kahoot on after school at 3:30, where house points were awarded for participation, costumes, and placing on the podium.

It was wonderful to see everyone's amazing costumes and decorations in recognition of this important cause.

Alisha Ahmed

Andre Dubier

Gabriel Cant

Halis Rishamsulkamal

Samantha Buda

Seniru De Silva

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Mela Hoffman - Lawson Captain

As the Lawson House Captain, my goal is to raise house spirit and give everyone a reason to be proud of their house. I will create events that give everyone a chance to earn points for their house and of course, I will help Lawson bring home the House Cup.

Falekava Mahe - Lawson Captain

As a House Captain, I’ll strive to work hard and encourage others to do their best!

Shiv Nair - Lawson Vice-Captain

As Lawson House Vice Captain for 2021-2022 I will strive to encourage students in my house and keep Lawson as one of the stronger houses for years to come. With a positive outlook on student participation and motivation I will hope that in my 1 year term Lawson will win again and we will have as many kids participating as possible.

Nicole Chau - Lawson Vice-Captain

As Lawson's House Vice-Captain, my goal is to raise house spirit and engagement and overall help everyone have fun during sporting carnivals and activities :)
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Arpan Bassi - Blaxland Captain

As Blaxland House Captain, I will strive to lead the house with maturity and utmost excellency, ensuring all students feel welcomed to participate openly. It is my goal to motivate others in terms of sportsmanship and house spirit prosperity. “Why can't Cinderella play soccer? Because she's always running away from the ball.” :)

Avyukta Anand - Blaxland Captain

As Blaxland House Captain, I hope to create an environment where all students feel welcome to participate and showcase their individual talents. I aim to raise house spirit and overall management and, of course, bring home the House Cup:) Go Blaxland!

Hashini Perera - Blaxland Vice-Captain

With the opportunity I have been given as being Blaxland House Vice-Captain of 2021- 2022 it is my intention to lead, motivate and support my House in participation, competitive spirit and sportsmanship.

Eric Han - Blaxland Vice-Captain

With the opportunity I have been given as the 2021-2022 Vice-Captain of Blaxland, I will lead our house into participating in events and all the while showcasing our competitive spirit and sportsmanship.
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Aaditya Manek - Mitchell Captain

“After being elected to the prestigious role of Mitchell House Captain I will do everything in my power to make this year the most exciting year filled with great events and even greater house chants. Go Mitchell!!!”

Nimisha Rajesh - Mitchell Captain

As Mitchell House Captain I hope as the underdog in recent years we can bring the house cup home. In my time as captain, PSHS can be sure to see the return of an old tradition and I really hope that our team can work together to revive school spirit!

Nikhil Parthiban - Mitchell Vice-Captain

It is my desire to guide, motivate, and encourage Mitchell in participation, competitive spirit, and sportsmanship with the chance I have been given as Mitchell House Vice Captain for 2021-2022.

Daniella Daniels-Obiokolie - Mitchell Vice-Captain

With the opportunity I have been given as Mitchell House Vice Captain 2021-2022, it is my intention to raise school spirit and ensure that everyone is connected through sport. I would love to motivate everyone to constantly participate, do their best and hopefully bring the cup home!

Leah Joseph - Mitchell Vice-Captain

I’m Leah and my goals for the future in this position is to help every student to discover what they enjoy in PSHS sport and work towards success. I would like for each and every person in this school to participate where they can show off their skills and stand out.
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Rhytham Swami - Wentworth Captain

It’s with confidence, integrity, and pride that I intend to lead as Wentworth’s House Captain for 2021-22, all whilst making memories along the way <3

Zadid Syed - Wentworth Captain

Being offered the opportunity of being the 2021-2022 Wentworth Captain is not only an admirable position but a role that will allow me to help strengthen this pack. With the combined help of the Wentworth team, we will lead into victory and forever establish our names as the strongest team.

Owen McCann - Wentworth Vice-Captain

As Wentworth House Vice Captain for 2021-2022, I pledge to lead, motivate and encourage everyone to reach their maximum potential.

Dharika Sujendran - Wentworth Vice-Captain

As Wentworth’s House Vice Captain of 2021-2022, I aspire to help Penrith Selective High School students become more independent individuals by increasing house spirit. It is my goal to assist Wentworth House to victory by encouraging sports participation and good sportsmanship, and for students to strive to the highest in all they do.

Updated House Points as at 17 August 2021

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JBS BYOD Parent Toolkit

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Parents Overview Brochure

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Year 7 Visual Arts Creative Postcards

While working from home, Year 7 Visual Arts have created postcards that show the vibrance of the Great Barrier Reef and have included short messages for our school community. This stems from their case study on Jason deCaires Taylor, an environmentalist and sculptor who uses art to remind audiences of the beauty of underwater environments.
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Congratulations Visual Arts Enrichment Students!

A huge congratulations to the Visual Arts Enrichment students listed below, under the guidance of Mr Iain Wallace, who have been working digitally all term (starting by 8:00am every Tuesday) on various art competitions and who have been selected for the Nagoya Art Exchange Program.

  • Rachel Ding - Year 8
  • Amiya Joshi - Year 9
  • Saniru Dayaratne - Year 9
  • Hazel Malhotra - Year 9

Well done!

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Amiya Joshi - Year 9

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Rachel Ding - Year 8

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Hazel Malhotra - Year 9

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Saniru Dayaratne - Year 9

CAPA Ensemble Update

Each week our ensembles have continued to run before and after school under the guidance of our exceptional team of choreographers, conductors, tutors and teachers. We thank them for their exceptional work and thank our students for their commitment!
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Duke of Edinburgh Update

Since the beginning of Term 3 and online learning, participants have been modifying their goals and activities to suit their individual situations. They should have completed a plan for their Award for online learning, a working document that can and will be updated as restrictions change. Students have been required to check in with their assessors and discuss the communication methods that would work best for them. Students are learning new ways of recording evidence of their hours and are still required to check in with assessors regularly, either weekly or fortnightly.

Bronze students are still meeting every Thursday recess via zoom. This term we have been working through their individualised plans whilst online learning, looking at different food options and creating a personal menu plan for their qualifying journey. More recently they have been looking at first aid prevention and treatment, as well as forming their own first aid kit. Some students have also completed one of their sections of their Award and should be commended on this huge effort.

The Silver class students have also completed their individualised plans whilst online learning. They have spent time looking at more nutritious meal and food options for their Adventurous Journey’s and experimenting with making lightweight snacks such as fruit leather. Other activities have been planning a group meal, making that meal for their families to check quantities were correct, and implementing this into their individualised menu plans. They have researched information relating to their Practice Journey, organised the logistics for this journey, all the while communicating and offering feedback to each other. Over the coming weeks they will be working through navigation and learning the skills and techniques required for bushwalking.

The Gold students have been working on their logistics for their Practice Journey, including aspects such as public transport, what they will expect to see each day and approximate distances and times. They too have been involved in looking at more nutritious food options and have been working around a group meal plan, then creating a personal menu plan. Students should be working on their individualised plans each week, for each of their sections: Skill, Service and Physical Recreation.

Adventurous Journeys are on hold for the time being and will be rescheduled to a later date. Students will only complete these journeys when it is safe to do so and the updates will be communicated with students and parents when the time comes. Students will have the opportunity to complete this section of their Award. We are all eagerly awaiting when the time comes that we can complete these journeys.

To the students who are maintaining commitment to your Award through these difficult times, well done. You should be commended on this tremendous effort.

Ms L Andreatta

Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader

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Senior First Aid Course

On 26 April, 33 students from our Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, as well as a few other students from year 11 and 12, have all successfully completed our Senior First Aid Course. We chose to work through the theory section in the holidays before getting tested in a practical assessment in the form of a workshop when we returned to school. Examined under the Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA), we received workbooks, mini first aid packages, first hand lessons from representative Terry McCallum and finally our qualifications on first aid.

Covering all aspects of first aid from legal to CPR, we diligently went through all of the exercises in our workbooks. After studying each section of the text, we concluded it with a final writing test that was marked off during the workshop. This test and the practical assessment was what determined whether we would pass our course. Even now, we have access to our workbooks and all the information it provides on first aid, it is a great resource.

Then, came the day of the assessment, throughout the day, we explored several features of first aid with Mr McCallum. With his knowledge and expertise, each of us were also given the skills required to accomplish our Senior First Aid certifications. During the workshop, we completed practical applications through scenarios on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic emergency life support and first aid. These three units make up our Senior First Aid qualifications and are valid for 3 years, when we can choose to be tested again.

In spite of the hard work that was required for this course, it is with no doubt that we all had a fun time. Through this workshop, we had the chance to learn how to apply first aid in many situations. Thanks to the RLSSA we also had access to equipment like practice CPR Manikins, and triangular bandages used for slings. By allowing us to learn these things through practical execution, it was much easier to memorise and understand.

Overall, this course will be highly useful to all of us, providing some great life skills. It was a great and engaging experience for us to be involved in. From each of the 33 students, we are all greatly appreciative of the RLSSA, Terry McCallum and Ms Andreatta for organising this course. With her assistance, we all have access to first aid qualifications that will greatly benefit us in the future.

Dianne Caslangen

Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award Participant

Congratulations to those students who received their First Aid Certificate

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Further Work Around the School (completed before lockdown) Check out the Before and After Photos

Seating in the Tas Area - Before

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Sandstone pathway to seating in the TAS Area - After

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Sandstone additions to the garden near the canteen

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Garden Area near Canteen/Gymnasium - Before

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Garden Area near the Canteen/Gymnasium - After

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Incline up to the Basketball Courts - Before

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Sandstone steps up to the Basketball Courts

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Pathways near the Basketball Courts - Before

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Pathways near the Basketball Courts - After

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Garden Areas near the Basketball Courts - Partially Completed

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Garden Areas near the Basketball Courts - After

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The Area for the New Carpark - Before

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The start to the new carpark near the Basketball Courts

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Fencing around the Hockey Field

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Pathway near the History Block out to High Street - Before

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Pathway near the History Block out to High Street - After

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The Area for the New Yarning Circle - Before

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The New Yarning Circle

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Yarning Circle Completed

We are really missing everyone being onsite.

Before lockdown our new Yarning Circle was completed. Making it even more special was having Alumna, Divinia Eather, and Eather Group lead and complete this whilst engaging indigenous businesses. Following on from a special Smoking Ceremony in NAIDOC Week and on Multicultural Day with Uncle Graham there will be a mural also completed when the students are back.

The Yarning Circle is based on the 2021 NAIDOC theme "Heal Country".

A 100% Indigenous-led project in the Education sector, the consultation, planning and design, resourcing, execution, clean up and quality control, was championed completely by Indigenous businesses.

Eather Group engaged five other Indigenous contractors to deliver this project namely, Muru Mittigar, Kangaroo Transport and Haulage, Yamari Ochre Signs, the Richmond franchisee of Fox Mowing and Plate Events. Furthermore, this project provided work for upwards of 12 Aboriginal people in a time of Sydney-wide job insecurity.

Eather Group are excited about the potential to use this project as a blueprint for other interested schools, as well as within other sectors.

Thank you Eather Group for completing this project in connecting students to the significance of Country.

School Captains' Book in Celebration of our 70th Anniversary

At the time of this edition being produced the first edition of the school's Captains' Book has gone to the printers.

Nonetheless, we would still like to hear further from the Captains listed below.


The Head Teacher History is gathering information about all of our past captains. The plan is to create a book which has the male and female captain for each year on a double page. There will be the name and year on each page. Each page is intended to have a school photo of the captain (when actually the captain) and a more recent photo beside it.

Underneath this will be four questions:

1. What is your best memory of Penrith High School?

2. What did you think you would be doing after you left high school?

3. What are you doing now?

4. What is the best advice you could give to current PHS students?

We may be able to get some of these responses from the profiles in the back of The Towers but would enjoy hearing from as many former captains or their families as possible.

If you were a past captain or family member could you forward a suitable photo and your responses to the four questions. This will be passed on.

If you know the contact details of any past captain could you pass this information onto the school via the school email and make it attention to Clark Stone.

The intention is to present the First Edition of the Captains' Book to the school late 2021 in celebration of our 70th Anniversary with copies for sale and one to be placed in the school foyer.

We still need to hear from: Please note the asterisk means deceased

Robert Smyth 1951 ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎

Pat Parkinson 1951

Dennis Harrison* 1953 ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎

Margaret Eckford* 1953

Brian Bowles 1954‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎

Margaret Schubach 1954

Vida Vladickaite* 1955

Kenneth Smith 1956

Suzette Brown 1956

Doug Taylor 1957

Noelene Neville 1957

Lee Carroll 1958

Aina Alnis 1958

Greg Nicholls 1960

Barbara Crossing 1961

Rex Kinder 1964

Kim Longmore* 1965

Christine Borec 1967

Darryl Honeysett 1970

Margot Jensen 1970

Anic Vasic 1972

Stephen Cowan 1976

Joanne Wickes 1976

Elizabeth Doyle 1978

Gary Smith 1979

Elizabeth Jones 1979

Glen Bootle 1981

Michael Wholohan 1983

Carol Harris 1983

Andrew Thompson 1984

Nancy Thonton 1984

Colin Gardiner 1985

Marina Marjanovic 1985

Debbie TaylorVC 1986

Amanda Gibbons VC 1986

Grant Healey VC 1987

Robert Blair-Hickman 1988

Elizabeth Gyler 1988

Adam Haines 1989

Daniel Connolly 1990

Joanne Everingham 1990

Timothy Smith 1991

Karen Miller 1991

Qinton Single 1992

Alessandria Bosso 1992

Elizabeth Marchant 1993

Chantelle Vella 1994

Erin Reimer 1996

Michael Wong 1997

Anil Mishra 2000

Rachel Rowe 2000

Jonathan Freeston 2001

Vanessa Onden Lim 2001

Renee Yates 2002

Kieran Colreavy 2003

Sarah Walker 2003

Dillon Anderiesz 2006

Matthew White 2010

Emily Stone 2010

Angelica Manlangit 2011

Jonas Thomson 2014

Grace Shalders 2014

Simone Ferreira 2015

Deaundre Espejo 2016

Abirami Raveendran 2016

Janindu Kumara-Devage 2017

Manasa Bhatt 2017

Ethan Shackley 2020

Sophia Hadjimichael 2020

Those Captains who will appear in full in the First Edition of the Captains' Book

1950 - James Smith*, Ann Combet

1952 - John Day, Jill Fraser (now Farnsworth)

1954 - Margaret Schubach

1955 - James Short*

1959 - Brian Lewis, Diana Stewart (now Van Der Zande)

1960 - Barbara Fretwell (now Piirsalu)

1961 - Robert Munro*

1962 - David Henderson-Smart*, Juliet Clark (now Lloyd)

1963 - Peter Coburn, Penny Wensley

1964 - Christine Roberts (now Walker)

1965 - Gillian Anderson (now Kahl)

1966 - Ian Coleman

1967 - Ian Coleman

1968 - Paul Hansen, Prue Charlton

1969 - Gary Nelson, Linda Carr

1970 - Margot Jensen (now Legosz)

1971 - David Dunbar, Jane Reffell

1972 - Rodney Morphett

1973 - Peter Jackson, Sandra Warn

1974 - Patrick Shiels, Ann Hardy*

1975 - Michael Rosier, Kim Chandler (now Whealey)

1977 - Merrick Spicer, Manuella Pusic

1978 - Trevor Williams

1980 - Colin McDonald, Alison Monk (now Adams)

1981 - Tracey Aldred (now Lawson)

1982 - Michael Trist, Bronwyn Chalmers

1986 - David Dawson

1987 - Stephen Keens(VC), Madeleine Pusic

1989 - Donna Healey (now Fletcher)

1990 - Tara Van Dyk (now O'Connell)

1993 - Donald Frost -Last Comprehensive

1994 - David Tucker, Chantelle Vella (now Barber- photo only) - First Selective

1995 - Rajan Thangavelu, Dawn Harrison (now Comber)

1996 - Isaac Kuruvilla

1997 - Corryn McKay

1998 - Matthew McCarron, Angela Tillot

1999 - Mark McCartney, Amy Richardson (now Munro)

2002 - Anthony Samson

2004 - Nicholas Brenner, Emma Woods

2005 - Jude Holroyd, Georgina Fuller

2006 - Kirby Bryson (now Atwood)

2007 - Martin Robinson, Meg Ebelt

2008 - Stuart Bryson, Vashti Maynard

2009 - Alvin Tan, Elizabeth Cameron

2010 - Emily Stone

2011 - Geeth Geeganage

2012 - David Stone, Imogen Clark

2013 - Ross Penninkilampi, Grace White

2015 - Simone Ferreira

2018 - Adam Evans, Grace Faulder

2019 - Soham Desai, Aryenish Kavarana.

An asterisk(*) denotes deceased

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Michael Handley - PHS -'85-'87 - Finished Army Service as a Lance Corporal


Would you like to be recognised on PHS Defence Force Service Honour Board? Or, have your friend or relative recognised who attended PHS?

The servicemen and woman shown are a few whose names have been recognised or are on the list to be updated.

If you are interested please email the school on:

Attention Cathie in the library for further details

NOTE: the school was not established until 1950 so bear this in mind

In addition, if the Alumni listed below could also reach out to update some details:

Harry Grimes

Jason Peterson

Stephen Thompson

Barry Brown

Brian Carney

Alan Ormerod

David Stevens

Ian Dickens

Bill Wheeler

Updating Honour Boards/Sports Records

We are in the process of updating the Honour Boards in the hall.

We would like to confirm the Duxes:

1.from the 50s (see below)

2. 1966

In Addition, we are also trying to find the Junior Sportsman and Junior Sportswoman of the year for;






If you can help please email the school on:

Attention Cathie in the library.

Thanking you

Recognition of the Duxes in the 1950s (according to Towers)

If you or someone you might know could elaborate further regarding the information below please contact Cathie in the school library(when we return) or via the school email: ATTENTION Cathie

Duxes in the 50s and early 60s

During the 50s the Fletcher Award was given to students in all years to encourage them

to continue their studies. It included a monetary donation.

Students in 5th Year sat for the Leaving Certificate.

In 1950 - Margaret Duncan and Alan Holswich received the Fletcher Award in 4th Year.

In 1952 - Marcia Kirkness and John Day received the Fletcher Award in 5th Year.

John Day came 2nd in the state for Physics and Chemistry and was placed

in the top 30 in the state for the Leaving Certificate

In 1953 - M. Eckford and A. Bills received the Fletcher Award in 5th Year

In 1954 - PHS held its first Speech Day in April at the Nepean Theatre

Jocelyn Cooper and Anthony Walker received Fletcher Awards

In 1955 - Jill Reid and Anthony Walker were named Duxes of 4th Year

In 1956 - Dawn Morgan and Jim Finnimore were named Duxes of 4th Year

In 1957 - Dawn Morgan and Jim Finnimore were named Best in the Leaving Certificate

In 1958 - Joyce Anderson and Robert Cuckson were named Best in the Leaving Certificate

Robert Cuckson was mentioned in the state group of the Leaving Certificate

In 1959 - Margaret Finnimore and Michael Walker were named as Duxes of the School

In 1960 - Michael Smith and Meryl White (Prox. Acc.) were named Duxes of the School

In 1961 - Bob Munro and Yvonne Fripp (Prox. Acc.) were named Duxes of the School

In 1962 - Ian Jay was named Dux of the School

In 1963 - Elizabeth Finnimore was named Dux of the School

In 1964 - Richard Douglas was named Dux of the School

In 1965 - Herman Nacinovich was named Dux of the School

In 1966 - no Dux recorded in Towers

In 1967 - Stephen Johnson and Ian Coleman named Duxes of the School

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