High HSC results for Camden Haven High School distance education students


Distance education students at Camden Haven High School have been quietly achieving high academic results from afar. 

Four students from the school’s language faculty ranked in the top five HSC exam results in the state. 

Ansonette Swart was ranked second in german beginners, Ruby Dempsey came third in french continuers, Jessica Mulhearn was fourth in indonesian beginners, and Joshua Kershaw was fifth in indonesian beginners.

Camden Haven High School teacher Jim Rourke taught three of the top achievers in french and indonesian. Teacher Kent Leach taught state runner-up Ansonette Swart german beginners throughout Year 11 and 12.

Languages head teacher Michelle Marotte said she was extremely proud of her staff and the effort they put into engaging their students and ensuring they were prepared for HSC exams.

There were 21 distance education students on the honour roll for achieving a band six, with 19 in the languages faculty.

Teacher Jim Rourke said he was very proud of his students. 

“They were an incredibly bright and dedicated group of individuals,” he said. 

Teaching the students came with some challenges, Mr Rourke said as he had to extend their education to match their learning abilities. 

One of Mr Rourke’s students Ruby Dempsey achieved an ATAR of 99.9, although she only studied french at Camden Haven High School. 

“She was exceptional,” Mr Rourke said. 

“She plans on going to Princeton University in 2019.” 

Both Mr Rourke and Mr Leach said distance education allows students to have more one on one contact with their teachers. 

“This is beneficial as we can practice talking in conversations using the language they are studying,” Mr Rourke said. 

The success of the students, Mr Rourke said, demonstrates they understand the important of languages in the modern world and will go on to have very bright futures. 

Ansonette enjoyed distance education because of the freedom to do her work on her own terms.

“I think I put more effort into german because it was one of my favourite subjects,” Ansonette said.

“I studied at least four hours a day, but I did a lot of social things to balance my study.”

Ansonette’s teacher Mr Leach said she consistently did her weekly work without fail.

“Knowing she was capable and interested in doing more, we extended her learning,” he said. 

Ansonette achieved an ATAR of 97.7 with her subjects that included extension 2 mathematics and chemistry. 

She will study biomedical science at the University of Newcastle because of her interest in learning about the human body and how it works.

Ms Marotte said languages students excelled across the five languages offered for the 2018 HSC.

“Our teachers deliver lessons online and have weekly phone lessons to practice speaking skills,” she said. 

“This has enabled our dedicated staff to have more real time interactions with their students, despite being in a different location.”

By Liz Langdale