William Clarke College

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to be Anglican to be enrolled? 
No. The College has a variety of denominations among its student population. There is no specific church affiliation that is necessary.

Do we have to be Christian and go to a church to be enrolled?
No. However, the College expects that all students who enter the College will be actively involved in Christian Development classes and attend a weekly Chapel service. It is expected that every student will be open to the idea of establishing a lasting Christian commitment and explore the importance of Christ in their lives. We also encourage students to be involved in developing their Christian faith by participating in prayer groups and with GLO – the Christian Youth Group that meets weekly.

What is the cut-off date for enrolment applications?
For entry into Kindergarten, Year 3, Year 5 or Year 7, applications close on 31 January the year prior to entry; for example, if you wish to enter the College in 2020, you need to have applied by 31 January 2019. Applications for entry into other year groups may be submitted at any time of the year, and acceptance may only occur if a spot becomes available.

What is the age for Kindergarten entry?
We prefer all Kindergarten students to have turned five by the end of March the year they are in Kindergarten.

Does an application guarantee a place?
No. The Director of Enrolments reviews all the material that has been submitted by parents/carers and selects some applicants for interview. For the early years of Primary School entry, this involves the Director interviewing parents/carers and simple ‘testing’ for the student with Primary School staff. For Year 5 and above, the student and parents/carers are interviewed by the Director of Enrolments. The Director then uses the criteria to determine whether a student’s application is successful or not.

Does entry into the Primary School guarantee entry into Year 7?
The College assumes that all students enrolling in Kindergarten, Year 3 or Year 5 will progress into Year 7 at the appropriate time. However, there may be circumstances where enrolment into Year 7 at the College is not in the best interests of the child.

Are there ‘feeder’ Primary Schools for entry into Year 7 entry?
Yes. Students who have come through our Primary School will be given preference for entry into Year 7 at the College. There is no other local K-6 school that we consider better than any other.

Is there an ‘entrance test’ like the selective high school test?
No, but we do have a test for students entering Year 5 and Year 7. This test is a general ability test, with results supplementing the information gained from school reports. The test results may also be used to help us determine class groupings.

How likely is it that we can get a place in the College at Year 7?
We aim to enrol 196 students in Year 7. A certain number of those places are reserved for our existing Year 6 students. In some years we have also had a significant number of siblings applying for entry into Year 7, and while we do not guarantee siblings entry, in most cases they are offered a place. After places for our current Year 6 and siblings are considered, every family applying to enter the College at Year 7 has exactly the same chance as any other new family.

What will happen if our application is unsuccessful?
If an application is not successful, it will be placed on a waiting list for any vacancies that may arise in the years to come. We will keep in touch to ask if you are still interested in a spot should it become available.

Do you have Open Days?
No. Instead, we have regular College Tours each term. Some of these tours are during school time so you can see the College in action, and others are after hours so you can come as a family after work commitments. College Tour dates for 2018 are available here.

Do you have Before and After School Care?
Yes, it is available for students in Preparatory to Year 6. More information is available here.

Can my child buy food at the Canteen?
K-4 students need to provide their own food for Recess. They are only permitted to order their lunch via a lunch order system – they are not permitted to walk up to the Canteen and purchase items as they wish. Years 5-12 students can access the Canteen at Recess and Lunch. The Canteen provides a variety of healthy items.

Follow this link for more details on the College’s policy on peanuts and other foods that may be dangerous: Allergy Aware Information

What transport links are there to and from the College?
Bus: A large number of buses provide transport to and from the College. Parents/carers are advised to contact the local bus companies, such as Hillsbus and Busways, directly to determine what services are available.
Train: Some bus companies pick up from Blacktown, Seven Hills, Parramatta, Epping and Pennant Hills train stations.
Car: Parents/carers may drive their children to and from the College. There are ‘Kiss and Drop’ zones in the Junior School carpark and in Morris Grove.

Does the College offer scholarships or financial help?
Yes. The College offers scholarships to incoming Kindergarten, Year 3, Year 5 and Year 7 students and their families based on financial need. It is not a scholarship based on academic, music or sporting ability. Follow this link for more details – Scholarships.

Does the College offer a discount for more than one child at the College?
No. We offer a needs-based scholarship instead.

Does the College have a wide selection of subjects?
Yes. The College offers a wide variety of subjects so that students can pursue their interests to the HSC. The comprehensive range of courses is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding required for academic success as well as preparing them for post-secondary school opportunities. Follow these links for more details – Primary and Secondary.

What is the size of classes at the College?
For K-2, the target size is 20 students; Years 3 & 4 is 22-24 students; Years 5 & 6 is 24-26 students; and Year 7 and above is 28 students per class.

Is there a focus on literacy and numeracy development? 
Yes. K-4 has a block of time set aside each day before Recess that is uninterrupted so that literacy development can proceed. After Recess, a similar block of time is set aside for numeracy development. For both literacy and numeracy blocks, there are two fully qualified teachers in the classroom working with the students.

All K-4 classroom teachers have undergone training in a reliable and valuable program (Synthetic Phonics) that helps with early literacy development.

As well as this emphasis, K-4 classes utilise an integrated inquiry style of teaching that allows for greater flexibility, and differentiation and utilisation of skills and interests among the student body.

For Years 5-8, the curriculum builds on these foundations and is taught using a differentiated teaching model. This model also allows for greater flexibility and an increased likelihood of student engagement and involvement in learning.

What if our child has been identified as a “gifted and talented” student? 
Students with great capacity for high performance have learning needs that vary from other groups of students. They learn rapidly, desire conceptual complexity and tend to be highly sensitive. These traits come with pros and cons (on top of the great variability each individual brings to the point of learning). The College dedicates resources to ensure the development of the ‘gifted’ student including:

  1. Two full-time Gifted and Talented Co-ordinators, one working in the primary years and the other in the secondary, from 2018.
  2. Support for classroom teachers provided by the Gifted and Talented Co-ordinators.
  3. Opportunities for subject acceleration and whole grade acceleration.
  4. Extension Mathematics classes in Year 5 and Year 6 which deliver the full Mathematics course for each grade.
  5. Accelerated Mathematics classes commencing in Year 7, where in Year 7 the Year 7 and Year 8 programs are completed within one year.
  6. Academically rigorous elective courses in Years 9 and 10, including Big History- ‘a social studies course on jet fuel’ developed at Macquarie University and sponsored by Bill Gates.
  7. Select participation in academic co-curricular activities such as the global initiative ‘The Future Problem Solving Competition’ and gifted and talented residential camps in Year 5/6.
  8. Grouping within classes allowing students of like mind to work together.

What are the College’s examination results like?
While keeping in mind that there is more to education than just academic results, we’re proud of what our students achieve in statewide and national testing. You can read more about our Primary School Results here and our Secondary School results here

Are there specialist teachers in the Primary School?
Yes. K-4 have specialist teachers for Languages (Japanese), Library, Music and Physical Education. Years 5 & 6 have other specialist classes/teachers introduced over the two years.

Does the College teach languages other than English?
Yes. Students in K-4 study Japanese. When they are in Years 5 & 6 they choose to do Japanese or French or German. Then again in Year 7 they choose a language to study. Students in Years 9-12 may elect to continue their study of a language.

Can the College provide special help if our child needs it?
Yes. The College has a Learning Support Faculty which assesses student needs and provides support in the following ways:

Literacy

  1. Withdrawal groups for students in Years K-6
  2. Years 7 and 8 English classes taught by special educators
  3. In-class support for Years 9-12

Numeracy

  1. Withdrawal groups for Years K-6
  2. Small Mathematics classes in Years 7 & 8, conducted by a Mathematics special educator

If further assessment is required, the College will recommend testing by appropriate external agencies. The College has access to Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy services during school hours, and this service is provided onsite. It should be noted that the College is not able to provide 1:1 support for students.

What sport can my child do at the College?
There is a wide range of sport activities for all students in the College: developmental programs for younger students; gala days; regular Inter-House Sport Competitions during lunchtime; regular weekly competitions against other schools after school (the Hills Zone Sports Association (HZSA)); and a fortnightly physical activity program during the school day. There is no Saturday sport.

All students participate in College Swimming (Years 3-12), Athletics and Cross Country Carnivals and may then go on to representative levels. Follow this link for more details – Sport

Does the College have any outdoor education programs?
The College has a number of different activities with an outdoor education focus. There are yearly camps from Year 5, and students aged 15 and above may become involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The camps are part of the College’s Pastoral Care program designed to promote resilience in students by providing age-appropriate challenges and experiences.

Can I view the Annual Report for the College?

Yes, you can view the latest Annual Report here – Annual Report 2017

Where can I find out information about the College’s BYOD program?
BYOD for New Families

Please refer to the Preparatory School for FAQS relating to Preparatory.