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We started 2017 celebrating student achievements. Our HSC results continue a tradition of academic excellence in distance education, including outstanding individual successes. I would particularly like to congratulate our HSC academic highest achievers. Over the past seven years HSC students gained 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places in NSW with others achieving more than they ever imagined.

Mark Piddington

So, how good is our school?

Each year we participate in the state wide Tell Them From Me Surveys. Our results are really impressive and reflect strong relationships across our school community. In 2015 and 2016, we added a few of this school's own questions to the main survey and I wanted to know how good students, parents and teacher thought this school was!

In this school, we gather so much data to identify what we do well and to help us develop the wisdom to do even better. Sometimes, however, just a simple question can really nail it ... and get to the essence of what is most important.

We asked, How good is this school?

For students and teachers – for you.

For parents – for your child.

It's a great question because it allows the space for each individual to bring their own understanding and their own wisdom to an answer.

The possible answers were Excellent, Very good, Good, OK and No good. Here are the 2016 results.

Student Responses (52)
Excellent, Very good, Good – 89%
Add in OK – 97%

Parent Responses (107)
Excellent, Very good, Good – 94%
Add in OK – 98.3%

Teacher Responses (131)
Excellent, Very good, Good – 95.4%
Add in OK – 100%

The numbers speak for themselves!

Academic Success

Higher School Certificate 2010 – 2016

In the 2016 HSC, students achieved 203 Band 5 and Band 6 results (2015 – 204, 2014 – 164, 2013 – 181, 2012 – 189, 2011 – 179, 2010 – 185). In the 2016 HSC, 36% of all bands awarded were Band 5 or Band 6 (2015 – 36%, 2014 – 35%, 2013 – 37%, 2012 – 35%, 2011 – 42%, 2010 – 41%).

In addition to 278 single course enrolments, there were 40 students in Schools for Specific Purposes and 81 Sydney Distance Education High School students completing all or part of the HSC, with 50 SDEHS students completing their HSC studies. Five SDEHS students were placed in the top 10 in the State, including one 1st and one 2nd with 14 Distinguished Achievers gaining one or more results in the highest band (Band 6 or Band E4).

Congratulations to Amelia Lee who was an All-round Achiever, due to being a Distinguished Achiever in courses totalling 10 or more units.

A significant number of our 2016 HSC students achieved Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATARs) which have resulted in successful university admissions including students achieving ATARS in the 90s. Outstanding individual HSC success over the past seven years include the following.


  • Annabelle Bowman
    Textiles and Design, 1st in State, 2016
  • David James Barnott-Clement
    Earth and Environmental Science, 2nd in State, 2016
  • Miela Lily Malyon
    Textiles and Design, 7th in State, 2016
  • Jerry Leung
    Information Processes and Technology, 8th in State, 2016
  • Lisa Cavagnino
    Textiles and Design, 9th in State, 2016
  • Benjamin Wilson
    Aboriginal Studies, 1st in State, 2015
  • Justin Julian
    Music Extension, 4th in State, 2015
  • Sean McKenna
    Business Services Examination, 6th in State, 2015
  • Olivia Poate
    Textiles and Design, 10th in State, 2015
  • Celine Tye
    Industrial Technology Multimedia, 10th in State, 2015
  • Nicholas Fitzsimons
    Studies of Religion 1, Equal 1st in State, 2013
  • Josephine Gibson
    Music 2 and Music Extension, 1st in New England Region, 2012
  • Lily Xu
    Textiles and Design, 2nd in State, 2011
  • Shayni Notelovitz
    HSC All-round Achievers List (students who score 90 or above in 10 or more units) Drama, 2nd in State, 2010
    Shayni received an outstanding ATAR of 97.75
  • Jay Coleing
    Textiles and Design, 1st in State, 2010
  • Ishraq Uddin
    Engineering Studies, 1st in State, 2010
  • Amy Cameron
    Information Processes and Technology (IPT), 2nd in State, 2010
  • Ryan Batehup
    Earth and Environmental Science, 4th in State, 2010

A number of our students have been selected for the prestigious showcasing of student excellence by both the Department of Education and the NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA).

  • ARTEXPRESS: Visual Arts
    Emma Packer, 2010
  • ENCORE: Performance Works
    Mitzi Gardner, 2016
    Justin Julian, 2015 (with full marks for 2015 HSC Music Extension Performance)
    Zac Olsen, 2015
    James Julian, 2015 (with full marks for 2014 HSC Music Extension Performance)
    Daniel Hardy, 2011
  • OnSTAGE: Drama Works
    Lauren Elton, Ryan Gonzalez, Ellie McDonald and Shayni Notelovitz, 2010
  • Shape: Outstanding HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology &Textiles and Design
    Miela Malyon, Textiles and Design, 2016
    Meagan Watson, Textiles and Design, 2016
  • TEXSTYLE Exhibition: Textiles and Design
    Peggy Grant-Dawes, 2016
    Felicity Lessing, 2016
    Miela Malyon, 2016
    Courtney New, 2016
    Samantha Taylor, 2016
    Nadia Wallis, 2016
    Meagan Watson, 2016
    Eleanor Stone, 2014
    Georgia Davis, 2012
    Kirilyn Doherty, 2011
    Georgina Butterworth, Jay Coleing, Mandish Kalsi, Emily Stone and Annette Wilson, 2010

The following students have been nominated for exhibitions and performances.

  • Shape: Outstanding HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology &Textiles and Design
    Miela Malyon, Textiles and Design, 2016
    Meagan Watson, Textiles and Design, 2016
  • DesignTECH Exhibition
    Lillika Rogers-Fauske, 2014
    Jamie Von Drehnen, 2011
    Rachel Moody and James Guerrisi, 2010
    Luca Warburton, 2016
    Justin Stephens, 2012
    Andrew Fazzone and Colin Taylor, 2010

In 2010, four NSW students from the TEXTSTYLE Exhibition had their projects chosen for exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, including two of our students, Jay Coleing and Emily Stone, a wonderful recognition of outstanding work.

May all these students help to inspire other students to achieve their best.

As we focus on quality individualised education for each of our students, we continue to provide so many opportunities for flexible blended learning that is both creative and challenging.

School Profile

Sydney Distance Education High School is a public school committed to excellence and equity in distance education. We are the largest school provider of flexible blended learning programs in NSW, serving students from areas north of Wollongong, south of Newcastle, and west to the Blue Mountains. Close to the central business district of Sydney, we work on the land of the Traditional Custodians, the Cadigal People of Eora Country.

Students who meet specific enrolment requirements attend our school because they are not able to attend another school on a fulltime basis. We teach courses for fulltime and part program students, who include students with medical conditions and those with additional support needs. We also teach students studying single courses which they are not able to access at their home schools. We offer 11 courses in each of Years 7 and 8, 28 courses across Years 9 and 10, and more than 40 courses for Years 11 and 12. The school's middle school program, in Years 7 to 10, provides a further 20 courses for students who need additional literacy and numeracy support.

During 2016, our maximum enrolments were 1515 students. Fulltime equivalent student numbers have grown from 673 in 2007 to 729 in 2016, a 8.3% increase. We are entitled to over 140 teachers with 21 support staff and now employ more than 200 fulltime and part time staff.

We provide flexible blended learning opportunities for quality individualised education. Students may learn in many ways, using written materials and online technologies. We teach over the telephone, by email and on the internet through lessons developed using online learning management systems. We engage students through web lessons, videoconferencing, study days, open days, excursions, peer support activities and teacher visits to schools and homes. In 2016, almost all Years 9 and 10 courses will be delivered online.

Engagement with creative, challenging and blended learning opportunities is supplemented by inclusive student wellbeing programs and the school’s partnerships with communities, families and other schools. We encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their learning and sense of connection to their peers, their teachers and their school. Our high expectations are supported by a caring and nurturing environment with strong commitments to sustainability and social justice.

Distance education helps build independence and self discipline. We are proud of our students who have been placed into the top 10 in the state in Higher School Certificate courses and whose work has been selected for a range of prestigious exhibitions and performances. We are equally proud of all students whose courage and commitment is reflected in their determination to do their best.

Our website is for communication, collaboration and the celebration of student achievement. It features films made by SDEHS Productions which showcase so much of the spirit and success of our school community.

We inspire students to learn and to live their dreams.

Best wishes


Mark Piddington


PH: (02) 9383 0200
FAX: (02) 9383 0222