A Message from the Headmaster: HSC Results - Cranbrook School

A Message from the Headmaster: HSC Results

20 Dec 19 by Nicholas Sampson, Headmaster

It is with great pleasure that I write to share the news of the academic achievement of the Class of 2019.

These results are exceptional and reflect both the diverse academic strengths of our non-selective student population, and the dedication of our teaching staff who have nurtured the boys throughout their schooling.

Our placing in the academic rankings has risen three places from 41st position in 2017 to 33rd place in 2018 and to 30th place in 2019. This represents our highest ever ranking in the SMH Top Schools Table and is a significant improvement upon 2016 when we placed 55th in the state. What makes these results even more impressive is the all-roundedness of the boys who scored well and who also achieved in sports, arts, design and technology. Cranbrook's educational practice is based upon the principle that a broad liberal education can inspire a love of the pursuit of excellence: students within our Class of 2019 have proved this.

I wish, on behalf of the whole Cranbrook community, to extend our heartfelt hope that the HSC results and ATARs obtained today will provide the pathway through to a fulfilling career and future. It was with great pride that we today welcomed back to the campus many of our Year 12 students for a BBQ to share their news, celebrate their achievements and their next steps. Most poignant, were the words of thanks from the students to their teachers for helping them reach their goals and find their niche. This was truly indicative of the spirit of Cranbrook and how we encourage the boys to be who they want to be, not necessarily who they need to be. I am so very grateful to my colleagues who have worked so tirelessly to help this set of Cranbrookians carve out their pathways.

Whilst many will feel elated by their set of results, some may experience an edge of disappointment at perhaps not meeting the very particular, and potentially high, standards they may have set for themselves. Experiencing disappointment is a normal human reaction and we must remember that whilst the focus on HSC results feels all-encompassing at this stage, they are but one of a number of measures of success and will not necessarily define the future. I have recorded a personal message for our HSC students regarding their future endeavours which you can watch here:

Congratulations to Jesse Caminer who has been named as Dux of Cranbrook School 2019 with an ATAR of 99.95. This is an incredible achievement and reflective of Jesse’s outstanding capabilities and focus. His ATAR is the product of a disciplined approach to his studies throughout his time at School. He has struck a wonderful balance between his academic studies and his co-curricular involvement and deserves our warmest congratulations and every accolade.

Evan Chee scored 99.9 and has made an excellent contribution to all aspects of community life throughout his time at Cranbrook. 

Split by mere decimals, this year we have so far identified that ten boys achieved a rank of between 99 and the perfect ATAR score of 99.95. An incredible achievement indeed.

I have no doubt these young men will inspire future generations of our students.

It is also immensely pleasing to announce our students who have placed at the top of the state among 75,000 students who sat the HSC this year. The eleven boys listed below were top achievers, receiving a place in the state in one or more of their courses. Particular congratulations must go to Jesse Caminer for placing first in the state in three HSC courses – English Advanced, English Extension 2 and Chinese Continuers.

Along with four drama placements described below, Matthew Drielsma (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Hugo Hayman (Music 1), Joseph Haynes (Drama), Jaemin Kim (English), Tristan Penfold (Ancient History) and Henry Walker (Design and Technology) also achieved top 20 in their respective courses.  

Students who are eligible for naming on the HSC All Round Achievers List have gained 90% or better in ten or more HSC units. This year, of 1450 such all-rounders, 16 Cranbrook boys achieved a place on this prestigious list, up from 14 in 2018, 13 in 2017 and 5 in 2016. Congratulations to the following boys:

The Distinguished Achievers List names students who have scored 90% or above in a subject to receive a merit (Band 6 Result) in one or more subjects. Cranbrook boys gained 288 merits in total, including 55 in Mathematics courses and 61 in English courses.

Our number of students who have gained a Band 6 result has continued an upward trajectory this year. Of 162 Year 12 Cranbrook boys who sat the HSC, 106 students have been placed on the Distinguished Achievers List in at least one subject, which compares to 102 in 2018. Congratulations to these boys named below.

This year’s merits came from a wide range of courses, demonstrating the breadth that exists within Cranbrook and this cohort.

Our subject highlights are exceptional, with Cranbrook achieving percentages above the state average in every HSC subject offered.

Our performance across the creative spectrum is to be highly commended this year. We have achieved exceptional results in Visual Arts, Industrial Technology, Drama and Music. Creativity and artistic expression are central elements of the School's educational mission and the Class of 2019 have kept our cultural theme burning brightly.

Four boys – Axel Koeppenkastrop, Noah Learmonth, Peter North and Joseph Haynes, have ranked in the top 10 in the state in Drama – an incredible achievement.

These results have been coupled with HSC Student Nominations across Visual Arts, Drama, Music, Industrial Technology and Design & Technology.


ARTEXPRESS is the annual exhibition of exemplary artworks created by Visual Arts HSC students.

The following Cranbrook students were nominated for consideration for ARTEXPRESS in 2019:


The students listed below were nominated for possible inclusion in OnSTAGE for their Drama Individual Performances or their Group Performances: a remarkable five out of six Cranbrook Group Performances were selected for consideration. OnSTAGE is the showcase of exemplary HSC performances from across NSW.


The Music Department had the following boys nominated for possible inclusion in ENCORE, a selection of outstanding performances and compositions from HSC music students from across the state:


The SHAPE exhibition features a selection of exemplary Major Projects from HSC Design and Technology students. In 2019, seven boys were nominated, compared to just one in 2018.


InTech is an exhibition of outstanding Major Projects from HSC Industrial Technology students.

I am sure that upon consideration of these stellar results that you will join me in commending our Year 12 leavers.

Further detailed analysis will take place as we receive full information over coming weeks, and we will share the full results with you in the New Year.

To the Class of 2019 all that is left for me to say is that I wish you all the very best in your next endeavours and hope you will stay in touch with us here at the School: do let us know of your University offerings in early January.

On behalf of all the Cranbrook community, I wish you all tremendous success in the next chapter of your lives and hope you take with you the enduring love of learning, intellectual versatility and warmth of spirit that we hope to have cultivated with you during your time here. I hope these qualities serve you well and that you will continue to strive towards the pursuit of your passions with courage, conviction and optimism.


With warmest wishes

Yours sincerely


Nicholas Sampson