Students stand proud



PRINCIAPLS of the seven high schools in the Tweed Shire were feeling pretty pleased yesterday.

As they examined the HSC results of their students, words such as "outstanding", "exceedingly pleasing" to "very strong" were being bandied around.

Peter McLoughlin, principal at St Joseph's College, Banora Point praised his year 12 students as "an outstanding group of young men and women who had worked diligently achieving results above the state average in most courses".

Kingscliff High School principal Beverley Theobold was equally delighted with numerous students scoring significant Band Six results.

Across the state more than 66,000 students, including about 500 on the Tweed, received their results yesterday. And the biggest trend suggested NSW boys are finally catching up to the girls in academic achievement.

NSW Board of Studies president Gordon Stanley said the 2005 results confirmed a gradual increase in the number of boys reaching the top levels of academic performance.

"We know across all education systems girls have been outperforming boys, but since 2001 we've started to see each year a small increase in the number of boys in those top levels of HSC performance," Prof Stanley said.

"We think the new syllabus and the new emphasis on the importance of boys engaging with the curricu-lum is starting to show."

A record number of more than 13,300 students were recognised as distinguished achievers with marks of 90 or more, compared to about 12,900 in 2004. More than 35 per cent made it into the top two performance bands in 2005, also up on previous years.

Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said the consistency of results strengthened the case for the HSC to become the basis for a national year 12 exam.



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