Private v public combined artwork
Private v public combined artwork

Public v private: Who’s winning the OP wars

IT'S a state of success when it comes to school leavers' senior results across the board, with Queensland OP scores revealing private schools still come out on top.

Of the top 10 schools with the most students achieving an overall position of 1 to 5 last year, seven were private schools.

But state schools this year toppled high-performing elite schools with higher proportions of their OP eligible cohort receiving results among the best in the state.

Benowa State High School, which had 11 students achieve an OP, had the highest percentage of students score in the top five bandwidths, followed by Tamborine Mountain State High School, which had more than half of its 29 OP students in the top group.

Brisbane Girls Grammar was the top private school, followed by Brisbane Grammar School, St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School, Cannon Hill Anglican College, Anglican Church Grammar School, Freshwater Christian College and Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

 

 

High-achieving Brisbane State High School had a strong 47 per cent of its students receive top marks, with the most students in the state sitting for the OP.

St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School principal Alice Tidmarsh said she was really proud of all of our students successes, whether that be an OP result, vocational education qualification or an extra-curricular achievement.

"We are really proud of the way St Aidan's staff have been able to adopt the new ATAR system, while not taking our eyes off the OP system for the 2019 seniors.

"We feel that we are very well prepared for the introduction of the ATAR system this year, and look forward to what 2020 brings for senior schooling in Queensland and at St Aidan's."

St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School's school captain this year Lilyan Sullivan said she plans to study medicine with the end goal of becoming a paediatrician specialising in autism and plans to get through the year by keeping to routine.

"I don't allow myself to procrastinate when it comes to study, I always study first then complete compulsory homework as I find it more motivating in that order

 

St Aidan's Anglican Girls School’s Paris Teevan, 17, Annabelle Burke, 17, Lilyan Sullivan, 17, Lara Soo, 16, is one of the state's top OP girls' schools. Picture: Steve Pohlner
St Aidan's Anglican Girls School’s Paris Teevan, 17, Annabelle Burke, 17, Lilyan Sullivan, 17, Lara Soo, 16, is one of the state's top OP girls' schools. Picture: Steve Pohlner

 

While vice-captain Paris Teevan said she will use the syllabus to help her get the best results she can to gain entry into either paramedicine, nursing or psychology.

"Using the syllabus and checkpoints provided by QCAA is something I live by when I study, it helps so much to cull anything unnecessary and refine what I focus on closer to exams."

The executive principal of top performer Cavendish Road State High School, Richard Usher said last year's students recorded the school's best OP results.

"While we can be very proud of the half cohort last year where we had 5 OP 1 students, 35 per cent of the cohort an OP 1 to 5 and 94 per cent an OP 1-15, at Cavendish Road we let the score board take care of itself".

He said there was no secret to success what mattered to student achievement is a rich learning culture, and a belief and a drive that every student can succeed, and world class teaching.

Year 12 students at Cavendish Road State High School are all hoping to get the best ATAR they can.

Dion Keenan hopes to get a rank above 90 and hopes to be a secondary teacher.

"Over the years, I have gained a passion to always help others learn and grow, which I highly admire all my teachers for. I am wishing to teach Maths and Science, and as well, help students have fun in what they learn and do," she said.

 

Cavendish State High School students Brandon Collings, 16, Jessica Morgan, 17, Dion Keenan, 17, and Haley Tran, 16. Picture: Peter Wallis
Cavendish State High School students Brandon Collings, 16, Jessica Morgan, 17, Dion Keenan, 17, and Haley Tran, 16. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

While peer student Brandon Collings wants an ATAR 98 to study a dual degree of Law and Economics.

"My dream job, and it's a bit ambitious, I know, would be the Prime Ministerialship, I have a keen interest and passion, you could say, for politics, and I hope to one day fulfil that."

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said there were high performing students in schools in every sector.
"Independent schools, like all schools, strive to realise the potential and talents of their students and are very successful at it," he said.
"However, OPs are only one part of the story about student outcomes because only about 50 per cent of all Year 12s are eligible for an OP."

Education Minister Grace Grace said that all schools had achieved stellar success with Queensland school leavers making the last year of OP count.

"Once again Queensland students have shown a high level of achievement across both government and non-government schools."



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