Photo: Duval from the air

Top of the Hill

19 December 2018
Issue Eighteen
What's on
From the Principal
Transition news
Music roundup
Hair with Heart
Sports Report
Duval target shooters
Table tennis tales
Community Notices
Duval High School
(02) 6772 1266
Crest Road
Armidale, New South Wales, 2350

What's on


12 - 19 December 2018

- Term V activities

20 - 21 December 2018

- Staff Development Days

22 December 2018

- Interact Club - Days for Girls

Markets in the Mall


29 January 2019

- Staff Development Day

30 January 2019

- First day of Term I for Years 7 & 12 and new enrolments.

31 January 2019

- First day of Term I for Years 8 & 10 

1 February 2019

- First day of Term I for Years 9 & 11


From the Principal

Photo: CREST

Welcome to the final ‘Top of the Hill’ for 2018, and also for Duval High School as a stand-alone entity. The past eighteen months have been a frantic blur of activity as we prepared for the amalgamation of our two fine public schools into a school of the future, Armidale Secondary College. It has been a mighty effort by all concerned, and I thank our parents and community for their patience and support as we navigated the planning, building and logistics phases of this next step in our history. I believe that the future is very bright indeed for the young people of our schools, and Armidale in general, as a result of this project, and again I thank you for your faith in us as we tried our very best to make this process as painless as possible. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the efforts of our entire Combined Executive team, who have committed countless hours of their own time to dozens of areas of special responsibility, and especially our Project Liaison Officer, Kris Croft, who has performed superhuman tasks in the effort to be all things to all people, from the NSW Government to uniform suppliers and local bus companies! We start 2019 confident that we are ready to welcome all of the children of the two schools, and provide them with the best education possible.


On that note, next Tuesday evening it will be my very great pleasure to welcome guests and students to our 2018 Presentation Night. At that time we will acknowledge the very best and brightest, the high flyers and the hard workers, and those who will definitely go on to achieve great things in the future, because they have learned the key lesson - that learning brings its own rewards. We continue to achieve success in our three main school focus areas – academic excellence, sporting excellence and cultural excellence. Sometimes in these days of seemingly endless education in which schools are coming to represent all things to all people, we forget what we are really all about – teaching and learning. Presentation Night recognises this, and is the ultimate expression of our school’s Positive Behaviour for Learning commitment and values in that, as a community, we gather to show Respect for the Responsibility and Resilience of our students.


We held Stage Assemblies on Monday 10 December to recognise those students who may not have come first in a subject or won a major prize, but who embody these PBL values by coming to school every day, wearing their uniform with pride, and doing their best in class at all times! The Merit Award structure has now become one of our school traditions, and is an essential adjunct to Presentation Night each year.


As this is the last Top of the Hill, it is appropriate that I take the time to acknowledge the efforts of our committed and wonderful staff, and I thank them all for their hard work and dedication to both the young people of this school, and Public Education as a whole. Your children are truly well-served by these consummate professionals, and I acknowledge all of the overtime they so willingly contribute so that quality teaching and learning can take place every day.


I also thank our P&C and their President Caroline Winter for being so very active and supportive in 2017. The P&C have, as always, been a tremendous advocate and partner for the school, providing support for school-parent communication, for faculties and for all students at the school through their insurance arrangements. They have worked behind the scenes all year on projects including the joint-funding application for the school bus shed, regular working bees and various fund-raising ventures. Their efforts are truly appreciated by the entire school community.


The School Canteen has once again raised some $20,000 for the P&C this year, which is spent on improvements to the learning environment at the school for the benefit of all of your children. My special thanks go to Suellen Simpson and Katy Williamson for all their own time they put in to providing good, healthy food for the students at Duval. They also lend a kind ear to children with any concerns, gently reinforce discipline in the canteen lines, and generally do everything possible to promote Duval High in our community. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our Canteen volunteers who give up their own time to come in and make sure your children are looked after.


I also acknowledge those who work behind the scenes: the School Learning Support Officers; the School Administration Support Staff and Julia Woods, our School Administration Manager; and our cleaners. Duval High School could not function properly without them!


I would like to conclude by thanking the parents, family, friends and carers of our students. It is through their support, encouragement and care that our students can reach their true potential.


Well done all.


Stafford Cameron


Transition news

ASC uniform information



Photo: Duval High School student Deemi Dorji, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Science and Agricultural Technology teacher Bridget-Ann Labrosse and student Talita Craven.


NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall says an environmental grant awarded to Duval High School will really have the enlarged campus buzzing next year.


Mr Marshall announced a $3,500 grant from the State Government for a project that will see the school and its students establish a honeybee garden and hive designed to increase education about conservation but also give them some more entrepreneurial skills that could translate into a sweet commercial stream.


The local MP said the Bee The Change project would expand the school’s environmental education and students’ commercial nous.


“There’s a real buzz about this bee keeping project – it’s a great little idea and that’s why it’s won this funding – not only will it be fun, but it will be educational and economically attractive for students and the school,” Mr Marshall said.


“By establishing a honeybee garden and hive, the students, particularly those studying elective Agriculture, will have the opportunity to learn about the conservation of endangered bees in Australia, the benefits of bees as pollinators of plants and the rewards of honey production.


“It will provide students with a wealth of knowledge of Australian biodiversity, hands on skills in gardening and beekeeping, and entrepreneurial skills by collecting, packaging and marketing the honey made from the hive to the school and wider local community.”


Duval High Science and Agricultural Technology teacher Bridget-Ann Labrosse says the project will get underway next year.

“We’re unsure at this stage whether or not the hive will be in a fixed location or whether it will be moved around to different areas of the school throughout 2019 and then 2020,” Ms Labrosse said.


“This will determine whether we have one bee garden or multiple ones set up around the school in order to support the hive if it needs to be moved to various locations. 


“The bee gardens will consist of above ground garden beds to support bee populations we hope to attract and foster on school grounds.


“We are planning to make the garden primarily native species of plants, such as grevillea and callistemon, however, it will include other bee-friendly herbs, like basil, parsley, rosemary, and coriander, and flowers from the alyssum and echinacea group. ​We are hoping that these plant species will attract some of the 1,500 species of native bees that are found in Australia.”


Mr Marshall said the project will also see support mechanisms in place for the bees, including bee baths and pollinator hotels made from recycling timber materials, which might also see some cross-curriculum involvement with Duval High’s wood technology classes and also food technology students.


“The school is looking at the suitability of a course that teaches students about bees and honey production, pollination and sustainable ecosystems in Agriculture and Science classes,” Mr Marshall said.


“There’s also the possibility for cross-curriculum work with Food Technology as Duval hopes to be able to harvest the honey safely with the purchase of a Flow Hive - an Australian invention that allows honey to be harvested without disturbing the bees within the hive, making it a very safe process to both students and bees.” 


Music roundup

Schools Spectacular


Celebration Choir


Hair with Heart

Photo: Hair with heart

The big chop

Year 7 student Hannah Angel has been growing her hair for over a year, with the aim of growing it long enough to donate to 'Hair with Heart' to make wigs for ​children who are undergoing treatment for cancer and other medical issues. On Monday December 3rd, Hannah had 'the big chop' and now has a very stylish bob! As well as donating her long locks, Hannah is also raising money for Variety Children's Charity, and is well on the way to meeting her target of $1,500.


If you would like to make a charitable donation, please head to to . 


Well done, Hannah! "

Sports Report

Photo: Kayla with Dean Widders

Wormens NRL in her sights

Congratulations to Kayla Kim who has been selected in the Sydney Rooster Womens NRL development squad for 2019. Kayla made the trip to Sydney to trial for the squad after being identified for her talents in league at a local level. Pre-season training has began, seeing Kayla leave Duval High School to make a more permanent move to Sydney to be closer to training. Kayla is be congratulated on her selection and we all at Duval wish her the best for the coming season.

Kicking goals

Congratulations to the Duval High School 14's Boys Futsal Team. 


At the recent Australasian Champion of Champions Tournament in Brisbane the team competed against the best school teams in NSW, QLD and VIC in a round robin format. The team consisted of Nick Jackson, Liam Sim, Angus Towie, Cooper Heagney, Brock Parsons, Jacob Pearce, Josh Dunbar, Ryan Harris, and Brayden Kliendienst. 


As expected, the competition was fierce with some of the teams having more experience in higher level competition and players being part of elite level development squads. This was a challenge to the boys and they rose to the challenge, placing 5th overall. 


This is an outstanding effort for the team and special thanks goes to sponsors Uniplan and Coles, coach Lachlan Harris and to parents for their support of the team. 



Duval target shooters

Photo: DHS Target Shooters

What a fantastic year the Duval Target Shooters have had throughout 2018. There have been some amazing  results achieved by our very talented students with an enormous amount of learning along the way. Many of our team have been sharpening their wind reading skills and showing lots of improvement whilst gaining valuable knowledge to become top class junior shooters. With continued practise they can only continue to improve in the future. We have endured all weather conditions from scorching heat to bitterly cold days with strong gusty winds, rain and hail on some of our Thursday afternoons. As any target shooter knows, the elements are all a part of the challenge and our team members never complain and always strive to do their best. We have had numerous successes at Local, Regional, State and National levels travelling to many Championships, where not only have these great students achieved results, they have formed valuable friendships with a wide variety of both Senior and Junior shooters from all over Australia. As the Team coordinator I can’t sing their praises enough both on and off the range and speaking on their behalf I would like to extend our gratitude to Mr Tom Keys who has been a huge help with everything we have set out to achieve. Thank you also to SSAA Armidale mentors for their time on Thursdays, Mr Model, Mr Cameron and Ms Verwayen. I have thoroughly enjoyed this past year with our awesome Duval Target Shooting students and look forward to continuing in 2019.


Suellen Simpson

Table tennis tales

Photo: Dion doing his stuff

It has been a big year for table tennis at Duval. The annual Knockout Handicap Singles Tournament has become a Duval institution and we ran it again this term, with 128 students and teachers taking part. The Gym has been open almost every recess and lunchtime all term; we have often had 60 or 70 students there, with everyone enjoying playing ping pong in a fantastic atmosphere. It is striking how many students of all ages are taking the opportunity to develop their skills and the level of play has been impressively high. Also impressive is the way everyone follows our 'total respect' policy  -  you should see the efficiency with which 20 or more students clear away bats, balls, nets, 11 tables and court barriers in four minutes at the end of each lunchtime!


The whole school community has supported what we are doing. Thanks to PE/dance teachers who have shared their teaching space and to all staff who entered the competition (in most cases getting beaten by a delighted student in the first round!). A particular thank you to Mr Bernard O'Baoill for ongoing repairs to equipment and to new staff member Mr Mark Simpson who was there to help out at every opportunity.


The wonderful Duval P&C have just given us an incredibly generous donation to help grow table tennis at school, allowing us to buy a new top-quality table (our 12th competition-standard table), four top-quality bats for high-level players in the school squad, four competition nets, 30 club bats and a year's supply of balls. Thank you!


Another huge thank you to the Armidale Table Tennis Club (ATTC) who share our facilities. This has allowed our students the amazing opportunity to use a gym full of competition standard tables and gear. An increasing number of Duval students are beginning to train with ATTC outside school hours. This has been a big factor in improving the standard of play across the school. ATTC hours are every Mon/Wed/Thurs from 6:30pm and all day Sat with training from 11:45am - 1:40pm, always in the Duval school gym. All are welcome.


This term we also have a new 'secret weapon': Mr Mark Simpson, who has just joined Duval as a wellbeing support teacher, is recently arrived back from Germany where he was a professional table tennis player in the German leagues!


Our intention in running a handicap competition is that it is all-inclusive and fun for all. It has been great to see beginners and experienced players battling it out in close contests. In Round 4, Mr Simpson, starting from minus 12, had to come back from 0:10 down to scrape through 12 : 10. School team players Jo Bainivalu and Dion Whitfield made it through to the quarter-finals playing off a minus 10 handicap (or more), but then went down to up-and-coming less experienced players. In the quarter-finals we had students from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. Year 9s Braith Kliendienst and Isaac Davidson fought through in the end to 3rd and 4th place, playing with flair and technique and improving fast throughout the term. In the final, Mr Simpson eventually won against one of keenest new players, wildcard William Richey of Year 8, but not before having to save 3 match points in a tense 5-set match. 


Well done to all competitors!


Jamie Suddaby

Community Notices

National Football Camp 

Give your football career a head start with the NIAS National Football Camp in Armidale, from the 20 to 23 January, 2019.


The NFC is an inclusive football camp catering for athletes of all standards for Primary and Secondary School students aged U5 – U17 in 2019.


The NFC will be coordinated and delivered by Newington College’s Head of Football Mr Brian McCarthy. With a focus on skill development, the coaching team will take your game to the next level.

Registrations are closing soon, so get to for more information or phone 6766 2526.


Get to the NIAS National Football Camp and give yourself a head start for a future in football.


Top of the Hill
Tennis Camp
Tennis Camp
ASC_Uniform brochure_final.pdf
ASC_Uniform brochure.pdf