International Year of Light – Science Competition!

This year is 100 years since Einstein’s theory of general relativity and 1000 years since Ibn Al-Haytham used experimentation to make significant breakthroughs in our understanding of vision, light and optics – well before the rest of the world was using the scientific method!

To celebrate these milestones WCCS is running a science competition open to all students to highlight the importance of light. Students may enter this competition by submitting a poster or a short video to the science staffroom that explains or demonstrates any aspect of the importance of light.

Entries should be submitted by the 1st of August. Each entry should be clearly labelled with the student’s name and grade, a bibliography should also be included (on the back of the poster, or as a separate document accompanying the video).

The science staff will select finalist entries that have an engaging presentation and provide thorough and accurate information. These entries will be displayed in the school over terms 3 and 4 and students will receive certificates of merit and a record of their achievement in the yearly reports.

A panel of staff will select a winning entry for each age category (primary, junior high school and senior high school) and these students will receive a Tritium vial (which is a glowing vial powered by safe radioactive hydrogen, it requires no charging by light or electricity and should shine for over 10 years) as a unique prize that combines many aspects of the science of light!

Tritium vials ©MerkavaGlowrings on Etsy


For the full information brochure click here

Design an Ad Competition


Students are invited to collect information kits for our annual ‘Design an Ad’ Competition.

To enter the competition students need to design (draw/paint etc) an advertisement poster for a specific company in our local area (details in the kit). That company will choose their preferred advertisement(s) which will then be published in local newspapers.  Participating companies pay for the advertisement and winning students receive a large cash prize of $800 for first place, $350 for second and $100 for third.

William Carey students have regularly won this competition and our students’ work is in high demand!

This competition is open to both primary and high school students. Students may (and are encouraged to) submit multiple entries.

See Mrs Layfield in CS Lewis, Mr R Jackson in Science or your Art teacher for more information.


Mathematics Competition

Mathematics Faculty Competition:
This competition is open to ALL students at WCCS (staff and parents are welcome to have a go as well and will receive certificates but not the final prize).
To win the $30 prize you need to:

Find a three-digit number which gets 7 times smaller after its middle digit is deleted.

Entries should be submitted to Mr R Jackson by the 23rd of June (Monday of week 9). The winning entry will show clear working showing each logical step needed to find the three-digit number. The solution will be published in a newsletter after the competition ends. Please write your entry on a separate piece of paper clearly labelled with your name and mathematics class.

Udacity: Online courses

Would you like to learn something new and get it credited on your yearly report? Udacity offers several online (free) courses that you can have a go at, including:

  • Introduction to Programming (Java)
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Introduction to the design of everyday things
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Algebra (at three levels of difficulty)
  • Introduction to Physics
  • Introduction to Genetics

and many more!

If you’re interested in having a go contact Mr Jackson to get signed up and started.

You can browse the courses online here:!/all

Courses are designed to be easy for students who have left high school – hence, there will be difficult parts for you, but achievable! See Mr Jackson if you get stuck. You’ll work at your own pace  online with quality video lectures and interactive modules.



Advanced Learning Projects (ALPs)



The Advanced Learning Projects (ALPs) is a special program of study intended for students who are achieving well in their current studies and who want a little bit more – more interesting, more challenging, more feedback, more open-ended.

These projects are academically challenging and require students to work independently on their chosen project over a long period of time. As there are a limited number of available mentors entry into these projects are based on student applications and prior demonstration of academic achievement.

See the brochure here for more information on how the ALPs work.

Mathematics Challenge for Young Australian (MCYA)

This year William Carey is offering a new series of challenging enrichment courses for our top mathematicians. This course is designed and managed by the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) which is the key organisation that runs mathematics competitions (Olympiads) in the country. The Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians is targeted towards students with a talent in mathematics who would like something more.

The challenge lasts for 16 weeks between April and September. The program focuses on teaching additional mathematics not traditionally taught at high school and students are encouraged to develop their ability to prove results not just get the correct answer. The program is very challenging and students should not expect to easily master the skills involved.

As part of this program each student would be expected to spend roughly 30 minutes – one hour each week working through the providing resources and attempting the challenge for each chapter. Mr Jackson will run an additional class for students attempting the challenge during one lunchtime each fortnight to assist and provide feedback.

Students who successfully complete the program will have their diligence and achievement recognised in their yearly reports. An extra subject will be included in their reports including their overall mark in the program they completed and a comment about their work.

Details of the different programs are available here.

Please contact Mr Jackson for more information!

Advanced Reading Challenge

A number of students have already completed the Reading Olympics challenges set earlier this year. This post is a follow up advanced challenge for the avid readers who want some guidance for good books.

The following list is compiled from many teachers from multiple faculties suggesting the extremely good books they’ve read in various genres. See how many books from this list you can read and suggest any great ones you’ve read that aren’t on the list!

Not all books will be appropriate for all ages. This list was compiled and aimed for mature high school students with a good base of previous reading (e.g. you’ll notice Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and some other books are not on the list as they are presumed read!).

Remember each book read is worth Reading Olympics points which will eventually be tallied towards your house points!

More books will be added to the list over the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Fantasy/Science Fiction genre

  • The Magician – Raymond E Feist {The epic beginning to a multi-series 29-book fantasy world – Mr R Jackson’s favourite fantasy book of all time}
  • Daughter of the Empire – Janny Wurts & Raymond Feist {the ‘enemies’ side of the story – older readers – trilogy]
  • Obernewtyn – Isobelle Carmody
  • The Inheritance Cycle- Christopher Paolini {four book series, first book is Eragon}
  • The Mistborn trilogy – Brandon Sanderson {first book is Mistborn}
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss {three book series, first book is The Name of the Wind – last book not published yet}
  • The Belgariad – David Eddings {five book series, first book is Pawn of Prophecy}
  • The Malloreon – David Eddings {five book series, events after the Belgariad, first book is Guardians of the West}
  • Out of the silent planet – C S Lewis
  • The Wheel of time – Robert Jordan {Epic 14 book saga, final tome just released, first book is The Eye of the World}
  • The Wars of Light and Shadow – Janny Wurts {11 book series, first book is Curse of the Mistwraith}
  • The Cycle of Fire trilogy – Janny Wurts {first book is Stormwarden}
  • The Dragons of Pern – Anne McCaffrey {16 standalone sequential books set in the same world, first book is Dragonflight}
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams {the infamous four book trilogy…}Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • The View from the Mirror – Ian Irvine {an excellent four book series, fantasy written just a little bit different, Australian author, first book is Shadow on the Glass}
  • Trinity – Fiona McIntosh {first book is Betrayal, trilogy}
  • Dune – Frank Herbert
  • Wolfskin – Juliet Marillier {Historical fiction}
  • Rameses – Christian Jacq {5 book series Historical fiction}
  • The Witches of Eileanan – Kate Forsyth {six book series, first book is Dragonclaw}
  • Watership Down – Richard Adams
  • The Power of One – Bryce Courtney {fantastic historical novel, major film based on this book}
  • Robinson Crusoe – Defoe
  • Parkland – Victor Kelleher
  • Master of the Grove – Victor Kelleher


A mixture of classics ranging from ancient mythology to 20th century modernity.

  • 1984 – George Orwell {One of the greatest books of the 20th century and Miss Smith’s favourite} 1984
  • Animal Farm – George Orwell
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell
  • Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F.Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The Odyssey – Homer
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  • Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  • Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  • Middlemarch – George Elliot
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Daniel Deronda – George Elliot
  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  • Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  • Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  • The Time Machine – H.G.Wells


  • Through Gates of Splendour – Elizabeth Elliot
  • Surprised by Joy – C.S. Lewis
  • The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boomthrough_gates_of_splendor__37591_zoom
  • The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun – Brother Yun
  • Tortured for Christ – Richard Wurmbrand
  • Hudson Taylor – J. Hudson Taylor
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas
  • John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace – Jonathan Aitken
  • I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter with God.
  • The Confessions of St.Augustine – Augustine of Hippo
  • Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • A Beautiful Mind – Syvia Nasar
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage – Bill Bryson
  • Henry VIII – David Starkey


Standard Resource

  • New Bible Dictionary (IVP) (2)

Biblical Theology

  • Graeme Goldsworthy According to Plan (2)
  • Graeme Goldsworthy Gospel and Kingdom (2)

Old Testament

  • Longman and Dillard An Introduction to the Old Testament (2)
  • Tyndale OT Commentaries or Bible Speaks Today Commentaries (for daily Bible Reading) (2)

New Testament

  • Paul Barnett Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity (2)
  • Paul Barnett The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (2)
  • Paul Barnett Paul: Missionary of Jesus (2)
  • John Dickson The Christ Files (2)
  • Carson, Moo and Morris An Introduction to the New Testament (2)
  • Tyndale NT Commentaries or Bible Speaks Today Commentaries (for daily Bible Reading) (2)
  • David Jackson Crying out for Vindication: The Gospel According to Job. J (1)


  • Richard Pratt Every Thought Captive (2) (Read this one first)
  • Don Carson The Gagging of God Zondervan (2) (Essential reading)
  • John Frame Apologetics to the Glory of God (2) (Essential reading)
  • The Francis Schaeffer Trilogy: The God who is there, Escape from Reason, He is there and he is not silent (2)
  • John Dickson If I were God I’d make myself clearer (1)
  • John Dickson If I were God I’d end all the pain (1)
  • Cornelius Van Til The Defense of the Faith (3)
  • Timothy J Keller Reason for God: Belief in an age of Scepticism (2)


Sleek Geeks Science Competition

Check out the below announcement from


The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize will again be offered in 2013 to primary and high school students. The competition encourages students with a passion for science and for communicating ideas to tell a scientific story via a short video piece, cultivating the next generation of Dr Karls and Adam Spencers!
Recognised by teachers for its relevance to the primary and high school curriculum, the competition has become a staple activity in the classrooms of many schools across Australia. Every year the judges are overwhelmed by the creativity and quality of entries, and the Faculty of Science wishes to congratulate all students who participate in the competition.
The 2012 competition proved to be another huge success with over 200 video entries received from schools around the country. Every year the judges are overwhelmed by the creativity and quality of entries, and the Faculty of Science wishes to congratulate all students who participated in the competition. We look forward to another year of science videos!
ENTRIES OPEN: Friday 1 February 2013

ENTRIES CLOSE: Friday 26 April 2013
Primary school category: conditions of entry and online entry form

Secondary school category: conditions of entry and online entry form

What’s involved?

The idea is to communicate a scientific concept(s) in a way that is accessible and entertaining to the public while painlessly increasing their science knowledge or, as the Sleek Geeks like to say, “learn without noticing”. All you need is a handycam – it’s about the content and creativity. For inspiration check out the top 2012 entries on the ABC Science website.
Entries are to take the form of a one to three minute video piece and a 50-word description of the video content. Entries may be produced by an individual student, or a group of up to six students. Read the Judges Hints and Tips on producing an award-winning short film!

Prize breakdown for the 2013 competition

High School Prize 1st – $4,000 plus a $500 book voucher from Abbey’s Bookshop, Sydney 2nd – $2,000 3rd – $1,000
Primary School Prize 1st – $2,000 plus a $500 book voucher from Abbey’s Bookshop, Sydney Runner up – $1000
The prize is sponsored by the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney, with additional support from Abbey’s Bookshop, Sydney and Microsoft.


For more information about the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize, please email

Send me an email (or comment below) if you’re interested in having a go and I’m happy to help you piece together your ideas and make it happen!

You can see the winning entries from previous years here: