Sydney Catholic Schools have achieved their best HSC results in five years, with their highest number of students among the state’s course-toppers and all-round achievers.

SCS students took out four of the top 10 places in English Standard which had the highest candidature of any course this year, sat by more than 30, 600 students.

They were among the 21 students who placed in the top 10 in NSW across 13 subjects, with a further three in the top 20.

For students to succeed, they must think deeply.

– Iris Nastasi

The number of students to make the all-round achievers list jumped more than 44 per cent, while the 39 students on the top achievers list represented a 30.8 per cent increase since 2015.

Students who receive results in the highest band for 10 or more units of study qualify for the all-round achievers list.

Sydney Catholic Schools’ Acting Director of Teaching and Learning Iris Nastasi said staff were particularly proud of students’ achievements in Mathematics, Science, English and History.

“These newly developed courses demand an increased emphasis on critical thinking and application of higher order thinking skills,” she said.

“For students to succeed, they must think deeply and apply their knowledge and understanding. Our students and teachers have done extremely well.”

Our staff’s passion and enthusiasm has been crucial to inspire students to want more and to seek more.

– Sharyn Quirk

Schools in the state’s top 100 included Brigidine College in Randwick (64th), St Ursula’s College in Kingsgrove (66th), Bethany College in Hurstville (72nd), and St Mary’s Cathedral School Sydney (82nd), Marist College Kogarah (87th) and St Clare’s College Waverley (95th).

Brigidine College placed 11th in the state in English and celebrated their Year 12 graduating class’ achievements at a special brunch on Wednesday, the day after ATARs were released.

Three students received ATARs above 99, and 57 were on the distinguished achievers list.

Principal Sharyn Quirk said staff and students were very excited at the results.

“We are blessed with incredible staff and students,” she said.

“We also have a very supportive parent community. They’ve been effusive with praise for all of the work the teachers put in and we’ve received emails saying thanks, but it if for us to thank them as well because it has been team work.

“Our staff’s passion and enthusiasm has been crucial to inspire students to want more and to seek more. It’s not just setting high expectations, it’s actually encouraging them to meet and exceed those high expectations.”