High Notes, Vol 10 No 1, January 30 2009
From the Principal
Welcome to Year 7
"Congratulations on your decision to accept a place in our school. We know that you will enjoy your time at High. We work hard together as a wider school community to provide opportunities for you to pursue excellent outcomes in a range of endeavours. As the graduating class of 2014, you are embarking together on a long journey of personal development. Make the most of the strengths of each other. Help others where they need it. Ask for help when you need it. Enjoy each others’ company.
"High is divided into two, self-contained schools. The junior school comprises Years 7 to 9. You have a separate sports afternoon, separate assemblies, a different uniform and you have an additional Year Adviser. For the first time in 2009 students in Years 7 to 9 will also have a dedicated library.
"The administration of our High Junior School has five major priorities:
"Our first priority is to develop you as a whole person. Through all the curriculum and activities of the school and through values and character education classes, our literacy plan and a structured outdoor education program, we aim to nurture engaged, resilient and self-confident students with a strong sense of self-efficacy – a feeling they are capable of achieving. We want to help you to try new things to help define your self image and identity, to develop self-awareness. We promote healthy risk taking in a controlled environment.
"Our second goal is to promote a sense of belonging, of personal identity with the school and its purposes. We strongly encourage participation in the co-curricular life of the school. We want our students to be engaged in school life, to become physically fit and above all to be happy. We believe that participation in team sports is a vital component of personal development. We require boys to try out for two GPS sports teams each year. Many boys also do athletics, particularly boys striving for selection in A and B teams in winter sports. Boys learn a lot about life through participation in team sports. Many boys join debating groups, music ensembles, chess teams or school service committees to expand their experiences and networks of friends. Participation helps you to make friends.
"Our third imperative is to support our students. We provide a network of people to help and nurture them. Committees made up of staff, parents, old boys and supporters of High work tirelessly to provide for the needs of team members for Saturday sport and participants in co-curricular activities.
"Our fourth priority is fostering academic success. This is a stronger focus of the senior school in Years 10 to 12. We aim to support each student to gain entry into the university course of his choice in 2015. Historically, 99% of students attend university after gaining their HSC at High. That is the academic goal that even Year 7 students should have in mind. You are not just here to learn but to excel in your learning. Fortunately, in the junior school there is more opportunity to experiment with learning. There are more choices possible as you grow into independent learners. There is more time to follow up on personal interest areas. Our academic competitions program for individuals, and Da Vinci decathlon and Tournament of Minds team activities, offer opportunities for boys to test themselves in a wider context than the school.
"Finally, we have a priority to develop future leaders. We provide leadership opportunities and recognition of achievement, participation or service to the school and the community. Our Student Representative Council and Student Awards Scheme foster and reward involvement and leadership in a wide variety of activities. Leadership potential can be expressed in many contexts and while participating in a variety of group activities.
"In delivering our curriculum in Year 7, the school applies a Purposeful Grouping Policy. Students are initially assigned to classes on the basis of a significant number having common attributes, interests or needs. The objective of the grouping policy is to assist staff to identify emerging talents, enhance demonstrated skills, meet identified needs, or to deliver appropriate revision, enhancement or remediation strategies. Classes may be comprised of high scoring boys in the Selective Schools Entrance Test, of boys with English enhancement needs based on English component test scores, of boys with the same language study preferences, or of boys with self-reported skills in music and sport. In later years some classes are formed by placing together boys who have achieved highly in certain courses. Our overriding desire is to maximise individual performances. We are endeavouring to increase the proportion of personalised learning in our curriculum.
"This school prides itself on its traditions and on the successes of its alumni. This focus grounds High boys in a continuum of learning and achieving. We have benchmarks in all areas of school life, tested over our 125 years of history. The culture at High tries to honour the past while being mindful of the call of the future. In technology applied to learning, in personal learning styles and plans, in problem solving, in environmental sustainability and responsibility, in civic duty and in relationships, emerging challenges require the latest in theory, techniques, strategies and equipment. We are continuously striving to improve in these areas.
"Transition into secondary school is always a stressful period in life. There are more teachers, more room changes, more subjects, new subjects, a complicated timetable, a full calendar, more expectations of your independence and maturity. There is more paperwork to complete. Use your diary, ask questions of people. Ask Mr Devlin or Mrs Berger, your Year Advisers, when you are unsure of where to go or what to do or if you are having a personal problem. Ms Harman & Ms Plummer are our School Counsellors. Mr Walker is our Head Teacher Welfare. They are here to help you. Communication is important in relationships – in school relationships particularly. Each boy has an information folder. Each boy is given a School Diary that has further information on policies. We rely heavily on High Notes, our weekly publication, to inform parents and students. Our school website has a great deal of information and a calendar. Increasingly, emails to and within groups are being used. Our new Parent Mentor Scheme is aimed at supporting new parents through contacts with existing parents.
"In conclusion, I urge all boys in Year 7 to: maximise your learning potential, challenge yourself physically, involve yourself socially, test your initiative and leadership, develop your team skills, accept leadership opportunities and dedicate yourself to service. I hope you all embrace the many experiences that will be offered to you during your six years at High. Welcome to you all. Enjoy the experience!"
Year 10: Lak Saviya Foundation Project for 2009
Having established the ADSL connection in November 08, we feel that providing these classes will
help the students of KRMV to communicate with SBHS effectively, when we establish the
communication link between the two schools in early January.
From the Library
Two important notices!
What the Heck Happens in Libraries?
Of course our staff is aware of how important the library will be to your sons for the following reasons also, so please ask them if they have found it or what the books are like.
The library is a home away from home for many boys and an important part of their successful adjustment to and enjoyment of the High School Experience. It is a “feel welcome” and “it’s yours” school space.
The library is always open, always positive and welcoming and opens at 7.30am. So boys can get an hour of homework in if necessary or have some quiet reading time or computer time.
The library is the home of groupwork for assignments, class projects and students planning school events and peer modelling sets the scene for successful boys revising, reading newspapers, novels, comics, the latest magazines and assisting one another with homework in other words that ultimate in education – self directed learning.
The Library has the information, scanning and printing technology to assist student success at timely completion of work. The Andrews Library will have 30 PCs, 20 laptops, printers and colour photocopier /scanner/printers. Students must top up their printing accounts to print assignments or homework but scanning to your home drive is free so make use of that. Of course libraries are the homes of databases and database experts so ask for assistance locating information on the Internet of other databases or using the library catalogue database to find books or magazines.
The library loves to have the assistance of students as Library Monitors and Student Volunteer Award Scheme points apply to all helpers.
Welcome back to the Library or to first timers - try our great collection out.
Year 12 Parents 2009
Year 12 Parents 2009 are invited to
A presentation for parents by Dr Jane Sleeman
Wednesday 25 February 2009 in the Great Hall
6:15pm - drinks and finger food
$10 per person payable at the door to cover catering costs
Jane is a school counsellor and psychologist in private practice specialising in anxiety and depression in young people and adults. She gives presentations to a wide variety of audiences and is a facilitator with the Black Dog Institute. Most importantly to Jane she is the mother of three adolescents.
Thanks to SBHS for funding the speaker
RSVP: 20 February 2009
How to Join Debating in 2009
YEAR SEVEN: ALL NEW DEBATERS
To join debating you need to do TWO things. In Year 7, Debating is free.
YEAR EIGHT TO TWELVE
NEW TO DEBATING?
RETURNING TO DEBATING?
DSG MEETING: The first Debating Supporters Group Meeting will be held in the Staff Common Room on Tuesday Feb 3, 2009 at 7:30pm.
More information can be found at: www.sydneyhigh.org/debating
Hi and welcome back
All students learning an instrument with a tutor at school please contact your tutors if you haven’t already done so to arrange lesson times for this year. Students need to remember NOT to schedule lessons during their ensemble rehearsals times.
Instrumental Recruitment Night
Music Tour 2010 to France
The information evening will be held on Monday the 2nd of February at 8:00pm in the Great Hall at the conclusion of the Instrumental Recruitment Night. All students and parents involved in the music performance program are invited to attend this evening.
Music Supporters Group (MSG) Meeting
Our first MSG meeting for 2009 will be held on Monday 2nd of March at 6:30pm in the Staff Common room. We would like to especially invite all new Year 7 parents to attend the meeting.
The SBHS Music Supporters Group assists the Music Department with financial and practical support to help enable them to offer this program. The group also assists in organising the showcase concerts throughout the year, including the Cabaret Night – an evening of Jazz and dancing and the Annual Music Camp. We also provide barbeques for the boys at some music events through the year.
Being a SBHS Music Supporter does not require a huge commitment of your time. The group meets prior to musical events, usually on a Monday evening in the Staff Common Room. Discussion is usually focused on instrumental requirements, fundraising and planning for upcoming performance events. You may have experience or contacts to help our fundraising for the music program or you may just like to attend to learn more about your son’s performance music experience at SBHS. As a supporter you may volunteer your time once or twice during the year to assist with our fundraising parking, help on a barbeques or assist at a performance event.
Ensemble Rehearsal Times for 2009
Marching Band rehearsal is held on Tuesday afternoons from 3.30 – 4.30pm and Friday
mornings from 8.00 – 9.00am for all concert band members in Term 1 and Term 4. Extra
rehearsals are held in the holidays leading up to ANZAC Day. All students in the Intermediate and
Senior Concert bands are expected to participate in Marching Band and attend the ANZAC Day
Parents of all music ensemble members, could you please provide the music staff with your contact details by filling in the below slip and returning it to the music staffroom as soon as possible so that we are able to contact you about any upcoming events involving your son’s participation. This will enable the parent committee to communicate with you more effectively and efficiently. Thank you very much. (Please print the information.)
Student’s Name: ____________________________________ Roll class: ___________________________
SBHS Chinese New Year Dinner
Back by popular demand
With a sell out hall of about 250 people at last year’s CNY Dinner, the P&C Development committee have organised this year’s CNY dinner again with more exciting and spectacular food and entertainment.
We would like to invite you to join us in this celebration and welcome the year of the Ox in 2009.
Tickets are now available for sale through the main office.
It is essential to book and pay by Monday the 9 February 2009 as we need to confirm numbers for catering
When: 6.30 pm Saturday 21 February 2009
Where: Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School
Cost: $35 per adult & high school student
Food: Delicious Asian food by Gourmet Caterers
Entertainment: Competition Lion Dance Performance