High Notes, Vol 10 No 11, April 09 2009
From the Principal
Rewarding High Quality Teaching
[There are moves around Australia towards implementing differential or merit pay. I believe the four criteria in this pilot program could form standards against which teacher performance could be gauged when making determinations about merit pay. I would be interested in school community views about this issue of benchmarking and rewarding teacher quality.]
The Sydney Boys High School Building Fund
In 2005, the SBHS Parents and Citizens Association entered into an agreement with the school in respect of its parking activity proceeds. In consideration for giving up all but one parking day, it agreed to donate its share of the grounds levy to the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund, but it wanted its donations sequestered into the ‘new library project’. This was because parents who helped raise money for many sports and activities agreed at the time that the ‘new library’ was a worthwhile project. The donations amount to $25,000 per year (say $100,000). Since 2003, the Centenary Building Fund has contributed $316,584. Interest accounts for $95,000.
The remainder of the money ($511,584) has been raised by: the 125th Anniversary Appeal, The Monthly Giving Program, the Tax Year End Campaign and the Year 12 Leavers Campaign.
The table below sets out the sources and application of funds donated to the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund since 2003.
These funds at 31/11/08 were represented by Term deposit No 1 at $295,000 and Term deposit No 2 at $370,000 and by $14,071 in the school’s No 3 A/c. Where has the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund money been spent?
It is difficult to stay focused exclusively on long term capital projects when so much needs to be done to improve the learning environment for the boys. We are saving nearly 70% of donations for future building plans. The following 2008 list illustrates the diversity of projects funded:
Portable Building – Room 801 $22,833 Data Projector installations $10,608 Unisex Toilet conversion $4,070 The Art Room store $3,492 Cricket Shed $1,402 Room 611 established $18,248 Room 705 wall $10,584 Room 204 alcove $2,260 Network Storage Server $2,999 Saw bench and table $1,184
Corridors and student transit
Fieldwork – Kosciuszko to Collaroy
Fieldwork is one of the most important elements of education especially for the field sciences like Geography and Environmental Science. It allows students to experience new sites and situations; something that the internet and video can never reproduce. There’s also the social element that means students get to work together for a longer time than usual on common projects. Three fieldwork courses so far this year illustrate this.
The first trip took a combined Geography/Environmental Science group to study wetland and mangrove ecology at Sydney Olympic Park. Using specialist staff from Bicentennial Park we were able to study the development of mangrove areas and the physical and biological parameters under which they survive. Only 5% of the original wetlands remain in NSW and so this was a chance to see an endangered ecosystem and the services it provides. One of the biggest and most ambitious trips was the combined Biology/Geography/Environmental Science 3-day trip to Mount Kosciuszko. Here, over 30 students were able to undertake a range of complex field activities. We started with a presentation about the mountain area and a short walk to examine the vegetation of the lower mountain area. After some very good food at the excellent accommodation site (field students march on their stomachs every bit as much as armies!) there was time for some evening lectures, an introduction to the next day and a chance to continue research using the computer facilities we took with us.
Day two saw us undertake a 14km walk and field study to Mount Carruthers. Each subject had its own speciality studying distribution of plants, their biological characteristics and the physical conditions of the area. The highlight must be the chance to work on the feldmark – an area so rare there’s only about 30ha in this region. It’s that chance to work on this type of habitat that made the trip so worthwhile. After 10 hours in the field, the evening meal was welcome (although the follow-up lectures and research probably less so). Day three was a different area again with the chance to study two river systems before the trip home. We are still following this work with joint discussions by students on the content of the research and the creation of an e-learning site dedicated to the field course. Smaller but no less useful, Year 10 had the opportunity to visit Collaroy for one day as part of their mandatory Geography studies. This gave students the chance to research one of three areas specially designed for us and use sophisticated equipment normally far outside the usual run of school equipment. Again, the chance to work for an extended period in the field (preceded by extensive work in class and online) has enriched student understanding.
Fieldwork is a difficult item to fit in a crowded curriculum but the opportunities to see and
work on something totally different is always welcomed (just ask any of the students who
Message to all parents Please label all personal items and school clothing with your son’s
full name to ensure that lost property is returned promptly.
A fantastic end to coaching last week with our senior teams providing exhibition debates given all our boys a shot at doing their own adjudications. Big thanks to all speakers and chairs as well as our coaches who had the chance to show off their experience in giving the formal adjudications so that all students could test if they had the same issues and reasons for their decisions! Hopefully all boys have started learning how adjudicators think and learn some interesting matter.
Eastside SEMI FINAL TEAMS, Friday 1st May
Debates are at Grammar and will be on current affairs.
Congratulations to the following boys who will be representing the school in these debates!
The Grand Final will be held the following Friday – 8th May 2009.
Happy Easter and researching over the holidays
More information can be found at www.sydneyhigh.org/debating and will be emailed to you
on a weekly basis.
ANZAC DAY - Marching Band
Please bring your hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water to the holiday rehearsals as practice will be held outside on Moore Park West. Please note that the rehearsal in the 2nd week is a FULL Dress Rehearsal; students need to wear their school uniform (with BLAZER). If you do not own a blazer, please organise to borrow one for the 2nd holiday rehearsal and ANZAC Day.
Students need to attend both rehearsals in the holidays and have music MEMORISED by the beginning of the holidays. Please notify Music Staff if you are unable to make any of these sessions.
ANZAC Day - Photos
Music Supporters Group (MSG) Meeting
Cabaret Night – Please Note Change of Date
20th/21st Century Concert
Single: $12.00 / Family: $28.00
Piano For Sale
Term 1 2009
Our Values Education Program is a terrific example of how student wellbeing is a central concern for the decision about material to be included. A review, undertaken by teachers, parents and students, enabled us to create a Years 7 – 9 course which is a blend of performance coaching (study skills, exam preparation, time management), literacy and media study (using Australian Children’s Television Foundation material), leadership development, as well as topics most suitable for encouraging healthy lifestyles. In Year 10 a Senior Transition course extends beyond the junior program to promote leadership in action, planning for success as well as health and safety issues for emerging adults. An outline of the junior program is available on the website under Welfare and the Year 10 course outline will soon be included.
Each year we supplement our Values Ed Program by including visits from Brainstorm Productions (DET approved Theatre in Education Group) to present entertaining and informative plays which challenge students to consider important issues related to adolescent development, relationships and social harmony. In Term 1 we had our first presentation for 2009. All Year 8 students saw the current production of ‘Verbal Combat’ which highlights some of the complex issues surrounding harassment among our youth. The play is not intended to solve the problem of conflict but is a useful point of reference to initiate anti-bullying strategies and discussion. Two of our Year 8 students presented reports about the play:-
“This play has a lot of messages about bullying and its effects. There are two people
acting out four characters. The play is funny as well as smart and meaningful. It was about a new
girl at school, called Emily, being bullied by two other girls. A character called Katrina was
really controlling another girl called Gabrielle but she didn’t notice because she wanted
to belong to the ‘cool’ group. There was lots of harassing Emily with hate mail and
they stole her diary which contained her private thoughts. When Gabrielle realised that she was
being used, she tried to return the diary to Emily, but she ran away in fear and fell over a
railing, seriously hurting herself. This play tries to show how everyone is different and needs
to be treated with respect. Bullying is wrong because the person being bullied will get hurt and
the bully will also get into trouble. This is a worthwhile activity as we saw what it was like to
be bullied and we learned that bullying is wrong.”
“Brainstorm productions are all about teaching secondary students about the effects of
bullying and harassment. They have turned the tedious lessons of not bullying into a fun way to
learn about discrimination for many children. Loud music, school setting, big props and quality
voices promise mirth aplenty for children and teenagers. It’s a promise delivered
energetically. The new girl Emily is very intriguing and likes to be different from everyone else
mainly because she isn’t selected to be in one of the school’s groups. Rocky and
Gabrielle discriminate against Emily because she keeps a diary and is isolated from everyone
else. I believe that Brainstorm productions are very helpful to the schools that they perform at
because they show what’s happening in the real world around them such as the discrimination
of races and discrimination of people. What they are trying to say is that you can’t judge
people by what they look like but it’s all about what’s in their
As well as Brainstorm Productions, we have a group known as Motivational Media visit the school once a year to present their latest production to all Sydney Boys High students. Their giant screens are 13 metres wide and together with a state of the art sound system they create a spectacular cinema style experience which captures and engages the audience. This year they presented ‘Rebound’ which focused on the issue of resilience. It showed 4 people telling their real life stories about how they reacted to misfortune and hardship and the presentation also related some important philosophies for students to consider (eg. Confucius “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” and Albert Einstein, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”) Another Year 8 student had this to say about the presentation:
“This presentation was effective because it presented quite recent stories and some
things were very relevant to us as young teenagers. The most effective and touching stories were
the story of Hannah, a girl suffering from depression, the story of Anna Meares and her recovery
from her spinal injury, and the story of Ali who had to come back from being an outcast by
learning how great it really is to be Australian. In short, these stories are well presented in a
way that we can understand, and we can relate to them. This is an effective way of getting the
message across that you can rebound from anything, and you can make up for your
Combined with the Motivational Media presentation was a short talk by each of the groups who benefit from the Community Service group fundraising efforts. We heard from representatives of Stewart House (Yr 7), Jeans for Genes (Yr 8), Bogabilla Central School (Yr 9), Sir Roden Cutler Charities (Yr 11) and Oasis (Yr 12). Ms Kaye (Community Service Coordinator) organised each of these people to speak to the school to raise awareness about the need to keep our efforts going to assist with essential research and financial aid to these organisations. On Tuesday 24th March a mufti day and fundraising bar-b-que was held to raise money for Bogabilla Central School and another was held on Tuesday 7th April for Stewart House.
We are also working towards a more effective and inclusive Sun Safe policy and seek the
assistance of parents in ensuring their son has a hat and sunscreen in their school bag each day.
A combined effort between school and home will help communicate the important message to our
young men about the dangers associated with unprotected exposure to the sun. Have a safe and
happy Easter break.
Last Saturday, a record number of boys showed up for the first invitational carnival of the GPS athletics season. Even though there were some interesting distances run, a number of good results were chalked up throughout the age groups. Stand out performances included Pasan Pannila running an excellent 1000m in 2:57.6 minutes to claim first place in the 15s. Harry Heo cleared 1.55m for second in the 14s high jump. In the 16s Giancarlo Romeo ran a blistering time of 18.38 sec in the 150m and Brian Kelly recorded 7.52 sec in winning the 60m sprint. Josh Tassell recorded the fastest 60m of the day running 6.97 sec to win the 17s. In the Open 3000, Jeremy Ireland and Harrison Lane ran an equal time of 9 minutes 30.5 seconds as High filled 3 of the top 4 GPS places. It was a great start to a new season, and with more training and preparation, we can continue to go up from here.
The Inaugural Jaggar Gift
The inaugural Jaggar Gift was held this past Monday. Students crowded the finish line to cheer on all of the participants who were vying for the grand prize of forty dollars. The Junior race proved to be exciting with people at both ends of the handicap finishing in the top three, with a thrilling sprint at the end to finish the first of hopefully many races to come. The Senior race showed the handicaps really giving an even chance to everybody, with the top three finishers having mid-field starts. Overall the Jaggar Gift is a new and exciting concept that we can all hope to see for many years to come.
To volunteer for the High Store please call Michelle on 9331 7075.
To volunteer for the School Canteen please call Tracey or Karen on 9360 4027
The Bulletin Board for Sydney Boys High P & C
Upcoming Parent Meetings & Events (details in High Notes)
Sydney Boys High Cricket
Last Friday night 130 attended the Dinner and Presentation of Awards and enjoyed seeing the boys receive their awards for their season’s efforts. The night culminated with the presentations by the Captains of the 1st and 2nd XIs which created some humorous moments as with the Drawing of the multi prize raffle which the Year 7 boys in attendance virtually scooped the pool winning 6 of the 10 prizes. The success of the night can be attributed to Mrs Barbara Taylor, the Dinner Coordinator who did a magnificent job. Our sincere thanks to Barbara.
Below are lists of the Award winners in two categories and the Team Awards are displayed on the Cricket Website
13A. Ned ANSON 170 runs
BOWLING AGGREGATE (s)
CRICKET WEBSITE—NEW OFF SEASON UPDATES-