High Notes, Vol 11 No 1, January 29 2010

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From the Principal

Welcome back!
Welcome to new staff, students and parents – thank you for choosing to join us at High. Welcome back to existing staff, parents and students gearing up for another busy year. The academic year 2010 is shaping up as the year of the laptop, with students in Years 9 and 10 having access to DER machines and TSO support services. We will be experimenting with curriculum compacting for Year 9 geography and history courses. As a result, Year 9 boys will have only two electives in 2010 but three in 2011.This year we will focus on consolidating the improvements we have had built in the learning environment – science labs, Great Hall kitchen and the new COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area). Additional funds will have to be allocated to support new services. Data projection will become commonplace in teaching / learning spaces in 2010. We are increasing resourcing to our two libraries – the Andrews Library and the Macdonald Library. All students are encouraged to make full use of these facilities. Money will have to be spent on the grounds again and we have yet to have our asbestos remediation works commenced.

Staff changes
For 2010 we welcome a new permanent staff member, Rachel Powell, Head Teacher of History, replacing Con Barris in that role. Temporary staff covering unfilled vacancies or staff on leave include: Ross Elliott replacing Eric Choy, Eric Choy replacing Chris Kourtesis (Mathematics), Paul Wright - replacing Mary Boukatos, Annalise Mack replacing Vicky Dunk (English), Graziano Perre replacing Bob Benett, Ingrid Hybler replacing Brian Deeming, Robyn O’Driscoll and Terry Russell replacing Dominiki Damianos ( all in Science).

High Talent
At the end of last year High entered crews in the NSW Sprint Championships, one of the few regattas to carry Championship status. Gold medals were earned by the Open Lightweight Quad Scull - Michael Ambrose, Ben Li, Pravin Radhakrishran, Gareth Deacon and by the U19 Coxless Four - Pravin Radhakrishran, Tim Gollan, Max Kite, Michael Ambrose. Silver medals went to: the U19 Coxed Four - James Whiting, Dominic Edgtton, Jack Musgrove, Andrew Blomberg, Cox: Gareth Deacon and the U17 Double Scull - Alex Lazarou, Vlad Boulavine Bronze medals were gained by the U17 Quad Scull - Chun Wong, Benjamin Li, Walter Santucci, Bach Trang.

Construction work
All the major construction work for the COLA, science laboratories and Great Hall Kitchen has been completed. However, some minor work remains and not all barriers have been removed. Your patience is requested for a week or so until all the jobs are signed off. The Macdonald Wing ground floor entrance underneath the archway is not open this week. It is expected to be clear by Monday morning.

Unfortunately, during the January parking period, one group forfeited the proceeds of their parking day (no volunteers) and another was fined $600 for supplying insufficient volunteers. Co-curricular groups (parents, students, Old Boys, friends) have to support their Parking Coordinators and MICs by giving their time to raise funds for their activities. Email addresses have to be checked by Coordinators and refreshed. Telephone calls need to be made to ensure numbers and Samson needs to be called if there is a problem. If Coordinators are in trouble with numbers, they should call in another group to make the day happen and share the proceeds proportionately. If information is needed on participants in activities, please contact Cathy Northey before the end of term 4 the year before the parking event.
Dr K A Jaggar

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From the two Libraries

Libraries play significant role in Gagne updated Model of Giftedness
Librarians have always been aware of the popularity of their libraries as far as the students are concerned. We only have to look at our OASIS borrowing figures to see that. Or the numbers in our Libraries before school, at recess or at lunchtime.

In our school for talented children our 600 Seniors borrowed 2907 resources and our 600 Juniors borrowed 9107 in 2009. In all 12,014 resources were loaned. In 2009 an average week in the Andrews Junior Library saw 3066 self directed learning visits or 122,628 per year from our 600 Juniors. From our “what the heck happens in the library in a week” survey we are well aware that SBHS students see the library as the kick off point for assignments, study for exams, reading and homework, use of laptops as well as many other activities. This indicates quite direct support for SBHS student use of their libraries as per the Developmental Process defined in the Gagne Model of Giftedness.

Given the experimentation with bookless libraries for Seniors last year (which accounted for the lower loan figures quoted above for the Senior School) it was particularly heartening to hear Dr Jaggar tell our whole staff that he saw the SBHS Libraries as playing an important role in the investment area of the developmental process for gifted students according to the Gagne model for giftedness. Of course libraries and online information sources also play important roles in content and perhaps even access in the Gagne model – if OASIS loan figures for 2009 are telling us anything.

Order with your credit card from: heraldeducation.com.au
Year 7 parents and new students please note! Cost for full year $40 in 10
The Sydney Morning Herald offers all our students access to the HSC deal of cheap Heralds from Monday to Sunday. We keep these papers behind the Circulation desk for you in the Andrews Library. In order to use this service our staff needs you to hand in a printed sheet with your transaction number on it and your son’s name and class clearly indicated. You produce your ID card to pick up your paper.

STUDENT LIBRARIANS / MONITORSaward scheme points apply – names taken now! Staff from both libraries are happy to have the assistance of student helpers. Please come to the Circulation Desk and put your name in a space that you nominate to work regularly. (Only in one space please!)

The Librarians are sending out a plea to our parent body for the donation of newish books (under 7 years old please) which your family has read. We are happy to accept adult literature as this is what our Seniors read. We have been very fortunate to have some really thoughtful parents who have assisted us to make use of leftovers from book fairs for the last three years and the quality of our library has improved enormously as a result. Could householder parents continue to think about us in 2010.

MINI BOOK FAIR?? An encouragement for your son to read!
The donation of one book per child to either of our Libraries would bring us in 1200 new books this year and is something we need to seriously consider for 2010. If we organise a major book seller to set one up a book fair for us, your sons could choose a book they would like to read and purchase it for one of our Libraries. Of course they would get the first read. This is a great way to encourage your son to read and to have a stake in the library and feel at home there. More on this as we get up and running. We are happy for your son to write a review of his book which is published on the Library Website and in High Notes.

BOOKS MOVING INTO THE SENIOR LIBRARY – book security now operational
Sound odd? No one ever meant to put Seniors off reading. As half of the original Senior Study was re-named and refurnished as a book free library in 2009 it does need to be said that the 2010 Senior Library has now been set up with resource security, so fiction, non – fiction, magazines and DVDs – will now be able to be loaned from this library. As there is very little room for shelving only a sample of the senior resources which the two libraries house will be able to be on display to encourage Senior boys to interact with all types of resources and not just to rely on on-line resources, wonderful though they are. It is quite likely that this sample display will change over now and then. So boys keep your eyes on that space! Please also remember to regard both libraries as your libraries. The Andrews Library is still made up of 2/3 Senior resources. You will have to travel a little to access them that is all. New library resource displays for Seniors will be up on the windows of the Senior Library this year.

JUNIORS IN MACDONALD WING LIBRARY AND SENIORS IN ANDREWS LIBRARY – vertical streaming in action. The two libraries will be operating as one library with a common catalogue. Library staff see the two libraries as one entity in terms of purchasing and working together. It will now be quite normal to see junior boys accessing books or other resources from the senior shelves. It has always been normal for senior boys to be encouraged to use their resources housed in the Andrews Library. This encouragement will continue. Juniors will borrow from the Circulation desk in the Senior Library. Juniors will continue to have priority to use Andrews Library Computers and Seniors to use Mac Donald Wing Library Computers.
Mrs Crothers
Librarian Andrews Library.

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Sport Donations

GPS sports competition is very demanding on people and resources. At High we have ongoing needs for facilities development, equipment and development through expert coaching. If you would like to help through a tax deductible donation for a particular sport, the appropriate form can be posted to you by calling 9361 6910. Alternatively, you can go to our website www.sydneyboyshigh.com click on Sport/Sports Donations to download either Development Donation Form or Equipment and Facility Donation Form.

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High Store

To Volunteer for the high Store please call Michelle on 9331 7075

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To Volunteer for the School canteen please call Tracey or Karen on 9360 4027

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SHS Rowing Committee

January Holidays Senior Rowing Selection Camp 2010
In a new addition to the High Rowing Calendar, in mid-January the Senior GPS group went up to Taree for a one week training and selection camp on the Manning River. The Croker family, famous for their oars, were exceptional hosts, and the only distraction at the venue was the playful dolphins in the river outside our camp.

Some exceptional quality rowing was done at camp, including the 1st IV doing an impressive lap of Oxley Island (28-30km) voluntarily. A feat only ever matched in a four by an Australian Senior National Team a decade ago, and they didn’t carry a coxswain. .

This camp was very well supported by many parents and friends of High Rowing, with some even travelling down from Queensland to help out. My personal thanks to everyone who supported this camp. Your help has given the club great momentum going into the first GPS regatta this weekend.
Simon Hoadley
MIC Rowing

On January 10th 26 senior High rowers boarded the bus for the 4 hour trip north to Oxley Island, at the mouth of the Manning River, near Taree. The first of its kind, this week long January camp was introduced by our MIC, Simon Hoadley, and we camped on the river at Croker’s Farm. Being an inaugural experience there were many challenges presented, such as the sleeping in tents for 6 nights, the intensity of the heat, and the prevalence of insects and spiders. However, as a shed, we pulled through very well and were able to focus mainly on our rowing which led to huge benefits throughout all of the crews.

While the first day was mainly taken up by travel and setting up, we launched straight into high intensity selections for days two and three. These 2 days were sets of 950m seat races between randomly selected fours, which were mixed up and remixed, racing to gauge the margins between individual rowers. By the third day those trying out for the first eight had completed 19 of these, and those in contention for the 2nd eight and the fours had completed even more. These numbers are huge compared to the usual 4-8 used for selections, and I know at least from a personal perspective that it was the hardest sustained physical and mental challenge I have ever done. However because of highly contested positions in the eight we ended up having to do some timed 1000m pieces in eights to narrow down the final two positions, and even at this stage no place in the crew is finalised. Regardless of individual results, the benefits gained from such intensive racing were not lost on any of the competitors and even those who have not made their desired crew will have gained extremely valuable racing experience. .

Days 3-5 were used for training up the crews in a more focused fashion utilising the incredible water of the Manning as well as rowing coach guru Chick Graham. Chick came down from Tweed Heads to support us, and through his very personal direct style ingrained massive improvements throughout the senior program. With Steve and Jonathon Adams joining regulars Ollie and Simon we had enough coaches to ensure all rowers were receiving plenty of skills development. Some of the highlights of this training included the first four choosing to row the complete circumference of the island we stayed on, a gruelling 30km row only ever matched in a four by a national crew.

Other notable events were the dolphins who headed upstream with our boats while we were completing our final session, a tour of the Croker’s oar factory where they make most of the world’s oars, cattle herding on their farm, and a session at the beach with fish and chips for lunch.

The Croker’s were very hospitable welcoming 40 of us in total to camp in their paddocks, and of course a big thank you to all the parents who camped with us for the week and were able to cook such delicious nutritious meals and aid our recovery.

This was a completely new experience for High rowing, and a very successful one which will hopefully be continued strongly into the future.
Andrew Blomberg
Captain of Boats

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