High Notes, Vol 11 No 12, April 30 2010
From the Principal
Use of free time
Anzac Day Assembly
"Distinguished guests, Old Boys, staff and students, welcome to High’s Anzac Day Assembly. I acknowledge this morning the Presidents or Secretaries of the six RSL Sub-Branches who have honoured our Assembly today. Thank you to regulars, Bill Harrigan and Vic Thatcher, celebrating the occasion with us again. We have with us this morning as usual numerous Old Boy veterans, amongst them Major General Kevin Latchford, Air Vice Marshall Russell Law, Commodore Ian Callaway and Colonels Michael Bindley and Thomas Fuller. Thank you for all for coming on a school day which is the closest day to Anzac Day that our assembly has been held this century.
"On this occasion it is timely to reflect on Australia’s contribution to the maintenance of world peace through pre-emptive military campaigns and peace keeping operations conducted by the United Nations. Our soldiers continue to be deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor. Since this occasion last year, sadly, I find it difficult to detect much progress towards the avowed aim of the coalition to make the world safer by neutralising Al-Qaeda training bases and breaking up terrorist cells. Terrorist plots have been averted domestically but it is still cold comfort because so many serious terrorist acts have been committed internationally. Their frequency and intensity do not seem to have diminished despite various troop surges and policy changes. Pakistan has tried really hard this year to address its problem of terrorist bases on its soil, particularly in the Swat valley. The outcome of that campaign still hangs in the balance. Winning hearts and minds has proven to be much more challenging to the Coalition than planning and conducting successful military campaigns in the Middle East.
"Later today we will unveil an honour board commemorating the service of more than 50 High Old Boys in the Vietnam War, several of whom are here today. I am sure this list is far from complete. Vietnam, a complex conflict, is starting to be discussed more freely and unemotionally, so the service of our soldiers in that theatre of war is now becoming more properly recognised. We can feel proud of what attributes and values they modelled in the name of their country. It is past time that the reputations of the servicemen in that lamentable conflict were restored, irrespective of the aims or character of the war itself.
"Anzac Day has become a unique national civic ceremony. Australians celebrate it at home or at Gallipoli or Kokoda. For the second time many Australians will be at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, including our touring band of 50. Our students will be playing at the Anzac Day service there.
"Anzac Day is arguably the most significant, and certainly the purist, expression of Australian nationalism. Our broadened focus in terms of service across time and place, coupled with our desire to connect with multicultural and international perspectives, signifies, in my judgement, a maturing nation, steadier in its self-concept. As Australians we no longer have to force the ANZAC contribution to World War 1 to the forefront of remembrance discourse. We are comfortable enough now to place it in its proper perspective within an engulfing conflict.
"One such expression of a broadening view is the current movie Beneath Hill 60. The context of that snapshot of World War 1 was the mining of Messines ridge. In June,1917, Haig was allowed to launch the offensive which came to be known as the Third Ypres, or Passchendaele. He wanted to control the sickle–shaped ridges around Ypres. His first step was to capture the ridge and village at the handle of the sickle – Messines. Sir Herbert Plumer’s second army, including Godley’s II Anzac Corps and Monash’s 3rd division, was to be used. Plumer had a great planner in Monash and after two years on the Ypres salient he had learned that artillery had to be concentrated, that creeping barrages were necessary to protect infantry and that counter artillery planning was very helpful in offensives. Plumer deployed 2200 pieces of artillery on a 16 kilometre front. Since 1915, Allied tunnellers had constructed more than twenty galleries in the Flemish mud, some nearly 700 metres long and up to 30 metres deep, into which they loaded 400,000 tonnes of high explosives.
"On June 7 at 3:10 am nineteen mines exploded over a 45 second interval. Hill 60 was well to the north of the Anzac Corps position. It was the largest man made explosion in history, heard as far away as London. An estimated 10,000 Germans died. Many were demoralised as the attack by 80,000 Allied troops began. The German frontline was overrun within thirty-five minutes. During the day’s fighting that followed, the ridge, the slopes behind it, the fortified villages, and the Oosttaverne Line were all taken. No British attack of the First World War succeeded so well on the first day. The immense explosion, as portrayed in part by the story of Hill 60, played a major role in that success.
"Such accounts of war are retold on these occasions to emphasise the awful impartiality of the
circumstances of loss of individual lives that occurs in war. We need to remember that people on
both sides did their duty and what a sacrifice that was for so many! Consider them on April,
From the Libraries
From the Andrews Library
LIBRARY BOOK FAIR –
(Quote voucher code BAU-SHORT25)
IS MUM ONLY THE COOK, BOTTLE WASHER AND CONFIDANT? OUR LIBRARIANS THINK SHE CAN RELAX WITH A BOOK.
Mrs Crothers has gone to Borders at Bondi Junction and personally selected 200 or so current books suitable for women for Mothers’ Day. If boys think they would like to buy Mum a book they can follow the links from sydneyboyshigh.com and show Mum the book (See Mothers’ Day in comments) and even look up book reviews there to see that it is just what Mum likes. Until Saturday May 1st at midnight all online orders to borders.com.au are 25% off.
EARLY BIRD OFFER –
Our librarians have listed 700 current books direct from Borders Bondi bookshelves on the Book Fair website which can be found by following the links from sydneyboyshigh.com. EVERY SINGLE BOYS BOOK CURRENTLY AT BORDERS BONDI IS LISTED. So, boys, there is a great choice. You should be able to find a book you will love to read. All ordering is online from home to ensure security with credit card details.
NEW RESOURCES IN ANDREWS LIBRARY
From the MacDonald Senior Library
AT LAST BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!
Keep an eye out for new magazines added recently including Cosmos, describing itself as being about “The Science of everything” and includes articles this month about “The Truth about Vitamins”, “Secrets of the Sphinx”, “Science and Certainty” and the climate science debate, and “Is Anyone Listening?...why the galaxy is likely to be buzzing with civilisations”.
For those who enjoy reading and books, a new magazine appropriately titled “Good
Reading: the magazine for book lovers” is also being added to our magazine collection.
It contains interesting articles on authors, reviews of latest fiction and non-fiction books,
competitions, book club, author profiles, new book guide plus articles of interest about
literature, and literary places and subjects. Great for readers of all ages, persuasions and
Junior School Dance, May 3rd 7-10pm:
Student Award Scheme:
Sydney High School Cadet Unit
March-April has been a very busy time for High cadets with members attending unit and battalion bivouacs, the Adventure Award assessment and ANZAC duties.
The last three days of 1st term saw the unit bivouacing in the field at Holsworthy. Primarily it was an opportunity for our newer cadets to experience living in the field in their “hootchies”. All survived and took home new skills and confidence in their ability to live without the usual home comforts.
Our battalion held a four day activity at Holsworthy during the first week of the holidays. High cadets attending enjoyed a somewhat different activity than usual – from three course sit down dinners in the Jordan Lines mess, visits to Parliament House in Sydney & HMAS Kuttabul to a F88 Austeyr service rifle shoot.
ADVENTURE TRAINING AWARD SUCCESS
Our congratulations to Jim, Alan and Alex on their success in this tough assessment.
ANZAC DAY PUBLIC DUTIES
We provided a banner party for the 2/1st Field Regiment Association. The 2/1st Field Regt was an artillery unit with a long, proud record of service in World War 2. It is an honour to help these men who served the nation.
CADET UNDER OFFICER MICHAEL DO
REQUIREMENTS FOR ENROLMENT AS AN ARMY CADET
(A limited number of Term 2 enrolments are available)
Red Cross Blood Drive
On Monday, 29 March 2010 (Term 1 Week 10), 59 SBHS and 38 SGHS students participated in the Community Service Committee's first combined blood drive. Donors gathered throughout the day to catch courtesy buses (operated by volunteer drivers) and maxi-taxis to Red Cross donor centres at Elizabeth and Clarence St in the city. At the venues, students were interviewed by staff, getting their blood pressure taken and haemoglobin levels determined. Blood was then extracted in a friendly and relaxing environment, far superior to that of a dental clinic or hospital ward. The donation process itself was smooth and barely noticeable, except for one small jabbing sensation
Donors were then offered free food and refreshments - milkshakes, juices, toast, sandwiches and
hot dogs. They returned to school fresh and alert, with a small bandage on their arm - their
badge of honour. Most importantly, our combined efforts across the two schools have helped save
291 lives! The boys should also be congratulated on their victory over the girls, disproving
widespread perception of females being the more charitable gender. Let us defend this victory in
our next blood drive! During the school holiday period, participants received donor
identification cards in the mail, indicating their ABO and Rh blood groups. In future, we have
confidence that more boys will make the experience even richer and more enjoyable by inviting a
girl to donate blood with them. The turnout for couples in this blood drive was a little
disappointing, with only one couple taking the initiative to donate together. We hope that our
next combined SBHS and SGHS blood drive will see that number climb at least into the double
digits! The Community Service Committee is extremely grateful to all of the students who took the
time to donate blood in our first combined blood drive. Each participant has saved three lives.
We especially encourage students who were unable to donate blood this time round to join us in
our next blood drive, or take the time to donate blood at a donor centre at a time of their
choosing. Australia needs 26 000 blood donations every week which are vital to over 300 000
Australians each year undergoing treatment for cancer and blood diseases, as well as over 3 000
babies born prematurely or with serious medical conditions. So, once again, thank you and
congratulations to the unsung heroes of Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls High! The SBHS Community
Service Committee is continually undertaking initiatives to help the community. Look out for our
next event, coming soon!
The Bulletin Board for Sydney Boys High P & C
First Meeting for all Year 7 Parents
Upcoming Parent Meetings & Events (details in High Notes)
From the High Store
MOTHER’S DAY IDEA
Teachers Federation Re: League Tables
Teachers Federation letter to parents regarding school league tables
The teachers at our school are writing to you to explain why we oppose the publication of school league tables. We hold these views strongly because the creation and publication of school league tables by the media will undermine the educational outcomes of your children.
Recently, commercial media organisations created and published school league tables using the ‘NAPLAN’ data from the Federal Government’s MySchool website. NAPLAN is the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy tests given in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. In NSW, legislation has previously stopped newspapers publishing league tables.
Now media organisations are demanding the right to publish their own score card on schools. They make up these tables in order to make money. Politicians are now allowing the media to produce a spurious ranking which names and shames schools of their choosing. This is wrong and we can’t allow it to continue.
The NAPLAN tests were designed to assess each child in aspects of literacy and numeracy. The purpose was to find out more about what each child can and can’t do so that we — teachers and parents together — can help them to do even better.
Teachers do not oppose the tests if they are used to help students learn. We strongly oppose the misuse of students’ test scores to rank students and schools against each other.
The NAPLAN test has a place but schools do much more than teach literacy and numeracy. The over-emphasis on a test given in one week every two or so years will force teachers to cut other parts of the curriculum such as history, geography, music and physical education.
We can’t let this happen. School league tables have already severely undermined the quality of education in England and the United States. At present, Australian school performance is far above the performance of these countries. We can’t let misguided politicians import the known failures of overseas governments into Australia. The education of our children is too important.
For these and other reasons we want the government to again put in place laws to stop league tables being published in any print, electronic or other media.
It is important to us that teachers and parents work together to ensure schools have the best chance to provide a quality public education for all children.
From the Canteen
$10 canteen voucher winners…
The $10 Thank You Vouchers for Term 1 have been won by: Jenny Dong (February) and Pauline Chan (March).
Thanks so much to them for being part of our happy band of volunteers. We know their sons will make good use of their vouchers. Watch this space for next month’s winner!
Volunteer help is vital to ensure healthy food for our boys and an ongoing income stream to the P&C for allocation to worthy school projects. Many thanks to the following people who volunteered in canteen last week – their names will go into the April draw for their son to win a canteen voucher.
Cia Koukouras, Jenny Dong, Jade Ni, Doris Fong, Steve Saunders, May Leung, Charles Ovadia, Carrie Waring, Marvin Loll, David Mah, Barbara Taylor, Amy Deng, Jeffi Wu, Li Yang, Christina Chow.
Special mentions from last week also to the grandfather who cheerfully rolled up his shirt sleeves and helped out, the dad who came in 2 mornings for a few hours and the boy who rang from Paris on music tour to specifically remind his mum!! Well done to all!!
Please phone Tracey and Karen on 9360 4027 to organise days you are free to help. They really
would appreciate it!
Good Luck to all our boys contesting the Eastside Semi Finals Tonight!!
FED continues for two more weeks with the semi finals and grand finals week 5-7 Tonight’s FED debate is against Newington at HOME – Topic Area SPORT
Year 8 Coach Dom won the Best Speaker award. Year 10 coach Nina (and her team) won the whole competition. Lucian (Year 10 Coordinator) and Cat (Year 7 Coordinator) were on a team together that also made the semi finals. Their accomplishments give definite meaning to the phrase practise what you preach.
Further selections information will be available in coaching and will be emailed out to parents for their reference.
In general, however, all Years will apply the following criteria in selecting teams:
All parents should be advised that these teams are crafted based on the experience of the coaches with all the boys across the coaching year groups. Year 7 parents should not be concerned that their son has not had many opportunities for competition debating – as we focus on giving each boy (in a large coaching group) at least 1 chance of debating. In turn the Trial performance AND their coaching performance are of special importance.
More information can be found at www.sydneyhigh.org.au/debating and will be emailed to you on a weekly basis.
Please CHECK YOUR EMAIL regularly and ensure we have current contact details for both students
Welcome to the 2010 Season of Football at SBHS.
Here is some information that we hope you will find helpful.
Sydney High has 450 football players and 29 football teams this year.
Pre-season trials will be played on: 1st May, 8th May, 15th May (NB: No games on 22nd May)
Pre-season game vs Grammar 29th May.
GPS Competition Starts on 5 June and finishes on 21 August.
5 June vs Newington
Kick-off Times & Venues
How to get to away games
End of Season Football Dinner and Awards night
Coaches, managers and referees
Wet Weather Information
Wet Weather Information - Saturday Sport
For regular updates on Saturday sport during times of inclement weather, parents and students are asked to check the school’s website throughout the day. The information can be found by going to the school’s website at www.sydneyboyshigh.com then by clicking on the fixture details under the heading of ‘Upcoming events’ i.e. Saturday, May 1 SHS v NC. Cancellations can then be found by scrolling down the page to the specific sport and team. If there is no information specific to sport cancellations then assume by default that sport will go ahead. Please note that the current ‘Sports Wet Weather line’ is inoperable.
Changes to Sport Policy
Students and parents should read the changes to the School’s Sport Policy which is detailed on the school’s website and outlined below:
Sport Policy Sydney Boys High encourages participation in team sports for educational reasons. Team sports build a sense of belonging in boys, a connectedness with the school; teamwork skills are developed; individual self-confidence and self-esteem are enhanced through group endeavour; and socialisation at school is fostered through ready topics of conversation among team members.
Teams help and protect their members. Sydney Boys High is unique among NSW state secondary schools due to its membership since 1906 of the Athletic Association of Great Public Schools, formed in 1892 to order and regulate sporting fixtures for schools with senior students. The other eight members of this Association (commonly called the 'GPS') are private schools.
The school expects students to engage in at least one GPS sport per year. This commitment includes Saturday competition. We encourage boys to get involved in aerobic fitness activities (the athletics and cross country programs) to help them in their chosen sports. To help their strength in anaerobic activities we offer supervised weights training.
The policy of the school is that sport is compulsory all year for students in Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 and for up until the HSC exams in Year 12. Those students who are unable to participate in Saturday sport are to address this in writing with complete details to the Head Teacher-Sport at the beginning of the year.
It is the policy of the school to support GPS sports in the season that they are contested by the members of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools.
This means that equipment costs, venue hire, travel to certain venues, particular coaching fees, competition entry fees, charges for referees or umpires, capitation fees and entry fees for knockout competitions, are paid for from school funds. Competition entry fees for representative teams for all sports are paid for from school funds. The school charges parents a global fee and in addition, a sports levy, to cover these costs.
Saturday Sport Absences
Students and parents are asked to communicate known absences to the Master in Charge (MIC) and to their specific team coach in the week leading up the match. If a student is ill, it is expected the illness will be communicated directly to the coach and Master in Charge (MIC) on the day of the match. Students who do not communicate illnesses or absences will be given a warning ‘Yellow Card’. A further breach in terms of an unexplained absence will mean a red card in which the student will be suspended from the sport for 2 weeks. If a third unexplained absence occurs, then the student will be removed from the sport for the remainder of the season. For a student to receive credit towards their Half Yearly and Yearly Reports, 100% attendance or full communication of absences is expected.
Second unexplained absence = Removed from the sport for two weeks, Red Card
Third unexplained absence = removed from the sport for the remainder of the season
100% attendance = credit given for participation on Half Yearly/Yearly Reports
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.