High Notes, Vol 12 No 29, September 16 2011

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From the Principal

High Talent
A wonderful effort was made by our boys in Years 10-12 on behalf of Daffodil Day. Mr Phillipson reports that our teams raised $38,740. Congratulations to Daniel Dong (Year 12) and Nicholas Costa (Year 10) who each achieved the highest score in NSW/ACT for their respective years in the UNSW - ICAS - Science Competition. Great work boys! Well done to Adam Booth (Year 11) for his win in the NSW Little Athletics State Cross Country and Road Walks 4000m. At the recent Philosothon competition at Ascham, Medals were won by Kushaal Vyas (Year 10) “Best philosophical Engagement” and Robert Sternhell (Year 11) “Best contribution to discussion”. Well done, boys!

Our Opens basketball team have become undefeated state champions, defeating Scots College in the final of the All Schools tournament. Congratulations to: David Nguyen, Scott Renzenbrink, Eamon Kelly, Christian Jurlina, Emmett Naar, Lloyd Perris, Daniel Jones, Craig Moller and Andrija Dumovic. Congratulations to the boys and to their coaches Ben and Alex Hayman for a wonderful team effort. Well done to Terence Zhou (Year 10) who won a gold medal at the Tae Kwon Do National championships 2011 in the Red belt 14-15 years , 68-73kg category.

Chess Victories
At the GPS Chess Tournament hosted by High last weekend, Dawen Shi, Edward Naoumov, Jonathan Ren, Daniel Zhang, Eric Xu, Darryl Chan, Ennes Mehmedbasic, Cosmo Liu, and Felix Wang (R), won comfortably from SGS (43: 37.5), to claim the title for SHS for the sixth year in succession. The day before, the combined GPS team defeated CAS 10.5: 4.5. High’s representatives in the combined team were: Dawen Shi, Edward Naoumov, Jonathan Ren, Dominic Mah, Eric Xu and Darryl Chan. In the JCL competition, Dawen Shi, Edward Naoumov, Jonathan Ren, Ennes Mehmedbasic, Ilya Bonch-Osmolovsky and Ming-En Chin, won the NSW Junior League Chess competition – Senior Division. The Intermediate A team: Daniel Zhang, Eric Xu, Darryl Chan, Dominic Mah and Cosmo Liu, won the Metropolitan East final. Congratulations to all the boys and thanks to Vladimir Feldman, their coach, and to Mr Dowdell who has been doing Friday evening duty while Mr Harvey is away.

The GPS Heads decisions At this term’s GPS Heads Committee meeting the following arrangements for the conduct of sport were confirmed. An Intermediate Division Trophy for Athletics will be awarded from 2012 at the Athletics carnival. Two-round competitions in tennis and football will NOT be played. The amended By-Laws for cricket, involving the new Competition format, were approved by the Heads. For rugby, a Third Grade Competition was approved for the 2012 season only. In rugby, TAS/High/SGS will combine and play home games at their home grounds. Our home fixtures are 28/7/2012 v Newington; 11/8/2012 v Shore; 1/9/2012 v Scots; and 8/9/2012 v SGS.

In the junior games, SGS will compete at A level, SHS in B and TAS in C. The grading of teams may be altered by Head Teachers of Sport after the SHS v TAS and G v H Trials. By-laws will have to be altered so that reserves who have not played in a previous game can be used in first and second grade GPS fixtures. High’s home matches will have to be finalised by 2:15 to allow third grade players from visiting schools to travel to Weigall to act as reserves against SGS in first grade.

Trial games will be problematic for SHS. On May 12 we play St Pius X but have no fixtures for May 26. We are scheduled to play TAS on June 2 and we are away to SGS on June 16. We really have very few football trials arranged. There are challenges ahead for Mark Pavone, the Football and Rugby MICs and P & C committees.

The Code of Practice agreed to by Headmasters in my first year at High (August, 2000), was tabled.

  1. No inducements, such as sporting scholarships, whether direct, disguised, or at arm’s length, shall be offered by any member school. Financial assistance to talented sportsmen shall not form part of the enrolment strategy of any member school.
  2. We affirm that the Headmaster of each school is responsible for knowing the special circumstances relating to the admission of boys to his school.
  3. In the selection and training of boys in teams or crews, the good of the individual boy shall remain paramount.
  4. While allowing for some exceptional circumstances, we believe that it is poor educational practice for a boy to engage in a single sport throughout the year.

I would like to be confident that at High all staff members, coaches, parents and friends of High, uphold both the letter and the spirit of these four statements of intent. I want to be able to sign off on the Code of Practice safe in the knowledge that no one is purporting to act on behalf of the school in any way contrary to the terms of this Code.
Dr K A Jaggar

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Gifted and Talented

Recent weeks have been extremely busy for students involved in co-curricular activities.

Tournament of Minds was held at the Australian Catholic University, Strathfield on 27th August. We registered a team in the Language/Literature challenge: Allan Feng (Yr10) Sunny Cheng and Riley Irwin (Yr9) Dominic He (Yr8) and Kieryn Mascarenhas and Stratton Vakirtzis from Year 7, and another in the Social Science challenge: Marc Betbeder-Metibet and Madison Wu (Yr8) and Peter Lin, Andrew Nguyen, Justis Ngo Nguyen, Thomas Nguyen and Max Koslowski (Yr7) It was terrific to have so many enthusiastic Year 7 students involved this year. Although the boys did not get a place, they should be commended for their independence in developing a solution for their respective challenges and in organising themselves as teams to execute their scenarios on the day. Special thanks to Year 11 students Sooraj Prakash and Christopher Chiam for facilitating the general training in the lead up to the issuing of the tasks. Chris needs to be congratulated for taking the initiative to attend their performances and to support them should any problems have arisen. (I’m very grateful to him, given that I had judging commitments and was unable to be in 2 places at once!)

Da Vinci Decathlon was delayed this year due to building works at Knox Grammar. Their new multi-purpose centre is a wonderful venue and it was worth waiting for it to be constructed. (We’re all very envious. What a facility!) The all-day event was held Monday 5th Sept for Years 7 and 8 and on Tuesday 6th Sept for Years 9 and 10. The teams consist of 8 students who are chosen from the all-rounder lists and through staff recommendation of students in specialist areas such as Art, DT and Drama.

The Year 7 team consisted of Preetham Kadappu, Aiden Karahasan, Fayed Morshedi, Karsten Michael, Thomas Nimac, Kai Matsumoto, Stratton Vakirtzis, and Peter Lin. They were disappointed that they did not gain a medal but their team work was excellent. Christopher Chiam (Yr11) used his 4 years of experience in Da Vinci teams to train the boys and to give them a sense of what is required in this event. Their best results were 2nd in Forensic Sleuths, 3rd in Science and 4th in Code breaking. The boys showed how reliable and independent they are by meeting at 7am at Central for an 8.15 start at Knox- quite an achievement for Year 7!

The Year 8 team had the advantage of including some students who participated last year: Wesley Beare, Leonard Mah, Adilmorad Nadir, Benjamin Nguyen and Jesse Nixon were joined by Niyaz Mostafa, Marc Betbeder-Matibet and Thomas George. Their best results were in Games of Strategy where they were 2nd, Code Breaking-8th and a 1st for the speed with which they demolished the pizzas at lunchtime. They are to be congratulated for their good behaviour travelling to and from Knox.

Our Year 9 team was outstanding. Henry Feng, Michael Hauser, Anes Karahasan, Gideon Kwok, Robert Tan, Edric Wang, Riley Irwin, William Wu worked very effectively as a team to achieve an amazing 2nd place and medals to prove it! They were 1st in Mathematics, Science, 2nd in General Knowledge, 3rd in Art and Poetry and 5th in Engineering. (I’ll delay speaking to them about their 26th place for English until they’ve basked in the glory of the rest of their results!) They were exemplary ambassadors for the school in all respects.

This year’s representatives from Year 10 were: Albert Chau, Alexander Nguyen, Safat Sufien, Eric Xu, Calum York, Kin Pan, Jacky Zhu and Andrew Cha. The competition was fierce and they did well to achieve a 6th place overall. They should be congratulated for 1st place in Games of Strategy, 2nd place in Code Breaking, 4th place in Mathematics and top 10 for Engineering and Art/Poetry. These young men showed independence, academic skill, fantastic team work and mature behaviour.

It’s a pleasure and a privilege to accompany students of this calibre. They are supportive of each other, they show their pride in the school through their appearance and demeanour and they treat others with respect.

The Hale School summarised the values of philosophy in this way:

Thinking philosophically is an adventure – a journey to the outer limits of thought and understanding. The activity of philosophising can help to foster important thinking skills, highly transferable skills that never go out of date. Certainly these skills are often of use to professionals, which is why many businesses place great value on an academic qualification in philosophy. There is also growing evidence that encouraging collective philosophical debate in the classroom can have measurable education benefits for children, enhancing not just their intellectual intelligence, but their social and emotional intelligence. It seems that even a little exposure to philosophy early on can be a profoundly life-enhancing thing, something very evident in all participants of this unique competition.

This is the second year that we have accepted an invitation from Mrs Anne McCallum, Ascham’s co-ordinator of Gifted and Talented. The event was held last Thursday night (8th Sept) at Ascham.

Our students were very fortunate this year to have been facilitated in their preparation by Dr Karyn Lai (mother of Toby Funston in Year 11) who is Lecturer and Coordinator of the Philosophy Program at UNSW. Dr Lai generously offered her time and expertise to our students over many hours in the preceding weeks. Her lunchtime sessions were popular with other students as well as those selected for the occasion. At times, the community of enquiry swelled to a dozen enthusiastic philosophers.

Dr Lai’s encouragement and her willingness to share her knowledge and resources enabled our students to shine in their group discussions. They achieved a level of sophistication in their thinking and in their ability to articulate complex ideas that was very impressive.

Congratulations to Riley Irwin (Yr9) and Ben Hillier (Yr11) for meeting the challenge of philosophical discussion in very formidable company. They received certificates.

Khushaal Vyas was awarded a medal for Best Philosophical Engagement Year 10 and Robert Sternhell was awarded a medal for Best Contribution to Discussion Year11. These are outstanding achievements from exceptional students.

The boys were very vocal in their gratitude for the help they received from ‘Toby’s mum’. It was great to see so many parents there. Thanks must also go to Ascham for hosting a really exciting event and for generously including Sydney Boys High. (The catering was fabulous!)
J Eggleton
English Dept

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From the Junior Library

This service is being re-considered by heraldeducation.com. Personal Heralds will discontinue until next year. This service may resume next year. Staff can still order Heralds through the Herald in the Classroom staff arrangement.
Mrs Crothers
Junior library

Warning All students /parents are asked to check the Portal for overdue items.

If resources are not returned, parents will receive a letter asking for replacement costs. Please attend to these requests.
Mrs Crothers
Junior Library

Reading Torque

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884)

Edwin A Abbott writes under the pseudonym A Square, and tells a tale quite unlike his others.

Imagine life simplified to its basics. You keep the feudalism, and keep the discrimination against women, but flatten everyone to a 2D world, name it Flatland, and make men shapes and women sticks. You allow free movement, but no vertical ascension. The navigation of this world is supported by three senses: sight, touch and hearing. You call to your fellow shapes using a mouth plastered onto one of your sides, feel them to determine angle size and position of society, and see the fog define sides and shapes with eyes similarly stuck on.

All of this is brought to us by a humble inhabitant of Flatland: A Square, who spends the first thirteen chapters describing the world and its history, and on the fourteenth begins his own tale. He is visited by a sphere from the third dimension, Spaceland, and is unable to comprehend the third dimension. The sphere eventually educates him, and makes the square the “Gospel of the Three Dimensions”. Shortly after, he is thrown into prison for being a heretic.

Though confusing at points (try imagining rain on a flat plane) it offers pointed observations of the social and religious systems of Victorian culture. It makes an interesting and entertaining read for anyone who can be bothered to understand it. For extra credit, make yourself a shape in Spaceland, and imagine the fourth dimension.
Julian Tu
Year 7

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From the Canteen

Rostered days
If you find you are unable to do your rostered day in canteen, could volunteers please first

  • ring and ask another parent from the roster to swap with you and then
  • let canteen know 1-2 days before – especially if you haven’t found someone to come in your place.

The canteen can be left understaffed and overworked if the managers have not had enough time to try and find an emergency replacement. Sometimes we have had 2 or more helpers not be able to make it on their day so please ring the day before where possible - the managers and other volunteers on the day would be most appreciative. Thank you very much for your help in this regard.

High canteen generally needs 4 helpers every day to make the large amount of fresh, quality food for the boys that we do. The canteen always appreciates any offers of help particularly for days where we only have 2 helpers. Please ring canteen on 9360 4027 and speak to Tracey or Karen if you can help on any day.

Year 12 parent helpers
Our Year 12 parent helpers are officially coming to the end of their time at High. We would like to thank you all VERY much for the assistance you have given to the boys and their education at High by helping out in canteen. A number have said they are happy to do their last 1 or 2 rostered days in Term 4 to finish the school year. The canteen is most appreciative of this and we look forward to seeing all our Year 12 and other volunteers at our Thank You night at the end of the year, where we can thank you properly

Our thanks go to the following people for your help in canteen last week....

Monday: Pam Jepson, Mei Leung Gibbs – thank you, Mei, for filling in at short notice.
Tuesday: Annette Ng, Pauline Chan, Angela Feng,
Wednesday: Vicki Moller, Cindy Tseu, Jenny Mou,
Friday: Frances Salmon, Nina Ilina, Nina's mum - Bing Bai Vila (thank you very much, Bing), Sue Rynsaardt, Soogie Sim.

Thank you
The Canteen Team

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SBHS Debating

As debating dinner co-ordinator for 2011, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for your assistance for the debating dinner. To Dr Jaggar and Ms Powell for their continued support of the Debating program, to the office staff especially Lorraine, to our sponsors who gave so generously, to Helen Edgtton and Matthew Chiam who designed and printed our fantastic programmes for the evening, to the helpers who assisted with the setup of the Hall which looked amazing, to the caterers for great food, to the coaches for providing us with entertainment, to the parents and boys who helped to clean up at the end of the evening. To everybody. THANK YOU !!!! A special thank you to our 2 MCs for the evening Julian Ëdgtton and Christopher Chiam for ensuring that the night ran smoothly.
Karen Chiam
Debating Dinner Co-ordinator

Thank you very much to our sponsors for the evening:

Vics Meats
Manhattan Super Bowl
Thomsons Lawyer
DeBortoli Wines
Lion Nathan
and to St James Ethics Centre & Aloha Wellness for donating the Lucky Door Prizes which were won by Ashwin Rudder and Solh Peltier- Powell.

Debaters of the Year
Year 12 Ashwin Rudder
Year 11 Christopher Chiam
Year 10 Connor Robinson
Year 9 Edric Wang
Year 8 Niyazul Bari
Year 7 Elias Hall

Joseph Suttie Award
All Senior Debaters aim to be Firsts and if they can’t be Firsts they want to be Seconds. That is why I have really admired Thirds this year. I admire the 3 boys who were chosen as Thirds and the two reserves who regularly debated as part of their team. They illustrate an important lesson, to us all, that you shouldn’t give up just because things haven’t gone the way you hoped they would.. The Thirds won their GPS competition, but unfortunately there is no actual award attached to winning this part of the competition and so for those above reasons the Thirds: Siddarth, Tom, Suman, Zafar and Nicky were awarded the Joseph Suttie Award for team effort in debating.
Rachel Powell

DSG Meeting
We have a DSG meeting at 5.30 on Thursday 13th October. There will be some tea, coffee and cake provided. Please can you make the effort to attend this meeting which will be the AGM. I am looking, in particular for some of the Year 7 parents to take a more active role in the DSG. Many of our more active parents are of Senior students and they will be leaving in the next year or so. Please come along to find out a bit more about the work of the DSG and support your son and debating at High.

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 and parents.
PARENTS: If you are not receiving weekly emails about debating please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and ask to be added to the parent group for your child’s year.

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Cross Country Success

A recent article in the Southern Courier

Crossing his way to the top

CHAMPION cross country runner and Junior Sports Star nominee Adam Booth began competing in long-distance track events in primary school after he discovered he wasn't a strong sprinter. Rather than simply giving up, the-then student of Randwick Public School "kept at it" and switched his sights to longer distance running.

This year, Adam won first place in the boys' under 17s NSW Little Athletics State Cross Country and Road Walks 4000m event.

In recognition of his skill and good sportsmanship, the 16-year­old has been nominated by the Randwick Botany Little Athletics Club for the Courier's Junior Sports Star award.

"It's just training," the bashful Year 11 student from Sydney Boys High said. "The idea of athletics in general, especially in distance running, it's not about having a natural ability-that can only take you so far. It's mainly the mental capacity and stamina."

Tony Vecellio, president of the Little Athletics club, said he was proud to nominate Adam for the award. He said he was "a perfect example of all that is good" in athletics and a club role model.

"Adam was the centre captain two years ago and although nominated once again, he declined, to give others a go," he said. Adam's father, Graham Booth, said his son has "always given his all": "He'll always be number one in my eyes, no matter what position he comes."
Vanessa Watson
Southern Courier

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Athletics Report

GPS Invitational Carnival 10/9/11

It was a cool spring morning when the High athletics team met at ES Marks for the 3rd and final invitational athletics carnival before the AAGPS carnival. There was a light Easterly wind and the conditions were perfect for some fast times from the athletes.

The 13s this week had a very strong week once again. Led by Rick Saha who performed impressively in the 100m and 200m in 12.97 and 27.8 seconds respectively. Calvin Zhou ran a very impressive time in the 200m in 27.38 for the 13s as well. The 14s were once again a force to be reckoned with, with Leonard Mah dominating the sprints once again. And Joshua Leo winning the 400m impressively in the time of 56.7. The 15s had a good day as well, though a lack of participation in some of the races was very disappointing. Especially in the 200m where none of our sprinters turned up which resulted in some of our lower ranked runners running in the race. However, they all turned up for the 100m and a fast time of 11.78 was recorded by Maurice Lam. Anton Brokman also dominated his 800m race in the impressive time of 2:05. The 16s had a good day, with Allen Fu taking out the shot put with an impressive throw of 12.25m. Also a quick time of 11.5 by Eamon Kelly in the 100m was very good. The 17s was one of our strongest age groups this week. They won the Relay in the impressive time 46.1. Scott Renzenbrink led the charge with his 11.00 100m time and 22.61 in the 200m. Both very fast times. The opens suffered from a severe lack of commitment with barely any people showing up for the carnival which was very disappointing. Ashwin Rudder ran well in the hurdles to finish in the fast time of 17.85.

Overall this week was not as successful as last week’s carnival due to a lack of commitment from the students, we had several strong performances on the day but could have had more if more people had shown up for the Carnival.
Steve Comninos

CHS Athletics Report

The New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association was held on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September 2011. 11 people individually competed in this major sporting event, along with them, the 13s, 14s and 15s boys relay team. To be able to compete in State shows that these boys came in the top 3 for the track events, and/or top 2 for the field events, in the School Athletics Carnival, the Zone Carnival, and ultimately, the Sydney East Area Carnival. As always these boys performed to the best of their ability and giving it their all, despite injuries and some setbacks.

Byron Chen (Year 9) jumped an impressive 5.83m, but unluckily, came 4th due to strong competitors. Anton Brokman (Year 10) ran the 800m, and finished with a solid 5th place in the finals. Dominic Mah (Year 10) ran the 100 hurdles and finished with 6th place, due to strong winds. Lloyd Perris (Year 11) ran the 800m and finished with a new Personal Best time of 2min and 5sec. Adam Booth (Year 11) came a strong 2nd in the 2000m steeplechase with an astonishing time of 6min and 54 secs. The 14s boys 4x100 relay team finished with an impressive 3rd place, and a time of 48sec. The 15s boys 4x100 relay team, unfortunately came 4th but ran a significant 47 secs flat!

A special mention to the following people: Ivor Metcalf (Year 10) ran the 110 hurdles, took the gold, and demolished the other competitors by a full second. He continued to produce a massive 6.39m in Long Jump, taking a second gold medal. Again, jumping a remarkable 13.06m in triple jump, he received his third gold medal. And finally, generating a 1.9m in High Jump, he took his final and fourth gold medal home. Congratulations to Ivor! Chris Morrow (Year 12) took a bronze in the finals for the Opens 110 hurdles. He was unfortunately beaten in the Opens high jump by 5 cm, but nevertheless, received a silver medal for his 2m jump.

These impressive results just show how deep our school’s athletics program goes and how hard these boys train to achieve podium finishes.
Byron Chen.  

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SBHS Cricket Season Launch

The SBHS Cricket Committee invites all players, parents and coaches to launch SBHS 2011 Cricket Season

The Outterside Centre
5 Teviot Ave Abbotsford
Friday 14 October 2011
5:30pm - 8:00pm

Come and enjoy a barbecue by the water
Soft drinks provided by BYO wine and beer permitted

  • First XI introduced
  • Barry Davison, SBHS Director of Coaching outlines our goals for the season
  • Guest speakers:
    • Gary Whitaker - Sydney University Director of Coaching and the Sydney Cricket Association's 2010-11 Coach of the Year
    • Greg Mail - one of Sydney's most prolific run scorers both at Grade and NSW Sheffield Shield levels

Please email your RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it so that we can cater for the right numbers by 10 October 2011

Cost: $10 - please pay at the door
Students travelling directly from school are advised to catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Abbotsford
Leaves from Wharf 5
Depart 4:40pm - arrive 5:12om
Depart 4:40pm - arrive 5:23pm
Depart 4:55pm - arrive 5:33pm

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SBHS Rowing Committee

Saturday 15 October 2011 at High Rowing Sheds, Abbotsford

All parents … if there is one morning you should attend it is this one. Come along and be informed!

PROGRAM for PARENTS – Saturday 15 October

8.30am - Junior Rowing Parents Information/Orientation session
10.30am – Year 10 and Senior Parents – Information session



  • The season calendar with important dates identified
  • Outline of what’s expected of the boys and how parents can contribute
  • Outline of camp duties for senior parents
  • Discussion of camp menus – suggestions welcome
  • Outline of Saturday BBQ duties for junior parents
  • Who’s who? Meet the MIC, Coaches, Old Boys and Committee

Craig Phillis
SHS Rowing Committee


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