High Notes, Vol 16 No 1, January 30 2015
Welcome to term 1
The firm focus on teaching and learning and its improvement by means of lesson observations and professional learning inside and outside the school setting, has the potential to lift the quality of teaching at High in the medium term. With many new faces with diverse experiences and varied perspectives, our professional profile is being refreshed and renewed. Working together we can enhance the learning experiences for our boys.
Temporary teachers in English for this term are: Jeremy Ohlback, Nicholas Jones, Courtney Powell and Joanne Curry. We also welcome Matthew Cotton as a temporary teacher in science as well as MIC Rugby. Rosie Tracey is relieving in history and Ani Rao has returned to fill in for Jamie Kay’s position in social science. Bonnie Collignon has returned part time in visual arts and Con Barris is working part time in history.
We welcome new SASS staff, Jacqueline Blazek, SAO, and Catherine Rodakis, LSO. Chris Brown, our new Director of Development, is employed by the SHS Foundation Inc and commenced work on January 12.
Welcome to Year 7 assembly
"Good morning and welcome to High for the 2015 academic year. I look forward to a year in which we set the bar a notch higher yet clear it with confidence. This morning we are honouring new students who have joined the High community. As custodians of the High culture we have a traditional rite of passage - the clapping-in of Year 7. This is a corporate acknowledgement and recognition of the previous academic success of each student who earns a place at High. You were all selected by means of a rigorous entrance test. We understand that each one of you is an academically gifted person with a range of natural abilities. Our task is to mould these natural abilities into talented performance in several areas of school life.
"To the new students joining us in Years 8, 9 and 11, I extend a special welcome to you from the High family. You were selected because of your all-round achievements in secondary school so far. You have demonstrated talent in a variety of activities or excellence in one and competence in others. We welcome you and expect you to add value to the High culture. You have a great opportunity to establish yourselves at our school by quickly getting involved in the co-curricular program. I urge you not to waste time waiting and watching. Get involved. Don’t stick to only what you are good at. You need to grasp every opportunity. Get organised and be prepared to work really hard. Set yourself incremental academic goals and strive to achieve them. Lots of people are ready to help you.
"This year we have a school wide BYOD policy. Information and communication technology will become increasingly integrated into the pedagogy of pour school. Use your device and your researching privileges responsibly. Our teachers will be endeavouring to work closely with you to find out more about your preferred learning style and individual needs. We will be trying to improve your learning. We will be ‘fussy about focus’ in order to get more out of each lesson. We will need you to pay attention and participate, not hide in your own world of recorded music or in a virtual world within an iPhone or iPad. We expect that you will participate positively and respectfully in class.
"We will expect excellence from you not just adequate work. We ‘care about compliance’ – do all the work that is set for you. Our teachers will be concentrating on consistency in completing tasks in class and at home to the required standard. We are dedicated trustees of our reputation and success at High. Together, if we work hard and help each other, we can maintain and enhance our excellent outcomes.
"I expect that you will all adopt our all-rounder culture and take advantage of activities at High. We want you to work hard, train hard and play hard. We will also expect you to give some of your time and effort back into school and community service. Our High ritual comes full circle with a clapping-out in Year 12 at their final assembly. By then we will all be acclaiming what you have become. We will be celebrating your growth and achievement as secondary students. We will be honouring boys who have become men.
"I expect all boys to involve themselves in co-curricular activities - the Student Awards Scheme identifies the main ones available. Sport is a very important part of life at High. Our traditional involvement in GPS and CHS competitions makes us unique. Sport training is offered on at least two afternoons as well. Membership of our weights room is excellent value for money. My strong expectation is that you will play competition on Saturdays. Participating in GPS competition is an integral component of our ethos. We focus on team sports for educational reasons – group cooperation, team building, goal setting, collaboration, time management, grit development and motivation skills – these are most necessary in modern work contexts.
'We are trying to nurture ‘future earning skills’: problem solving, evaluating information, working in teams, communicating ideas and fostering creativity and innovation. For each boy we want to build positive emotion about High, engagement with High programs, respectful relationships with everyone, meaning in all we do and finding a sense of accomplishment for effort.
"At school and in class show your teachers and all staff members and volunteers in activities the
respect they deserve. Ask them for help. Be responsible for your own learning, training and
performance. The pursuit of excellence is a lifelong discipline. Let’s pursue our goals
hard but have fun, too."
This complete issue of High Notes is available in PDF format.