High Notes, Vol 16 No 27, August 28 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Terence Mui (8E) and Ryan Chan (8T) on their selection to represent NSW in the Australian U15 Badminton Championship for the Val Nesbitt Trophy.  Great job, boys! Congratulations to James Ye (Year 11) for his medal for highest score in NSW/ACT for the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (Science). The prestigious Sidney Meyer Fund Australian Ceramic Art Award was won this year by Ramesh Nithiyendran (SHS 2006). In the Regional Tournament of Minds competition held last Sunday, a High team, facilitated by Dominic He, won the Applied Tech category.  At High we have previously had moderate success at TOM so this win was exciting for our program. The team included: Liam Heng, Thomas Jiang, Brendan Kwan, Daniel Ma, Jeremy Ma, Varun Sharma and Etkin Tetik. Our boys will now progress to the state final in September. Congratulations to all concerned in this week’s inaugural Bake Sale, organised by the Quality Teaching Committee – garden and COLA project. Daniel Jiang and Christopher Shi were coordinators on the day which raised $1090 towards installing a second water tank at the COLA. Thank you Dan and Chris. Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural SBHS Public Speaking Competition. The Kushaal Vyas Trophy for senior public speaking went to Esmond Ye (Year 11). The Junior Trophy was won by Ryan Borges (Year 8). Congratulations to these boys, all the competitors and the organiser, Mr Higgins.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week
This is the 17th week of celebration of the importance of developing literacy and numeracy skills in young people. An exciting new development at High is the growing catalogue of e-books available from our libraries. The BYOD program works in well with the increased availability of e-books for loan. I am confident many more boys will be drawn to increase the level of their reading as a result of having electronic literature easily available.

Parents in Years 7 and 9 would have received their son’s NAPLAN results recently. There is much information about individual strengths or weaknesses available to support the outcomes reported to parents. At High we find most boys in Years 7-10 have a strong skill set in the kinds of numeracy skills tested in standard tests. We have had some difficulty in adjusting to varying text types when it comes to the extended writing skills being tested. We did not reach our NAPLAN targets in these skills in Years 7 and 9. A significant number of boys are not progressing up to trend line expectations in grammar and punctuation also. We didn’t reach our target in Year 9 but the Year 7 boys performed up to expectations. Our results again show the necessity of building into our Junior School programs explicit teaching of writing skills in various contexts, for multiple purposes, and for communicating with different audiences. The performance of students in the highest bands in Years 7 and 9 were mixed. Year 9 reading and spelling met their target levels as did Year 7 spelling. However, reading in Year 7 was not at the expected level, nor was writing in Years 7 and 9. As always, NAPLAN results should be interpreted in terms of the context of the tests and their purposes.

Year 12 References
All the Year 12 boys have received their personalised paperwork to prepare both their references and valeté entries for The Record. We would really appreciate the submission of the paragraphs by 4 September. As parents may know, there is a lot of work involved in collating the data from the students, their three referees, the Award Scheme information and the attendance data. They all need to have data entry completed by the end of term so that the references can be completed by the Principal during the holidays. Prompt submission is particularly important for students wishing to have their references uploaded into UNSW Medicine or Co-op Scholarship applications.

Year 12 ‘N’ Awards
Students with unresolved issues arising from warning letters about incomplete work or particularly poor attendance were notified of their ‘N’ award status in HSC courses. Students have until 1 September to appeal against the ‘N’ determination. Student records will be adjusted on 11 September if no appeal is submitted and the work remains outstanding
Dr K A Jaggar

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