High Notes, Vol 20 No 15, May 24 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Scott Morrison (SHS-1985) who was elected as Prime Minister last Saturday. He is the first High Old Boy elected as Prime Minister. Sir Earl Page (SHS-1895) served as the 11th Prime Minister, 7th to 26th of April, 1939, after the death of Joe Lyons.  Congratulations to William Choi (12E), Jevon Somanader (12E), Khalil Youssef (11R), Edward Yoon (11E) and Ethan Cusick (11E) who are representing Sydney East at the NSW CHSSA state championships in rugby. Well done to Jayden Ho (7M) on securing a silver medal in the U12 sabre in the NSW Fencing mini-series competition. Cody Robinson (9T) was selected in the U15 Thunder Squad for the Cricket NSW Academy. Well done, Cody! Congratulations to Arvin Niranjan (12S) on his joint award of the AAGPS Tom Brook’s Medal as the 1st XI Most Valuable Player.

NAPLAN

The school shares parental concerns and student frustrations surrounding the online administration of the NAPLAN tests last week. Ms Evans and the teaching staff have done a great job in managing the administration of the tests in terms of facilities, hardware and supervision. We have received numerous complaints from parents about software issues - dropping out and black screens. I want to reiterate that our school has no control over the software used by NESA. I thank everybody for their civility and patience about the issue of individual disadvantage. On Tuesday, May 28, there will be an opportunity to re-sit NAPLAN writing and reading for those in Year 7 who had their tests disrupted, due to software delivery issues.

Driving On School Grounds 

Students move around inside the school grounds very frequently, presuming they are safe. They frequently do not attend well to their surroundings, being distracted by their friends or technology. They may run out from behind a parked car or across a driveway.  In the area in front of the UTS gymnasium there is a great deal of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Several cars driven by parents have been observed travelling towards the school building at speeds well in excess of 10km/hr. They also execute three point turns in the bus bay area where visibility down the hill is poor. We ask parents to respect our speed limits and to use designated drop-off zones. In addition, parents have been sitting in cars parked in the staff car park, thus preventing staff from being able to park their cars at a convenient location. Please vacate parking spaces promptly when asked to do so by a member of staff.

Parking is rear to wall or rear to fence to maximise driver views of the roadway. There have been several tragedies involving SUVs and small children in recent years in schools. In the interests of providing the maximum possible safety for our students, staff and visitors, please be careful when parking and when exiting the site and please drive slowly in school grounds. Try to enter by gate 1 and exit by gate 2 whenever possible.

Interpreting Year 9 Reports – Semester 1

All Year 9 boys should now have their reports. Parents should be aware that students have fewer compulsory subjects in Year 9: English, mathematics, science, history, geography and PDHPE. They have added two electives to the core group. All of the stage 5 requirements for history and geography are completed in Year 9, so there is plenty of content and many skills to learn. The cut-off points’ standard for Year 9 is 24 (or 8 subjects at credit). Parents are cautioned that large fluctuations in points earned and rankings in the cohort can be caused by a few marks more or less at the cut-off scores for HDs, Ds or credits. Sometimes boys underperformed last year in subjects they knew they did not have to continue. This would cause a recovery in their rank this year if they tried harder in the subjects they chose. Conversely, the additional challenge of stage 5 work or a mistaken elective choice, could impact on a student’s ranking negatively, particularly if he were good at the practical subjects in Year 8. In Year 9 students are expected to be developing some autonomy. They should be responsible for managing their personal workload and thinking ahead about what commitments they have in the near future. Ask to look at their personal organiser – electronic or paper, to see how well they are managing their time.
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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