High Notes, Vol 5 No 10, April 02 2004
From the Principal
News from the Archives
Dropping Off and Picking Up Students
From the Principal
Congratulations to our volleyball representatives who were selected to represent Sydney East at the
CHS Inter-Regional Volleyball Carnival. Robert Lu, Karl Kruszelnicki, Yaegan Doran, Keith Wong,
Bill Zhang, Fahmy Balgahom, Victor Nguyen. At 14 Victor is the youngest ever Sydney East
representative in volleyball! Joshua Scharfegger had a huge day on Tuesday 30th March at the CHS
Regatta, rowing in the First VIII for an easy win in the championship VIII, coming second in the
championship single scull by half a canvas to a NSW Youth VIII representative, and then teaming
with Liam Bennett to win the championship men's pair! He raced 6000m before lunch - congratulations
Joshua, an outstanding effort!
Head of the River
It was another glorious day last Saturday, with ideal rowing conditions for competitors at the
annual Head of the River. Thank you to those students, parents and teachers who came out to see
our boys row and to be a part of what is a great sporting spectacle. Competition was fierce with
some events being decided in less than three tenths of a second after 2000 metres of effort. The
big row of the day was from our 1st IV [James, Doran, Kruszelnicki, Mitsuji, Mittelheuser, cox}.
Their effort was the 4th best performance at a Head of the River by a High crew in the last six
years, coming a close 6th in their race, at 3.58% off the pace. Congratulations boys! The 1st
Year 10 VIII rowed to 5.18% from the winner. The 1st VIII rowed the fastest 2000m by a High crew
since 1999, despite finishing in 8th place. [For a full analysis of the Head of the River results
over the last six years, see P drive 'Head of River'].
Structured exercise, diet and healthy choices
The prevalence of overweight children is 25% and increasing. Intervention at the school level is
justifiable. A New York film director recently made a film of himself "Super Size Me", that
chronicled his experiences during a month of eating McDonald's food only. He gained 12kgs and had
great increases in blood cholesterol. Education about nutrition and appropriate food choices
needs to be a part of the school curriculum. Schools need to set a good example in the food and
drink lines offered for sale to students through School Canteens and vending machines. Physical
activity should be a part of every boy's daily routine. Our School Canteen is investigating
approved healthy food lines to offer for sale. The Committee is moving cautiously in response to
government initiatives to control the sale of inappropriate food items in schools. At present the
Committee feels it should adopt a 'wait and see' policy. A large proportion of canteen profits
comes from the sale of soft drinks and pastries. We need to find acceptable alternatives in these
sensitive areas. Our character education program 7- 10 combined with our vigorous promotion of
team sports and competition, assist in reducing the level of obesity at High. We are favouring
self-regulation in a more tightly controlled context as our approach to the issue.
Language Power Test - Grammar
Mr Whitfield's independent testing of Year 7 boys has produced some interesting results. The
benchmark for the test is 90% for an English native speaker. It was interesting that 21.3% of the
boys tested fell into each end of the test range - superior and below benchmark. Seven boys
earned a perfect score. The results suggest to me that many of our students would benefit from
some intensive work in the area of grammar. At the very least, boys need to realise that accuracy
in grammatical expression is an important life skill.
Measuring school performance
There is a suggestion that the drift to non-government schooling is in part explained by the
perception that private schools provide more performance information to families than do state
schools. Privacy laws affect the amount that can be published by government schools. Single
measure reporting does not reveal sufficient information to make a proper judgement about a
school's performance. There is support for the notion that a school ought to be judged on whether
it produces happy well-rounded and motivated young people, as well as on its academic record. At
High we strive hard to be judged by both of these approaches. It would be very helpful if NSW
Principals had the advantage of the devolved powers over staffing and finances that their
colleagues in other states enjoy.
In winter we again focus on GPS sports. We can accommodate a maximum of 420 soccer players, so
positions in all teams will be competitively selected. In Rugby we can accommodate 270 players
easily but we attract only about 130. Volleyball will be expanded to 120 players as a maximum, so
competitive selection will be necessary. Fencing too will be restricted to around 50 competitors.
Table tennis for seniors only is limited to 30. Rifle shooting is limited to 25. There will be
around 45 serious runners for Cross-country. There will be no winter tennis until our courts are
redeveloped. Only 20 boys who are training for selection for GPS summer teams will be allowed to
take the sport. There remains Wednesday Cross country for those who failed the fitness test 1.6k
run. Around 140 boys may be running in Centennial Park on Wednesdays. We see no need to increase
the number of winter sports when our administration can cope with 1120 boys participating within
the current structure. We have a GPS commitment to supply rugby teams for fixtures. I encourage
all boys to have a go at rugby in the junior years. It is the premier winter sport in NSW. Let's
get involved boys!
Fairland Pavilion Hiring
All school community groups should be aware that the Fairland Pavilion may be used by non-school
community groups when not booked by High for our purposes. We have adopted the same 'shared
usage' philosophy as we have for the Outterside Centre. These assets are managed by the Sydney
High School Foundation to provide facilities and services to the school. To maintain or enhance
such services, cash flow is required. We have to make the assets work because they generate
considerable annual fixed costs to maintain. Every $500 contributed by people not directly
involved with High is like having another student paying school fees. Laurie Heil is our Liaison
Officer with the Trust and handles bookings for the Fairland Pavilion. He can be contacted at
if your team wants a
booking for McKay 1 + the Fairland Pavilion. His mobile phone number is 0419 992 660. Please do
not assume the area is automatically available for your use.
Dr K Jaggar
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News from the Archives
Student archivist Mark Lucchitti (7S) has been consistent and diligent in working towards the
acquisition of the Archives award. Mark utilises part of his lunch break to work on archival tasks
allocated to him. Activities are varied and include the listing of rare books, encapsulating
photographs, setting up display boards, writing up specific reports and the general upkeep of
school memorabilia housed in the Archives.
A special welcome is also extended to Alex Shapilsky (8F) and Maxeem Mikha (7S) who have just
recently joined the team. These boys are to be congratulated on their enthusiasm and their sound
choice of award.
Visitors to the Archives this term include Mr Jack Boag (2000), a close relative of Mr Charles
McDonald and John McDonald and Mr Philip Barr (1972), grandson of Headmaster Gordon Barr
(1952-1954). The delightful Mr Boag was interested in information on the lesser known Mr John
McDonald whilst Mr Barr kindly donated items of interest to the school.
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has changed slightly, as I am
now (in addition to Tuesdays and Fridays) in on Wednesdays 9-12 and Thursday 9-12 -- approximately:
it could be (as this week) 9-11 one day, 9-1 the next. This gives more opportunities for students
who wish to consult me, and also makes the rest of the timetable a little more flexible. I may, for
example, visit a class timetabled, say, for Tuesday on the Thursday.
If any senior students wish to use the after school time on a Tuesday (which has some advantages
from the students' point of view) please forewarn me during the day on Tuesday by seeing me or
leaving a note. Then I will be there at 3.20 waiting for you.
The ESL Help Page now starts with 12 Steps to Better English -- and even native speakers might
learn a thing or two from it!
Twelve steps to better English (http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/eslhelp.html)
Especially for students from language backgrounds other than English -- but not only! The links
will take you to more information. OUTSIDE links open in new windows; links to this site do
Just about every week, at least once, sometimes more often, a teacher will show me a piece of
student work which usually has the same handful of problems. Sometimes the student has been
speaking English all his life.
Some students (especially seniors) might like these Learner Tips
from the BBC English Learner Program.
1. Watch out for tense shifting. If you
start in past tense, continue in past tense; if you start in present, continue in present.
Look here too.
2. Make sure subject and verb
3. Watch your articles.
Should you be using "a", "an" or "the", or nothing at all? Related to this is knowing about
COUNT and UNCOUNT NOUNS.
Should you be saying "much" or "many"? And watch out for those nasty prepositions -- they can really trip you
4. Listen carefully for the endings of words, say them carefully when you speak English, and make
sure they are where they should be when you write English.
your vocabulary (1). For a start, read many different kinds of English often. Listen to many
different kinds of radio and television programs. Especially if you have not been speaking
English for very long, visit sites like English Bites or Brian's Common Errors in English.
6. Grow your vocabulary (2). Think of word families. Often learners of English tend to just take
in one word at a time without seeing how it fits in with related words. When you look up your
dictionary, look at all the related words such as this entry for "cooperate". Look at synonyms too:
there's a whole set of quizzes on this beginning here.
7. Keep a journal or diary and write in it every day. You can even do this on the Internet if you
want to with sites like Diary-X. If you keep a journal try
experimenting with your writing with different kinds of text.
8. Ask questions. No one will think you are stupid if you ask about things you are not sure
9. Constantly test yourself. You can use the
Quiz Page for this. Someone in Canada uses our Quiz Page every day!
10. Take risks. While being careful, don't be afraid to try something new even if you make
mistakes. You have to make mistakes if your language is going to grow. Having something to say is
more important than making a few mistakes. However, if you are able to, try the proper writing
process: draft, revise and edit, polish and publish. give yourself time to do this. Here is a
site that explains the writing process
really well -- but it is an Angelfire site so may not be available at school. (I can assure you
there is nothing wrong with it!) As an alternative, this one is also very good.
11. Practise working out what exam questions are actually asking you to do. If you are not sure,
then ask someone!
12. Never try to learn "a perfect essay" off by heart. It is almost certain it will not be an
answer to the question in front of you. Instead, go back to Step 11 and practise brainstorming,
planning, jotting down points, writing introductions, or even writing whole answers. Study
successful essays wherever you can find them, but only to learn HOW to do things. (The Bored of Studies site is a good place to find some if
you are in Year 11 or 12.) Your essay must be YOUR essay. Have a look at Georgetown University Writing
Center for ESL Students -- one of many sites that can help, especially from Year 10 up. See
also our own Writing and Study Skills
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Debaters Support Group Meeting this Wednesday 7th April 6.30pm in the Staff Common Room.
All debating parents and supporters are urged to attend this important meeting.
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Dropping Off and Picking Up Students
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- When dropping off students please enter by Gate 2 from Cleveland Street.
- Please stop on the left as close to the Main Building as possible.
- After dropping off, continue along the road behind the Gym and exit through Gate 3 and turn
left into Cleveland Street.
- Please do not attempt to exit by Gate 2.
- The Anzac Parade gates should not be used when dropping off or picking up - the large volume
of pedestrian traffic here before and after school makes this a most unsafe practice.
- If parking on the school grounds, please park rear to buildings, and fences.
- Students with current parking permits must park in the area between the tennis courts and
Cleveland Street only.
- Please exercise extreme caution when driving across footpaths and through the school
Last Friday's Rowing Assembly marked the beginning of a very busy season finale for our rowers and
all their supporters - The Head of the River on Saturday followed by the NSW CHS Rowing
Championships on Monday and Tuesday. Captain of Boats, Troy Polis, spoke with his now familiar
dignified candour to honour his crewmates, other rowers, coaches and supporters. He spoke with
sincerity of our shed as his other home and his crewmates as his other family. He reminded us all
of two important anniversary's - 80 years of rowing at Sydney High and 20 years for Mr Barris as
Rowing Master. Our Guest of Honour, Mr John Croll, an old boy who has already given so much service
to the school, gave us some insights into the sport and the qualities that it develops. Dr Jaggar's
address focused on realistic targets that encourage a pattern of improvement.
The crews were clapped out into the courtyard in bright sunshine, where they gave the Sydney High
War Cry a rousing rendition. They spent the next few days living up to the kind words of
encouragement they had just heard. They rowed with great skill and dedication, they achieved
targets and had their successes and, perhaps most importantly, they were a unified and happy team
Old hands will tell you that the Head of the River lost colour and atmosphere when it moved to
the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) from the Nepean River. Maybe so, but there was a
lot of atmosphere as the Year 10 3rd VIII got away at 10 am. In perfect conditions the boys in
Race 1 rowed towards a wall of sound. Sydney High supporters were in full voice and accounted for
more than our fair share of colour and atmosphere. A large contingent of prefects encouraged
every crew as our band entertained the crowd. Thanks to all who came along.
The 'big three' rowing schools dominated the regatta - Shore, Joey's and King's. In fact, this
year we could almost refer to the 'big one', as Shore won 8 of the 10 events. Our boys did very
well against this standard, with most crews rowing best times on the day and no crew trailing off
in competition. Our leading crews, the 1st VIII, the 1st IV, and the Year 10 1st VIII, all
recorded times on or below the 5% margin against the winning times. The 1st IV were probably the
best performed crew on the day coming 6th and only 14 seconds off the winning Shore crew. The 3rd
IV and 4th IV also managed 6th place. The Year 10 1st VIII came 7th after going for glory early
in the race.
The standard in the senior VIIIs was the best for years. The 2nd VIII race was won in under 6
minutes and the main event in 5m48s - Shore to be sure. Our 2nd VIII battled on gamely against
Newington, swapping the dreaded last place a couple of times up the course - less than 2 seconds
in it. Our mighty 1st VIII had every right to expect 6th place or better, and they held that spot
for most of the race. They finished with their fastest time of the season (6m10s) but in a close
last place. It was the fastest time by a High crew since 1999 and the boys gave it everything.
They lay flat in the boat exhausted, but were not dispirited in defeat. It had been a mistake
free race. They were a young crew up against the national champions. Many of them will be back
next year - stronger and more experienced. They have established a pattern of improvement.
Back at the sheds there were no long faces. Supporters cheered the returning crews and gathered
around a huge cake for the customary speeches. It was Rowing Master Con Barris' birthday. Club
President, Jeremy Glass 'presided' over a thoroughly enjoyable celebration. Again, Troy spoke
with great warmth as he acknowledged the supporters of Sydney High rowing and finished with
'thanks to anyone who did anything'. Hear hear!
The boys rested on Sunday, but many of them returned to SIRC for the CHS Championships bright and
early (6am) on Monday and Tuesday. Apart from hosting this regatta, we won most of the events we
entered. The CHS successes of our crews deserve and will get a more detailed account in next
week's final rowing report.
Steve Tiedgen for the Rowing Committee
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Sydney Boys High School
Annual Cross Country Carnival
Moore Park, Mount Steele
1.20 - 3.00 pm
Tuesday 6th April 2004
Mr Prorellis, Mr Kesting I/C
Your son will be dismissed earlier than usual on Tuesday 6th April 2004
Get changed at lunch time
Stay in school grounds until 1.15 pm then move over to the venue when the bell rings
When your race is called go to the starting area whether you are running or not.
Non runners will stay in the starting area until directed to move by the Marshalls
At the finish you will be given a place ticket
If you are in the first 15 places you go to the first 15 table and have your name recorded
All runners to proceed with finish ticket to your house table
Tell the teacher your name and finishing position
After the race you will be dismissed by a teacher
Non runners will have names marked off at the end of the race
Non runners will be dismissed at the conclusion of their race if they have a note
You must run in shoes
You must wear house colours to qualify for points
Stay on the course and follow directions from course marshals
Spectators must stay within 20m of Cleveland St and are not permitted on the course
Winning house determined by the lowest total of the first ten runners to finish
Award Scheme qualifying standard -compete & finish
Top ten runners will comprise the provisional school team to compete at the zone.
Only the first 15 places will be timed
The School Cross Country is the first qualifying event
within the CHS Competition. The First 10 runners for each
age division will make up the school team for the Eastern Suburbs
Zone Carnival. The first 12 runners at the Zone Carnival
will compete at the Sydney East Regional Carnival and the first
10 runners from Regional Carnival go on to the NSW All Schools Carnival.
You are also invited to join the Sydney High GPS Cross Country Team. GPS Cross Country is a
Winter Sport and three age divisions (U14, U16, Opens) compete on Saturday mornings. The season
spans across terms 2 and 3 and involves 11 Saturday morning carnivals. All are welcome to
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