High Notes, Vol 5 No 14, May 14 2004

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From the Principal
Debating and Public Speaking
P and C Meeting
Year 8 Parent Meeting
Year 9 Camp
Year 11 Parent Meeting
From Science
Rugby Gala Day
State of the Arts
The Onion Bag

From the Principal

Cross-Country Invitational
Sydney Boys High hosted the cross- country invitation run on the Centennial Park course on Saturday morning. The weather was warm and sticky as more than 100 runners lined up for the U-14 3k run at 10:00 on Saturday morning. The boys felt the heat as the early season start took its toll. Many boys took water on their second lap. High had a top twenty finish with one competitor. In the under-16s event another big field ran the 5k course. Again, there were over 100 finishers - a tribute to the number of schools fielding quality teams. The open event at 7k was won in fine style by a King's athlete who really dominated every lap. The event was very well organised by Mr Prorellis and Mr Kesting with assistance from Mr Codey and a group of parents. It is certainly a pleasure to attend an event with a large number of participants that runs so apparently smoothly and effortlessly.

Cranbrook Trials
The McKay No.1 ground was in the best condition I have ever witnessed as the 15As took on Cranbrook. The boys played some willing football in the time I was watching, acquitting themselves well in a narrow loss. The first grade soccer match had to be rescheduled to McKay No. 4 due to another communication breakdown with the Centennial Parklands management. The pitch is still very dusty from recent top dressing. It is clearly not up to GPS standard. Our boys started off brightly, creating chances but failing to finish. A defensive error that could be blamed on the pitch left our goal keeper stranded in a two on one situation, resulting in a goal to Cranbrook against the run of play. Our boys were startled into action and applied sustained pressure. Their efforts were rewarded with a textbook cross and rocketing header to even the score. High created another 3 or 4 chances in the second half without luck. Cranbrook's best play of the day saw a square ball roll across an open goal without a boot anywhere near it. A breakout from half way allowed a Cranbrook long shot that unluckily hit the inside of the upright and ricocheted into the net for a match winning goal. Our boys needed to find feet with their passes a little more and perhaps back themselves for more shots at goal. The team showed creativity in attack but the defence needs more time together as a unit to get their communication right.

The second XV rugby side got a wake up call from an opposition that was a class above their previous opponents. By and large the forward work was competent enough. Dropped ball in the backline was caused by the pressure being put on High by Cranbrook every time we got the ball. The Cranbrook backs exploited some poor tackling to run in several tries. High did not take advantage of the wind. In the second half the pattern of play continued - attacks on the short
side leading to tries. Finally using their speed out wide, the High boys salvaged some pride with a well constructed try near the whistle to keep the score to a 30 point margin. The first XV game began like the previous week with the boys starting tentatively and conceding an early try. Once they settled down to their work the forwards went well. The lineout play was quite clean and they did manage to recycle the ball through several phases. Some indecision about backline options allowed the defence to get right up to the advantage line resulting in some dropped passes and loss of territory in attack. The second half was all High. With a little luck the sustained pressure might have led to points. However, despite losing 7-13, our team has demonstrated to me that they really want to play, can run hard, will take the opposition on in defence and are well disciplined in their approach to the game. It is to the credit of the coaching staff that the boys are fit and well drilled enough to hold their own against bigger, faster teams.

High Talent
Congratulations to our debating boys. In a NSW Debating Squad of 12, High has three representatives: Tanvir Ahmed, Faraz Amin and Daniel Wodak. This is unprecedented representation from our school.

Support indigenous education on mufti day
Our mufti day is supporting the Boggabilla crèche. We hope that students and staff give generously on that day. The disadvantage of indigenous students is striking. Only one in three indigenous students completes their schooling. Life expectancy is 20 years less than for other citizens. Unemployment rates are at a soul destroying 38%. Indigenous people are 21 times more likely than other racial groups to go to prison. You are in a position to help turn things around for one student at a time. Help maintain the crèche that supports young mothers returning to school to complete their secondary education in Boggabilla.

Student Leader Portfolios
The Student Welfare Committee has endorsed a plan to broaden and deepen opportunities for student leadership. High prides itself on being a 'leadership school' where students can show initiative in a wide range of areas. Apart from the important roles of School Prefect and Student Representative Councillor, leadership is experienced by captains of sporting teams, by students engaged in school service, by charity workers, by fund raisers, by event managers and by members of co-curricular groups. It is our intention to describe, collate and publicise the multiple student leadership activities currently undertaken and to invite our students to design new ones to be included in the portfolio. A small booklet of draft roles has been produced. Here is an example. Hall Monito: Assist with sound system and lighting in the Great Hall. Help arrange furniture. Be trained in the use of sound and lighting equipment and in the use of personal radios. Students demonstrate: a history of serious involvement, commitment and interest in this area; a mature and responsible attitude; and a willingness to promote the school's Code of Conduct.

The purpose of designing and offering specific roles to students is to formalise what is already very good practice in this school, as well as to encourage more participation in student leadership activities. The Student Award Scheme is a successful program aimed at promoting all round excellence. The Student Leader Portfolios will enable students to achieve measurable or assessable outcomes for credit towards one of the categories in the scheme. However, not all students are all-rounders. Not every student aspires to a gold medallion or school trophy. Some boys have narrow, highly specialised areas of interest. We are promoting this expanded framework for student leadership to appeal to and recognise boys who are highly involved in one or two areas of school life. As the roles in the portfolio are refined and assessments made about the effort they involve, the school will devise an appropriate reward / recognition strategy to honour that intense involvement. We believe in 'leadership' conceptualised in the broadest possible way as taking initiative, showing the way, being innovative, demonstrating commitment, supporting others or suggesting alternatives. If you have an idea for a role or would like to have an input into the portfolio scheme, contact Ms May, our Head Teacher Welfare.
Dr K Jaggar
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Debating and Public Speaking

Congratulations to Tanvir Ahmed [Yr 12], Daniel Wodak [Yr 12], and Faraz Amin [Yr 10] who were selected, after several weeks of trials, as part of the final 12 members of the NSW debating squad for 2004. SBHS had more debaters selected than any other school in NSW.

Congratulations to Daniel Wodak who was successful in the first round of the Plain Speaking Contest. Daniel will represent our school in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition Wednesday 19th May 7.30pm at St Aloysius College. All welcome.

First social debate is the 28th May at Trinity College, Summer Hill.
M Selway
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See also the expanded online version http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/week.html -- worth it for the "Multicultural National Anthem" ("Waltzing Matilda" with Greek adjustments) alone!

Why do certain English language problems occur so often?
I recently abridged a paper on "Language 1 Interference in Chinese learners of English" by Geoffrey Lasley of The Overseas Chinese College of Commerce in Taiwan and distributed it by internal email to the English staff and a number of other teachers. If you are interested in a copy, please let me know. Lasley has this to say about verbs:

Verbs: There are no tense markers in Chinese. That is, the verb itself is not modified to reflect when the action occurs. There are aspect markers (separate characters) which indicate the status of the action, but the verb itself is not modified. This leads to Chinese students not modifying English base verb forms to indicate tense.

Verbs are also not modified to agree with singular or plural subjects … or to distinguish first/third person subjects. A colleague in China once told me that he was disappointed when his prize pupil said "He like play basketball." This is a direct gloss of the Chinese sentence. There is no subject-verb agreement problem in Chinese, and no infinitive form of the verb. Fortuitously, the word order translated well.

… There is no "be" in Chinese. The English "he is tall," for example, is "He tall" in Chinese… The Chinese do have an equivalent to "there is" and "there are," however. Unfortunately in Chinese it also means "have." Consequently, you might see sentences like "There have/has many people at the restaurant." … Finally, because of the language's topic-comment structure, and because of the importance of context to word order, you commonly use "transitive" verbs without objects. In Chinese, for example, you say, "Play basketball, I really like." And if you and a friend are sharing a pizza, you can say in Chinese, "I really like," referring, of course, to the pizza.

The issues raised here can be remarkably persistent, even when the student has been speaking English for some time and has a good intellectual knowledge of the English language. They can also apply to speakers of any other language whose verb system differs greatly from English.

You can find out more by looking at points 1 and 2 of the "12 Steps to Better English" http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/eslhelp.html and from there you can go to http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/faq9.html "My tenses are all over the place. How can I fix this?" as well as http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/faq5.html "Why do I keep having trouble with subject-verb agreement?"

"12 Steps to Better English" could help any student, by the way, not just LBOTE or ESL students. So do use it. And there is much more on the site too. As one grateful student (they do exist!) wrote on the guest book recently - in email/SMS English - "Great site Sir! Thx for taking the time to make such a large and useful site to help us."
Neil Whitfield
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P and C Meeting

$$ Where does all the money go$$
The P&C raises about $70,000 each year, and contributes these funds for School facilities and activities. We will set the P&C budget for 2004 at our next General Meeting on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:30 pm in the Common Room. Come and see where the money comes from and help decide where it goes!

All parents are members of the Parents and Citizens Association as you pay a membership fee as part of the school fees.

The P&C exists to support staff and students in the education and welfare of our sons. The primary function of the P&C at SBHS is to raise money to provide our sons with many necessities not covered in the global budget provided by the Department of Education, such as:

  • Contributing to extensions for the canteen;
  • providing new curtains for the Great Hall;
  • Library Fund;
  • School grounds,
  • and many other ongoing projects around the school.

The most effective fund raising method we have is to collect money from people who wish to park in the school grounds in order to attend an event at local sporting and cultural venues.

The P&C is one of the many groups in the school which is allocated parking dates to generate funds for the benefit of our boys.

We need 12 people to staff a busy parking session. We need adults and students. Students can earn points for the Award Scheme whilst helping the school.

The next parking date is FRIDAY 21st MAY. VOLUNTEERS NEED TO BE AT SCHOOL FROM 4.30PM

We will be parking for the TURKEY v AUSTRALIA soccer match which starts at the Aussie Stadium at 7.30 pm

We will publish other dates when they become available.

Please contact John Mittelheuser, P&C Parking Co-ordinator ...Tel: 9747 3390 ( message available)
email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Year 8 Parent Meeting

Attention Year 8 Parents
All Year 8 Parents
are invited to hear
Mr Ockert -
Year 8 Advisor
speak to the Year 8 Parent Group
on Monday 24 May at 6:30pm
in the Staff Common Room.

For more info and to put items on the agenda contact
Barbara Taylor - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Toni Lindeback - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Year 9 Camp

Please note that there has been a change to the dates for the Year 9 Camp that were published in the calendar. The camp will now take place in Week 10 this term from Monday 28th June until Wednesday 30th June.
C Kesting
Outdoor Education Coordinator

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Year 11 Parent Meeting

To Year 11 Parents
Ms Berger, who has recently taken over as Year Advisor for our boys during Years 11 and 12, has kindly agreed to an informal meeting with Year 11 parents on TUESDAY 18TH MAY at 6:30pm in THE COMMON ROOM

If you would like to come along please reply to Marilyn Mitttelheuser at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 9747 3390, as soon as possible.Return to Index

From Science

Results of Science Quiz no.5
Questions about sonic booms (courtesy of Dr Karl's article), and Guiness bubbles were correctly answered this fortnight by Kiril Mickovski (8T), Andrew Tang (8T), Peter Luu (8S) and Bernard Fang (8T).

No answers this week - just the questions!
1.(a) What is a "sonic boom"?
(b) Draw a diagram to show how it happens. (Research)
(c) What is the misconception about sonic booms mentioned in Dr. Karl's article called "boom, boom"?

2. Gas bubbles in fizzy drinks rise, however some bubbles in the drink, Guinness, fall. Explain with the aid of a diagram how this occurs.
Ian Cox
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GPS Volleyball Report 8th May

Third Grade
The third graders entered the match pumped and ready for anything. Unfortunately, this was unnecessary due to the inexperience of the opposing team.

The 1st set was played well by High mainly due to all their serves and hits going in.

The 2nd set was played by the CHS U16s who help comprise the Third grade team - they only lost 7 points! They had to lose no more than 5 points if they wanted to retake the court in the 3rd set.

The 3rd set saw a less spirited team (always the danger in playing weaker teams), and Newington saw their chance at making points by our mistakes. Complacency really set in - seeing the team drop 11 points.
Vincent Ng (Captain)

Coach's note: It was very pleasing to see the team come together and play good volleyball, especially as there were a few people who haven't played competitive volleyball before.

The CHS U16s certainly shocked the opposition with their jump serves and strong spikes. They were a credit to their regular coach, John Cusbert, who is taking a leave of absence at the moment.

Second Grade
The 2nds defeated Newington in straight sets [25-13, 25-7, 25-9] in the opening game of season '04, played at home on the weekend.

Boasting a new 2nd Grade side, High played this match with commendable consistency in all areas. With the debut season for several of the players behind them, High went into the match looking to play with discipline. Too many times have we played blindingly superior volleyball and worked hard to win points, only to lose the next few due to bad passes or wayward serves. We will be looking to remedy this in the upcoming season, to give us a better chance of overcoming high quality opponents.

High served and passed very well throughout the game, which allowed the setters to put up more sets for our hitters. Kapil Khanna was strong up at the net, and both Hughoce Feng and Ed Leong sets were excellent. There were also some excellent [jump] serves, which was important, because it's always nice to get free points.

In short, High played good volleyball, which forced our opponents, and even the two experienced referees, to make mistakes, so intimidating was our game!

The match ended much too quickly, for it left some of our hitters grumbling, because opportunities to spike were scarce, as Newington often couldn't return our serves.

We now need to build on this strong win and work on our plays, knowing full well that the game against Grammar, our main rivals, is looming.
Phillip Yang (Captain)

Coach's note: Phillip Yang set a good example with his jump serves and a few killer spikes from the centre.
Hughoce and Ed came together well as setters, especially since we introduced back court setters. The real test is as Phillip said, the game against Grammar.

First Grade
Last Saturday, 1st Grade volleyball took to the court against Newington with high expectations. With neither thirds nor seconds dropping a set and last year's easy win, we were confident of an easy win.

This showed in the first set. We played poor volleyball, and, to their credit, Newington held their own. After a 'rousing' speech by our captain/coach, Yaegan Doran, filling in for Mr Kay, we lifted our intensity levels and won the set 25-20. Through the heavy hitting of Bill Zhang and Keith Wong, we exuded dominance.

In the second set, we went on aiming to better the score of the last set. We played good, simple volleyball, and began to control the game. We kept Newington down to 15 points.

In the third set, we were in full 'swing' and unstoppable. When the score reached 17-4, we decided to test ourselves by keeping Newington under five points. For every point they got above five, we did a court sprint. But with the consistently hard serves of our small setter Victor, the youngest boy ever to make the Sydney East squad, we hardly broke a sweat.

It was a game that demonstrated the need for proper preparation and keeping our feet firmly on the ground. We hope to remain undefeated for the rest of the GPS season.
Karl A Kruszelnicki
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Rugby Gala Day




10.00 AM- 2.00 PM

Bring the family and join in a game of touch with our rugby boys or just relax and have a chat.

Nerida and Ted will be firing up the barbie so come along and enjoy a legendary High burger and meet the rest of the Rugby crew.

It will be a great opportunity for our junior and senior players to join forces on the field.

Hope to see you there
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State of the Arts

Port Macquarie Music Tour
Payment of the second instalment is now due.
Please use the slip and send in to the music department.
2nd instalment is $100. You may also pay the 3rd instalment.
There are a few places left. Please see music staff if you would like to go.

Music tour parents. We need help to send you son to Italy. If you have any areas of expertise that would be useful or any ideas please contact the music tour fundraising committee. We are looking for raffle prizes, sponsorship and gigs the boys could play at.

Port Macquarie Tour Payment

Student name______________________________ Roll___________

Type of Payment: Cheque___ Cash ___ B/Card___ M/Card ___ Visa___

Cheque to be payable to music committee

Name on Card_______________________________ Expiry date___ ___/___ ___

Card No. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Amount $______________ Signature____________________________

Italy Music Tour Payment Slip.

Payment of the next instalment is now due.

This is $1500 payable to PCI Overseas Trust Account.

Please note payment can only be by cheque or direct deposit.

Name __________________________

Please find enclosed $1500 for Italy music tour next instalment.

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The Onion Bag

HIGH V Cranbrook

An interesting start to the season with both 1st and 2nd XI losing by a single goal. In a competitive game played at great pace the 2nd XI fought hard and created a few early chances, forcing Cranbrook to defend deep and looking for the counter attack. A soft penalty handed Cranbrook their first opportunity but Tim Neville executed a superb double save to deny them. Unfortunately inexperience was to cost High dearly when in the space of five minutes two players were sent off for dissent. This made it hard against a 10 man Cranbrook who scored in the incident that led to the second red card. Despite valiant efforts High were unable to grab an equaliser and must now learn from their discipline lapse.

First Grade started very brightly looking the better side from the offset and a Logge header put them in front . Again Cranbrook pushed back into their own half played on the counter attack and were rewarded with an equaliser shortly afterwards.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with High having the lion's share of possession but failing to finish a string of excellent chances which in the end cost them a comfortable win as a sublime piece of finishing from Cranbrook sealed a 2-1 victory for them close to the end.

While there are lessons for both 1sts and 2nds to learn there were many signs that the pre-season preparation is well on track.

In the non-competition games further signs that the pre-season training is paying off and the new coaching format is starting to kick in. In the Opens, 7th Grade plundered seven goals and could have had many more if the game did not have to be shortened to save a few Cranbrook blushes. Wins also for 6ths and 5ths where Willie Zhu followed up a stint of refereeing two games to score a hat-trick as sub.

The 16s kept a clean sheet with no losses with only the As drawing while the result of the day would surely be the 15As who slaughtered Cranbrook 7-0. Good wins for the Cs and Ds as well.

The 14s won convincingly scoring 18 goals without conceding one in all four games against Cranbrook., while the 14Es defeated Waverley 2-1.

This week there is a reduced fixture list versus SCEGGS with games played on MPW 16, and Centennial Park 5 and 6 which are the fields at the back of McKay 4 meaning nearly everyone should be able to stay around and support the 1st and 2nd Grade games They would love to see you there and have your support.

CONTACT: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Quote of the Week
"It is not time for champagne, just water"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger really gets into the swing of things as his team win the title at Tottenham.

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