High Notes, Vol 5 No 28, September 03 2004

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From the Principal
From Science
From the Counsellors
Tournament of Minds
From the Library
Immunisation Program 2004
SHSOBU v The School Sports Day and Dinner

From the Principal

Cyber bullying
Recent publicity concerning students using the internet to defame, harass or steal e-mail identities is a timely reminder to our school community of the need for vigilance. At High we have had boys suspended for offences involving the internet. Boys in Year 8 have been caught truanting and spending time in Internet cafés, common venues for addicted computer games players and cyber bullies. Parents are advised to monitor their son's internet use in the home. Boys are reminded that the school's internet services are to be used appropriately at all times.

High Talent
The Stan Jones Cup is the Combined High Schools Teams Tennis Championship. Last year we were knocked out in the final by Lismore High. This year the boys went one better and defeated Smiths Hill High School to take out the prestigious trophy. Congratulations to: Michael Hayes, Dejan Bodrozic, Brian Ly, Peter Pereira, Tim Neville and David Cao who played well together considering most had put in a winter sports season away from tennis. Well done also to the High Distinction students from the recent English Writing Competition: Edwin Montoya (8), Jordan Phung (8), Simon Ting (8), Edward Hibbert (10), Thariq Razeen (10), Chong Shao (10) and Oscar Ware (12).

Leadlight Window installed
A beautiful addition to the appearance of the main building was organised this week by Mr Fittler. One of his Design and Technology students, Tom Crocker (2001), designed and manufactured a replica stained glass and leadlight window to match the one at the end of the first floor landing of the main entrance. He used the project for his HSC major work in Design and Technology. It took quite a while for someone to be found to do the job of installing the piece. We hope Tom will return to the school to acknowledge his contribution to its heritage. Mr Fittler is promoting the idea that students/Old Boys might like to take on the task of designing stained glass and leadlight panels for the other two windows to make a quite imposing entrance feature for our school. I have a medium term plan to replace the fluorescent lights on the walls and in the ceiling with down lights, as well as to re-arrange the gallery of Headmasters' portraits to create a chronological, named display.

Year 12 References
Year 12 boys have the responsibility to solicit teachers for their three rating sheets. Once they have these names, they need to return their Cover Sheets to the front office by September 10. The office will follow up with teachers to make sure they have completed their rating sheets. Students need to finalise their Student Award Scheme claims with Mr Beringer.

They need to write their personal paragraphs detailing all their achievements while at High for inclusion in their references. These details need to be signed off by teachers responsible for competitions, sports, activities, leadership roles etc. Students need to submit to the front office their handwritten paragraphs including verified details. Finally, they need to email a text file under their name, including an exact copy of the handwritten paragraph to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Boys who need references for scholarships due by September 30 need to let teachers know of their deadline. All paperwork needs to be done by September 20 so that I can write these references before the end of term.

Year 10 and Year 8 Parents' Information Night
On Monday evening, Mr Dowdell and I will be hosting an Information Night for Year 10 parents in the Great Hall at 7pm. The purpose of the presentation is to walk through the Board of Studies requirements for Preliminary and Higher School Certificate courses and to explain how courses are chosen and scheduled at High. The connections between course selections and UAI outcomes are discussed. Time has been set aside for a Q & A session after the presentation. These occasions have drawn large crowds in the recent past with many parents seeking a demystification of the current requirements for the HSC. Students have had a separate session explaining these matters. There will also be a meeting for Year 8 Parents to discuss elective subject selections in the Great hall at 6pm.

Resourcing programs for Talented Boys
Since its formation in 2000 as an approval body with a budget, the Gifted and Talented Committee has sponsored nearly $18,000 in group initiatives for students. Activities funded included: gene technology-forensics, Earthwatch Institute, CSIRO forensics, Botanic Gardens lesson; metal plate lithography, graphics arts/printmaking workshops, Australian Museum lesson, life modelling for drawing classes; German and French tutoring, Goethe Institute workshop, native speaking classes; university library memberships; music workshops, jazz improvisation; Mathematics Challenge and Enrichment fees, Australian Mathematics Olympiad Junior and Senior programs entries, Talented Students Day fees; lectures on poetry and play structure, NIDA group devised theatre, workshops in scriptwriting and writing for different purposes; history seminars; Tournament of Minds registration; and Leadership forums. Nearly $11,000 has been provided to 40 individual students to support their pursuit of excellence in: mathematics and science competitions, science summits, leadership and university courses, drama, debating and music ensembles. Debra Gilmore and her Committee welcome program requests from Departments and interest groups seeking to enrich the co-curricular experience of boys at High.
Dr K Jaggar
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There is quite a lot of new material on the "High Notes Plus" page http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/week.html. For example:

  • We've been anticipating this for a long time and it is finally here. For those who are interested, visit PDF file "ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS" from the NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Serious English students, especially in Years 11 and 12, along with interested adults, should read Louise Dodson's insightful article in The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 2004): "Following a recipe tried and true." Not sparing either side of politics, Dodson explains how "the rule in politics is repetition, repetition, repetition. Not just any words, but THE words - the ones which have been market tested and convey a subliminal message. Political marketing messages are just as manipulative and effective as those of the world's most powerful big companies to sell their products." Excellent resource for critical literacy.
  • Relevant to some of the ideas I raise on my Da Vinci Code page is another article in the same Herald: Catherine Keenan, "The rewards of reading a timeless classic". "...people are returning to questions of value, and hence to the classics. Certainly, even at more conservative institutions like Sydney University, the canonical texts are now taught differently: students pay more attention to their politics, and the historical circumstances of their production. 'But also, the reason they're canonical is that they are felt to have a high value, that they are better in quality than others'." Keenan's article is really about visiting American writer David Denby, whose Great Books: My Adventures With Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World I find rather inspiring.

Looking at feedback just received from the 2004 Australasian Schools Writing Competition I note some interesting patterns in a few areas where our entrants were below the state mean. (It is also interesting to note that Year 8 generally turned these around compared with Year 7, but one of the Year 7 problems - genre -- was present in Year 12.).

One might have expected the weaknesses would be at sentence and clause level - items like subject-verb agreement or tense; but this was not the case. Rather the problems were at the level of text type and adequacy of text for context and purpose. In Year 7 the range of affective and descriptive language was also a problem.

This makes the Writing Workshop and Year 11 Writing pages on the Communities site especially important. It also underlines the need for close study of examples of different kinds of writing at the text and context levels: What is the situation in which the text occurs? What strategies and features in the text derive from that situation?
N Whitfield
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From Science

Results of Science Quiz no. 11

Questions about Antarctica were asked this fortnight. Correct answers were submitted by Andrew Tang (8T), Bernard Fang (8T) and Peter Luu (8S).

1. A lake found in the coldest place on the planet is being investigated by Russian scientists.

(a) Identify the location.
(b) What was the temperature at this location on 21/7/83?
(c) Explain why there could be a lake of liquid water with such a low surface temperature.
(d) Briefly discuss the concerns of some scientists over the experiments.

2. 65 million years ago an asteroid was believed to have struck Antarctica. (International Geographers Conference)

(a) Outline how this was discovered.
(b) Identify two possible consequences of the impact.

(Answers can be found by studying the information on the windows of lab 302).
I Cox
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On Tuesday 7th of September we will be presenting our Year 10 PDHPE Crossroads program. Crossroads has been developed to address some of the personal and social issues concerning young people in schools today.

The series of lectures will be presented during periods 1 - 4, by Waverley Action for Youth Services (WAYS), Motor Accident Authority and Positive Speakers Bureau. These organisations create an awareness of issues relevant to young people today and the community support available. Usual classes will resume for Year 10 after lunch.
G Stein

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From the Rugby Master's desk:

Rugby Committee meeting summary
The fifth meeting of the SBHS Rugby Committee for 2004 was held on 25/8/04.
The following is a summary of the meeting:
  • Attended: G Stein, T Hoare, J Evans, S Creer, Paul Girdler, S Bolen, L Heil.
  • Apologies: J Mittleheuser .
  • Submissions by Nerida Newbigin, Ted and Susie Hoare have ensured that the Home Game Operations Manual is well in hand and should be of great benefit to the new people taking on the various roles and responsibilities at McKay.
  • Committee Treasurer position is still vacant for 2005.
  • Treasurer's report tabled. Committee account should be around $6000.00 after final expenses have been tallied. Full report to follow. Ted Hoare has offered his assistance to the new Treasurer at the start of the season next year.
  • Rugby expenses for 2005 may run up to $50,000.00 with the employment of a coaching coordinator. Extra fundraising will be required. Car wash, extra parking days and rugby raffle were options discussed.
  • Parents unfamiliar with rugby and "injuries" may need some education from rugby parents when they meet at other school occasions. New coaching coordinator may also provide information for parents concerning rugby and injuries.
  • It was suggested that boys going to TAS should take their school uniform to be worn during the afternoon 1st and 2nd XV games to show a strong school presence.
  • Laurie Heil thanked the Committee for his end of season appreciation gift.
  • A special Committee vote of thanks went Ted Hoare and Paul Girdler for their years of service to High rugby.
  • Meeting concluded at 7.10pm.
  • Next meeting is on Wed. 30th March 2005, 6pm in Room 901. Everyone is welcome to attend.

G Stein,

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1st Grade Tennis CHS Finals Report
Having successfully defended our GPS Premiership in April, High 1st Grade set out to add the CHS state title to our growing cabinet of silverware. This was a competition which surprisingly, had eluded us since 1997. The team which represented High in the final matches was Dejan Bodrozic, Brian Ly, Peter Pereira (Year 11), Michael Hayes and Tim Neville (Year 12). Other members who played a role throughout the tournament were Hung Neo (Year 11), David Cao (Year 10) and Ivan Cerecina (Year 8). We were fortunate to secure the services of Michael and Tim for the final, as they had only just finished their HSC Trials. Nevertheless they were not in spectacular form heading into the contest against Smiths Hill (near Wollongong) in Rockdale, and understandably so.

The fact that the three-day final series was washed out a few weeks ago gave us the chance to strengthen up for the semi and final. The semi final against Warners Bay looked a tough encounter on paper, although we overcame them through the sheer depth of our team. With three of the best four players in the competition, any team which beat us would have to work extremely hard. Warners Bay had a very talented number one who is playing junior internationals at the moment; though the rest of their order paled into insignificance when compared to ours.

The only change for the final was Tim Neville substituting for Peter Pereira, and this was seamless, as Tim found some very good form in his singles, hitting winners off both sides regularly. Dejan, Brian and Michael recorded wins, as expected, to make our passage to victory much easier. Smiths Hill crumbled in the final doubles, the result of extreme pressure from our pairings. The win was especially good for Brian and Peter, who are members of the 3rd XV rugby side which hadn't won a match since May.

The side is shaping up well for the next GPS season, and with trials approaching and spots up for grabs, the competition is sure to bring out the best in players.

The result means 1st Grade is now both GPS and CHS champions, a rare double. The final piece in the schoolboy 'grand slam' is the match against a combined Catholic schools outfit next week, before the National Schoolboys tournament in November in Bendigo. This will certainly test our ability under pressure, but as we've shown throughout the last two years, pressure is something we tend to handle very well.
Peter Pereira
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From the Counsellors

Helping students to stay motivated.
Success is the great motivator. People generally feel good about themselves when they achieve a goal or perform well. As adults we know for example, that if we have a good day playing golf and reduce our handicap, then we can't wait to get back out onto the golf course and do even better. Success is a wonderful reinforcer. It is important for young people to experience success whether it happens at school, home, sport, within community or socialising. Young people want to feel successful, but if they meet with failure or perceive failure, they can appear disinterested or even lazy. Expectations of success need to be reasonable and realistic in terms of your student's abilities. Below are some ideas that may help your young person stay motivated.

  • Help your child to establish achievable goals. Encourage them to list their goals in their diary and to check them frequently. It is vital that young people set their own goals as they need to feel that they are in control of their learning.
  • Goals can be short term - "This week I will learn ... and I will complete ...", medium term - "in term 2 I will work on ....", long term - "This year I want to improve my English mark from ... to at least ..."
  • Help your young person experience success by breaking more complex tasks into achievable tasks. For instance, an assignment can be broken down into reading time, research, writing a draft, editing and final copy.
  • Celebrate when goals are achieved. Reaching a short-term goal is a great motivator, demonstrating to children that with work and a positive attitude they can achieve. Reaching a goal is also a reminder to students that they have control over their learning.
  • Display confidence in their ability to succeed. Confidence shows through our language and the way we treat young people. Remember, confidence is catching.

Adapted from Parenting Ideas (2) - Michael Grose 1998.
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Tournament of Minds

Last Saturday (28/08/04) our Tournament of Minds Team competed in the regional final against schools from all over Sydney. Our team consisted of:

Year 7: Anton Jurisevic, Julian Byrnes, Edward Lu.
Year 8: Jason Wong, Lachlan Street.
Year 10: Daniel Naomenko, Joe Banh.

To reach this stage in the competition, the team had been working on the long term problem for six weeks. They had to solve the problem using logical thinking and create a play based around their solution. Although they were allowed to use props, they had to make these props themselves from recyclable materials such as old bottles, cardboard and string.

The team was also presented with a spontaneous problem, which they had five minutes to solve while being watched by the judges.

The boys performed admirably on the day and stand a good chance of making the state finals.

Thanks to all the boys who competed and also to Edward Hibbert who helped me to facilitate the team throughout the term.
James Morgan

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From the Library

Year 8 Literacy Circles - a "Book Week" initiative
In an effort to stimulate a lifelong love of reading in our boys, Year 8 are being given a chance to experience Literacy Circles. Boys in each class will have the choice of 5 recently published novels. They can also choose 4 friends to share the book with. They will have 2 weeks to read and discuss the novels and present a talk on each to share with the class.

The boys will choose their own areas for discussion and presentation. The course will take place in Character Education/Life Skills.

In all 4 copies of 16 books have been purchased. The course cost over $1000 for books alone. It has taken about one and a half weeks to purchase and process. Funding was from various sources including some very welcome supplementation from the Gifted and Talented Committee.

If you have a son in Year 8, please encourage him to read his book in the two weeks and discuss his choice with him. The boys will have an opportunity during Year 9 to read the rest of the novels in the Literacy Circle collection.

The titles are: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Eoin Colfer's Benny & Omar, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Terry Brooks' The Secret of the Sword, Anthony Horrowitz Scorpia, Alexander McCall Smith The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Stephen Cole's The Wereling Wounded, Deborah Ellis A Company of Fools, David Almonds The Fire Eaters, Peter Dickenson's The Tears of the Salamander, Gary Disher's Two-Way Cut, Alex Shearer's The Speed of the Dark, David Lee Stone's The Ratastrophe Catastrophe, Clive Cussler's White Death, Andrew Daddo's You're Dropped and Phillip Gwynne's, Jetty Rats.
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Immunisation Program 2004

Year 12 Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough
The next round of vaccinations will take place on Friday September 10 when a team of specially trained registered nurses will be visiting the school to administer diphtheria/tetanus/ pertussis [whooping cough] vaccine to Year 12.

After the boys have been vaccinated they will be given a Record of Vaccination to take home so that you can keep their immunisation records up to date.

During the next week parent information kits will be distributed to all boys in Year 12. If you would like your son to be vaccinated, please complete the Consent Form in this kit and return it to the collection box in the Main Office as soon as possible.

Some translated material for parents about the program is available at www.health.nsw.gov.au

The final vaccination clinic for 2004 will take place on Friday 26 November. On that day
  • Year 7 will receive their second Hepatitis B dose;
  • Years 7 and 11 will be vaccinated against diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis [whooping cough];
  • ANY boy from any year who has missed either meningococcal or diphtheria/tetanus/ pertussis [whooping cough] will be vaccinated.

If you have any queries, please contact Mr Beringer.
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SHSOBU v The School Sports Day and Dinner


Dear Parents and Students,

The sports programme is now available for participants'/spectators' perusal. Guided School Tours and Memorabilia Displays have been organised from 5.00pm and the Dinner will commence at 6.00pm.

Please book NOW for the Dinner in the Great Hall from 6.00pm; a hot two course buffet with tea and coffee - $40.00 pp or $30.00 for full time students. BYO or purchase from the OBU bar. The Dinner Booking Form should be mailed/faxed before 36 September. Organise a table of 10, or come in a smaller group.

The dinner program will feature great raffle prizes (Fitness Network (Surry Hills) Gym Membership, High Store Memorabilia, BridgeClimb Voucher and Botanic Gardens Restaurant Voucher), lucky table prizes and auction items - the main item being a SIGNED 2004 WALLABIES JERSEY

The MC at the dinner will be past Headmaster, Mr Bob Outterside. Special guests will include Dr Kim Jaggar, SBHS Principal, and Mr Peter Crittle, Chairman, Australian Rugby Union. The emphasis of the Evening will be INFORMALITY. We guarantee an entertaining evening for all members of the SHS extended family.

The deadline for payment is 6 September 2004.

SHS & OBU SPORTS DAY & DINNER - Saturday 11th September 2004

Given Name: _____________________________ Surname: ___________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________________________________
Accompanied by:
Given Name: _____________________________ Surname: ___________________________________________

Please seat me/us with: _____ Year Group or on Table Name: __________________

I enclose payment for ______ Adults @ $40.00 pp ______ Students @ $30.00 pp Total: $________________

By: Cheque payable to SHS OBU or by Credit Card - Amex Bankcard Mastercard Visa

Credit Card Number: ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Cardholder's Name: ________________________________________________Expiry Date: _________________

Signature: ____________________________________ Contact Phone: __________________________________

Mobile: _____________________ email: _______________________________

Post Payment and Booking Form to:
Sydney Boys High School, Moore Park,
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

OR By Fax to 02-9389-4274
(Booking Form and credit card payment)
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