High Notes, Vol 5 No 3, February 13 2004
From the Principal
Studying a language
I urge boys and their parents to consider choosing elective languages other than English for serious study. We have talented linguists in this school who discontinue their studies in favour of other courses. I believe that they are limiting their chances of reaching their potential by declining to develop their linguistic talents. In French Continuers at the HSC for example, candidates as far down as the 75th percentile score UAI values of 80%. For German the figure is 78%, for Latin 90% and for Chinese Continuers, 78%. Students in the top 25% of the candidature are highly rewarded in UAI terms for their efforts.
I asked Mr Davies to survey Year 8 students last year to ascertain their perceptions about studying a language at High. Between 124 and 130 responses were recorded. The students agreed that learning a language was an important life skill (72%). A majority even thought learning a language was important for their future careers (65%). Only 38% agreed that learning a language was enjoyable. Some felt studying a language was too challenging (27%), but only 6% felt the study was not challenging enough. Just 18% of respondents agreed that they spent more time on language study than they did other subjects. For 35% of respondents, the teacher was an important factor in making a decision to continue or discontinue the study of languages. 60% of respondents would like to see more technology being used in language study. 67 of 90 respondents were choosing to study a language in Year 9 2004. This figure is 37% of the cohort. The 'no opinion' option averaged 30% for the 8 major questions of the survey. Seventy-three students are enrolled in elective languages classes in Year 9 in 2004.
Mr Davies and his staff will consider the student perceptions and attitudes revealed by this survey and will continue to work on their programs, resources and strategies to meet better the needs of their learners. If at least half of those who opted for a language for study in Year 9 continued with it until the HSC, our languages program would be healthy.
The first of the Tri-series was sailed on Saturday. High put a fleet of boats in the water - 3
Lasers and 7 Pacers. The boys hauled out and rigged their boats and were ready to go by 0900. A
light south -easterly was blowing as a large crowd of sailors listened to the pre-race briefing.
It was hot and sticky at Shore gym when our first grade basketball took to the court. The team
had its best first half this year. They frustrated their taller stronger opponents with clever
defensive tactics and physical blocking under the hoop. Unfortunately, our shooting percentages
were also down and Shore
The senior rowing dinner was held at the Outterside Centre on Saturday evening. The morale of the crews was high and the camaraderie encouraging. Mr Glass reported on the activities of the Rowing Committee and introduced a proposed contribution scheme for High rowers. Troy Polis (Captain of Boats) delivered a passionate address on behalf of the senior squad and introduced the senior crew members. Mr Barris concluded formalities by briefly recounting the events of 2003 and thanking a large number of people who made the progam possible.
Summer Sports Assembly
GPS team members, coaches, managers, supporters, fundraisers, special guests, parents and summer sports participants. Welcome to our summer sports assembly.
Today we acknowledge and honour the teams in all summer sports. Historically, the GPS teams take pride of place as our first priority in meeting our obligations to the AAGPS. GPS summer sports are: rowing, cricket, tennis, basketball, water polo and swimming. Sailing is now an established summer sport with competition against GPS and CAS schools. Rowing has its own assembly before the Head of the River. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate, Laurie Heil, for the initiatives he has taken this year and in Term 4 last year, to build our skill base in cricket. I ask all coaches to support Laurie as he carries out his role as both Cricket Co-ordinator and MIC cricket. He will work closely with coaches in selection committees to identify and nurture all our talented cricketers. Thank you to Mr Ben Hayman for taking on the Basketball Coordinator's role as well as coaching first grade. His Coaching Manual and 'train the trainer' courses will make a difference.
What we are seeking through our Sports Coordinators is to inculcate a style in our teams - the High way to play. As a student progresses through the years in his the teams, the coaching message should be standardised so that learned behaviours do not have to be unlearned and new ones substituted. Skills, drills and plays can be rehearsed each year and be familiar to everyone.
Well done again to Mrs Helen Tuthill and our tennis committee for preparing the tennis team over summer and raising funds to assist our premiership team. Let us hope we can repeat that performance in 2004. Thank you to Ms Amanda Kaye for taking up the position of MIC sailing. Our program will strengthen with her enthusiasm and persistence. Congratulations to Mr Ockert for taking on the role as MIC swimming. The school carnival went well and there is a better vibe all round about our swim team after its great result in the GPS relay.
At previous Summer Sports Assemblies I have discussed the psychosocial value of having competitive sport as a lifelong goal; the purposes of competitive sport; the personal development and educational values such engagement instils in people; and a brief look at the psychology of team sports. Today, I would like to emphasise the value of training yourself to have a sports mind and a sports heart.
The body, the mind and the emotions are interconnected. Imagined experience affects the body in a physiologically measurable way. (Boys waiting to sit for examinations know this phenomenon well). To make your body perform you need physical and mental training. Top performers have: tough mindedness, intense concentration, self-confidence, intrinsic motivation, positive attitude and a capacity for anxiety management. Athletes have to train themselves relentlessly to acquire these traits. Adversity must be dealt with quickly. Come to terms with it and move on. High performers have highly tuned sports minds. Unless you take charge of your brain, you run the big risk that it will run itself and detract from your performance.
Top performers conquer emotional and mental distractions and obstacles that impede the performances of others. They have strategies to combat poor concentration, ill temper, self-doubt, lack of motivation, nervousness, self-recrimination, or lack of enthusiasm. They have highly trained sports hearts. Unless you take control of your heart, it might control you.
When mind and heart are in tune, very satisfying and expert performances are achievable by non-elite sportspeople. In sailing we call it "in the groove". This describes an intense state of concentration in which a sense of oneness with the yacht, the wind's oscillating angle and velocity, the motion of the waves and swell, the course, the trim of the sails and the speed made good, consumes the helmsman. Sustained periods of maximum boat speed result. Runners reach a trance like state where time and physical pain have no affect on them as they concentrate on the mechanics of maintaining their form.
Sports success is as much about attitude as aptitude. Sportspeople get nervous. "I've got butterflies in my stomach" is a common expression describing the physical manifestation of this nervousness. Accept that the butterflies will always be there. Train them to fly in the same direction. They will distract you less.
Athletes use imaging, deep breathing, meditation techniques, visualisations and stress management techniques to make all the butterflies fly to fly in formation. Set yourself performance goals for this weekend. Visualise sinking that three-pointer on the baseline. See yourself playing the bowling for five overs in the V between mid-on and mid-off. Imagine yourself returning second serves accurately into particular areas of the court. Project into your swim. Decide when you will go flat out for the finish and be spent as you hit the wall.
Be steadfastly optimistic and positive. Do not contemplate defeat. Be mentally tough until the job is done, the time is up, stumps are pulled, the finishing line crossed or the last point is won. Win with grace or accept defeat with dignity. Above all, enjoy what you do.
I wish all our teams well for the summer season. The GPS teams are being honoured. They are the symbols of a journey that the rest of you share too. All of you boys who compete on Friday nights or Saturdays deserve our praise. Without you , the school cannot produce high standard GPS teams. Keep it up! One day many of you will stand where these who come before you will stand today. Train your minds and hearts to be ready.
From the English Department
1] Cartoon and Caricature Competition.
Entries close 1st March.
2] Olympic torchbearers relay school essay contest for 15yr old students.
"How does the Olympic Torch Relay help to unite the world?"
3] Write for fun Poetry Competition.
I think I hate computers. Well, sometimes. Circumstances beyond our control have prevented me from publishing in High Notes until this week, but the website has had an up-to-date weekly column (including more links, pictures and information) at http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/week.html and will continue to do so - if you can see it! Tripod now says: "Some users due to DNS propagation issues are experiencing difficulty viewing their accounts at http://membername.tripod.com." That is not our fault, but is affecting access from school right now. I still get the site at home and at the local Internet Cafes.
This is what you've missed:
In the first few weeks I will be testing all Year 7 and some new students (whatever their backgrounds) to see just how good their English is. It isn't a hard test, but it does tell us a lot. All new students in Years 8-12 are being interviewed to see what needs there might be. If we find any problems, your teachers and I will set to work to do something about them. It is unlikely you will miss out on any classes, and you may not even realise sometimes you are being helped -- but you will be! That's a promise. Mind you, you have to work hard, and be honest too: if you have a problem, ask me or your teacher for help. And use the web site!
From the School Counsellors
A useful contact for any parent/guardian planing a party for their adolescent children is PISSED - 'Partying in Style Safely Eliminates Danger'
You can now register a party to help eliminate dangers.
Over January our rowers trained very hard in a series of 'holiday' camps in preparation for the racing season. In addition to training camps at Abbotsford, the Senior A group (the 1st and 2nd VIII) stayed in motel accommodation at Penrith and trained daily on the beautiful Nepean River during the final hot and stormy week of the holidays. All of these camps are made possible by the small army of staff, parents, coaches and supporters who give up their time in the 'holiday' month of January. Thanks to all the cooks, parent supervisors, drivers, boatman and coaches who helped out. The boys also deserve congratulations and our thanks for their exemplary behaviour on these camps and the dedication that they show to do their very best in the sport.
The first regatta for the season was held on the last day of January and was hosted by Grammar. In warm and still conditions all our crews performed well and proved themselves worthy competitors. Most were 'on the standard', there were no equipment failures and all who started rowed it out to the finish line. Shore dominated the regatta in nearly every division. We drew Shore in every race, making places hard to come by. In the Year 8 Quads the 6th and 3rd crews earned points in diminished fields and the 1st crew managed to keep contact in a very fast race. The Year 9 1st Quad was well placed in the early stages of their race but just faded out of the final places. The 1st VIII finished well in a very tough heat to just miss 3rd place to Newington. The best performed crew on the day was the Year 10 1st VIII who beat Joeys and challenged Newington for 2nd place in a flying finish (unofficial margin - small bow ball). Coached by Mr Barris the Year10 1st VIII consists of, Bow - James Tiedgen, 2 - Quinton Yang, 3 - Adam Farrow-Palmer, 4 - Michael Levy, 5 - Roger Burrell, 6 - Douglas Chang, 7 - Sam Gribble, Stroke - Attila Szabo, Cox - Romesh Abeysuriya.
Last weekend Joey's played host at Hen & Chicken Bay on an overcast day. A persistent headwind and chop made it hard going. In race 2 the Year 8 6th Quad managed to keep it all together to finish 2nd to Shore. Other crews did not either find the start line or manage to stay on course. Doing all the little things right earned them a result. Coached by Mr Hespe the crew consists of, Bow - Winston Lee, 2 - Varan Perananthan, 3 - Shahar Merom, Stroke - Harrison Reid, Cox - Alistair Taylor. In the Senior ranks the Year 10 1st VIII performed well again for a 3rd place - gaining on Shore in the final stages. The 1st VIII were again 'in the frame' at the finish but just out of the places. There are no 'easy beats' at this level and that includes us! The 1st Four and the 2nd VIII finished 3rd in their heats to qualify for finals.
The Senior Boatshed Dinner was held at the Outterside Centre last Saturday. Captain of Boats,
Troy Polis introduced the crews for the season and Dr Jaggar presented them with their jerseys.
Troy's keynote speech emphasised the strong bond of friendship that surrounds the current band of
senior rowers - a brotherhood. Mr Barris and Mr Glass also spoke of the special atmosphere at the
sheds and it was noted that with a 4th Four and a 3rd Yr 10 VIII entered in the Head of the River
in 2004 - the shed has never been bigger!
Steve Tiedgen for the Rowing Committee
How did we go in the HSC?
Dr Kim Jaggar will review High's performance in the 2003 Higher School Certificate and School Certificate examinations at our first P & C General Meeting of the year.
Please come and join us on Wednesday, 18 February 2004 at 7:30 in the Common Room.
All will be revealed!
Update on prizewinners for Speech Night
The following students have been added to the list of prizes printed in last week's High Notes. CONGRATULATIONS
Prizewinners should acknowledge awareness of the prize with their Year Adviser ASAP.
Advise Ms May if there are any corrections to be made ASAP.
Advise Parents that they will need to be at school by 7.00pm on Tuesday 24 February in best school attire.
Invite their family and friends to the evening.
Keep their ears and eyes open for further instructions.
Attend the rehearsal on Tuesday 24/2/03 during the school day.
Be aware that the monetary component of prizes is available only to students attending the evening unless exceptional circumstances prevent his attendance.
The Class of 1991 Prize MAX KLETSKI
to a Year 7 student of sound character, proficient in academic studies, sport and cultural activities and displays a willingness to subordinate his own interests to those of the School and his fellow students
THE ARCH FERGUSON PRIZES
Sydney Boys High Cricket
In a weekend of mixed results High teams have started to spread the word that we are an up-and- coming force in the GPS Competition and although it won't occur overnight, the signs are coming through in various grades. As Coaching Director I make commentary at times on our results, (not always complimentary) which are passed onto those teams involved for them to address the issues at the team practices. Some teams take heed and work at the problems. Others fall back to their practice habits such as head-up hitting, the big shots off every ball faced and then on Saturdays, repeat the performance and get out for low scores, and in many cases no scores. In cricket terms what you do in the practice nets, you take onto the field in a game. This is the individual mind-set that we have to challenge.
However, I will also be the first one to defend our cricket teams when outsiders comment on our performances because we are at a disadvantage in that we can only practice on hard surface, synthetic wickets which have an even predictable bounce at all times, where back foot shots become the norm.
Other GPS schools have turf wickets available to all of their teams and as a consequence they have the advantage of learning the turf technique which is to play forward as much as possible, as the ball can do "anything" off these wickets.
During sports days coaching sessions we are now addressing these issues in a program for all teams from Third XI to Under 13s . The result of learning then becomes an individual's choice as to when and where to apply what he has learnt ... and application becomes the key element.
First XI SHORE 203 (Matthew Shiner 5/46 ) and 7/87 (Matthew Shiner 3/26) defeated HIGH 142 (Matthew Shiner 41, Ben Friis-O'Toole 28) and 7/176 (Peshala Kariawasam 48, Sam Samarasinghe 39). Points Shore 6 and High 1.
A meritorious performance where a first innings loss narrowly missed being an outright win for the First XI and SHORE got one almighty fright from the determination, bowling and fielding as they chased for that victory. High's 2nd. Innings seemed like a carry over from the tailenders performances of the 1st.Innings and in an entertaining assault on the Shore bowlers, we saw some great hitting, running between wickets and purposeful cricket. Well done all.
Second XI SHORE 2/181 and 1/48 defeated HIGH 113 and 115 . OUTRIGHT. The Coach's comment summed it up when he said "no comment". However the 2nd.XI field and bowl extremely well, but lack application and patience in their batting line-up. Once again we are working on this aspect, but players must take into the centre that which is achieved at practices.
"Gentlemen's Competitive" Fourth XI HIGH 6/104 ( Drew Hoare 43, Tom Hoare 15, Dominic Byrne 14
N.O., Mitchell Bowey 6 N.O.) defeated SHORE 9/ 102(Dominic Byrne 2/17 and Daniel Thomas 2 wickets
including s ct. and bowled)
15.As SHORE 171 defeated HIGH 143 (Rommo Pandit 41, Louis Yang 19, Aditya Naik 16, Michael Coutts
15, Matthew Coutts 10 and Matthew Fsadni 11 from 6 balls faced.)
The Selection Policy applicable to all teams is being downloaded onto our cricket Website on Friday 13th. (for no particular reason!!) but an ominous date in many people's minds. Please ensure you log on and read the document.
Many thanks to Sean Creer, David Coutts and Mrs Sharon Prentice-Davidson who, in company with me, were the only ones to assist with our parking roster on Wednesday 11th Feb. for the Waratahs V Auckland trial at the Sports Ground. A disappointing response to our notification of the event and lack of response considering we have 205 boys registered in our cricket section.
Good luck to all teams for this weekend .
State of the Arts
Free Jazz Concert
Emanuel Schmidt, the director of our Senior stage Band would like to invite you to the:
THE EMANUEL SCHMIDT QUARTET
toni randle (vocals) emanuel schmidt (guitar)
SUNDAY 15 February 2004
Training Music Camp all year 7 students who have just started learning an instrument need to attend the Training Music Camp. Camp forms are available from the music staff. Forms are due in next Wednesday.
Attention all pianists aged between 15 & 20.