High Notes, Vol 6 No 11, May 06 2005
From the Principal
School Development Day
All teachers beginning their service in NSW schools this year are governed by the Institute of Teachers legislation and protocols. A new document 'Professional Teaching Standards' was distributed to staff by John Beringer and its outlines discussed. The new standards have three domains concerning professional knowledge, practice and commitment. There are seven elements associated with these domains and multiple aspects describing competencies in these elements. The standards are also described in four key stages in an ascending rubric of competence: graduate teacher, professional competence, professional accomplishment, professional leadership. In addition, a draft 'Accreditation Support Documents' provides evidentiary examples of how accreditation at the professional competency stage can be demonstrated in each of the elements. The initiatives of professional standards assessment and external accreditation in combination have the potential to have a profound effect on teacher quality in the medium term unless the weight of compliance protocols and the burden of record keeping crushes the spirit of participating teachers. The accountability movement in the USA has shown no signs of slowing down, so I sense that externally validated assessment of professional competence is here to stay. (Many of us remember the Inspectorial system!)
Bob Dowdell demonstrated to staff the procedures for attendance and progress monitoring. The school is pushing to have all sports teachers submit marked rolls before 0900 on Thursday or Friday mornings. Mr Dowdell then issues detention letters to suspected truants during period 3 on Thursday or Friday. We are deliberately shifting the onus of disproof onto students. Boys are now responsible for proving that they were where they should have been or for producing a note to explain their absence. There will be occasional glitches and inconveniences but sports truancy is in rapid decline. In respect of unexplained absences, telephone calls are made from the McDonald Wing Offices, Year Advisers are targeting students with poor attendance records and Mr Dowdell is identifying two (or three) individuals each day with the most unexplained absences and delivering detention notices to them in class. As a bonus, all the other students in those two (or three) classes who have unexplained absences get detention notices too. Students not wishing to be detained are strongly urged to bring notes to school promptly to explain their absences. For Years 7-9, Mr Prorellis is managing fractional truancy by processing email notifications from teachers who report student absences from their classes if their names do not appear as absent for the day on the daily sheet. Detention notices are issued and returned to the class teachers who distribute them to students. If the student has a legitimate reason for not being in a class, yet was reported and subsequently issued with a detention notice, it is his responsibility to make the punishment go away by proving to his teacher that his absence from class was legitimate. This may involve obtaining written verification from other people. The teacher then communicates the information to Mr Prorellis who consequently removes the student's name from the detention list. All this needs to occur promptly otherwise Mr Prorellis will be chasing a boy for not turning up to detention. In the case of Years 10-12, Mr Dowdell is informed electronically by teachers of senior classes about instances of fractional truancy. He generates an official 'Warning Letter' and issues a detention notice to reported students. Again, the onus is on the student to disprove the alleged truancy.
I have authorised this co-ordinated approach to attendance monitoring because time in class is related to achievement. We cannot teach your sons if they are not here. We desire to maximise opportunities to learn. There will be some perceived injustices and irksome tasks for boys to avoid negative consequences. Nevertheless, my executive is convinced that responsibility for attendance issues needs to be assigned to the students. I agree with them.
The final morning session concerned the new reporting system for the senior school. Having resolved to move from single sheet to booklet reporting for seniors this year, the staff had to discuss the common format for the Year 11-12 reports. Course descriptions and outcomes statements need to be developed. After progress reports from Ms Trompetter in English and Mr Kay in Science, the staff adjourned to get on with the task of developing performance descriptors for outcomes based senior reports.
Trials at McKay
Our football fortunes fluctuated as usual. It would be great for our open sides to put in a consistent effort through all grades. The thirds had nearly two teams of players all thinking they were going to score against an outclassed SCEGGS Redlands side. After 5 quick goals the game became quite chaotic. Our boys scrambled around in the second half to run out winners 6-1 in a game that did not help coaches or selectors. The seconds played a similarly lopsided contest against a SCEGGS team below second grade standard. Our boys created so many chances but could not convert, with Luscombe and Shuttleworth banging away at goal without success. Eventually the pressure took its toll and goals started to come thick and fast. Song (2), Shuttleworth, Yu and Karunaratne all scored as High ran away with the game. Our boys played some good attacking football at times. Much was expected of the first XI who must have been thinking that all they had to do was to get to the 16 yard box and goals would come easily. The marking from SCEGGS was a lot closer, cutting down passing lanes and time for decisions. Despite a slow start our boys warmed to their work and created 5 or 6 really good chances in the first half that just would not go in. The High players were quite frustrated by half time, knowing that they were the superior side but the scoreboard said otherwise. For most of the second half our side created the better chances but as every coach remembers, the other side took advantage of one mistake at the back to put in a goal very much against the run of play. I was really disappointed for our lads because they did look the goods all the way to the goal mouth but poor finishing robbed them of a victory. Luckily, they will have a chance to make amends in a rematch in a couple of weeks time.
High Old Boy's Funeral
Armidale visit arrangements
Developmental and Behavioural Patterns in Children and Adolescents
The School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is conducting research to investigate how pubertal development affects the way children think and behave. The Department of Education has given approval for this research to be conducted in local schools including Sydney Boys High School. Participation in this study involves completing some game-type cognitive tests (eg vocabulary, memory, tracing mazes, reading names of colours written in different coloured ink), surveys about attitudes and behaviour, and a pubertal development survey. The school has arranged for UNSW researchers to administer the surveys in a 20-30 minute group session, and the cognitive tests in an individual 20-30 minute session during regular school hours. If your son would like to participate in this study with your approval, please ask your son to pick up an information sheet with consent form from the school office next week, and have him return the forms to the school office within a couple of days. As a show of appreciation for assisting UNSW with this research, your child will receive a free new release voucher from Randwick Block Buster and a voucher from Randwick Subway if he participates in this study.
Further enquires may be directed to Mr Beringer at the school.
This project has been approved by the ethics committees of both the School of Psychology of
the University of New South Wales, and the NSW Department of Education.
From the Weights Room
Attendance in the weights room was high during the first term with many attending for the first time and others continuing on. The many changes have been working well with many more on the way. Please note the following:
Gym Rules (Penalties Apply)
Rugby Committee Meeting Summary
The second meeting of the SBHS Rugby Committee for 2005 was held on 27/4/05.
The following is a summary of the meeting:
Rugby Committee Meeting Summary (No. 2)
An extraordinary meeting was held on 24/11/04 in Room 901 to discuss the financial situation of the Rugby Committee and rugby at SBHS in 2005 and beyond. The following is a summary of the meeting:
2005 will be an important year for High rugby. I hope all the parents get behind the Rugby
Committee, Serdar Bolen and our fund-raising efforts. If anyone missed the meeting and has any
suggestions for Serdar and the fund-raising sub-committee, please get in touch with Serdar
directly on 0414061345 or myself on 93610027 during school hours.
School Athletics Carnival 2005
The School Athletics Carnival was held at E.S. Marks field.
The aims of the Athletics Carnival were:
The introduction of compulsory house shirts had the desired effect of encouraging inter-house competition. It was great to see so many athletes (many senior athletes) competing; well done. Feedback from staff and athletes indicated participants and spectators enjoyed the activities. The Carnival went very smoothly thanks largely to the efforts of staff, student volunteers and willing competitors. Thanks to the computer team of James Rudd, Toby Rosengarten, George Qin, Alexandro Lai, Ziggy Harrison-Tikisci, Anthony Ho, Nic Lochner and Alex Shapilsky for donating their skills and expertise over the two days.
I would also like to thank the House Captains and Vice-captains for all their efforts on the two days. These include Eedy's Samuel Gribble and Sriram Srikumar, McKay's Faraz Amin and Michael Levy, Fairland's Remesh Nithiyendran and Tanvir Uddin, Rubie's Dinuka Gunasekera and Chris Rodrigo, Saxby's James Morgan and Mark Samarasinghe, Torrington's Eddy Blaxell and Adam Farrow-Palmer. Their help ensured that the day was a great success. Congratulations to the Age Champions - Derek Trang (12 Years), Kieran Taylor (13 Years), Lachlan Street (14 Years), Gehan Karunaratne (15 Years), Richard Xu (16 Years) and Mischa Steen (Open).
Special Awards from the Carnival include:
Full results of the Carnival are published at http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/SRC/athletics/ac2005/index.htm.
Eedy was the winning House this year but Rubie (as we can see from the results below) is the house to look out for next year. It was great to see Fairland improve over the course of the year. Torrington needs to be more competitive for the 2006 carnival.
Over the coming term the athletics coaching staff will be targeting training of athletes in long
jump, shot put, hurdles and relays. It is envisaged that these training sessions will be held at
lunchtimes on the flat. Over the next couple of weeks all aspiring GPS Athletes need to collect
their athletics training program from the History staffroom. The training at this stage should be
about skill acquisition and should not interfere with winter sport activities. Anyone interested
in joining the athletics team this year, come and see me in the history department. All
From the School Counsellor
The School Counsellor is available to advise students about their application and to assist with supporting documentation. Any student considering applying for EAS needs to make an appointment with the Counsellor as soon as possible to discuss their individual situation.
If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact the School Counsellor
during school hours.
Term 2 is already shaping up to be a very busy time for English and to help our students navigate their way through the next few weeks I would like to give parents some indication of what is most pending:
Sydney Writers Week
From the P&C
The next P&C General Meeting is on Wednesday 18th May at 7:30 in the Great Hall.
Ms Trompetter, who has joined the school as Head Teacher, English, in 2005, has kindly agreed to give a presentation on her
Vision for English at Sydney Boys High School.
She expects to spend around 30 minutes, emphasising the senior school issues and will have handouts for parents and will then spend some time on junior matters.
She feels it is a forum which the boys will be welcome to attend.
There will be time for questions afterward.
Science News Results of Science Quiz no. 2
Evolution of humans was the topic for this quiz. Congratulations to Aditya Hatle (8S) for his
correct answers. - The questions:
SBHS & SGHS Universities Evening
For Parents and Students in Years 10, 11 and 12
University and Faculty Representatives from the following tertiary institutions will be present:
Macquarie University Parent Liaison Program 2005
The Parent Liaison Program aims to give parents and families of Year 12 students information regarding study at Macquarie University. Information evenings led by the Vice-Chancellor will be held at Macquarie University on Tuesday 28 June and Wednesday 27 July 2005 between 6.00 pm - 7.30 pm. These sessions will provide information on admissions, the UAI, transition to university from high school and HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP university loan schemes.
Bookings are essential. More information and booking forms are available at http://www.hscandbeyond.mq.edu.au/ or by phoning 02 9850 9446.