High Notes, Vol 6 No 20, July 22 2005

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From the Principal

Welcome back to Term 3
I trust all staff, boys and their families had a relaxing break or at least more time together during the vacation. This semester Ms Dam is Acting Head Teacher Industrial Arts. Term 3 focuses on the Trial HSC for Year 12, the Preliminary exams for Year 11 and the School Certificate Exams for Year 10. Year 12 Reference information is compiled. Winter sport has its remaining 4 rounds. The athletics season is run. Summer sport begins in the last week. The GPS debating competition is held. It is a busy term as we prepare for next year. The applicants for enrolment are interviewed. There are several Parent Information sessions for Years 9 to 11, 2006. Keep your eyes on the forward calendar publications in High Notes to be up to date on what is happening this term.

High Talent
Vinh Pham was selected as a reserve for the International Olympiad team in Mathematics. The 46th International Mathematics Olympiad was held in Mexico from July 8 to 19. This is a high honour and puts him among the top ten competition mathematicians in the country. Well done, Vinh.

Andrew Reis has been selected in the NSW Pacific Schools Games Team to compete in Melbourne in November in the 7th Pacific Schools games. Congratulations Andrew. Congratulations to Thomas Kaldor, Gabriel McManus and Sriram Srikumar, who have been selected in the CHS Debating Team. Alisdair Brown, Philip Kurts and Matthew Wong have been selected to attend the State Junior Music Camp - well done boys!

Year 12 Sports Policy
Term 3 Year 12 students who have attended sport on Wednesday afternoons only in term 2 are no longer required to attend sport. Year 12 students with Saturday sport commitments are required to meet them for the next 4 weeks. All boys are encouraged to exercise regularly and maintain their participation in competitive sport as a lifestyle choice during the extended period of intense studying leading up to the HSC. Records of attendance at sport will continue to be kept. Year 12 references will have winter sport accredited only for those boys who complete the full season. Coaches will be reminded not to sign off Year 12 reference sheets where term 3 commitments have not been met.

The Library Campaign
The letter writing campaign to interest politicians in our quest for a new library has commenced. A pro forma letter is available but personalised versions are preferable. In Federal electorates, we particularly need parents to write who live in Kingsford-Smith (161 students), Watson (139 students), Lowe (114 students), Grayndler (75 students) and Reid (73 students). Letter writers are representing the views of significant numbers in their electorates. It is worth the effort. If you do write, please send me a copy of the letter. We are creating a file to prove at a later date how much people cared about this cause. On request, our archivist, Ms Caroline White, will supply the name and mailing address of your federal member of parliament. The more people who get behind our cause the better chance we will have of achieving our goal to celebrate our 125th anniversary in 2008.

Place of Public Entertainment Progress
We have essentially completed the 21 additional fire safety and disabled access requirements of the Department of Commerce report from last August. I am applying for a certificate with the Department this week to bring the matter to a head - again!

Structured Acceleration Offering
In 2006, High will be offering subject acceleration as an elective option for Year 10. Students in Year 9, 2005 who desire, qualify and are selected for subject acceleration, will be offered that Preliminary level subject as an elective in Year 10, 2006. Additional periods will be allocated to the acceleration elective in lieu of Character Education classes. Students accelerating will be required to take two other electives as usual. Students will only be able to take one acceleration subject as an elective in Year 10. There will be a Parent Information Evening to explain the program and process on Tuesday, August 30, in the Great Hall at 7:00pm.

Foundation Meeting Report
The SHS Foundation Board authorised the transfer of $26055.25 from the Centenary Building Fund to the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund as a contribution towards the new library project, as per the agreed formula. Capital maintenance / refurbishment expenditures of $25,747.25 were authorised for the Outterside Centre. For Great Hall / Room 402 refurbishment expenditures, $22,266.56 was approved. The cooperative system of capital expenditures via the Building Fund Advisory Group meetings is working very well. Our capital fund raising and dispersing processes are more transparent and equitable. I hope parents are encouraged to keep on contributing tax deductible donations to our worthy projects.
Dr K Jaggar
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Da Vinci Decathlon At Knox Grammar School

This is an academic interschool gala day run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon, with events of an academic nature. Schools enter teams of eight in years 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Students will participate in activities in the following disciplines;

Mathematics - emphasis on problem solving, number patterns and logic puzzles.
English - spelling, word origin, scrabble, definitions and writing.
Science - higher level scientific concepts and ability to apply them.
Code Breaking - deciphering several codes.
Engineering Challenge - a building task designed to test creativity and ingenuity.
Forensic Sleuths - dealing with maps, photographs and other evidence.
Creative Producers - developing and presenting a 30 second commercial to promote a particular product.
Art and Poetry - develop a poem plus a complementary work of art on a given theme. Games and Strategy - mastermind, chess and connect 4 General Knowledge - current affairs, entertainment, sport and trivia.

The tasks will be exciting and challenging with a particular emphasis placed on higher order thinking skills. Students will be highly stimulated by the day's events. Schools should aim to select students who are able to complement each other in the various disciplines.

Sydney High will enter teams in each year group.

Lawson Centre
Knox Grammar School.
8.30 am - 3.15 pm

Years 9 + 10 Tue 9th August (Week 4 Term 3 )
Years 7 + 8 Wed 10th August (Week 4 Term 3 )

Interested students can obtain application forms from Mr Dolan (Social Science).
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Rugby Committee Meeting Summary

The fourth meeting of the SBHS Rugby Committee for 2005 was held on 29/6/05. The following is a summary of the meeting:

Attended: Rob Fetherston, Serdar Bolen, Kel O'Keefe, J Mittleheuser, G Stein.

  • Medical coverage at home games - Cadets are unable to fulfil their offer of first aid. There are insufficient numbers with first aid qualifications. A first aid course is not likely in the near future. Vincent Salomon has been employed as the medical officer for home games.
  • New barbeque - Purchased and used at last home game.
  • High/Syd Uni raffle - First outing at Telstra Stadium was successful 314 tickets sold. After expenses, $190 was given to the Treasurer. Costs for subsequent days should be less.
  • Treasurer's report was tabled. Balance as at 28/06/06 was $10,953.31.
  • End of season dinners - The Senior dinner date was changed from the evening of 13/8/05 to a lunch on 20/8/05, 11.30am for 12pm. Ticket price to remain at $25/head. Several menus were discussed. Some questions to be raised with the caterers about various menu alternatives so a decision can be made at the next meeting.

  • P & C compliance - Updated information will be forwarded to the P & C by the President. Rugby Committee's AGM to be held on 31/8/05.

  • Off-season fund raiser - Rugby may have the opportunity to run a Bunnings barbeque on 15/10/05. More information will be given as it becomes available.

  • Remuneration for G. Moody - A request was made by T Hannon for G Moody to be compensated by the Committee for three of his eight days chaperoning the 15 years rugby teams to the Gold Coast Tournament, a total of $831.33, which was agreed to by the meeting.

  • Team email lists - J Mittlehueser is still looking for parents to help with the canteen and BBQ rosters for our last three home matches. An hour or two before or after your son's game is a very easy and enjoyable way to help and get to know the other wonderful rugby parents. Email is the most efficient form of communication. Parents can contact John via his email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • Outstanding expenses - were presented to the Treasurer at the meeting for payment. SBHS canteen = $280.17, 1st XV physiotherapist = $875.00, High Store = $232.00, S. Bolen = $99.10, UNSW pool hire = $111.00.

  • 1st XV coach remuneration - An error was made by G Stein in the original calculation of the contributions of the school and Rugby Committee towards the remuneration given to the 1st XV coach for 2005. The school contribution is fixed at $7350. The Committee will make up the $2650 difference. A tax invoice for $650 will be presented on 1/7/05 with another for $2000 presented on 1/8/05 for payment.

G Stein
MIC Rugby

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Public Speaking

Congratulations to Tom Kaldor who has reached the State Final of the Plain English Speaking Award. Tom's performance at the semi-final was exemplary. He will now attend the State Final on Friday 29 July at the Powerhouse Museum.
R. Howland
Public Speaking Co-ordinator

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The GPS season starts this week with us venturing to St Joseph's College Hunters Hill for round 1 on Science Ethics. We have 13 teams competing!

We also have 3 teams competing in the Brennan Cup at UTS this week, 3 teams going to Macquarie Uni next Thursday and 3 going to the Barker Cup at UTS next Friday.

Teams will be emailed to boys and parents on a weekly basis and it is very important that you check your email regularly to receive updates. Information is also posted on the debating noticeboard (which is now outside room 603). It is the student's responsibility to ensure they are "in the loop". .

Every week the year 7 and 8 debates start prepping at 6 pm and debate at 7 pm. The year 9-12 boys prep at 7 pm and debate at 8 pm.

Junior boys are invited to stay around after their debates and support the senior teams.

If you are not receiving emails about debating and would like to, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For information on getting to GPS Venues please see the website www.sydneyhigh.org.au/debating Please ensure you leave enough time to get to the venues in plenty of time, considering traffic congestion on Friday nights.

Debating Supporters Group Meeting -
Tuesday August 9th at 7.30 pm Room 103 (access from pathway along the side of the tennis courts).
Please note change of room and time.

All parents of Debaters are encouraged to attend. We have important issues to discuss relating to the organisation of the debating dinner on September 3rd.

Other items for the agenda should be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Jocelyn Brewer
MIC - Debating

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The Sydney Boys High Communities and ESL Site has gone. In its place you will find Neil Whitfield's English and ESL Pages at the same address http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/

Not only is there a new name and a new look, but much material specific to this school has gone, especially the very long sections dealing with controversies that embroiled us in 2001 and 2002. Much ephemeral material has also gone, though the best of some of the deleted material will find its way back to the Blog.

The Blog has been marginally redesigned, with some more categories to help you find what interests you: Aussie culture; English language, cultural diversity; student help Year 11-12; student help Year 7-10; teachers and parents; everyone - the last a catch-all that says what it seems to say. Quite a few posts have gone up in July 2005:

  • 17 July: Being bilingual - Sunetra Gupta on language and thought. A transcript of a recent Radio National talk. (Category: teachers and parents, but also Year 12 Journeys)
  • 14 July: Verbal Hygiene - Karen Armstrong on the need for being precise with words used to talk about Islam and terror. (Category: English language)
  • 13 July: What a wonderful beast is the internet! - ideas on using the internet creatively. (Category: everyone)
  • 12 July: Surely we can learn from this? Some further reflections on London. (Category: cultural diversity)
  • 11 July: In search of Yeats. (Category student help Year 11-12)
  • 10 July: Revolution - shows changes to the main site here. (Category: everyone)
  • 10 July: Quite literally - on English usage, a review of a recent book on the subject. (Category - English language)
  • 8 July: Sadness - about London. (Category - everyone)
  • 6 July: Amin Malouf - a very relevant and inspiring writer, in my opinion anyway! (Category: cultural diversity)
  • 5 July: So what do I know about Malouf (David, that is, not Amin) and Wordsworth? (Category: student help Year 11-12)
  • 3 July: reprint from deleted material 2003 - International Day of Tolerance: an article by William Dalrymple (Category: cultural diversity)
  • 2 July: reprint from deleted material 2000-2001: ESL and the Art of War - a talk to NESB parents by Neil Whitfield (Category: everyone)

Read these and more at http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/blog/
Neil Whitfield
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BENAKI Museum Visit

Linguistic Logistics
From Classical Greek (Years 8, 9 & 10) Excursion 13 keen and cheerful students of Classical Greek spent the morning of Friday, 24 June, admiring the treasures at the Benaki exhibition, inside the Powerhouse Museum.

Matthew Lau: "... the most interesting artefacts to me were the ivory wreath of the 1st century BC made of thin gold sheets, and the pectoral ornament made using gold, diamonds and other precious gemstones."

Lachlan Brown: "My particular favourite was a cross ( worn on the chest, made of gold and silver and encrusted with gems) that was meant to ward off evil"

Christian Katsikaros: "We were extremely lucky to see it because it was the first time the treasures had been allowed outside the Benaki Museum in Athens. There was everything ... jewels, pottery, clothes, paintings, weapons ... even a picture with a boy that slightly resembled me! "
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Boggabilla Exchange

Late last term students from Boggabilla visited our school and were billeted by the following families: Lindeback, Taylor, Shuttleworth, Kaldor, Doran and James.

The whole exchange rests on the generosity of these people. The following report was written by Aaron Shuttleworth:

After a 10 hour long bus trip, students from Boggabilla central school, which is located on the NSW Queensland border, finally arrived at Sydney Boys High. The bus trip obviously had no effect on the students as they set about demolishing a group of High students in a game of touch refereed by Mr Stein. 

After the game had finished with Boggabilla winning 8 tries to 3, billets were introduced and then the Boggabilla students left for a tour of Eastgardens shopping centre. We met back at school at around 5.00 pm for pizza, and then it was off to catch a train to Olympic Park to see the first State of Origin match. This is was definitely the highlight of the trip for the Boggabilla students and a late try to their hero Matt Bowen capped off a great night.

The Boggabilla kids made their way to school the next morning with their various billets and a small group of us went along with them for a tour around the city. This began by driving to the city side of the bridge and walking across and catching a ferry from Milsons Point back to Circular Quay. From there we wandered as a group past the street performers and up to the Opera House, pointing out some of Sydney's landmarks to our visitors.

We walked back around to Circular Quay and across the road to Deacons law firm for lunch in one of their boardrooms overlooking the harbour. Employees came and went, providing insights into what they did and were interested in learning about life up in Boggabilla. After lunch we said our good-byes and headed home.

A quick photo shoot the next morning was followed by the Boggabilla students heading to Maroubra for a surfing lesson and lunch with Mr Barris, Ms Plenkovich and Sue Doran. After this, they made the long journey home. It was an enjoyable experience and we look forward to going up there later in the year.
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High Notes Reminder

To receive a reminder that the latest edition of High Notes is available on the school's website, send your email address to:

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Your Son's Attendance Record

If you would like to have your son's attendance record sent to you on a daily or weekly basis, send your email address to

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Please include your son's name and Roll Class and indicate how often you would like to receive the information (for example: each Monday and Thursday). ).
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Letters Re Absence/Lateness/ Early Leave

When your son returns to school from being absent he is required to provide a letter of explanation signed by parent or guardian. If your son is going to be late for school a note is also required.

If your son has an early leave note he is required to have his note signed by either Mr Beringer, Mr Dowdell or Mr Prorellis before 8:55 am and hand it in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by parent or guardian with the name date and roll class of your son printed clearly. Your son needs to pick up a leave pass from the Main Office before he leaves the school.

If you require leave for your son please, apply in writing and address your application to the Principal, Dr Jaggar, stating the reason and length of time of the leave. Your son must then present this application to Dr Jaggar for permission for the leave. Please remember to apply before the leave and not after.

The Principal must approve all leave applications.
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Fundraising Opportunity!

School Family groups can expect to make between $800 and $1000 on Saturday 30th July, by running the sausage sizzle at Bunnings Warehouse. Barbecue and gas are supplied. Prices and products are fixed. There are many customers 8.00 am till 4.00 pm. The school has what you need, including large tomato sauce dispensers. Grab this opportunity by contacting Valda Roser.
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High Store

School beanies are available for purchase from the High Store - $20 only. Keep warm and be cool!!! .
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