High Notes, Vol 9 No 11, April 11 2008

Attention: open in a new window. E-mail

From the Principal

High Talent
The CHS Rowing regatta marked the final event in the rowing program for 2007-08. High boys earned 9 gold medals. The Championship VIII went to High first and second VIIIs in a leisurely paddle. In the Championship coxless pairs second gold medals were won by Nelson Ridges and Mitchell Kelly and silvers by David Vien and Brynley Pfull. The U-16 Quad Scull was won by Petrie, Boulavine, Stefanidis and Chen by 3 seconds. Jonah Petrie and Dale Chen earned second golds for the U16 double scull. The U15 quad scull was won by Liao, Fong, Tian and Gollan. The Championship Quad Scull went to Merom, Reid, Andrews and Pfull. The U17 Quad scull was won by Ambrose, Whiting, Blomberg, Denny-Smith. Fong and Gollan won gold in the U15 double scull. Ahmed, Joo, McDonald, Na, c Schilling, won the Championship Four coxed.

9 Silver medals: Daniel O’Keefe (Championship Men's Single Scull), Timothy Gollan (U15 single scull), Lin, Pak, Wong, Jones (U15 quad scull), Musgrave, Whiting (U17 double scull), Street, Musgrave, Binns, Nguyen (U17 quad scull), Tian and Liao (U15 double scull), Santoso, Erikson, Horton, Street, c Desmond, (Championship Four coxed).

4 Bronze Medals: Koren Fang (U15 single scull), Stefanidis, Lee (U-16 double scull), Blomberg, Street (U17 double scull), Kelly, O’Keefe (Championship double scull). Congratulations to the competitors, Con Barris, his rowing staff, volunteers and the Rowing Committee.

The joint SBHS-SGHS Talent Quest was a great success. The boys and girls had some organised lunch time fun and raised >$2000 to be used for community service projects by the two schools. I would like to thank Varan Perananthan (Year 12), his committee, volunteer teacher supervisors and the audience for a very well organised and managed event.

Thank you to Dr Ganderton and his wife for their very significant donation of works of fiction, ecology and geography to our Library. Your gesture was greatly appreciated.

Congratulations to the Year 9 SRC group who raised a considerable sum to present David Chan with a framed, signed shirt from the Speed Blitz Blues. David was presented with the gift in a moving ceremony at the Cricket Dinner last Friday evening.

Winter Sport and Athletics
I have been greatly heartened by the response of the boys who have chosen to participate in athletics and winter sports – particularly rugby. Our duty of care is the primary consideration in managing the delivery of these sports. Fixtures are matched according to skill levels and referees have been told to modify playing conditions (eg de-powered scrums) if mismatches occur. I urge any reluctant parents to discuss with me any concerns they may have about contact sports. We are pushing hard for 13 rugby teams this year: 2 open, 3 16s, 2 15s, 2 14s and 4 13s. Our rugby revival depends on maintaining large participation rates in the Junior School. Serdar Bolen is Coordinating Junior Rugby and he, or Geoff Stein (MIC Rugby), can answer any questions you may have. We are also expanding Association Football with 28 teams: 5 in 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s and 8 open teams. Volleyball is limited to 60 players so some boys will have to choose another sport option. Fencing numbers are limited for safety reasons. Junior Rifle Shooting is expanding as Ms Meaney guides the permit application process. Cross country is healthy in the Senior School but lacking numbers in the Junior School. Due to our two sports afternoon policy, boys aged 15 in Year 10 will have complications with their sports afternoon training being on a different day to age group training. Some better players will play up an age group, some will have to train with their appropriate age group on the two additional training sessions that should be scheduled for A-Cs.

It may be possible in Football for a whole Year 10 team to train as 15s on Wednesdays. Our priority now is to raise fitness and skill levels. I must stress to coaches, staff and parents that we are not yet having selection trials in winter sports. Athletics is the focus until May 10. We are taking the opportunity to train boys in skills in rugby and football particularly, before the trial games start next term. The objective is to organise mass participation first and select teams later.

General Service Contributions
Thank you to all those parents who have paid their school fees so far. A large number received the $70 discount for prompt payment. In preparing, resourcing and delivering our broad curriculum services the school has spent $1,000,000 since December 1, 2007 - $863 per student. However, we always run low on funds in term 2 so it is very important that parents who have not yet paid the $4 per school day to help, do so as soon as possible. We totally rely on your support to deliver our exceptional range of facilities, resources, programs and services. We would really appreciate your payment by the end of term.

Cricket Season Wraps Up
At the cricket dinner I sketched a 5-point plan for reversing the underachievement of our cricket program of the last few years. Highly successful programs start with good facilities. Since 2005 we have constructed the retaining wall, laid the concrete slab, erected the cricket nets, provided a storage shed and we are working on setting up bowling machines and additional fencing to make training more effective and efficient. We are negotiating with Centennial Parklands to try to redevelop McKay Sports fields to increase our access to turf wickets. The next ingredient for success is to have a good coaching, training program. Laurie Heil has really professionalised our approach over the last five years and Richard Ayre has made a very positive impact in the last couple of seasons. Our program is solid. With good facilities and programs you need good people. We have attracted coaches and team managers and we need to expand on that model to ensure that every one of our 17 teams has a person assigned to look after it. That is how depth of talent is nurtured.

On top of these attributes a successful program needs discipline. All teams have to focus on bowling to instructions with patient line and length bowling to thoughtfully set fields. Teams have to learn to bat to their instructions, building their innings together, according to the game plan. More mature shot selection by most players is an urgent need. Once we have all these elements in place we can confidently set ourselves goals – a GPS Premiership in first and second grade!

First Term 2008
I would like to thank all staff, students, parents Old Boys and friends of High who have contributed towards the school outcomes this term. We have commenced the year well and we hope to sustain our optimistic attitudes right through the year.
Dr K A Jaggar

Return to Index

Public Speaking

On Wednesday 2nd April I competed in the Rostrum Voice of Youth Competition at the International Grammar School. I felt extremely honoured to represent the school at public speaking in the junior division, especially at a major competition like this. My topic was ‘Deeds not words’, and I spoke about how people shouldn’t break promises, and that they should act out what they say. There were seven other speakers, and by the time I had to speak I felt like a huge expectation was placed on me. Although I did not win, it was a great experience with a lot of feedback given to help me in future public speaking competitions. I can’t wait to do it all again.
Christopher Chiam

Congratulations to Zid Mancenido who has made it through to the Regional Final of the Rostrum Voice of Youth Competition. We would also like to congratulate the following boys who represented High in the first round of the competition: Anosh Sivashanmugarajah, Edwin Montoya, Hayden Schilling, John Aclis, Zafar Ahmed, Christopher Chiam and Christopher Pinto.
Rachel Howland

Return to Index

SBHS: Foundation Years

The pupils
The boys who enrolled at Sydney High School were almost certainly bright. In passing the entrance exam, they had already attained a high academic standard. A study carried out in 1951 found that the 1883 entrance examination was “quite difficult” and that only the arithmetic and grammar papers could reasonably be given to pupils at the end of their first year of High School in 1951. The results in Latin and French were particularly impressive since those subjects were not normally taught in the public schools in the 1880s.

Scholarships were made available at the entrance examination to boys under the age of 14 years and most candidates were very near to that maximum age. The ordinary fee-paying students who did not win scholarships at the entrance exams often enrolled at the age of 14 or 15 years. Some, who enrolled from Superior Public Schools or country schools, spent only one “finishing” year at Sydney High.

Slightly over 1,000 boys enrolled at Castlereagh Street. They were the sons of clerks and small tradespeople and came from all the settled parts of Sydney at the time. Of the 46 who enrolled in 1883, 7 came from what is now the CBD, 5 from Petersham and 4 from Paddington. The remainder were mostly scattered around the inner city and inner western suburbs. However, some came from the “country regions” of Riverstone and Penrith and even further afield from Menangle and Lithgow. The 1884 enrolment showed similar characteristics with 16 of the 122 coming from Balmain, 11 from Paddington, 9 from the CBD and 8 from Redfern, with some coming from as far afield as Bellebrook, Jerry’s Plains (near Singleton) and Kingston.

The “country boys” were accommodated closer to the school and either went home on weekends or, if from further afield, only on vacations. Some boarded with the headmaster and his wife in their home on Moore Park Road.

Unlike today, facilities for the pupils were few and any extra-curricular activities had to be organised by the boys themselves. Although some masters did show an interest in extra-curricular and sporting activities, it was not then generally the custom for masters to get involved. Indeed, there is evidence that the Department of Public Instruction actively discouraged such interests on the part of the masters, viewing them as a distraction from the main purpose of the School - to prepare boys for University. The Department took a similar view regarding the provision of other facilities for the boys.

Proper playground space or a gymnasium were also seen as inconsistent with the aims of a high school.

Other facilities were also poor or non-existent. There was no canteen at Castlereagh Street. An old boy from 1884 recalled:

Our “tuck shop” in those days was Holmes, the baker, in King St, where the best of pies, etc, were retailed at very low prices, and to see the procession to and fro at about 12.20 pm was indicative of the quality of the edibles.

Another old boy from 1884 recalled:

Those were the days, and how we used to appreciate three-pennorth of mixed boiled lollies from Prince's in Market Street, when we were rich enough to have them!

The boys’ toilets were also very far from up to scratch, as a letter in an 1888 issue of the School magazine records:

I noticed with much surprise that there was a piece of soap in the lavatory (!) the other day. Such a thing has not been seen there for an age, neither has there been a visible means of satisfying one’s thirst in a manner at all Christian-like.

The library facilities were also extremely limited. In early 1889, the school received a few dictionaries to form a “reference library”. The student-run Literary and Debating Society, which had been founded in June 1888, augmented this collection which was kept in a cupboard during the years at Castlereagh Street.

There was no official uniform, but the boys wore the school colours with pride. One old boy from the era recalled:

The boys' usual dress was either Eton jacket or sailor suits, all the boys wearing straw hats with the colours of the school as a band.

As already mentioned, the boys’ and the girls’ High Schools were strictly segregated despite occupying different floors in the same building. It is recorded that the Headmaster occasionally addressed the whole School on “the necessity for, and the wisdom of, totally ignoring the proximity of the girls on the upper floor” and gave the boys the solemn advice to give them a “wide berth”. On an unofficial level, there was a nearby dancing school that pupils from each school attended and the girls occasionally put on a dance to which they could invite any relatives they had amongst the boys. The word “relative” was very loosely construed as a large proportion of the boys were present on these occasions, although it should be noted that the dances were conducted “under the supervision of many formidable chaperones”.
SHS Old Boys Union

Return to Index

Retirement Function

Robyn Meakin's Retirement Function
Thank you to Andrew Blomberg, Richard Bi, Justin Chan, Andre Brokman, Tom Peters, Julian Byrnes and Jaan Pallandi.

These musicians generously gave up their time on Sunday and played fabulous music for us to enjoy. Well done. You created a wonderful atmosphere which was appreciated by each and every guest.
Sharon Kearns

Return to Index

From the Canteen

First up...our lucky volunteer $10 voucher winner for the month of March is Dani Hillier with Ben Hillier, in Year 8. We are sure Ben will enjoy choosing from our tasty menu!

Next we want to thank our wonderful staff and volunteers for so efficiently taking on the extra work presented by the Volleyball Tournament held at SHS in late March. We have had fantastic feedback from the very well satisfied organisers of the tournament.

Special thanks go to all the volunteers who turned out for extra duty to cope with the increased demand.

Holidays are fast approaching...we hope you will understand that towards the end of the week our menu will be a more limited one, as we run down food stocks for the holidays.
From the Canteen Team

Return to Index

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 a 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 handed in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by a 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.

Return to Index

SBHS Debating

Please check your email regularly
Parents, please encourage your sons to check their emails and reply where appropriate. You may miss opportunities if you don’t regularly check!

None this Friday, starts again on May 2nd.

Year Coach Room
7 Workshops- Kaivan Vaidya
Ellie Bath
Blaise Davidson
Mel Brooks
Senior study 1
8 Workshops- Dr Finnie
Alice Dixon
Romesh Abeysuriya
Mike Selway
Senior study 2
9 Workshops- Tanvir Uddin
Kelvin Yu
Michael Coutts
10 Elizabeth Ames
Will Clegg
11 /12 Sriram Srikumar
Tom Kaldor

A reminder to boys that they have all signed a Code of Conduct agreeing to behave in a suitable manner at all Debating activities. Breaching this code may result in boys being removed from Debating for a few weeks or altogether. We have over 100 boys debating this year and I don’t have the time, energy or patience to deal with people who don’t want to take Debating seriously.

Results- Eastside and FED Comp
The boys got trounced again this week in Eastside with Sydney Girls High demolishing us in all 6 Debates! The dates for Semi- finals and Finals shall be confirmed shortly.

Parking- Helpers sought
We have been given parking dates on the afternoons of Sunday April 20th and Sunday May 4th. We require parents and students to donate time to assist us raise fund to provide the program this year. If you are free to help please email the Parking Coordinator- Harleen Kaur at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Ms Jocelyn Brewer
MIC Debating

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

Return to Index

Music Notices

Kuringai Concerto Competition
Ennes Mehmedbasic (Yr 8) and Muhamed Mehmedbasic (Yr 12) competed in the Kuringai Concerto Competition last Sunday; Junior and Senior sections respectively and performed stunningly. With over 100 entrants, there were some highly outstanding performances. Congratulations to Muhamed who has progressed to the top 20 in the semi-finals.

Baroque Consorts and Banquet
Our first ever Baroque music consorts and banquet will be held early next term on Saturday the 10th of May (Week 2) in the Great Hall. The ensembles will be performing various works from the Baroque period ranging from Vivaldi to Bach. The feast will begin at 5pm followed by performances by our music ensembles.

Cost of tickets including dinner: $25.00 per head.
Students performing in ensembles: $20.00

Please make payment to the front office by Friday 2nd of May, week 1

Marching Band rehearsals
Extra Marching Band rehearsals will be held in the 2nd week of the holidays; 21st and the 23rd of April from 9:30am till 12pm at school. Students are to bring their instruments and music for each rehearsal. Please note that the Wednesday (23/4/08) rehearsal is a FULL DRESS rehearsal (Please wear WHITE shirts and BLAZER).

ANZAC Day March
Students are required to be present at school by 8:30am on Friday the 25th of April with their instruments; the bus will be departing immediately into town. Please expect to be at the march until midday. Students can leave with their parents or return to school to be dismissed.

Annual Music Camp
This year’s annual music camp will be held in Term 2 on the 27th-29th of May 2008 at the Merroo Conference Centre. Members of all ensembles will be expected to attend with the camp culminating in an end of camp concert showcasing their hard work. Please put these dates in your diary. Camp forms are available NOW outside the music staffroom.

Combined Selective School Music Festival
The first ever combined selective schools music concert will be held at Sydney Girls High School next term on Sunday the 29th of June. The concert will include students from various selective high schools and will be directed by special guest conductors. Students in musical ensembles will be advised on this closer to the date.

Music Calender for Term 2, 2008

Week Day Date Activity Group
1A Tuesday 29/04 Music Supporters Group meeting Common Room 6.30pm Parent group
2B Saturday 10/05 Baroque Consorts with Feast @ 5pm All Ensembles
3A All Week 12-16/05 Education Week Various Senior Students
5A Tuesday - Thursday 27–29/05 Music Camp @ Merroo Centre with Camp Concert Great Hall @ 6pm Thurs ALL Students and tutors
7A Thursday 12/06 June Junior Concert Junior Ensembles
9B Wednesday 25/06 Meet the Music Concert SOH 6.30pm  
9B Sunday 29/06 Selective Schools Concert (SGHS) Selected students
Return to Index

Athletics Report

This week was Highs invitational out at Homebush. There were a good number of High boys out there to push for selection in the second week of the athletics season and to see how far they had come in the last week of training. There were a number of mixed results, with the junior team performing really well and a lack of numbers hurting the senior team. Standout performers were Josh Tassel winning his 100m and 200m in 11.46 and 23.05 seconds respectively. Shadman Ali burned up the track with his quick running giving his competitors nothing in the 100m running 11.62 but was only just pipped at the line in the 200m. D Mah ran well, coming 3rd in his 13s hurdles race and P Prashan placed 2nd in his 14s 400m (59.71), and Sam Lane won his 15s 1500m (4:30.55). In the field David Ngyuen blasted his competitors away (11.25), Scott Renzenbrink leaped over all others in the 14s high jump (1.60). In the seniors Matthew Rusli performed strongly coming third in Opens shot put, while Lachlan Street and Kogs Srirajam showed us what they could do, both coming third in their 200m. Thanks must go to all the staff, parental and student helpers, without whom the carnival would not have run as smoothly as it did.

There will be athletic training during the holidays

First Week of Holidays Monday
7.00 – 9.00am Weights  Jason Tassell
9.00 – 10.30am Jason Tassell (Speed and Endurance Training)  MPW

7.00 – 9.00am Weights  Jason Tassell
9.00am – 10.30am Athletics Training ES Marks

7.00 – 9.00am Weights  Jason Tassell
9.00am – 10.30am Athletics Training ES Marks

Second Week of Holidays   Monday
7.00 – 9.00am Weights  Jason Tassell
9.00 – 10.30am Jason Tassell (Speed and Endurance Training)

7.00 – 9.00am Weights  Jason Tassell
9.00am – 10.30am Athletics Training ES Marks

Saturday April 26th 2008
TKS  Invitation Athletics 1.00pm Homebush  

Dates to put in your calendar:

Thursday May 8th 2008
Athletics Dinner (Great Hall) 6.30pm

Friday May 9TH 2008
GPS Athletics Assembly, Great Hall, 11:30am

Saturday May 10th 2008
AAGPS Athletics Championships, SIAC 1 & 2 (Homebush)

George Denny-Smith

Return to Index

Athletics Dinner

The Great Hall
Thursday 8th May
6.30pm for 7.00pm

Athletes, Parents, Guardians, Teachers and Coaches,

Athletics invites you to attend the Athletics dinner for the athletes who competed in the 2008 GPS season. The evening is an opportunity for the boys to revisit the triumphs and shared experiences of their season.

The GPS Team will be announced on the night. It is also a great opportunity for parents to socialise and show support. I would appreciate your support on this occasion – so please come along.

The cost of the dinner is $30 for adults and $25 for students. The athletic captain and junior captain will collect a $5 contribution for the coaches’ gifts.

Your payment must be made to the front office by Friday May 2nd
The dinner is a BYO function for adults.

Yours Faithfully,
Robert Devlin
MIC Athletics

Return to Index

Dental Health

All school children can access public oral health services directly through the Priority Oral health Program on a needs basis. Parents seeking treatment for their children through the public health system can contact our Call Centre on 1300 369 651 (Illawarra) 1300 134 226 (South East Sydney).

Return to Index

New Library & Performing Arts Centre

Tax Deductible 125th Anniversary Project

Sydney Boys High School depends upon its community of parents, Old Boys and supporters to further the School’s ethos of the pursuit of all-round excellence.

We have a bold vision for a two stage Library & Performing Arts Centre. With advances in information technology, there is a pressing need to create a facility which is able to adapt and keep pace with meeting the increasing needs of our students. The estimated cost of the combined project is $4m. Stage one requires $1.8m; we have $400k. A new tax deductible monthly giving program has been introduced to help fund our development goal.

We have implemented an arrangement with ANZ Bank for automatic monthly deductions from a nominated credit card. You can elect to give $50, $40, $30 or $20 each month for a period of twelve months. Your nominated amount, along with your name and credit card details will be sent to the bank electronically. At the end of the financial year, the school will issue an annual statement as evidence of tax deductible donations. You can opt in or out of the scheme provided you notify the school in writing five working days before the fifteenth day of each month.

Thank you for helping to make a difference for our boys

Name: _________________ Daytime Phone Number: _______________
Address: _______________________________
Postcode: _ _ _ _
Email Address: _________________________
I authorise SBHS to make the following deductions
from the credit card nominated below:
Card Type: Bankcard __    Mastercard __    Visa __
Monthly deduction for 12 months:
$50 __      $40 __      $30 __      $20 __
Card Number: _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _
Expiry Date: ___/___
Cardholder’s Name:  _________________________________
[please print]

Cardholder’s Signature:  ____________________________

Return to Index