High Notes, Vol 9 No 3, February 15 2008
From the Principal
Chinese New Year Function
Early Bird Payment Discount
Year 10 on Thursday Afternoons
SBHS: The Foundation Years
The Inauguration of the School
A week after work commenced in the boys’ school, on 8 October 1883, the Sydney High Schools were inaugurated in a ceremony conducted on the ground floor of the Castlereagh Street school building. The Minister for Education at the time was George Houston Reid, later a Prime Minister of Australia.
The press reported that Reid delivered a brief speech in which he noted that when he took office, believing that high schools would be a most valuable link uniting the lower and higher system of public instruction he was determined to bring them into operation without delay.
However, Reid yielded pride of place on the occasion to a great scholar, the Rev Professor Charles Badham (1813-1884). Badham was Professor of Classics at Sydney University, the finest textual critic of his generation and the friend of the writer William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), the biologist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), and of the great English theologians John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and Frederick Maurice (1805-1872).
It was appropriate that Professor Badham was given the honour of addressing the gathering, for he more than anyone was responsible for the movement that had brought them there that day. For many years he had urged the creation of an effective high school system to link the elementary public schools with the University.
The speech, the last oration that Professor Badham delivered before he died in January 1884, was a masterpiece of oratory and covered some of the themes that might arise in relation to the provision of a “liberal” education to children of the emerging middle classes:
...but you are entering upon a course which, if maintained with perseverance, will, after a
few years, enable you to say that you belong to the rank of educated men and women. I call this
higher education “a rank.” Do not understand by that, that it is intended you should
necessarily enter upon any higher occupations than were first intended for you. Some of you may
indeed rise to callings which, in the estimation of the world, command more respect than others;
but even those who follow the occupation of their fathers will have acquired a dignity, a place
in the world, which can be gained by no amount of wealth, and which no trade or calling, however
humble, can rob them of. The time is coming, and perhaps you may live to glory in its being come,
when the only thing which ennobles a man in the estimation of his fellows is a cultivated mind.
And so now I say to you, children of New South Wales, that you are beginning on this day a career
which will lead you, not only to knowledge, but also to the rank which higher education confers.
And to whom are you indebted for all the contrivances which are to give you this blessing of
higher education? To your country – to the public opinion of New South Wales, as expressed
by its Parliament.... But enough of warnings and preachings, for this is the time for joyful
hope. Be full of hope, my young friends; for hope is the only soil in which good resolutions can
grow; and we, too, will hope with you, and for you, and the utterance of our hope shall be in
devout and loving wishes for your success and happiness.
Now that 2008 is under way the English faculty would like to extend a warm welcome to our Year 7 students and parents as well as to those new students who are settling in to Years 9 and 11. If you have any queries regarding the program of English your son is undertaking this year please contact either your son’s English Teacher or Ms Trompetter for assistance.
I am sure that you will all agree that confident and articulate skills in the key English areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking are critical not only for the achievement of academic excellence but vital for success in both tertiary and work contexts. To this extent we particularly appreciate your support in the following areas – wide reading and homework. In lives that are increasingly frenetic and framed by technology the quiet act of reading books for pleasure is sometimes lost and this loss has a very real impact, not just on our appreciation of an increasingly complex world, but also on the development of sophisticated analytical and creative writing skills. The English staff are committed to encouraging wide-reading and reading suggestions will be distributed to all students in Years 7-10. Your help in ensuring that your son is reading regularly and often at home will assist our faculty focus on wide-reading this year. Newspapers, magazines, biographies, novels ... make it a family affair ... a point of family debate and conversation.
In addition to encouraging wide-reading we expect all students to complete English homework regularly, thoroughly and with due regard to given deadlines. This homework may take the form of specific assignments or consist of the completion of class writing tasks.
All Year 7 students are undertaking a short diagnostic literacy test. This test will be administered by their English teacher and will assist us in identifying students with specific literacy needs and providing appropriate intervention. Most Year 7 classes have already completed this test.
The following opportunities are available for Year 12 Extension 2 students to refine their writing skills and gain valuable insights into the production of their Major Works:
'WriteNow' is a creative writing competition for students in Years 7-9 – entries close April 11. Information and entries are available from the English faculty. This competition is sponsored by the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sydney Writers Festival and we would like to encourage as many students as possible to enter. Details are posted on the English notice board.
A reading suggestion...
'Mister Pip' by Lloyd Jones- winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and short listed for the Booker Prize. This is a compelling and profoundly moving contemporary transformation of Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations'. It may also inspire you to read or re-visit the latter- it certainly had this effect on me!
Finally, in this very significant week when our democratically elected Government has chosen to
express our collective humanity through the word “sorry” I am once again reminded of
the power of language to open a door and invite in the possibility of something better...such is
the power of the pen!
Year 8 Parent Group
An Invitation to Year 8 Parents
Our 1st Meeting of the Year 8 Parent Group for 2008 will be held on
Wednesday 20th February at 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend
Parent Group meetings are an ideal opportunity to meet other parents in your son's Year, raise questions, make suggestions and discuss any concerns you may have.
For this meeting we will need to discuss the New Parents Cocktail Party.
If there is any other specific item that you may wish to discuss at this meeting please e-mail
We look forward to seeing you there!Return to Index
Fieldwork is integral to Geography and some of the best work can be done on excursions. The aim is to get the best experience where students can both learn and see more of their locale. Two trips, both new, sought to bring a practical slant to key questions.
Towards the end of last term Year 9 students carried out work in The Rocks area. The aim was to study the physical geography of the area and to gain skills in fieldwork such as field sketching. The Harbour in its present state is only about 6000 years old and it was interesting to consider how the area might have looked and how it’s changed (and then to see what might happen under a global warming scenario. After this we looked at the development of the area and especially its tourist functions. Transects of the area showed a considerable decline in tourist facilities away from Circular Quay. Details like this, often taken for granted, are crucial if we are to understand urban planning. Such an insight is a key part of the Years 9 and 10 syllabus.
The HSC Geography students were looking at another part of the urban puzzle and the question of
sustainable development. Apart from the syllabus requirements this is shaping up to be one of the
most important questions we are likely to face in the short term. We were fortunate to be able to
get 3 leading speakers to give talks about their areas of expertise. The first stop on the tour
was to examine the role of sustainable design in housing and the questions we need to take into
account. This was followed by a tour of Lend Lease, a world leader in sustainable business
practice. The advantage here was that we got to listen to a key worker as well as get a tour
around the much-praised ‘Bond’ building. The final stop of the day was the City of
Sydney council where the team involved in the ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ gave us a
thorough examination of their plans and how they saw the way forward. Each of the three examined
a different part of the sustainability puzzle – together they gave us a great overview of
how we might put this together.
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.Return to Index
The weather was the winner last Saturday and we are hopeful that we get the opportunity to further improve our position in all age groups this weekend. It is frustrating to all of us including mums and dads who provide transport, for the players who miss another week of cricket and of course to the coaches who are keen to see the boys put into play the skills they practised at sport afternoons. However at the time of compiling High Notes the forecast is encouraging for this coming Saturday and we are seeking some overdue results from our Group 1 teams from the 14As, 15As and 16As in the rescheduled One Day fixtures. Good luck to all
Some AAGPS background
Each week the Sport Masters meet and allocate grounds with the “Home Team (School) conducting Group 1 (2 Day fixtures) and the “Away School” committed to provide wickets for the Group 2 (One day fixtures) so that the load is shared.. Once that is completed it is passed to the Cricket Co-ordinator who puts in place the administration support elements. In High’s case we have 16 teams and most Saturdays 8 will play at our grounds at McKay, Moore Park West and Kippax Lake. Location maps and directions to travel to other schools are displayed on the cricket Website. Please use this source for your enquiries regarding ground locations
Committee and General Meeting- Next Wednesday 20th FEB 2008 Change of Location
Cricket Equipment- At School and Matches
Cricket Dinner- Friday 4th April 2008
The season is rushing past as the regatta season is in full swing. Last weekend the Year 10 VIIIs had another successful campaign on the Yarra River against Melbourne High. The racing was well contested but with the cool headed stroke play of George Denny-Smith and the tactical coxing skill of Gareth Deacon our firsts triumphed. Unfortunately Melbourne did not field a seconds crew but our Nam inspired seconds improved dramatically on the tight racing of the Yarra.
Also the St Joseph’s College Regatta was held on Iron Cove and this did not suit our lighter crews in the heavy head wind conditions. Our VIII closed the gap on first but it is a very tight field this year. Welcome to Tom Peters our newest rower to the school and we now have a third four which we hope will be good enough to row at Penrith on March 19.
This weekend the 1st & 2nd VIIIs & 1st IV will contest the State Championships, while the 2nd & 3rd IV will continue training on the Parramatta. All the other crews, Year 10 VIIIs included, will race in the Shore School regatta on the Hen & Chicken course.
Crews will soon be selected for the age based CHS Championships to be held at Penrith after the GPS regatta. Daniel O’Keefe our Captain of Boats and top sculler is well placed for a strong performance in the prestigious Champion CHS sculling event. We will contest all the boys sculling events.
Below is the Calendar for the remainder of the season.
Basketball: Shootin' Hoops
Term 4 2007 (Last time)
Term 1 2008 (This week)
High consistently on the rise!
Mr Hayman's Player of the Week: Ping Du (2nd Grade)
To team captains
So you wake up on Saturday morning and it is raining…
1st Grade vs. Kings
Learn to Row
When: Sunday, 17 February – 30 March 2008 (No Rowing Easter Sunday 23 March 2008)
Time: 7.00am – 9.00am Duration6: Sessions of 2 hours
Cost: $275.00 incl. GST
Coach: Ross Bowey
Venue: The Outterside Centre, 5 Teviot Avenue, Abbotsford
If you want to learn Rowing in Sydney, then this course of 6 classes is for you. Whether you are a complete novice or have some previous experience, come and learn the skills of rowing. Rowing is the ideal aerobic sport for the entire body as it is low impact and low injury. You’ll enjoy the ultimate team activity as well as the magic moments of early mornings on the water.
Agenda - Beginners
Safety Note: Participants must be able to swim 50 metres and tread water as a safety requirement. All participants must sign The Sydney High Foundation’s Indemnity Form, stating swimming ability, before they are allowed on the water.
Under 18’s must be accompanied by a participating adult.
To make a booking or for more information:
Chinese New Year Dinner
Families and friends, past parents, teachers and Old Boys are all welcome
Organised by SBHS Development Committee and P&C
Please note: Payment must be received at the school office by lunchtime on 15 February 2008. Unfortunately there will be no admission on the night without prepayment because of catering needs
For enquiries ring Charles Ovadia on 9386 1221Return to Index
Canteen Price List
As you know all Canteen profits are returned to the school via the P&C for the benefit of the boys. We try to keep prices as low as possible, whilst providing a variety of healthy choices. However, cost increases from our suppliers have made a few price increases unavoidable.Return to Index
New Parents' Welcome Party
You are cordially invited to attend the Sydney Boys High School New Parents Welcome Party 2008
To be held in the Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School
This will be a great opportunity for new parents to meet each other and to meet other members of the School Family.
Please note this is a function for the parents, not children, so please leave them at home.
For catering purposes please RSVP by 19th February 2008 by completing the form below and returning it to the School Office. If you have previously responded to the invitation recently posted to you, there is no need to complete the RSVP form below.
RSVP - Welcome Party I/we will be able to attend the Welcome Party for the Parents of New students 2008 to be held on Tuesday February 26th 6.30pm in the Great Hall, Sydney Boys High. Please print below names of persons attending and your son's name and class. Mother's name: ______________________________________________________________ Father's name: ______________________________________________________________ Son's name: ______________________________________________________________ Son's Class: ______________________________________________________________ Please return to school Office by February 19th in an envelope marked WELC0ME PARTY RSVP
Return to Index
Old Boys Union Life membership by instalments scheme
The Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union (the OBU) was founded in 1892. Over the past 115 years, it has fostered and continued the friendships formed by students while at school and through this fellowship contributed something of value to the School’s corporate spirit and well being.
Membership of the OBU will provide a lifetime of professional, social, sporting and academic connections with Sydney High, its network of old boys, and the alumni of other GPS schools.
Life membership can be secured by the payment of six small annual contributions throughout the passage from Year 7 to Year 12. Instalments are currently set at $44.
If, for some reason, all six payments have not been made by the time of leaving, the OBU will contact you and allow a further 12 months to pay any outstanding instalments.
We trust that you will see fit to pay this year's instalment towards securing your son’s life membership. Those of you who are already part of the scheme will know that the OBU posts copies of its quarterly magazine to all students who take part.
Please fill out and return the form below.
PAYMENT ADVICE (tax invoice) Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union Inc ABN 22 652 291 509
Student’s name: _______________________________________ Final year: ______________
Postal address: __________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________ Postcode: _______________
E-mail Address: __________________________________________________________________
Payment of $44.00 by :-
Complete if paying by credit card: ______ / ______ / ______ / ______ Expiry Date: __/__
Name on card: _______________________________________________________
Please return to SHSOBU, PO Box 1546, DARLINGHURST NSW 1300