High Notes, Vol 9 No 36, November 14 2008
From the Principal
Year 12 Portfolios
ACER Pilot Testing
School Plan 2009-2011
So fair a collection of reviews of Just Macbeth! we have not seen. There’s nothing foul about them. Runners up were the very talented Andrew Bui (7F), Daniel Cordas (7T), Steven Ngo (7M) and Albert Chau (7E), and ?? (7S). They will receive a packet of Wizz Fizz which should be sufficient for a minor potion at the very least. The student who shall be Thane of Reviews is Nevin Lazarus (7R). He receives an entire multipack of Wizz Fizz and we hope he will not gorge himself on it all alone until he is very sick indeed. Here is his review in full.
‘Just Macbeth! – a play by Andy Griffiths, directed by Wayne Harrison, is an extremely funny version of Shakespeare’s great bloody tragedy. And when I say ‘funny,’ I mean ‘fall out of your seat laughing.’ It is performed by six funny but tragic actors except McDuff the garden gnome, and has a severed head that talks Shakespearean. There are witches and Wizz Fizz and ghosts and girl germs and weird Elizabethan things like soliloquies and sharp swords. The play starts in a primary school where a group of three children are acting out Macbeth for a school play. They drink their magic potion and are teleported to the world of Macbeth. Andy, the main character, becomes Macbeth, his friend Danny becomes Banquo and Lisa becomes Lady Macbeth. The tale continues and Macbeth meets the witches who make the prophecy. A very funny part is when Macbeth is convinced to kill the king because of his awful karaoke. Banquo comes back as an angel on a skateboard and McDuff and his army of gnomes have rapidly grown from eating Brussels sprouts.
Much admired children’s writer Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most humorous, successful and multitalented writers. He is the author of fifteen books ranging from nonsense verse to short stories, novels and creative writing textbooks, as well as a parent’s guide for creating a healthier lifestyle for children. His books include The Day My Bum Went Psycho as well as the extremely popular Just! series of short stories.
Overall I rate this play 4.7 stars out of 5 as it was very funny and I would recommend it to
people about to start Shakespeare and also adults who have already studied it.’
And COMING SOON…. A special guest appearance
From the Library
Belated Acknowledgement to Old Boy Authors – Dating From 125th Foundation Day.
I am now accessioning from Old Boy Author, Alan Nichols – former Archdeacon of
We also were given 5 publications from Professor Fred Stephens, Professor Emeritus and former
Head of the Department of Surgery, University of Sydney. They are:
Headmasters of Sydney Boys High School
Charles Rathay Smith (1859-1941)
Charles Rathay Smith, the School’s fourth Headmaster (1919-1924), was born in the Orkney Islands, Scotland on 29 December 1859.
A graduate of Aberdeen University (MA), he arrived in Sydney and joined the government teaching service in November 1883. He taught for a short time at Bathurst, Goulburn and Sydney High Schools, before moving to Fort Street Superior Public School and then Leichhardt Superior Public School.
He rejoined Sydney Boys’ High as a teacher in 1897 where it is reported he took classes in the assembly room at the School in Ultimo, teaching Latin, Greek, French and German. He could be seen moving quietly among groups of boys, some of them studying Greek, others German, and each divided into small groups according to their grade. His efforts in this regard were attended with great success. Under his direct tuition in Greek, Wilfred Porter won the Cooper Scholarship for Classics in 1902. Mr Smith’s pupils won the medals for German in the Junior University Examination on four separate occasions and, in the 1905 Senior University Examination, his pupils won the medals for both French and German.
He left Sydney High in 1906 to become the first Headmaster of Newcastle High School and then spent three years at North Sydney Boys’ High. He returned to Sydney High as Headmaster in 1919.
Under his Headmastership, the School continued to excel at languages, with boys winning the Cooper Scholarship on three occasions and the Lithgow Scholarship for French and German on four occasions. In sport, rowing was established during Mr Smith’s term of office. The 1st IV won the Yaralla Cup at the GPS Regatta on its first attempt in 1924.
Many years later, one Old Boy recalled of Mr Smith:
He was a dapper little man with a white moustache. I guess he was a Latin Specialist, as the boys almost immediately christened him “Caesar” and there from his office was known as “Caesar's Winter Quarters”. This was coined from a Latin text book Caesar’s Gallic Wars where the phrase occurred frequently. Nevertheless it was appropriate, as the office was, in fact, a dark cold room.
At his retirement, The Record said of him: “The remarkable scholastic success gained by the School in the last six years, during his regime, is the monument and record of his influence. The love and esteem felt by the boys towards him is the outcome of his never-varying straightforward and manly method of dealing with them.”
The Eastern Suburbs Public Speaking Competition took place last Friday night. Our five
competitors delivered unique and entertaining speeches. This is a highly competitive event and we
were really pleased to see Chris Chiam win the Junior Division. Congratulations also go to
Stephen Garofano, Alain Nguyen, John Aclis and Hayden Schilling. Well done!
On Friday 7th November I competed in the Eastern Suburbs Public Speaking Competition at The Scots
College. I was extremely honoured to be representing the school in the Junior Division. My topic
for my prepared speech was ‘A Will to Succeed’, speaking about motivation and goal
setting and striving to reach your goals. For the impromptu we had 3 minutes to prepare a speech
on ‘Double Trouble’. My competitors were all from private schools and the standard
was extremely high, and as they read out the place getters I was so excited when they announced
that I was the 1st place winner. This was the first time since the competition started in 1993
that Sydney Boys have won first place in the Junior Division. It was a great experience and I am
looking forward to more public speaking competitions in the future.
Year 8 ESSA Test
Dear Parent or Care Giver
It contains multiple choice, short response and extended response tasks.
The ESSA test is a diagnostic test that will provide information about what students know and can do in science. Tasks in the test are framed on Stage 4 outcomes and essential content in the NSW Science Years 7–10 Syllabus. Students can bring home the test stimulus magazine to discuss with you after the test.
Students will be tested on their:
Students complete a survey about their opinions, attitudes and values.
Students are also asked to provide their name, gender and age. They are requested to provide information as to whether they are from an English or non‐English speaking background and for information as to whether or not they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This information is treated confidentially and held securely to ensure that the right to privacy of all students is maintained.
Results of the test will be available near the end of Term 1 2009. A personal report prepared for each student will describe the scientific knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student in the test. There will also be information about how the student’s results compare with overall performance of all students in the test.
Film Making and Digital Media - Student Film Festival
The forty film students, after completing three major film projects throughout the year, viewed each others films and together selected five of their favourite films to enter into the annual DET Movie Making Festival.
This is the second year Sydney Boys High School have entered the competition and this year four of our five films have been selected to be screened at the festival on the 25th November 2008.
The films selected include:
A Fly’s Life – Written, Directed and edited by Leon Sheldon and Matthew Petrenas
School Kid – The Final Cut Written By Ian Ho, Filmed by Timothy Tan and Joseph Lui Edited by Joseph Lui
Fifty - Written, directed and filmed Nakul Bhagwat and Andrew Hau edited By Andrew Hau
Ramadan – Written, directed, filmed and edited by Raghib Siddiquee
Our Name is Charlie written, directed and edited by Brendan Hancock and Sam Weight was the film not selected to be screened at the festival. The panel consisted of DET personnel and an industry representative, Ian Gilmour, who has over 30 years experience in directing. The panel gave great credit to the students’ work and stated in a response that the film is a ‘heartfelt, poignant film that sensitively explores important teenage issues. It is a sophisticated, sincere and coherent film with strong and, sometimes, disturbing imagery.’ They stated that it was because of ‘it's sophistication and the adult themes presented, that the film would rate beyond PG.’ So, unfortunately, for this reason only, they were unable to screen the film at Making Movies 2008. The film will be entered into another competition later this year.
The festival will screen 26 secondary student films from around the state, ranging from 1 minute to 8 minutes in length at the Palace Cinema Norton St Leichardt at 6.30pm-8pm on Tuesday 25th November 2008.
All parents, students and friends of Sydney Boys High are invited to attend the Movie Making festival to support the Visual Arts students and see the work of the new generation of film makers.
Year 8 and 9 students who will be studying Film Making and Digital media next year are strongly encouraged to attend.
What: Student Film Festival
When: 6.30pm- 8pm 25th November 2008
Where: Palace Cinema, Norton St , Leichardt
Cost: Tickets at the door $10 per person / groups of 10 arranged prior with Visual Arts Department $2 per ticket
To arrange group bookings of 10 please see
Congratulations to Nevin Spoljaric
Open to all Australian secondary school students, the 2009 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize - Secondary School Section is an incredible opportunity for students to enter a prestigious national competition.
One student in each category (see below) will have their entry selected to win a substantial cash prize, plus their school will receive a gift of the same amount to use on its internal arts development program. An additional 45 students will be selected as finalists and will have their work exhibited at the State Library of New South Wales and toured nationally, plus receive a certificate of merit. In 2008 a further 160 secondary school works were also exhibited at the State Library of New South Wales as runners up.
To view the finalists and runners up in the 2008 competition, go to http://moranprizes.com.au
CATEGORIES & PRIZES
Category 1.1 - Years 11-12 Best Work Prize $5,000 + $5,000 to the winning student's school Category 1.2 - Years 9 -10 Best Work Prize $3,000 + $3,000 to the winning student's school Category 1.3 - Years 7-8 Best Work Prize $2,000 + $2,000 to the winning student's school
Entrants to the 2009 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize - Secondary Schools Section are asked to interpret the theme Contemporary Life in Australia with an emphasis on Australians going about their day-to-day lives.
Finalists will be notified by phone (and email) prior to the official announcement the week
commencing 9 March 2009. To enter online or to download instructions go to http://moranprizes.com.au
Year 9 Geography Field Work
Recently, this semester’s Geography students got to study Pyrmont as part of their work on communities. Communities and suburbs are the life blood of any city and Sydney actively promotes this through its various planning initiatives such as the idea of urban villages. Pyrmont makes a great study area because it contains almost all the urban history of Sydney from 1788 onwards. A key aim of the day was to teach the skill of observation and in this regards, practical work is invaluable: it can’t be replaced or duplicated online.
Starting at Pyrmont Point Park the students spent the morning gathering data on the various phases of development. Annotated field sketches allowed data to be displayed easily and reinforced the idea of observation. In the afternoon, the group was divided into 5 and each given an area of the suburb to study in detail. One group was lucky enough to find a plaque commemorating the original sandstone quarry – Paradise. Sadly, this is now just a back wall for development sandwiched between Anzac Bridge and older sites awaiting development. Luckily, Paradise referred to the ease with which the stone could be quarried (we didn’t find the others – Purgatory and Hell Hole which is probably just as well).
An excellent day’s work from a very dedicated group of students with very pleasant weather
(not our norm!) to complete the experience.
Volunteer - Parents - Needed for Orientation Afternoon
On Tuesday November 18, there will be an Orientation Afternoon for new students entering Sydney Boys High School in 2009.
From 3:00 pm until 3:50 pm, refreshments will be served in the Courtyard for our new students and their families. Refreshments will also be available after the Assembly from 4.45pm until approximately 5.30pm.
It’s a great opportunity to welcome new parents to the school, and to encourage them to be involved in the school community.
NATIONAL YOUNG LEADERS DAY 2008
There was a variety of speakers who each gave us much insight into the way they have become leaders, and how they have developed since becoming leaders. The speakers included Paul Fitzsimons (journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald and author), James Castrission and Justin Jones (who kayaked from New South Wales to New Zealand earlier this year), Jane Burke (author), Mike Martin (president of the Halogen Foundation) and Catriona Rowntree (presenter on Getaway).
Every speaker had a funny story to tell followed by a powerfully inspiring message. Each speaker shared with us their successes and failures and conveyed the sense that they are just normal people like all of us, (this was especially true with the two kayakers!)
There were also numerous short clips and activities throughout the day, ranging from an excerpt of Shrek III to a BBC documentary about Gordon Ramsay. However, what was perhaps the greatest part of the day was the chance to meet so many other school leaders from around Australia. In fact, each one of us not only met new people, but saw many familiar faces and had a chance to share our experiences.
Overall the day was a great experience, and it is an opportunity that should definitely not be
passed up if any students are given the chance in the future.
There is an exciting opportunity open to two students at SBHS aged 16-18 who will hold a
leadership position in the school in 2009 to attend a free two day leadership program at UNSW on
the 20-21 January 2009. If interested please see Mrs Collignon by the 17 November 2008.
SHSRC Dinner Invitation
Mr Geoffrey Blinkhorne, President of the Sydney High School Rifle Club cordially invites club members and supporters to a dinner to commemorate
125 Years of Target Rifle Shooting at Sydney High
to be held in the Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School, Moore Park, Surry Hills.
Saturday, 13th December, 2008,
Tickets on sale until 28 November 2008
Names of people attending:
Names of people attending: ___________________________ _________________________
Total Non-Students Attending ____ x $45.00 = $ ____________
Total Students (inc. Full-Time Uni Students) Attending ____ x $30.00 = $_______
PLEASE RETURN THIS SLIP WITH A CHEQUE OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO:
Boggabilla Trip September 2008
It was a cold spring morning, and the selected few who were privileged enough to experience the delight of the Boggabilla trip assembled at the school before 6am. After an extremely long and eventful bus trip filled with plenty of card games and snacks, and a stop for Gareth’s birthday cake, we arrived once again for another great stay at Boggabilla.
We were greeted by teachers and students alike, and greeted those who we met when they came down to Sydney. After a few hours of Basket- and Handball, and a small tour of the school, we were off to bed in the school gym.
An early start the next day meant a welcome to country from a Boggabilla elder, a full tour of the school and an introduction to the many new facilities that Boggabilla central school has to offer. This includes correspondence classrooms, smart boards, and projectors. We then packed all our gear for camping and worked together to produce a rap song that both we and the Bogga kids could relate to.
In the end, the song “Bogga bush track” was written, and Leo, Michael, George, and James recorded it using the school's recording facilities. This was done with the generous help of Matt from Desert Pea productions who spent much time recording, filming and editing the video. When we were done we moved off to the camping sites, set up our tents and fires, and relaxed for the afternoon, with a choice of activities including canoeing, fishing and visiting an orange orchard. It was then where we witnessed the immaculate fishing skills of the Boggabilla kids. For nearly two hours around 10 of us were struggling to find a bite, when 3 Bogga kids came along and caught 2 fish within five minutes. It wasn’t long before they were teaching us their technique and we started catching some fish of our own. That night we heard traditional Aboriginal stories around the campfire, including a traditional favourite “the seven sisters.”
The next morning we were busy packing up our tents and cleaning up after ourselves, putting out
fires and picking up all the rubbish. We then visited a hand-made paper factory where many of the
local Aborigines work at and create their own designs. We tried our hand at making our own
uniquely styled papers but discovered it was much easier said than done. That afternoon was spent
relaxing and socialising with the Bogga kids playing our traditional game of touch footy and
basketball. While the High boys just managed to grasp victory in the basketball, the Bogga boys
were too quick and agile for us in the touch and grabbed an easy victory. We also got to see the
finished product of our rap song, turning out far better than we imagined. It was then time for
our final farewells before turning in to the recently cleaned Boggabilla motel where we got a
good nights rest before the long journey back to Sydney.
This weekend is the Head of the Parramatta where 1st VIII, 2nd VIII & 1st IV will race against the other GPS schools from Homebush Bay to Sydney rowing club a distance of approximately 4.5km. The race begins at 7.30am so boys will have an early start. Next week our junior crews will do the same.
There are a few minor changes to the calendar. They are the GPS sculling Day which is now on
November 28 after school at Penrith. This involves only our top 4 scullers. Also the CHS
Championships are now on Tuesday March 31 and Wednesday April 1 at Grafton. These are age
championships so the top rowers from each group will attend.
The Under 16’s and 1st Grade volleyball teams play their last All Schools Tournament this
Sunday before heading to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup. The
16’s have been performing excellently to make the Final in most of the tournaments
contested this year. So far they have been collecting silver medals but the contests have all
been close. First Grade have been rebuilding this year. With an exodus of Year 12 players last
year, this season has been a development exercise. The new team is young but has looked strong in
recent outings taking the gold medal at the last 2 tournaments. This Sunday’s tournament
will give the under 16 and 1st grade teams valuable competition before competing at the
Australian Schools event being held at the National Sports Centre in Melbourne during week 9 of
High Cricket Bulletin
Last Saturday, High cricket potential went on display against Scots and a message was delivered to our future oppositions, that we mean business when they meet us in competition this season. Group 1 teams performed well across the board with the 1st XI amassing 289 runs, the 2 nd XI taking 6 -26 in 17 overs as Scots chased our score of 105 and the 3 rd XI have achieved 1 st Innings points, leading Scots by 57 runs with one wkt in hand.
Our junior teams also performed well and we achieved draws in 4 matches, 3 of which we could have won if rain had not caused matches to be terminated early. However, the task could have been easier where High teams could have been chasing smaller run targets instead of some of the opposition team totals, due to poor fielding and far too many catches being turfed. The good news is that we can improve in these areas by concentrating on the basic skills and applying those lessons learnt from matches.
Now for a quick round-up of current news:
BRISBANE TOUR – U15 and U14 Teams
BARBERIS CUP – V- MELBOURNE HIGH
The SYDNEY 5 HIGHS
GROUP 1. (Two –Day fixtures)
2nd.XI (Day 1) HIGH 10 -105 (59) - versus- SCOTS 6 -26
16 A (Day 1) HIGH 0 -0 -versus- SCOTS 10 -165
15 A (Day 1) HIGH
14 A (Day 1) HIGH 3 -46 -versus- SCOTS 10 -272
GROUP 2. (One Day fixtures)
15 B HIGH 6 -140 -drew with- SCOTS 3 -121
14 B HIGH 10 -146 (30) -drew with- SCOTS 3-44 (12)
14 C HIGH 3 -66 -drew with- SCOTS 8 -165
Basketball: Shooting Hoops
High VS Scots
High vs Scots 2008 Term 1 (Last time)
High vs Scots 2008 Term 4 (This time)
2nd Grade Stats
HAYMAN CUP UPDATE! – WEEK 4
Putting in 100% effort into your game = Getting out 100% in total, in the forms of satisfaction, praise and points, from your game!
Don’t forget the winning teams (note more than just 1) of the Hayman Cup will receive an awesome prize. It will be revealed soon…….
For the details of the Hayman Cup visit: http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/basketball/wordpress/
~ Go High Basketball!
High Tide - Sydney Boys High School Sailing
The sailing season has begun yet again with the Sydney Boys High sailing squad fighting against the elements to get into rigorous coaching with Adam South on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon training sessions and tough Saturday competition racing. With a number of new Junior sailors joining the squad we are ready for an eventful Term 1 and 4.
The current focus is training for the Tri-Series Regatta that will take place at Woollahra sailing club early in Term 1 2009. Last season's Tri Series saw a number of successes with several medals won in Laser classes and placed commendably in the Pacer category.
The CHS Regatta at Belmont will be the next major focus for the Sydney High Sailing squad. Last season saw 2008-2009 Sailing Captain Phil Kurts’ gain First Place in Division 1 in the Regatta. The CHS trophy now lies in the Sydney Boys High School foyer as a result of Kurts’ impressive 29er result.
With encouragement from Mr Moody, Mrs Collignon and Coach Adam South, the squad have recently embarked on a new land fitness regime designed to improve cardio fitness and core strength. All members are expected to attend Tuesday morning sessions at 7.30am.
All are welcome to come along and watch Saturday sailing at Woollahra Sailing Club as the boys
race against a number of other schools including Riverview, Scots and Cranbrook.
SBHS Squad member Profile:
Name: Phil Kurts
When did you start sailing? Why?
What are some of your GOALS in Sailing?
What has been your best Sailing experience?
Some of my successes in Sailing have been…
Margaret Varady Farewell Cocktail Party
You are invited by the School Community to celebrate and farewell Dr Margaret Varady
We would be delighted if you were able to attend her Farewell Cocktail Party
On Friday 5 December 2008 in The Campbell Hall - Sydney Girls High School
Dress: Cocktail/Lounge Suit
Cost: $65.00 (canapés, drinks and gift)
Pay to office by Cash or Cheque made payable to Sydney Girls High School or Visa or
White Ribbon Day, November 28
This month SBHS Amnesty International group gets cosy with the Community Service Committee to raise awareness and some funds for the White Ribbon Campaign. It’s the first international campaign to end violence against women in the world that specifically involves men, by encouraging them to take a stand and say that violence in any form is never acceptable. Violence against women can involve domestic or family violence, sexual assault or rape, sexual harassment, discrimination and vilification, and hate crimes and work place violence. Violence against women is never ok.
Start looking around the school for the posters which tell the stories of women who are the victims of violence here and around the world. Be informed. Be the guy who stands up against violence. At High we’re always ahead of the game – this time because of a looming HSC assessment block – so Amnesty leader James Lee is running White Ribbon Day with Amnesty’s regular faithful and the help of the Community Service Committee in a campaign that culminates on Monday November 17th.
What can you do to help stop violence against women? On Monday the 17th, you can sign
the pledge and bring $2 to buy a wristband or a white ribbon to support the
organisation. Stay tuned for further information in next week’s High Notes.
P&C Annual General Meeting
Pam Halusi, School Liaison Officer from NSW Police Department, will be presenting a talk on Cyber
Bullying at our P&C Annual General Meeting to be held on Wed 19 November, 2008 at 7.30pm in
the SBHS Staff Common Room. All parents are welcome to attend to learn more about the use and
abuse of internet and ways to deal with this relatively new problem for our children. Election of
new P&C office bearers and year representatives will also be held after the talk. Nominations
for all positions can be emailed to
prior to meeting or
during the meeting on the night.
SBHS & SGHS 125th Anniversary Cabaret Night
Sydney Girls High School & Sydney Boys High School have great delight in inviting you to the Anniversary Cabaret to celebrate 125 years of education for both schools.
Friday 21st November 2008, 7:00pm - 12:00am. The Shannon Room, AJC Function Centre at Randwick Racecourse
Come and dance to the Shy Guys band, MCs Jessica Rowe and Jack Singleton. Featuring Little Pattie and other performs.
Tickets: $150 per person. This includes dinner, pre-dinner drinks in the Panorama Room, drinks from 7pm until 12am, parking and entertainment.
Dress: cocktail/lounge suit
RSVP: RSVP and pay by 26th September 2008. Guests are welcome to organise their own table of 10. Please advise if a if a vegetarian meal is required.
SBHS Contact: Ms Louise Graul, Ph 9361 6910, email