High Notes, Vol 9 No 4, February 22 2008
From the Principal
Chinese New Year Dinner
Tax deductible donations for sports equipment
Technology support for learning
Healthy Canteen Success
124th Annual Speech Night
My address is reprinted below.
2007 was a very eventful year. There were many great achievements and a few disappointments – one, regrettably, was the inconsistency of our HSC results at the top end. Nevertheless, the quality, variety and depth of our non-intellective outcomes throughout the year were outstanding. Our delivery of the total curriculum was pleasing. Our choice based approach to languages for Year 7 and our second round of elective choices at the end of Year 9 altered the focus of the Junior School non-core delivery. Our roll out of digital projectors, sound systems and security cupboards proceeded strongly with an additional 12 rooms being equipped. Our electronic attendance swipe card system was gradually phased in during the year so that for 2008 all boys will swipe on their attendance each day. Our Student Monitoring and Support Plan was implemented with many more interactions between staff and students.
The new Mathematics Enrichment Club established as a joint initiative with SGHS and UNSW, proved a rewarding extension exercise for gifted mathematicians.
I was proud of our school publishing efforts in 2007 with a very comprehensive edition of The Record, supported by two editions of High Flyer, on top of the weekly editions of High Notes. I want to thank Paul Bigelow, Mark Gainford, Jenni May and the SASS staff for all their hard work in producing these high quality publications.
Thanks to the P & C two new upright pianos were purchased for the Music rooms and a suite of computers and keyboards installed to run Sibelius composition software. The leadlight windows at the top of each staircase in the Main Building were purchased and installed as the Year 12 2006 gift to the school. They nicely complement the landing display window which was constructed as a Year 12 DT project.
I want to thank the members of the Sydney High Development Committee and the Parent Year Groups for their fundraising efforts and organisation of social activities. Our parents are our strength in co-curricular affairs. They provide money or time or both. There were many parents of the Class of 2007 who served tirelessly. I thank them sincerely. In particular, I feel Liz and Graeme Hurrell and Gabrielle Klocker were outstanding in their commitment to school life. Thank you.
The most significant change to our operations in 2007 was the implementation of the ‘School Within A School’ strategy. The Junior School, Years 7-9, has a separate structure for sport, assembles and pedagogy. They are identified by a different uniform. The educational focus is on the discourse of personal development. The implementation phase suffered from the usual difficulties of uncertainty and variability, but progress was made. Reconceptualising Year 9 students as the seniors of the Junior School will take some time to convert into behaviour changes and measurable outcomes but the future directions are set.
My long held desire to have an ‘ethos enhancement class’ selected using our tested template scoring system and interview process was finally made possible in June, and the additional 20 boys started this year in Year 9. This evening I want to thank Dr Phil Lambert (Director- Sydney Region) for his courage and vision in approving the establishment of this class. It will mean a lot to High in the years ahead, particularly in meeting our commitments to mass participation in GPS sports. In summer 2008 alone, 932 students are involved in competitive sport, with over 900 engaged on Saturdays. In order to accommodate the additional classes in core subjects a new demountable was purchased and two new teaching spaces created in McDonald Wing. The Senior School concept was aimed at developing the discourse of academic achievement in the boys in Years 10-12. HSC preparation was the focus. Students re-selected electives at the end of Year 9, were given extra elective time in fewer subjects, dressed in white shirts and 47 of them engaged in Preliminary Courses through the acceleration program while in Year 10. Some headway was made in their development as autonomous, independent learners but a negative side effect appeared in their dismissal of the importance of the School Certificate Tests. Teachers and students will adapt better to these structural changes in the years ahead as the intake of Year 11 students is phased out by 2010, allowing a three year development program aimed at academic achievement, instead of two.
The biggest occasion of the year was the memorable dedication by the Governor-General of the Sir Roden Cutler Memorial Gates on May 24th. This project took five years of persistence to complete and everyone’s efforts were most suitably honoured on the occasion. The Governor-General and Lady Jeffery extended their visit and spoke individually with many of the guests present.
The Higher School Certificate
As is my custom on this occasion each year, I will conclude by sharing with you some ideas
that the class of 2007 might take with them and other prize winners consider. Epictetus wrote The
Discourses at the end of the first century AD. He proposed a stoic view of life. “Do not
seek to have everything that happens, happen as you wish, but wish for everything to happen, as
it actually does happen, and your life will be serene. Disease is an impediment to the body, but
not to the moral purpose, unless that consents…In the case of everything that befalls you,
remember to turn to yourself and see what faculty you have to deal with it.” Epictetus gave
good advice on how to access those qualities within ourselves that can be marshalled to combat
the vicissitudes of the life ahead of us. When faced with events beyond our control that impact
on us, such as our experiences of failures, conflicts, accidents, tragedies, or loss, we can call
upon endurance, patience, courage, integrity, abstinence, forbearance, compassion or other moral
strengths to confront issues that face us. What happens is outside yourself, but how you react to
and cope with what happens, lies within your power. Keep your moral purpose firm and you will
find the strength. For Epictetus, this is the position and character of the philosopher. –
one who looks for all help or harm from within. At university, in the work place, in
relationships, Epictetus would have you avoid seeking solutions external to yourself but would
ask you to place yourself at the centre of the response and to look for the solution in your
hearts and minds. At High we hope that in our total curriculum over six years you have learnt how
to reason and reflect, to analyse and judge, to interact with people and teams, to push yourself,
to rationalise your mistakes, to accept your successes and to have the self-confidence to face
the future as autonomous individuals. Congratulations to all prize winners and good luck to those
now leaving High for the last time.
SBHS: The Foundation Years
The History of the Castlereagh St - School Building
The building was constructed as a school house in 1823. The convict architect Francis Greenway designed it on a much humbler scale than his other buildings in the area around Hyde Park - St James’ Church, the Supreme Court and the Hyde Park Barracks.
Its construction had been made necessary following the Bigge inquiry into Governor Macquarie’s administration. The inquiry aimed at reducing the construction program established by Governor Macquarie and recommended that the building originally intended as a courthouse be converted to St James’ Church and the building originally intended for use as a school house be converted to a courthouse. A new, much humbler, building was therefore required for the school.
It was intended as a “charity school” and, in 1823, the upper floor was devoted to that purpose. At an early date, this school came to be known as the “Sydney Public School”. It was also sometimes referred to in these early days as the “Georgian School”. Various forms of school associated with the St James’ parish and the Church of England operated on the site until the 1840s, including, for a brief period, the short-lived Sydney branch of The King’s Schools. (The Parramatta Branch of The King’s Schools continues to this day.)
The ground floor, on the other hand, was initially converted to use as a courthouse since the new permanent courthouse (originally intended to be the school) was not completed until 1827. The ground floor, therefore, witnessed the inauguration of the Supreme Court of New South Wales under the Third Charter of Justice on 17 May 1824.
When the Court moved to its new building in 1827, the ground floor was used as a temporary chapel for the Roman Catholic community pending the completion of St Mary’s Chapel (now the site of St Mary’s Cathedral) in 1833. The ground floor was then used as a Roman Catholic School until 1845 when the government granted the whole building to the Church of England parish of St James’ for use as a denominational school.
While under the control of the Church of England, the building hosted the first meeting of the Australasian Colonial Bishops on 5 October 1850. This meeting saw the foundation, at the suggestion of the Bishop of Melbourne, of the Australasian Board of Missions. The organisation still functions today as the Anglican Board of Missions, Australia.
The St James’ School closed in 1882 and the government resumed the building. Some of the funds derived from the resumption were placed in a trust fund and used by the Church of England to establish the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore). The building was then available as a quick solution to the problem of providing a home for the proposed Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls High Schools.
The boys left at the end of 1891 and moved to more modern accommodation in Ultimo, leaving the whole of the old building to the girls. However, the boys' association with the old building did not end in 1891. A number of ex-students met in the old building in 1892 to form the Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union.
The girls moved to new accommodation in Moore Park in 1921 and the old building was demolished to
make way for David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store.
Drama at High
2008 raises the curtain on an exciting year for the 56 boys in Year 9 and 10 Drama. A huge range of excursions, competitions and performances lies in store for the skills development of the boys and the entertainment of their audiences.
The year begins with an excursion this Friday night to the “Gala” final performance of the Short & Sweet short play competition. Our Drama classes will join an audience of hundreds of Sydneysiders in witnessing the best 10 plays to have emerged from this competition – decided by audience vote and judges alike – which played to audiences for the past two months.
In the classroom, Year 10 students are preparing short plays created in groups using “play building” techniques – these plays will vie for production and performance in the Fast & Fresh short play competition, the junior version of Short & Sweet. All Drama students will head to the Riverside Theatre to see the successful scripts being performed in June. Meanwhile, those same plays form the basis for group and individual performance assessment. Year 9 are following in the footsteps of the senior Drama boys in learning the fundamentals of improvisation and the elements of drama during Term 1. Both Year 9 and Year 10 students will continue the year with a study and performance of scripted plays, excursions to the Sydney Theatre Company and the Stables Theatre, as well as gearing up for a final year performance.
Who: Year 9 and Year 10 Drama
When: This Friday the 22nd of February
Where: Main entrance, Seymour Centre, Corner of Cleveland St & City Rd, opp. Victoria Park
Transport: Students & parents to arrange drop-off and pick-up, with the performance
likely to finish at 10:30pm; the Seymour Centre is a short bus ride from Railway Square/Central
Station for those boys planning to arrive by public transport.
From the Library
Thanks, thanks, thanks to Dr Paul Ganderton for his extremely generous donation of totally up to date ecology and environment resources to the library. This huge and very valuable donation - 54 books!- will be known as the “Dr Paul Ganderton Collection”. The titles are displayed on the staircase window leading in to the library.
If any parent is cleaning out recent and read books and wishes to donate these to the library, they will be gratefully received.
New parents and students are reminded that the Library’s database is available from your
home via the student’s portal. You can check to see if the library (and not just the
internet) has resources to assist you with assignments and homework. You can also find practice
tests for Mathematics and Maths Contests books and papers.
The recent trip to Melbourne by Year 10 VIIIs is best summarised by Gareth Deacon’s account that follows:
It was Tuesday the 5th, and the air was full of anticipation and enthusiasm, because we were about to embark on the annual Yr 10 Rowing Trip to Melbourne. Yes, most of us had spent the school day reminding everyone that we were going, and so as hundreds of students set off for home, we loaded up the white bus and hit the road, with the loyal Mr Barris and Chris Watson as our supervisors.
The first half of our journey was what you would call lively, but not too eventful. Many laughs were shared around, and we kept up a steady stream of music pumping from portable speakers. Nothing seemed to stem our excitement, and even as we parted company to go to our rooms at the Gundagai Caravan Park, not many of us had sleep on our minds.
Our comfortable sleep was interrupted at 6am by the deep booming voice of our Rowing Master, Con Barris. Unfortunately, this didn’t help much to bring us fully wake, and so our stalwart drivers carried a much more sedate group the next 150kms to Holbrook, where we took a refreshing break and enjoyed a classic rowing breakfast of Weetbix & Honey.
We continued towards Melbourne, and knew we’d hit the outskirts when we started noticing random metal artworks and structures on the sides of the road. Before we knew it, we were in the centre of Melbourne, at the Power House Rowing Club. A long row down the Yarra River seemed the best way to take in the sights of the city, but yet this was no cruise. Both the VIIIs had hard work ahead of them, and two fast food meals to work off. Since there are no speed boats on the Yarra, Mr Barris had to cycle alongside the river, and this left him more focused on keeping his bike straight on the path, rather than on our rowing technique.
The 1st Yr 10 demonstrated their inexperience with wooden pontoons by damaging the steering fin at the end of the session. Chris Watson made some quick repairs, whilst all the rowers made their way up to Melbourne High with their billets. Here we caught up with the Melbourne boys, ate a nice BBQ dinner and then split up to go to our billets’, ahead of a 7am start the next day for ‘conditioning’. We knew we were in for something tough when our billets warned us not to have any food beforehand, claiming we would throw it back up again by the end of the session.
A combination of squats, push-ups and laps left most sporting sore legs, pools of sweat or at least a harsh thirst. Two more rowing sessions didn’t ease this soreness, and we definitely weren’t in peak condition for walking around Melbourne. In fact, we spent the majority of our free time at one of the Melbourne boy’s houses. It had a snooker table, pool and even a home gym, so we were content to spend the afternoon there.
The stage was set for our series of races on Friday morning. The morning air was cool, the river was flowing quickly, and the crews were ready to face off. First up was a 4km time trial, starting just back from the Power House sheds, and winding all the way into the city. Both High crews were quite relaxed in the race, trying not only to row hard, but also to improve on our racing technique. The fast-flowing river made it difficult to gain on other crews, with 1sts only just catching 2nds at the end of the race. What we didn’t realize till afterwards was that the Melbourne VIII had rowed a brilliant race out front, and had beaten both High crews on time difference. This didn’t sit well with our crews, who had both beaten Melbourne when they came up to Sydney. Next up was our main focus: the 2km race. The conditions meant this race would be a real sprint, and we couldn’t afford to lose. Fortunately, our lane draw meant we would be on the inside lane for the first corner of the course. This gave us confidence, and we had a good one length lead on Melbourne by halfway through the race. Everyone seemed to race better from in front of our opponents, because we pulled away another 1½ boat lengths by the finish.
The final challenge was quad racing. We hadn’t trained in quads at all this season, and Melbourne had put a lot of focus on them. The 1st quad was comprehensively beaten by Melbourne’s professional 1st Yr 10 Quad. However, our 2nd Quad managed to snatch a close victory from their Melbourne rivals. With a large weight off our shoulders, everyone relaxed and enjoyed their last day in Melbourne. This involved more Snooker and Sting Pong (literally Ping Pong with a sting), and also a fair walk around Flinders St Station and Federation Square.
A fairly slow, sleepy trip back to Sydney capped off a fun filled 4 days, which were also a huge 4 days in terms of our rowing development. It may have seemed pretty easy from our perspective, but huge amounts of effort were put in by the following people. Chris Watson: sharing the bus-driving duties, repairing boats, and organising meals for us. Tim Wilson: Giving up 4 days to tow the boats all the way on his own. Mr Barris: Making all the arrangements for the trip, driving the bus, and keeping us in order.
The season is fast approaching its climax, with the only full regatta on Hen & Chicken Bay this weekend. We hope to race all our GPS crews, and the regatta is best viewed from Bayview Park at the end of Burwood Rd. Next week, the GPS crews will be at Penrith, and the following week the first VIII will contest the Nationals at Penrith.
The Gold Cup this year will be seeded with no heats and finals, as most crews will be tapering
for the Head of the River on the following Wednesday, 19th March. The major event for all people
is the Boatshed dinner in the Great Hall on Wednesday, 12th March. Students will receive details
shortly, and all rowers and parents are invited to attend.
Welcome back to all those regular strength trainers continuing on from last year and a special welcome to all those boys starting for the first time. I am especially excited to see many Year 7, 8 and 9s making a start. This year you can earn an extra 10% for PE by completing a strength program. It’ll be impossible to top the class without it. And watch out. In 4 years time I just may be the smallest and weakest one in the weights room if you stick at it. Just a reminder for all boys that there is a link for the weights room web page on the school website. Just click on sport then weights room and you’re there. The page has some information about the weights room, opening/closing times, articles etc. I am hoping to have a highlights video of the 2006 and 2007 High Strongman Competition on there soon.
Skins Special Offer continues
“How interesting it is that every muscle in the body is switched on…or off…from the heart”
Two rounds to go in Group 1 Competitions and 4 rounds in the Group 2 One Day fixtures with every chance of High improving on our record of wins this season. The Under 15 teams are blitzing the competition and the confidence and belief in their individual skills, no matter what level they are at, is a lesson for some of our more senior players who talk-the-talk but need to walk-the-walk before season’s end.
The challenge for us now is to set the goal of making it 4 out of 4 days of our best cricket possible and to issue a notice that we are coming for you to the other schools next season. I believe we have the talent to achieve this…what do you believe?
Group 1. (Two Day matches)
1st XI (day 2)
2ndXI (day 2)
3rd.XI (day 2)
16As (day 2)
15As (day 2)
14As (day 2)
Group 2. (One Day matches)
5th XI, 4thXI and 16Bs
13As. 13Bs and 13Cs
CRICKET DINNER and PRESENTATION of AWARDS
SBHS Rowing Committee
Rowing Reunion Dinner
It is the 85th year since High first entered crews in the GPS Regatta winning the Yaralla Cup in 1924 (crew pictured below). High then went on to win the first VIII for the following 3 years.
High commenced rowing in 1918 but did not compete. In 1923 Cranbrook applied for entry into the GPS Regatta but was refused. Pressure was put on High as they were the only GPS school not competing. The rest is history and this will be the focus of the reunion dinner on 11th April. A long and proud rowing tradition will be revisited on the night.
All past rowers, partners and parents are welcome. The invitation and booking form are on the
school website or you can contact the committee at
. This is a great
opportunity to be part of a special event celebrating High’s history and tradition in
rowing as well as catching up with rowing mates.
From the Canteen
Keen to try out the fabulous range of food in our canteen, but pressed for time?
Desperate for Pasta or Rice Boxes, Sweet Chilli Wraps or Foccacia but keep missing out?
The answer is simple! Order ahead and reserve what you want!
Simply call at the canteen first thing in the morning, place and pay for your lunch order and it will be ready and waiting for you at lunch time. How easy is that!Return 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
Basketball: Shootin' Hoops
High VS Joeys
Term 4 2007-(last time)
Term 1 2008-(This week)
Please note:- St Josephs sent out their teams in reverse order in the 16s.
Second Grade plays Ignatius this week! Please support them!
Mr Hayman's Player of the Week
Donations to Raffle Prizes
Brought to you by Johny Shih
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:
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