High Notes, Vol 17 No 4, February 26 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
Kabir Agrawal (12T), playing in the first XI against SGS, took 7 wickets for 6 runs in one of the most dominant bowling displays by a SBHS cricketer in our GPS history. Keep up the great work, Kabir!

National School Chaplaincy Programme
I am pleased to announce that after several attempts High has secured funding for a Chaplain for three years under the Commonwealth Scheme. The Chaplain will be employed by the Sydney High School Foundation to provide up to 400 hours per year of services to the students of our school. The NSCP has minimum requirements: voluntary participation by schools and students; chaplains can be from any faith; they must not proselytise; they must respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs; comply with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012; hold a Certificate IV in Youth Work or Pastoral Care (or equivalent) and must have competencies (or equivalent) in ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’. In addition, a chaplain must be recognised by the school as having the skills and experience to deliver chaplaincy services to the school community and be endorsed by a recognised or accepted religious institution (eg local church).

The role of the school chaplain is to support the emotional wellbeing of students by providing pastoral care services and strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of the broader school community. Pastoral care is looking after the personal needs of students through the provision of general spiritual and personal advice. All services that are delivered must be approved by the Principal. Services must be delivered in a way that respects the range of spiritual views and cultural traditions in the school community and also respects the stated views of parents / carers to ensure the spiritual and moral education of their children. Chaplains are prohibited from: providing religious education; attempting to convert students; initiating faith discussions with manipulative intent; attempting to undermine students’ religious beliefs; performing religious services/ rites; providing professional support services; or expressing discriminatory views.

What is the proposed role of the school chaplain in our school context? Key tasks would include: working as a member of the School Wellbeing Committee; providing students, their families and staff with support/referrals in difficult situations; developing relationships and referring students to specialist services as appropriate; mentoring and coaching students in various contexts; and supporting students attending carnivals, camps, sporting exchanges or excursions.

Early Bird Discounts Have Closed
Parents of students in Years 8-12 have had an opportunity to earn a substantial discount in return for paying all of the items listed in their letters. The scheme concluded at close of business on Friday, 26 February.

Weights Room - Memberships Closed
The opportunity to purchase yearly memberships for the Weights Room expired on Friday, 26 February. The Room is no longer open for new membership. An opportunity for boys to join for the remainder of the year at a cost of $200 will open on Tuesday, 26 April and will close finally for the year on Friday, 27 May.

The Co-Curricular Supervision Levy
In order for us to run a six-day school with after-hours activities for 15 sports, debating, music and chess, we need to provide a teacher/ MIC / manager for supervision to meet our duty of care obligations. Some parents are asking: ‘Why should I pay this co-curricular levy when I’m paying quite a lot in co-payments for a sport or activity for a season?' The money from the levy is used to pay for the time that supervising teachers/MICs have to spend: hiring and managing coaches, organising teams, fixtures and venues, buying and managing equipment, supervising coaches during training sessions, coordinating results recording / publishing, following up on attendance, awarding participation points in a text file, getting reports from captains, as well as travelling and being there for competition on Friday nights or Saturdays. All these duties take time for which personnel must have some compensation, by way of time, money or both.

The levy, in addition, is used to pay for physiotherapy services at venues and for the extra allowance given to the Head Teacher Sport to manage the overall sports program. The levy has to meet the cost of running athletics and swimming programs which are provided free of charge to all students. The levy does not cover the running costs of sports – coaches’ fees, venue hire, equipment, consumables. All these have to be funded through co-payments.

So as to clarify why the levy is necessary and should be supported by all parents, I want to share with you the direct costs to the school of management, supervision and duty of care. Staff members are remunerated by way of allowances (time free from face-to-face), or the period equivalent in money or a combination of the two. Non-teachers are paid the equivalent of the period allowance that would be offered to teachers. At its present level of support, the co-curricular supervision levy is contributing only c. 35% of the supervision and management costs borne by the school and none of the coaching costs.  The remainder has to be taken from general contributions.  Please support the school and your sons in their sports by contributing this levy annually.

NAPLAN Bonus for Student Awards Scheme
In our Student Award Scheme we reward good performances in academic competitions and consistently excellent academic effort. With NAPLAN going digital we are planning to reward students for reaching or exceeding their growth targets for Years 5-7 and Years 7-9. Mr Dowdell will provide more details later but we envisage 3-5 points per test might be offered for those boys who take NAPLAN seriously and prepare themselves for it and perform at their best during it. We need to convert more Year 7 Band 9 results into Year 9 Band 10 results. Our policy is that we don’t teach to the test. Skill development is supposed to be included in our subject programming. However, some boys need help refining their skills. There are many suggested activities and resources available to help boys to help themselves to improve their basic skills.
Dr K A Jaggar

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