High Notes, Vol 18 No 2, February 10 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Dibyendu Roy (12E) and Kieran Shivakumamaaran (12E) competed this week in the Australian Mathematical Olympiad. Also, Year 11 students Jack Jiang, Shirav Quazi and Vicknesh Ravikumar competed in the invitation only Australian Informatics Competition. Good luck, boys! Jason Hong (SBHS-2016) won the Greg Norman Junior Invitation Challenge in Southern California recently.

School Swimming Carnival Highlights

Mr Loizou and the staff put on another very well organised carnival in extreme heat last Monday. The boys participated strongly – even if only to cool down! Age champions at the carnival were: 12 years – Alexander Lee (7M); 13 years -  Patrick Yi (7F); 14 years – Ike Matsuoka (8M); 15 years – James Luo (10M); 16 years – David Goh (10R); and Opens – Nicholas Katsilis (12T). Records set on the day were Patrick Yi (7F) – 13 years 50 m butterfly at 32.09 and 200 m freestyle at 2.23.94; and Nathan Wang (8R) – 13 years 50 m breaststroke at 37.67. Congratulations on your achievements, boys!

Welcome to New Parents Evening

Thank you Angela Lam, the Year 8 parents, the Sailing Support Group and High sailors for their organisation of the New Parents Wlcoe Evening held on Tuesday evening last. My address to the parents is reprinted below:

"On behalf of the High community, I extend a warm welcome to all new parents to High. The purpose of this evening is for us to get to know each other and for you to gain an understanding of the school and its culture. We would like you to feel that your family has now become part of our School Family. Just as we want your son to engage with the academic and co-curricular life of the school, we also hope that you will too. We want to persuade you to get involved in the life of the school. It is a mutually rewarding experience.

"Ours is a great school with a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence, co-curricular achievement, leadership development and involvement in community service and social justice programs. It has always been an individual, unique, state school. High has faced many challenges in its history – it had to struggle a long time to secure membership of the AAGPs. It had to fight for its existence when a strong move to abolish selective schools came in 1977-1980. It recovered after losing its 50 reserved places for Old Boys and two extra teachers to help with sport.

"High has overcome our ‘tasks severe’ and remains true to itself as an institution. We have been nurturing scholar-sportsmen since 1883. We prepare boys for university and nurture them as sportsmen, individuals and citizens. We are proudly a state school operating in a market dominated by private schools.

"High has been resilient for so long because of the strength of its partnerships. The school has been a self-help institution for extra-curricular activities since 1886. The boys originally organised activities for themselves as teachers were forbidden to help in its early years. Old Boys have influenced the development of the school significantly. High ranks 3rd amongst Australian schools for Who’s Who entries for achieving alumni. Our environment breeds initiative and self-efficacy.

"Since June 11, 1925, the school has also relied heavily on its Parents and Citizens Association to provide assets and equipment not supplied by the Education Department. Since 1951, The Sydney High School Council has supported the school in asset acquisition and maintenance. The Sydney High School Foundation Inc was incorporated in 1986. Its committee comprises representatives of the P & C and Old Boys as well as the Principal.

"The Foundation took over the assets of the Trust that used to be vested in the Principal and two Old Boys as well as the Sydney High School Council. The Foundation owns the Outterside Centre, maintains the Fairland Pavilion, holds money in trust for the school and manages access to playing fields in Centennial Parklands. The Foundation also runs the High Store and the Tennis Courts under Deeds of Licence and shares management of the COLA and the Great Hall. Most of the important initiatives taken by this school over the 134 years of its existence have come about through the establishment of partnerships of parents and Old Boys. Our Joint Project to establish the Governors Centre is the latest example. You have the opportunity to make this vision a reality within the next three years.

"We are driven by our need to compete with Independent Schools in the GPS since 1906 – a unique feature of High’s history as a state school.  In addition, since 1913, High has competed in various CHSSA competitions. We need access to playing fields, facilities and expert coaching in depth, in order to compete in the GPS. We are serious about sport and all the other co-curricular activities. Each year we need parent volunteers to give of their time.

"To illustrate our ethos, I will tell you a little about Louis Wang. He was Dux of High in 2000, my first year here as Principal. He was a School Prefect who participated in cross country running, rifle shooting, athletics, choir and school service (for which he won an award). After earning 100 UAI Louis studied medicine. He is now a cardiologist on scholarship with the Victor Chang Institute. He is married and his daughter is starting school this year. Louis wrote a piece for the SMH about his hopes for his daughter’s schooling. He was at pains to stress that non-intellective outcomes were the ones he wanted for his daughter: being open to new experiences, exploring one’s interests, learning and honing new skills, being able to communicate ideas and making informed choices. I strongly agree with Louis. The ATAR is not our sole definition of educational success. Character development and social confidence are nurtured through activities outside the classroom.

"I warmly welcome you tonight and hope that you and your sons get involved in many of our activities and derive the same satisfaction and enjoyment from school life, which the staff and generations of active students and their parents have enjoyed. "

Early Bird Discount ends Tuesday 28 February

In order to help all areas of the school we offer a substantial discount to parents who pay their complete invoices before 28 February, Having substantial funds early in the year allows us to make sure that orders are made promptly and that the boys get the maximum benefit out of equipment and services deployed for them. Capital for the Building Fund can be invested to earn interest for longer. Our aim is to encourage at least 55% of parents to make this financial commitment to the school early in the year. Let’s carry on High’s self-help culture to make the Governors Centre a reality by 2018!

Weights Room

Another reminder to all boys who might have weights training as a requirement in their regime for a GPS sport. No term memberships will be offered in 2017 for the Weights Room. Boys who restart after absences of a term in the Weights Room have to be retrained by Kurt when he should be concentrating on adding value to the experience of existing members. Students requiring memberships even if they don’t start serious training until their winter sport, should pay $240 by 28 February 2017. No further membership opportunities will be offered after that date.
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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