High Notes, Vol 10 No 1, January 30 2009

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From the Principal

Welcome to new staff, students and parents – thank you for choosing to join us at High. Welcome back to existing staff, parents and students gearing up for another busy year. The academic year 2009 looks promising with academic and non-academic outcomes likely to be strong.  We have plans for an electricity upgrade and a refurbishment of all science labs. Along with the establishment of a library for senior students, this agenda should keep many people busy!

Staff Changes
For 2009 we welcome new permanent staff members David Smith - replacing Ross Farrington in PE and Jenny Rohr, replacing Colleen Walles as our new Drama teacher. Celia Finnie has returned from maternity leave to Social Science. We also welcome Monica Morscheck – our additional school funded Librarian. Temporary staff covering for staff on leave include: Paul Wright - replacing Mary Boukatos (English), Graziano Perre - replacing Michael Smith and Bob Benett (later in the year), and Ingrid Hybler - replacing Dominiki Damianos (all in Science). SASS staff changes are Annette Patterson – returning to Science and Cathy Northey - replacing Loraine Molloy in a school funded position.

Welcome to Year 7
In my welcome speech to Year 7, I reaffirmed the school’s commitment to the School Within School concept and outlined the driving principles for our High Junior School organisation.

"Congratulations on your decision to accept a place in our school. We know that you will enjoy your time at High. We work hard together as a wider school community to provide opportunities for you to pursue excellent outcomes in a range of endeavours. As the graduating class of 2014, you are embarking together on a long journey of personal development. Make the most of the strengths of each other. Help others where they need it. Ask for help when you need it. Enjoy each others’ company.

"High is divided into two, self-contained schools. The junior school comprises Years 7 to 9. You have a separate sports afternoon, separate assemblies, a different uniform and you have an additional Year Adviser. For the first time in 2009 students in Years 7 to 9 will also have a dedicated library.

"The administration of our High Junior School has five major priorities:

"Our first priority is to develop you as a whole person. Through all the curriculum and activities of the school and through values and character education classes, our literacy plan and a structured outdoor education program, we aim to nurture engaged, resilient and self-confident students with a strong sense of self-efficacy – a feeling they are capable of achieving. We want to help you to try new things to help define your self image and identity, to develop self-awareness. We promote healthy risk taking in a controlled environment.

"Our second goal is to promote a sense of belonging, of personal identity with the school and its purposes. We strongly encourage participation in the co-curricular life of the school. We want our students to be engaged in school life, to become physically fit and above all to be happy. We believe that participation in team sports is a vital component of personal development. We require boys to try out for two GPS sports teams each year. Many boys also do athletics, particularly boys striving for selection in A and B teams in winter sports. Boys learn a lot about life through participation in team sports. Many boys join debating groups, music ensembles, chess teams or school service committees to expand their experiences and networks of friends. Participation helps you to make friends.

"Our third imperative is to support our students. We provide a network of people to help and nurture them. Committees made up of staff, parents, old boys and supporters of High work tirelessly to provide for the needs of team members for Saturday sport and participants in co-curricular activities.

"Our fourth priority is fostering academic success. This is a stronger focus of the senior school in Years 10 to 12. We aim to support each student to gain entry into the university course of his choice in 2015. Historically, 99% of students attend university after gaining their HSC at High. That is the academic goal that even Year 7 students should have in mind. You are not just here to learn but to excel in your learning. Fortunately, in the junior school there is more opportunity to experiment with learning. There are more choices possible as you grow into independent learners. There is more time to follow up on personal interest areas. Our academic competitions program for individuals, and Da Vinci decathlon and Tournament of Minds team activities, offer opportunities for boys to test themselves in a wider context than the school.

"Finally, we have a priority to develop future leaders. We provide leadership opportunities and recognition of achievement, participation or service to the school and the community. Our Student Representative Council and Student Awards Scheme foster and reward involvement and leadership in a wide variety of activities. Leadership potential can be expressed in many contexts and while participating in a variety of group activities.

"In delivering our curriculum in Year 7, the school applies a Purposeful Grouping Policy. Students are initially assigned to classes on the basis of a significant number having common attributes, interests or needs. The objective of the grouping policy is to assist staff to identify emerging talents, enhance demonstrated skills, meet identified needs, or to deliver appropriate revision, enhancement or remediation strategies. Classes may be comprised of high scoring boys in the Selective Schools Entrance Test, of boys with English enhancement needs based on English component test scores, of boys with the same language study preferences, or of boys with self-reported skills in music and sport. In later years some classes are formed by placing together boys who have achieved highly in certain courses. Our overriding desire is to maximise individual performances. We are endeavouring to increase the proportion of personalised learning in our curriculum.

"This school prides itself on its traditions and on the successes of its alumni. This focus grounds High boys in a continuum of learning and achieving. We have benchmarks in all areas of school life, tested over our 125 years of history. The culture at High tries to honour the past while being mindful of the call of the future. In technology applied to learning, in personal learning styles and plans, in problem solving, in environmental sustainability and responsibility, in civic duty and in relationships, emerging challenges require the latest in theory, techniques, strategies and equipment. We are continuously striving to improve in these areas.

"Transition into secondary school is always a stressful period in life. There are more teachers, more room changes, more subjects, new subjects, a complicated timetable, a full calendar, more expectations of your independence and maturity. There is more paperwork to complete. Use your diary, ask questions of people. Ask Mr Devlin or Mrs Berger, your Year Advisers, when you are unsure of where to go or what to do or if you are having a personal problem. Ms Harman & Ms Plummer are our School Counsellors.  Mr Walker is our Head Teacher Welfare. They are here to help you. Communication is important in relationships – in school relationships particularly. Each boy has an information folder. Each boy is given a School Diary that has further information on policies. We rely heavily on High Notes, our weekly publication, to inform parents and students. Our school website has a great deal of information and a calendar. Increasingly, emails to and within groups are being used. Our new Parent Mentor Scheme is aimed at supporting new parents through contacts with existing parents.

"In conclusion, I urge all boys in Year 7 to: maximise your learning potential, challenge yourself physically, involve yourself socially, test your initiative and leadership, develop your team skills, accept leadership opportunities and dedicate yourself to service. I hope you all embrace the many experiences that will be offered to you during your six years at High. Welcome to you all. Enjoy the experience!"

Year 10: Lak Saviya Foundation Project for 2009
I have accepted the following recommendation from Lak Saviya Foundation:
“With the funds we received this year $1641.40 (and some funds left over from last year) from Year 10 students of SBHS for helping Kahawa Rathnasara Maha Vidyalaya (KRMV), the Lak Saviya Foundation is planning to undertake the following in 2009:

  1. Continue to fund a teacher for undertaking additional English classes for 6 months.
  2. Commence IT classes for senior students for 12 months.  Currently KRMV does not have a teacher capable of teaching IT.  To date, the Maths teacher was helping the students to develop their IT skills.

Having established the ADSL connection in November 08, we feel that providing these classes will help the students of KRMV to communicate with SBHS effectively, when we establish the communication link between the two schools in early January.
Dr K A Jaggar

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From the Library

Two important notices!

  1. Year 7s and New Students - (Boys Reading!!) – Personal  or family copy Heralds can be ordered online at hugely reduced cost - $40 for daily and weekend papers for the whole year.  Even though this service began in term 4 last year families still save money by ordering right now. Go to Herald Education on Google and choose the Year 12 option (our school has the Herald’s permission to do this).  You can then choose whether you want the weekend papers as well as the daily papers.  You pay by credit card online and then have your son bring along a printed copy of your transaction number for our daily paper file. Newspapers are signed off to boys at the Library Circulation Desk every day.
  2. Longer loan period – 1 month Sydney Boys High is catching up with local libraries and making the loan period longer so there is less hassle for library users.  (Some books are still weekly loan). 

What the Heck Happens in Libraries?
According to our library use survey last year – term 3 – Revision for tests, Reading for enjoyment, Homework and Assignments.  We were surprised (and pleased) to find that such a high percentage of boys came into the library with very specific tasks in mind (only 6% to socialise)

Of course our staff is aware of how important the library will be to your sons for the following reasons also, so please ask them if they have found it or what the books are like.

The library is a home away from home for many boys and an important part of their successful adjustment to and enjoyment of the High School Experience.  It is a “feel welcome” and “it’s yours” school space. 

The library is always open, always positive and welcoming and opens at 7.30am. So boys can get an hour of homework in if necessary or have some quiet reading time or computer time.

The library is the home of groupwork  for assignments, class projects and students planning school events and peer modelling sets the scene for successful boys revising, reading newspapers, novels, comics, the latest magazines and assisting one another with homework in other words that ultimate in education – self directed learning.

The Library has the information, scanning and printing technology to assist student success at timely completion of work.  The Andrews Library will have 30 PCs, 20 laptops, printers and colour photocopier /scanner/printers. Students must top up their printing accounts to print assignments or homework but scanning to your home drive is free so make use of that. Of course libraries are the homes of databases and database experts so ask for assistance locating information on the Internet of other databases or using the library catalogue database to find books or magazines.

The library loves to have the assistance of students as Library Monitors and Student Volunteer Award Scheme points apply to all helpers.

Welcome back to the Library or to first timers - try our great collection out.
Mrs Crothers

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Year 12 Parents 2009

Year 12 Parents 2009 are invited to
Surviving the HSC -
understanding and helping your sons through their HSC year

A presentation for parents by Dr Jane Sleeman

Wednesday 25 February 2009 in the Great Hall

6:15pm - drinks and finger food
7:00pm sharp - presentation begins
8:15pm - drinks and finger food

$10 per person payable at the door to cover catering costs

Jane is a school counsellor and psychologist in private practice specialising in anxiety and depression in young people and adults. She gives presentations to a wide variety of audiences and is a facilitator with the Black Dog Institute. Most importantly to Jane she is the mother of three adolescents.

Thanks to SBHS for funding the speaker

RSVP: 20 February 2009
Toni Lindeback
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
phone: 0403 923 359

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SBHS Debating

How to Join Debating in 2009

There will be an information session and introduction to Debating meeting in the Staff Common Room at 6:30pm on Tuesday Feb 3. All parents and/or students are invited to attend. It is optional, and will provide in-depth information on all aspects of debating.

To join debating you need to do TWO things. In Year 7, Debating is free.

  1. GO TO COACHING: this starts on Friday of week 2 of school (Feb 6). If you miss the first week that is OK, but you MUST attend a coaching session in Term 1 to join debating in 2009. The rooms for coaching will be put in the daily “mango” sheet.
  2.  SEND AN EMAIL TO [email protected] with the subject “I am in Year 7 and want to start debating”. In the body of the email tell me if you have ever done debating. More information will then be sent to you via email.



To join for the first time in 2009:

  1. PAY YOUR CO-PAYMENT at THE MAIN OFFICE.  The co-payment for debating in 2009 is $100 for 25 weeks of coaching. Take your receipt with you to coaching.
  2. GO TO COACHING: this starts on Friday of week 2 of school (Feb 6). If you miss the first week that is OK, but you MUST attend a coaching session in Term 1 to join debating in 2009. The rooms for coaching will be put in the daily “mango” sheet.
  3. SEND AN EMAIL TO [email protected] with the subject “I am in Year X and want to start debating”. In the body of the email tell me if you have ever done debating and why you want to join.

To continue debating in 2009:

  1. PAY YOUR CO-PAYMENT at THE MAIN OFFICE.  The co-payment for debating in 2009 is $100 for 25 weeks of coaching. Take your receipt with you to coaching.
  2. GO TO COACHING: this starts on Friday of week 2 of school (Feb 6). If you miss the first week that is OK, but you MUST attend a coaching session in Term 1 to join debating in 2009. The rooms for coaching will be put in the daily “mango” sheet.
  3. SEND AN EMAIL TO [email protected] with the subject “I am returning to debating and I can follow instructions”.

DSG MEETING: The first Debating Supporters Group Meeting will be held in the Staff Common Room on Tuesday Feb 3, 2009 at 7:30pm.

More information can be found at: www.sydneyhigh.org/debating

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Music Notes

Hi and welcome back
We hope you have had a wonderful and restful break over the holidays. We have an exciting new year ahead of us in the Performance Music Program. Ensemble rehearsals will commence in week 2 with most of the rehearsal days and times remaining the same. (Please see the next page for any changes.)

All students learning an instrument with a tutor at school please contact your tutors if you haven’t already done so to arrange lesson times for this year. Students need to remember NOT to schedule lessons during their ensemble rehearsals times.

Instrumental Recruitment Night
The instrumental recruitment night will be held on Monday the 2nd of February at 6:30pm in the Great Hall. All Year 7 students and parents new to the music ensemble program are encouraged to attend this evening as our instrumental tutors will be giving a demonstration on their instruments. You will have an opportunity to meet and talk with them and select an instrument of your choice. This information evening is invaluable, though if you are unable to attend, please feel free to speak to us in the music staffroom or contact us at school. We look forward to seeing you there on Monday.

Music Tour 2010 to France
The Music Performance Department and Music Supporters Group is planning a Music Tour to France in 2010. The tour will be held during the holidays between terms 1 and 2 next year to coincide with ANZAC Day with the marching band performing at ceremonies in the Somme. There are also performances scheduled in some of the most beautiful venues in the heart of Paris. We envisage that all marching band members and string players will participate in this wonderful tour. The ensembles performing at various venues will include concert band, stage band, marching band and orchestra.

The information evening will be held on Monday the 2nd of February at 8:00pm in the Great Hall at the conclusion of the Instrumental Recruitment Night. All students and parents involved in the music performance program are invited to attend this evening.

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Music Supporters Group (MSG) Meeting

Our first MSG meeting for 2009 will be held on Monday 2nd of March at 6:30pm in the Staff Common room. We would like to especially invite all new Year 7 parents to attend the meeting.

The SBHS Music Supporters Group assists the Music Department with financial and practical support to help enable them to offer this program. The group also assists in organising the showcase concerts throughout the year, including the Cabaret Night – an evening of Jazz and dancing and the Annual Music Camp. We also provide barbeques for the boys at some music events through the year.

Being a SBHS Music Supporter does not require a huge commitment of your time. The group meets prior to musical events, usually on a Monday evening in the Staff Common Room.  Discussion is usually focused on instrumental requirements, fundraising and planning for upcoming performance events. You may have experience or contacts to help our fundraising for the music program or you may just like to attend to learn more about your son’s performance music experience at SBHS. As a supporter you may volunteer your time once or twice during the year to assist with our fundraising parking, help on a barbeques or assist at a performance event.

Ensemble Rehearsal Times for 2009

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7.30am Intermediate Concert Band
Room 201
Chamber Choir
Room 201 (7:45am)
Chamber Choir
Room 202 (7:45am)
Senior Concert Band
Room 201 (7.45am)
Symphony Orchestra
Room 201 (8.00am)
  Junior String Ensemble
Room 204
  Senior  Stage Band
Room 201 (7.45am)
Senior Strings
Room 204 (7.45am)
Senior Percussion Ensemble
Room 202 (8.00am)
  Junior Percussion Ensemble
Room 102
  Junior Stage Band
Room 101 (7.45am)
  Guitar Ensemble
Room 204 (7.30am)
  Junior Concert Band
Rm 101 Term 2, 3, 4
  Philharmonic Orchestra
Room 204
  Marching Band
Term 1&4
MPW 8.00 – 9:00am
Afternoon rehearsals   Marching Band
Term 1&4
Basketball Courts
(3.30 - 4.30pm)
    Junior Jazz Ensemble
Room 201
(3.30 – 4.30pm)

Marching Band rehearsal is held on Tuesday afternoons from 3.30 – 4.30pm and Friday mornings from 8.00 – 9.00am for all concert band members in Term 1 and Term 4. Extra rehearsals are held in the holidays leading up to ANZAC Day. All students in the Intermediate and Senior Concert bands are expected to participate in Marching Band and attend the ANZAC Day March.
As of term 2, Marching Band members will attend their normal ensembles i.e., Intermediate concert band on Mondays 7:30am in room 201 and Senior concert band on Thursdays 7:45am in room 201.

Parents of all music ensemble members, could you please provide the music staff with your contact details by filling in the below slip and returning it to the music staffroom as soon as possible so that we are able to contact you about any upcoming events involving your son’s participation. This will enable the parent committee to communicate with you more effectively and efficiently. Thank you very much. (Please print the information.)

Kind regards,
Music Staff.

Student’s Name: ____________________________________  Roll class: ___________________________


Parent’s Name: ____________________________ Contact No: _____________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________________________________________________

Music Ensemble(s): __________________________________________________________________________

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SBHS Chinese New Year Dinner

Back by popular demand

With a sell out hall of about 250 people at last year’s CNY Dinner, the P&C Development committee have organised this year’s CNY dinner again with more exciting and spectacular food and entertainment.

We would like to invite you to join us in this celebration and welcome the year of the Ox in 2009.

Tickets are now available for sale through the main office.

It is essential to book and pay by Monday the 9 February 2009 as we need to confirm numbers for catering

When: 6.30 pm Saturday 21 February 2009

Where: Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School

Cost: $35 per adult & high school student
$20 per primary school student

Food: Delicious Asian food by Gourmet Caterers
Drinks: Soft drinks

Entertainment: Competition Lion Dance Performance
Chinese Poem Recitations and Music Performances
Chinese New Year artwork display by Sydney High students
Trivia, Games, Lucky door prizes, Raffles and Auction prizes.

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