High Notes, Vol 13 No 15, May 25 2012

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to the Sydney High tennis team who won the Stan Jones Cup this week. Frank Zhang, Brian Tran, Lachlan Day, Pat Rynsaardt and Adam Smagarinsky played the knockout carnival very competently for High’s first win in six years. Erratum: Yujin Wu was fifth at the Australian Informatics Olympiad not William Wu as printed in High Talent in Vol 13 No 13, May, 11.

Singaporean Delegation Visit
Mr Siew Wong, Deputy-Director General of Education (Curriculum) and a delegation of curriculum policy officers, visited High on Tuesday last. Mr Wong is very interested in ways in which teaching of twenty-first century skills can be integrated into the curriculum. The visitors were wrestling with the same problems that we are. Eg How will we deal with content? Just what are the key twenty-first century skills? How can they be integrated into the curriculum? How soon can an education system transition into digital/online assessment of curriculum outcomes? How can collaborative tasks be assessed fairly for individual participants? How do we strike a balance in the lives of our students between highly competitive, tertiary-bound academic pursuit and engaging in sport, music, debating, co-curricular activities generally, leadership and social justice programs at the same time?. How do schools promote values of a balanced life against the push back by parents who want their children to focus on academics or who think that co-curricular demands take too much time away from family life?

Advisory Board – School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications UNSW
At the last meeting the planning for the Year 10/11 workshops to be held at the end of September was discussed. The feedback from students was very positive. I hope that any students interested in Engineering will have a look at the vacation workshops on offer. UNSW runs a summer School in EE&T. Two courses will be open to high schools students this year: ElEC112 – electrical circuits and ELEC1041 – digital circuits. Students interested in careers in a growing international field might find the courses challenging and interesting. Industry representatives were interested in the possibilities that having connected classrooms in all high schools offered. It is potentially a great source of communication flow from industry back into schools concerning industry expectations of its incoming graduate employees. The meeting discussed the desirability of a mentoring scheme for early interaction among school students, alumni and industry. More information about careers in engineering in the 21st century needs to be communicated to high school students.

Students in Years 12 and 9 have been given their reports after a brief discussion about their progress with the Principal. Please ask your son to produce his report for you to discuss with him. If he has not yet received his report, please ask him what he needs to do on his Clearance Form. It is important to have every parent or carer receive a report.
Dr K A Jaggar

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Die Deutsche Frage

It was last Friday morning, the High Notes had not yet left the print room. In the Junior Library Kabir Agrawal (Yr 8) approached me and asked: “Miss, is it the periodic table of elements which was discovered by Julius Lothar Meyer in 1864?” My jaw dropped. “But you haven’t seen the second clue yet.” “I have read it – it is already on the net.” So it was and he was right, of course. Meyer, a Chemist and the Russian Dmitrij Mendelejew, a researcher, were working at the same time at ordering the elements – 63 in their day. Now we have 118 – the second clue. Gut gemacht!

Die neue Frage: ein Ahornsamen war sein Vorbild.
Frau St Leon

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Music Notes

Annual Music Camp

The Annual Music Camp will be held at The Tops Conference Centre, Stanwell Tops this year from Monday-Wednesday (28th - 30th May 2012). All students in the Music Performance Program attend the 3-day camp with Music Staff and instrumental tutors rehearsing new repertoire that will be performed at the Camp Concert at 6pm upon return to school Wednesday afternoon.

Buses will depart from Driver Ave, Fox Studios at 8am on Monday 28th May, please ensure you are there with your instrument and luggage by 7:45am.

Music Camp BBQ

Parents of boys attending the music camp, if you could please spare an hour or two on Wednesday 30th May from 1:30pm to help out with the BBQ for the boys when they return, we would be very grateful. We have over 170 hungry boys to feed around 3:30pm when they return from the camp before they perform at 6pm. Please email George Comninos to confirm: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We thank you in advance for your help and look forward to seeing you there.

Music Performance Program

Students in the Music Performance Program, ALL Music Ensembles are now up and running, please ensure that you are attending the appropriate Ensembles as 80% attendance to rehearsals is required for award scheme points.

The 2012 ensemble rehearsal timetable is provided below:

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning rehearsals
7.45am unless stated otherwise
Concert Band
Room 201
Chamber Choir
Room 201
Junior Stage Band
Room 201
Senior String Ensemble
Room 101
Symphony Orchestra
Room 201
  Senior  Stage Band
Room 101
  Intermediate  Stage Band
Room 101
Senior Concert Band
Room 201
Saxophone Ensemble
Room 201 8:45am
  Training Concert Band
Room 202
Terms 2, 3, 4
  Philharmonic Orchestra
Room 208
  Marching Band
TERM 1 & 4
String Ensemble
Room 208
  Woodwind Ensemble
Room 202
Afternoon rehearsals
Start @ 3.30pm
  Marching Band
TERM  1 & 4
3.30 - 4.30pm
    Jazz Ensemble
Room 201
    Percussion Ensemble
Room 201
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SBHS Debating

MIC Report

With GPS trials about to start it is stressful for both debaters and coaches and I thought it was an appropriate time to remind students and parents of some important matters regarding code of conduct. I have not had to ask any debater to leave the program yet, but there are some boys who are on final warnings. Parents need to be aware that there will be no refund of co-payments if your son is asked to leave.
Rachel Powell
MIC Debating

  • Debating is a privilege not a right at SBHS.
  • Coaches are to be accorded the same respect and courtesy as any other teacher at SBHS. They have the same ability to remove students from coaching and discipline students accordingly.

    This year there are over one hundred in debating and rather than simply limiting the numbers of boys allowed to join, we are providing coaching and creating opportunities for the boys to debate.

    With the large number of debaters, I have no time, or patience for those who wish to be a disruption to coaching. Boys who create disruptions, by calling out, being disrespectful to their coach or to others in the session etc will be asked to leave the training session. "Repeat offenders" may be suspended from Debating coaching or not allowed to continue with debating.

    Students who are selected into teams (GPS or otherwise) are not immune to this code of conduct and I have no issue with removing boys from the group regardless of how talented they are at debating.
  • Debating is not just a process of talking, but listening and learning. When students continue to behave in an attention seeking and uncontrollable manner, they will not become debaters- only arrogant talking heads.

    The boys know exactly what behaviour is and is not acceptable at this school. Common sense dictates what level of behaviour is required, not just in debating but all school activities.

    Each boy MUST take responsibility for THEIR OWN actions, and follow instructions and directions accordingly.

    Actions that are not acceptable include cajoling, interrupting, disputing and backchatting, moving around the room and swinging on chairs.
  • There is no supervision provided between the end of school at 3.20pm and coaching which starts at 3.30 or again between the end of coaching at 4.45 and the start of debating competitions at 6pm (most Year levels will have debating coaching from 3.30pm until between 4.30 and 5pm).

    Boys are allowed to remain in the school, although for safety and security are only allowed in the vicinity of the Staff Common Room and at the “office boys” desk outside it.

    Passive activities are encouraged, reading, studying, talking, debating prep etc. They are also reminded that they are to set up their debating rooms during this time.

    NO BALL GAMES OR OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE ALLOWED. This is for safety reasons- I cannot be in two places at once to supervise the boys and prepare for the night’s debate in my staffroom.

Debating Prefect Report

Unfortunately our Years 9 and 12 teams lost their FED semi finals, however Years 8, 10 and 11 still have their debate today. Best of luck to them. With GPS drawing closer trials are starting to be held, and I strongly encourage everyone to trial: even if you don't get in the experience from the debate is still worthwhile. Good luck to everyone trialling and our teams in the FED semis and social debates.
Christopher Chiam
Debating Prefect

More information can be found at www.sydneyhigh.org.au/debating and will be emailed to you on a weekly basis.
Please CHECK YOUR EMAIL regularly and ensure we have current contact details for both students and parents.
PARENTS: If you are not receiving weekly emails about debating please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and ask to be added to the parent group for your child’s year.

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Sorry Day

On 26th May 1997 the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was tabled in Federal Parliament. The Bringing Them Home Report, revealed the extent of forced removal policies, which went on for 150 years into the early 1980s. The Report revealed the devastating effects of these policies in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical trauma, as a direct result from the broken connection to traditional land, culture and language, the separation of families and the effect of these on parenting skills. It also revealed the trans-generational impact and damaging effects that these forced child removals continue to have on the Indigenous families and communities today.

One of the recommendations of the report was that a National Sorry Day be held each year on 26 May “to commemorate the history of forcible removals and its effects.” The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney in 1998, it is now commemorated nationally with thousands of Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings to honour the Stolen Generations.

At Sydney Boys High we are holding our first Sorry Day Assembly today and we will be listening to Fay Carroll who is an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer for the Sydney Region talk to us about the Stolen Generations. Kongwei Ying will be reading a poem and Khushaal Vyas a speech which I am including for you. For more information and to show your support for the campaign please go to: http://www.nsdc.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=7

Rachel Powell
SBHS Aboriginal Contact Person

"Good Morning Dr Jaggar, distinguished guests, teachers and students and welcome to our first ever Sorry Day assembly.

"Most of us will have heard the words at the beginning of each school assembly where we pay our respects to the “traditional custodians of this land”. It is in this small paragraph in which we attempt to remember the truth about Australian history. Yet many of us question why do we speak these words? What is its significance and what does it tell us?

"Now before going any further, I want you to imagine something. Think about your family. Think about the 13 or so years they have looked after and cared for you. Think about how each of your ideas, your actions and most importantly your culture stems from them. Now imagine a complete stranger snatching you from your own home. His reason? The belief that his culture is superior to yours. Imagine being taken far away from your home and brought up and surrounded by people who you’ve never met and speak a completely different language. How would that have made you feel? Scared. Alone. Alienated.

"Sadly, this was the story of thousands of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their homes, known as the Stolen Generations. It’s impossible for us to even comprehend all these years later what that must have felt like.

"Sorry Day is primarily a day to express regret over the historical mistreatment and discrimination towards our Aboriginal people. However, since the 90s, Australia has slowly, but surely, taken steps towards reconciliation with events such as the Mabo Decision and former PM Kevin Rudd’s Sorry Speech. Although these steps are positive steps in the right direction, there is still a long way to go before we are even close to complete reconciliation.

"As a result of the mistreatment of our Indigenous people, there are many indigenous areas which have extremely poor health and education. Going to a school as privileged as Sydney Boys, it’s easy to forget how hard others have it. Most of you in the hall today will end up finishing your HSC, going to university, achieving a degree all because you have had the opportunity to. Yet sadly, in some Aboriginal communities, the children don’t have the same chances as we do.

"Yvonne Butler, an Aboriginal artist had said “Education is the single greatest weapon to overcome disadvantage. It is the impact of the denial of education that affects so many Indigenous people to this day”.

"This unequal education means that kids who are just like you and me, will have less of chance to have their dreams and ambitions fulfilled. They’ll have a lesser chance of achieving even the most basic things in life that we take for granted such as a basic education, a job or possessing their very own home.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the reasons for continually acknowledging “the traditional custodians of this land” is to remind ourselves and express regret over the heartache, pain and suffering Indigenous people went through all those years ago and parts of it which are still evident today. It should be this knowledge that should inspire you, as the future generations of Australia, to do whatever you can now and in the future to extinguish this inequality and bring Australia one more step closer to reconciliation. "

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What’s Up in the McDonald Senior Library?

For the past two weeks the Senior Library has been promoting a new digital magazine.

A link has been added to the Student Portal on the school network so that the boys can access and read this fantastic new publication. SpineOut provides a avenue for young adult writers, artists, musicians to express their ideas and thoughts and express them creatively in words, art, film or music!

I would like to thank Chris Chen for his work on the production of his very professional and well-designed poster which is now displayed around the school to advertise SpineOut! Chris has devoted several hours to this so on behalf of the Senior Library I would like to express our thanks for his efforts.

We will be adding this magazine to our library collection on a permanent basis once the trial has completed.

More thanks go to Joe Goozes, Old Boy of Sydney High, for his generous donations of literary magazines The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books over several years perhaps longer! These are now housed in the McDonald Senior Library where they are read by Senior students.

State Library visits will commence for the Year 10 Senior Transition classes next week. Students will receive their State Library membership cards in this class and will be able to utilize the fantastic databases online at school and at home or of course in the State Library which we are fortunate to have not far from the school.

We are almost finished processing many new fiction titles which will be added to the NEW BOOKS display in the library and on the school website under Libraries at Sydney High. So have a look at these great titles as they are posted!
Ms S Gordon
Teacher Librarian

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Theatre Society

This year marks the birth of the Sydney Boys High School Theatre Society. Membership is now open for any student in Year 10-12, and limited to 30 students! As a member of this group, you will be invited to attend a number of performances within the year at various theatre companies, including:

  • Sydney Theatre Company
  • Belvoir Street
  • Griffin Theatre Company

Why become a member?
All students need to study plays as part of their English HSC coursework, and this is a great way to come to understand theatre forms and conventions, as well as how directors interpret, adapt and bring to life a playwright’s text into that of a realised production. As a member of the Theatre Society, you will see a collection of plays in a variety of theatres, in a range of genres and performance styles – a perfect supplement to your English and Drama studies.

To become a member, there is an annual registration fee of $10, along with the cost of each theatre ticket (usually at a specially reduced rate). Students will also be eligible for Award Scheme points.

The first two plays are:

Play Theatre Date Cost
Death of a Salesman Belvoir Street Tuesday 31 July $42
Australia Day STC Tuesday 11 September $65

To secure your place, bring in a minimum of $52 by next Monday 28 May (covering admin cost and the price of the first booking). The remaining $65 for the second play will need to be paid no later than Monday 4 June.

For more information, please see either Ms Rohr or Mr Higgins in the English staffroom.

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From the Andrews Junior Library


The Junior Library’s annual fun chess competition will take place next Friday, Monday and Tuesday so make room in your busy life to show the rest of the school that Year 7s can beat Year 12s any time. Only students who do NOT PLAY COMPETION CHESS FOR HIGH can compete. So if you think you are a gifted amateur sign up from this Monday at the Circulation Desk. The grand prize will be a bag of lollies! And the glory! First to sign in and confirm at 9am on the day will get to compete.

Would competition Chess players like to sign up as judges? All organisers will be given a sandwich lunch and a juice at the venue as there is no time to eat while the competition is on. Award scheme points will apply for organisers.


Both librarians were very happy to attend the Syba-Signs In-service “School Libraries Making a Difference” conducted by New Jersey Professor in Librarianship, Ross Todd, who lectures on correct educational practice as Guided Inquiry and Lecturer in Teacher- Librarianship, Lyn Hayes, from Charles Sturt University. This in-service required participants to register Action Research projects on Facebook and Facebook will work as a tracking device for the measurement of the many examples of evidence based practice in Librarian teaching in schools and MAKING A DIFFERENCE to the attainment of higher order thinking and writing skills.

Our Library will be re-structuring its Literacy Circles Program to specifically teach higher order thinking as part of Book Recommendations or “new book” Blogs. (We can see loads of higher order thinking already show-cased in the Blogs our students produced last year which are filling up the windows in the Library corridor) and which will now be going onto the School Website – Curriculum/Library. Both Librarians will attend local region/Selective School Librarian in-services next week as well. These in-services inspire us to aim our library programs at up to date library practice.


The Junior Library has been putting its new books for the year out on the new books shelves over the last 4 weeks and these are the books leaving our workroom and coming into the Library. These books are the ones on this page. For all new resources to the Library this year, students can browse through the “new resources” sections which can be found under Curriculum/Library on the School Website.


The last two weeks on the shelf library displays located on our newspaper table we have featured the incredible variety of intellectual (and just plain entertaining) resources our libraries hold on their shelves. This week’s display - Dewey numbers 133-158 included witchcraft, the occult, astrology, and showing how learning developed from religion to scientific fact, Freud and psychology. It included supposed differences in innate ability between men and women, postmodernism. The Art of Persuasion and Inspirational Writing from the World’s Greatest Thinkers. Last week’s display showcased wild and wacky facts from the Guinness Book of Records, the Darwin Awards, How to lose friends and alienate people and How to write java script and program Pascal – what a crazy conglomeration!

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High Family

The Bulletin Board for Sydney Boys High P & C

If you would like to have any parent community news or upcoming events included in High Society, please contact Ian Sweeting P&C President This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

P&C General Meeting

Thank you to those parents who attended the P&C General Meeting on Wednesday of last week. The meeting discussed a number of issues including the re-organisation of the school’s building funds; a proposal to create an SGHS-SBHS joint committee; the Coaster replacement plans as well as presentation of library, BNO and grounds reports.

We encourage all parents to attend at least one of these meetings per year to ensure that the decisions being made are representative of the views of the parents, on whose behalf they are being made.

Please note in your diaries the next P&C General meeting. This is the joint SGHS-SBHS P&C meeting and will be held Wednesday 20 June in the Great Hall. The P&C will provide a speaker and supper for this evening. Further details will appear in coming weeks’ High Notes.

Year 7 Parent Information Evening

The parent information evening for Year 7 parents is scheduled for Thursday May 31, 6:00pm till 7:30pm in the Great Hall. All three Year 7 Advisers (Mr Kay, Ms Hybler and Ms Genias) will be presenting on a range of subjects including student diaries; time management; assessment criteria; homework; co-curricular involvement; subject choices and the use of Moodle. A Q&A session will follow the presentations and parents are asked to provide a small plate for supper.

Having had the experience of two terms involvement at High makes this an excellent time for Year 7 parents to gain a better understanding of their son’s learning experience. Parents should receive an email confirming the details of the evening this week. If not, please contact your Year Group Representatives at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Upcoming Parking Events

Monday 28 May 7:00pm – Roosters v Bulldogs (Soccer Supporters Group)
Saturday 2 June 7:40pm
– Waratahs v Hurricanes (Basketball Supporters Group)
Sunday 3 June 3:15pm – Swans v Bulldogs (Debating Supporters Group)

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Year 7 Parent Information Evening with Year Advisers: Great Hall– 6:00pm, Thursday 31 May.

Ian Sweeting

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From the Canteen

Once again thank you for being a canteen volunteer. ALL canteen profits are returned back to the school to help fund projects and facilities which benefit all our sons.

Thank you to the volunteers for the last two weeks.

MON: Pam Jepson, Annie Long, Yoshi Kita-Leong
TUES: Amy Cao, Ying Y Xiao, Yan Y Wu,
WED: Jim O’Sullivan, Penny Chan,
THU: Rita Wu, Ha Tran, Kamala Selvakkumar,
FRI: Francis Salmon, Linda Perris, Soogie Sim

MON: Robert Tsai, Qian Wang, Carol Davis, Carmen Sawang
TUES: Jenny Dong, Gowri Murugananthan, Cia Koukouras,
WED: Doris Fong, Fumiko Cheong, Hiroko Kitajima, Shuangyu (Sharon) Wang,
THU: Xing Ping Zhang, Ming Ming Lee, Stam Farrugia, Alana Liang,
FRI: Shilpa Punekar, Sue Rynsaardt, Nina Ilina Liu

The Canteen Team

DISCLAIMER Products and services advertised in High Notes are not necessarily recommended or endorsed by Sydney Boys High School.

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Sydney Boys High School Tennis

Stan Jones Cup On Monday and Tuesday, five members of 1st grade tennis headed to Rockdale for the annual Stan Jones Cup Knockout. The team of Brian Tran, Patrick Rynsaardt, Frank Zhang, Lachlan Day and Adam Smagarinsky went into the tournament as 2nd seeds and were looking to go one better than last years’ performance. A round robin format was played to decide the 8 teams that would go through to the quarters on Tuesday. The other two schools in our pool were Port Hacking and Heathcote. Each rubber was decided with 8 matches played, 2 doubles followed by 4 singles and then 2 reverse doubles. With Patrick out sick on Monday, Adam came into the team and played superbly earning a double bagel win 6-0s in his singles against both schools. The boys easily overcame Port Hacking winning 8 sets to 0, only dropping 5 games in the process. It was a similar situation against Heathcote despite them putting in more of a fight; however the result was still a convincing 8-0 victory with High outscoring them 49-14 in total games won. The two white-washes saw High convincingly progress to the quarters after Day 1. Tuesday began with us arriving to the good news that Caringbah had withdrawn, giving us a free passageway into the semis. Tuesday also saw a shorter format played with 6 matches, eliminating the 2 reverse doubles. The semis saw us matched up against Menai. With Patrick back, the boys were able to take extra confidence into the rubber and as a result, the boys also easily despatched Menai 8-0 only dropping 9 games throughout the rubber. It was a dominating performance by the boys. This was followed by the much anticipated finals, a repeat of last years’ final where we fell short to Endeavour. The rubber could not have started any better for us with the number 1 doubles, Brian and Pat easily winning 6-0 and the number 2 doubles, Frank and Lachlan winning 6-1. With this solid lead in hand the boys were able to play freely and Lachlan and Frank were able to quickly dispatch their opponents 6-0 and Brian played a flamboyant match to win 6-4. The final result, High defeating Endeavour 5 matches to 1, to capture the Stan Jones Cup and to break the 6 year stranglehold Endeavour had on this tournament. The team’s outstanding performance saw us outscore our opponents 157-39 in games throughout the course of the knockout. The boys now look forward to the State Knockout later on in the year. |
Frank Zhang

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SBHS Rugby

High Rugby = High Spirit

St Stanislaus vs High
The St Stanislaus fixture proved very difficult for Sydney Boys High School with just one win on the day – 15Bs. 16As and 16Bs narrowly lost in what were two hard fought games.

Team of the week
15Bs for their brilliant 46-0 win.

Plays of the week
Eugene Lee’s cover tackles in first grade.

Team reports –
Each week one team/age group report will feature in the High Notes with the rest going on http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/rugby/

Despite fielding a team consisting of half Bs and half Cs players, the limited team cohesion and preparation prior to this match was not going to stop the team from playing some of the best pre-season rugby ever seen. Knowing that Stannies were going to play some aggressive rugby, High needed to keep its composure and stick with a simple game plan. This was done so fantastically and resulted in High taking a three try lead into half time. The message at half time was simple - continue playing simple rugby but react at the breakdown and support each other quicker. Sure enough, through playing smart rugby and starving the opposition of the ball a further five tries were scored. Congratulations to our front rower Michael Jun who was forced to play on the wing AND managed to score a hat-trick. Alex So was our best and fairest, phenomenal at directing the team, he was instrumental in the lead up to all tries.
S Lou

Armidale approaching
From Friday 1st of June until Sunday 3rd of June the Rugby program will be undertaking the annual Armidale trip. The adventure gives the boys two nights away with their friends and allows them to experience the country air. The games are competitive and will serve as extremely good trials in the lead up to the GPS season.

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Sports Donations

GPS sports competition is very demanding on people and resources. At High we have ongoing needs for facilities development, equipment and development through expert coaching. If you would like to help through a tax deductible donation for a particular sport, the appropriate form can be posted to you by calling 9361 6910. Alternatively, you can go to our website www.sydneyboyshigh.com click on Sport /Sports Donations to download either Development Donation Form or Equipment and Facility Donation Form.

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Senior Production: The 7 Ages of Man

SGHS and SBHS Present

The 7 Ages of Man

Directors E. Surbey & J Rohr

Senior Production 2012

Opening night - Wednesday 6 June
Closing night - Thursday 7 June


(Special matinee by invitation 7 June, 1:30pm)

Campbell Hall
Tickets available outside SGHS canteen from 23 May

Concession $5
Adult $10

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