High Notes, Vol 17 No 6, March 11 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
A wonderful result for Dibyendu Roy (11E)! He won a bronze medal at the Australian Mathematics Olympiad competition. As expected, High was the champion school at zone level in swimming. Zone age Champions were: 12 Years – Nathan Wang (7R); 13 years – Ike Matsuoka (7M); 16 years- Adam Feng (10S) and Opens – Andrew McNaughton (12S). Well done to those boys. Zone records were broken by Nathan Wang [100m breaststroke 1.31.78 & 50m freestyle]; SBHS Open 6 x 50M freestyle relay team – 2.48.46; SBHS 15 years 4 x 50 m freestyle relay team – 1.55.43; and SHS opens freestyle relay team – 1.47.49. Congratulations to all concerned. Great work by Daniel Zhang (12F) who qualified for the NSW CHS combined tennis team to play in the All-Schools tournament. Congratulations to Luke Schroeder (12T) on his selection in Combined GPS first grade and to Oscar Dumas (10E) and Max Menzel (12T) on their selection in the Combined GPS second grade team.

Collectors Doing The Right Thing
A parent writes:
“I go to Martin Place station each morning and walk down to George St. I regularly bump into SBHS boys collecting for charity as I did this morning for Bandaged Bear. I always make a beeline, make a donation and have a quick chat. Sometimes I tell them I am a parent of a boy there, sometimes I don’t. They are without fail articulate, polite, have great eye contact and are positive about the school. Incredibly impressive, fine young men and great ambassadors for the school.”

It is gratifying to know that our boys behave well when out of school and unsupervised. It is also a credit to them for giving up their early mornings to serve in a good cause- well done!

International Women’s Day
This week we celebrated another International Women’s Day (March 8). Regrettably, in the last 20 years in Australia the gender pay gap has not closed despite many reforms and affirmative action programs. The gap is maintained or exacerbated by cultural factors as well as socio-economic ones. Families need to offer encouragement to their daughters to explore myriad vocational pathways. Girls wanting to do something different with their lives need advocacy and support in the home and the school.  Another disappointment for women is the lack of progress in reducing the statistics on domestic violence. It’s up to males to believe in respectful relationships and to have the character and skills to resolve conflict appropriately.

Tell Them From Me Survey
Once again we ask for your participation in the TTFM survey. For students, the survey opens on March 14 and closes on April 7. Parents and students are reminded that this a voluntary survey and that logging on by students implies parental consent to engage in the survey. Information given is confidential and will not be used in any way that identifies a person or the school. The data from the TTFM reports have been useful for the school executive as sources of student and community voice on matters affecting experiences at or with SBHS. Additional information for parents, including translated consent forms and parent FAQs, can also be found on the CESE website at: http://surveys.cese.nsw.gov.au/information-for-parents.  Students who participate will be rewarded with Student Award Scheme points. For students, the process is the same as for previous surveys:

  1. Log into the Student Portal
  2. Click the “Student Survey 2016: Tell Them From Me” link in the Portal Services menu
  3. Click the “Access the Survey” button to start the survey

Growth At High
In Year 7 (2014-15) 98% of students (n=179) scored in the top two bands for reading and numeracy, compared with 92% in statistically similar schools. In Year 9 (2014-15) 96% of students (n=208) scored in the top two bands for reading and numeracy.  So despite our Year 9 intake, the quality of our results as measured by NAPLAN is not significantly affected. Our growth number from Year 7 to Year 9 is 41.7 (v 38.1 SSG). By Year 12, 95% of our students (n=208) earn at least two band 5-6 results at the HSC. We would expect that figure to be closer to 98. Statistically similar schools scored at 89%. [E3 and E4 extension results are not included]. I would contend that our very large candidature in mathematics disadvantages us on this measure. Our growth from Year 9 to Year 12 (TES) is not strong at 25.0 (v 24.2SSG).  It has also been declining (2012-14). Our School Plan is targeting sophistication in writing to try to reverse this trend.

The attainment of low SES students in Year 7 compared to high SES students is -6.9 compared to -38.2 in SSG schools. For Year 9 the figures are -6.4 as opposed to -35.3. Even though the low SES sample is one tenth the size of the high SES group, it shows that High offers opportunities to learn to everyone – a feature of our ethos that we can be proud about.

Early Bird Discounts Success
Thank you to the 671 families who showed such great commitment to the school and its objectives by paying for all their fees and charges by the end of February. It was encouraging that 55% of families opted in. The discounts amounted to c$130,000 of revenue forgone but for the full support of so many people early in the year, it was well worth the sacrifice. Participation in the scheme improved for every academic year except Year 10. Thank you again to everyone. I look forward to an even better result in 2017.
Dr K A Jaggar

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