High Notes, Vol 17 No 9, April 01 2016

Attention: open in a new window. E-mail

From the Principal

High Talent
CIS swimming representatives for 2016 are: William Lee (14 Years 200 IM, 50m butterfly, breaststroke, 100m freestyle, breaststroke, 4x50 medley relay); Kalem Best (17-19 Years  50m and 100m freestyle, 4x50 medley & freestyle relays); Jake Rowlands (17+ Years 200m  freestyle, backstroke, 100m butterfly, 4x50 medley relay); Kevin Guo (17+Years 50m, 100m, 200m breaststroke, 4x 50 medley relay); Ike Matsuoka (12-14 Years 100m  & 200m backstroke, 200m butterfly); Christian Haddo (17+ Years 50m freestyle, butterfly, 4x50 medley relay); Nathan Wang (12 Years 50m breaststroke, Derek Sae-Jong (12-14 Years 4x50m medley relay); Jimmy Xu (12-14 Years 4x50m medley relay); Allen Guo (15 Years 50m breaststroke); Irvin Tsui (15 Years 50m breaststroke); Luke Schofield (17+ Years 4x50 freestyle relay) and Andrew McNaughton (17+ Years 4x50 freestyle relay). Congratulations to all the successful swimmers!

Staff Changes
Congratulations to George Barris (SHS2001) who was appointed Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning by merit selection. He takes up this inaugural substantive position as the HT LOTE position was re-classified. Welcome aboard to Hazel Stephens who was appointed 0.8 PPT to Social Sciences, also by merit selection. Hazel has been with us for some years as a temporary teacher.

The School Excellence Framework – Part 1
We have had a preliminary self-assessment of our school’s outcomes against the School Excellence Framework (Google it for a quick pathway). During Term 2, the Executive will be discussing elements of one domain in the framework with a view to implementing changes that will facilitate our progression in the continuum – delivering to sustaining and growing and then to excelling. We are starting with what we see as the most important domain – Learning. On the face of it, High would claim to be fulfilling the excellence requirements of that global assessment.

However, when we try to make such assessment of our culture visible, we need to demonstrate how elements of learning culture are measured. There are five elements to be assessed against that standard within the learning domain.

Learning Culture. “In schools that excel, school culture demonstrates the building of educational aspiration and ongoing improvement across its community. Students take responsibility for their ongoing learning.”  (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). We haven’t demonstrated yet how there is a school-wide collective responsibility for student learning and success, with high levels of student, staff and community engagement. We will have to make relationships and how they work more visible and show how collective responsibility for learning and student engagement is a school-wide concern.

Wellbeing “In schools that excel, there is a strategic and planned approach to support the cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual wellbeing of all students.”  (We rated ourselves as delivering).  We have many structures in place to support our students in all their endeavours. We have teams of teachers, pull-out programs, an educational philosophy with two compatible implementation models and a really wide range of student achievements. We are hard markers and need to find ways to measure improvement in individual and collective wellbeing. Also, judging the effective use of expertise and resources is difficult.

Curriculum and Learning “In schools that excel, an integrated approach to quality teaching, curriculum planning and delivery and assessment, promotes learning excellence and responsiveness in meeting the learning needs of all students.” (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). It is difficult to quantify effectiveness in the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in all students – a rigorous test indeed. Using evidenced-based teaching practices with known effect sizes in research, would give us greater confidence that all students were benefitting from our practices.

Assessment and Reporting “In schools that excel, consistent, school-wide practices for assessment and reporting are used to monitor, plan and report on student learning across the curriculum.” (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). We felt strong on this element but measuring student use of reflection on assessment and reporting to plan their learning has not yet become sophisticated or widespread enough in our school. We have embedded practices to engage parents and help them understand the learning progress of their sons but more support strategies for parents trying to help their children learn need to be communicated. We hope that our PEWCC skills reporting, commencing in Year 7, will help to start a stronger conversation with parents about learning.

Student Performance Measures “In schools that excel, students consistently perform at high levels on external and internal performance measures.” (We rated ourselves as excelling). Our boys perform at high levels in HSC tests and there are strong value added results overall. The equity groups performance is very close to the performance of all students in the school. We still have work to do to reach our student growth targets in the Junior School but overall this element is strong for us.

[As we develop our approaches to the learning domain in term 2 and beyond, we would appreciate comments or feedback from parents about our School Plan and how it is working when tested by the School Excellence Framework. Please email any thoughts to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]

Sydney Boys Team Travel Fund – ASF
We have a new Australian Sports Foundation Project – the team travel fund. The idea is to defray some of the costs of our extensive sporting travel costs – to Armidale, Melbourne, Wingham, Canberra, Taree, Grafton, Terrigal or the Gold Coast. If your son represents the school in any sport and is likely to ‘go on the road’ a contribution to this Fund would be very worthwhile.  We invite parents, Old Boys and friends of High who have an interest in sport and would like to give back something to help our boys experience the fun of sporting trips while they are at school. There are now 14 separate projects to choose from at the Australian Sports Foundation – Sydney Boys High Project. Can you spare $100 to help out a sport team?

Students! Make Sure Your Voice is Heard!
The site for the Tell Them From Me survey is open until Friday 8 April.

  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 begin

The Record
Captains of summer sports teams have a responsibility to prepare a short report about the season their team had. A focus on the positives is appreciated and also highlighting any good individual performances. Reports should be submitted electronically to Ms May. One enduring feature about The Record is the pleasure gained by Old Boys returning after 30 or 50 years who relive moments of their teenage years through the photographs, names and summaries preserved in The Record. Co-curricular activities need to submit reports also. Supporters with good action photographs are asked to email them as attachments to Ms May who might be able to use any interesting ones in The Record.
Dr K A Jaggar

Return to Index

Continue reading in PDF format

This complete issue of High Notes is available in PDF format.