High Notes, Vol 18 No 34, November 03 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Menuja Goonaratne (9S) and Vivek Mahajan (9R) were selected in the U15s Combined GPS cricket team – a very good achievement. Menuja was further selected into the CIS U15 team to play CHS and CCC. Well done, boys!

Student Awards Scheme

The Student Award Scheme for points to be earned for this calendar year will close on Friday 24 November. All students will have their points calculated as of this date. Year 11 Prefect Interns will have their final points calculated and must have qualified to continue as Interns by earning an award this year. Even if they have carry over points, they must earn 100 this year to stay as a Prefect. The 2017 Scheme commences on 1 December 2016. Boys who are close to getting an award should fire up now. Look for service areas in parking, school working bees or volunteering to reach the threshold required.

Scholarships Offered at High

SBHS offers only two scholarships/bursaries – the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship and the Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Scholarship. All enrolled or enrolling students are eligible to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship. It is a one-year credit on the school account for $1,500. The Selection Criteria covers talented boys in an academic area or a co-curricular endeavour. Good all-rounders qualify as do students with special needs – financial or otherwise. There are many boys in the school who would make good candidates for this award. I urge them to

take the trouble to download and complete the application form. The Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Inc Scholarship is a two-year award with a credit at the school account for $1,500 for each Year – 11 and 12. Only boys enrolled or enrolling in Year 11 are eligible to apply. The criteria for this scholarship are different. It has an emphasis on a prior record of service to others, to the school and / or the community. Boys with initiative, compassion and leadership skills are invited to apply.

Look for the details on the website www.sydneyboyshigh.com/scholarships. Do not assume that you are not worthy or eligible. Applications close 25 November.

Year 11 Reports

Too many students have not yet discussed their progress with me. Clearance Forms have been issued to all boys and they should be meeting their commitments. The boys are deciding on their courses for the HSC and it is imperative that I speak to them all before Thursday 23 November. Please ask your son for his report and his plans for courses for 2017. Boys need to start focussing on the important months of HSC learning ahead! As from 24 November, strong negative consequences will have to be applied to force boys to comply with school policy. They will be considered not to have commenced Year 12 if they have not met their commitments for Year 11.

Interpreting Year 11 Reports

Individual marks for courses supplied by teachers are recorded and run against an ATAR predictor program. All the raw marks are converted into scaled marks per unit. In the iterative scaling process, students’ marks in one course are compared against all the other students who completed the same course and against their performances in their other courses. The data we use is last year’s HSC results for High. The essential comparative assumption is that boys will perform at the same standard this year as they did last year. 

A scaled score out of 50 is calculated for each course on a one-unit basis. We use all 12 Preliminary Units to calculate our ATAR estimate for two reasons. First, we would like students to receive a realistic appraisal of their progress in state terms as well as relative to their peers at High. Second, we want them to know their relative performance in each of their courses. Students can use this data to make decisions about which courses to continue or terminate. Their choices are restricted, given that 12 Preliminary units can only be reduced to ten for the HSC or eight if an accelerant performed well.

Some students are faced with choices because they qualify for extension 2 mathematics and may drop two units. Those not guaranteed a place have to maintain their suite of courses until after their first HSC assessment examinations at the end of November. For some that means continuing extension English until they are sure of a place in mathematics extension 2. Students doing extension 2 English have similar decisions to make as to their courses. Others want to be rid of a weak course and explore choosing others – e.g. picking up one or two-unit studies of religion, or taking an extension unit in history, music or LOTE. Acceleration students have a choice to reduce their load to 8 units if they believe their HSC marks for their chosen course are high enough. At this important time, future tertiary intentions are important considerations. Choices are made to maximise enjoyment, ATAR ranks or both.
Dr K A Jaggar

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