High Notes, Vol 18 No 35, November 10 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our U15 team for winning the CHS Knockout Competition in Terrigal last week. The team comprised: Kwabena Brefo, Eoin Fitz-Gerald, Adam Gordon, Kristian Lisica, Agustin Palais, Ratchapak Prekpanarut, Mitchell Sawyer, Akash  Sreekumar, Joshua Xie and Alex Zhou. The team was reduced to eight players in the last stages of the tournament but showed grit and hung in as a group to secure the win. Well done to their coach, Ben Hayman.

High’s Award for Professional Development

Last week the Australian College of Educators honoured our PLE Program with the Alan Laughlin Award for outstanding leadership of the Professional Learners Exchange Program. The quality of professional learning at High has been recognised by our colleagues. Framed certificates were presented to Rachel Powell, Madeleine Rigby, Cassandra Pride, James Rudd and me. The hard work of our group over at least a decade has been recognised by one of the two peak professional associations for teachers. It has been a pleasure for me to be involved with the program and watch it evolve. I want to thank Rachel for leading the team with such enthusiasm in recent years.

Caught Doing the Right Thing

A member of the public contacted the school to thank Ramon Zhang (9F) for his ethical behaviour on public transport last week. Ramon found a mobile phone on a bus seat and handed it to the driver. The owner later retrieved it from the depot. Well done, Ramon, your actions make us all proud and enhance the reputation of the school.

The High Life – Student Magazine

The first edition of The High Life was published this week. I want to thank the editor, Jaspar McCahon–Boersma, for his vision and drive. He gathered a good group of contributors to get the first edition up and running. It is an eclectic mix of artworks, photography, illustrations, a cartoon and an opinion piece. I want to thank the contributors for their courage in sharing their creativity with their peers. Ms Jollie was the staff mentor who made the representations on the boys’ behalf to get the project going. I thank her for her input. Student magazines are a barometer of the creative culture of a school. I do hope that this initiative doesn’t prove to be a one-time production. Boys with something creative to share should make sure that this project flourishes into the future.

Electives Restrictions for Year 10

Students make an initial free choice with their electives. They are also asked to rank their choices so that if they do not get one, they will be considered for the next ranked choice. Many boys have shown interest in robotics, code-based game development and the online learning elective. Many others have aspired to accelerate in a particular subject. For robotics and game development, Ms Dam culls applicants based on their demonstrated mathematics proficiency and previous interest in IA subjects. Mr Cipolla has been asked to choose the 30 best autonomous learners with advanced computer skills for his OLE. I cull the accelerant applicants. The criteria are academic in nature. Students have to be above average across their subjects at the Year 9 yearly examinations. They have to have a HD or D in the subject area they wish to accelerate in. They have to be in the top 100 in the rank order. On rare occasions, highly talented students in just one subject area may be considered if they fall within a few places of the cut-off rank. Year 10 electives are designed for students to branch out and test their interests before settling into stage 6 study. Students need to choose carefully.

Student Leave Requests

Too many parents are ignoring or pleading ignorance about the school policy on Student Leave of Absence – Extended Leave Travel requests. This applies to leave that is five school days or more in duration. Parents are reminded that as a matter of policy leave will not be processed or approved unless four weeks’ notice has been given. Also, cogent reasons for travelling during school term need to be supplied. The effect of this decision is that all leave requests that involve the last four weeks of term must be lodged with me for approval by the end of Week 6, each term. If you are planning to travel during the school term you need to download, complete and submit the form for my approval by the closing date. As it is now Week 5, I am writing to inform you that I am going to apply the rule quite strictly as from Week 7.
Dr K A Jaggar

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