High Notes, Vol 18 No 5, March 03 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Sabesh Murugananthan (12R) on his selection in the Combined GPS cricket team to compete in the NSW Schools Championship.

International Women’s Week – Equality Committee Launch

In order to highlight our focus on the issue of discrimination in society, the High student leadership Executive decided to put their weight behind an awareness raising campaign, emphasising the need to combat discrimination against women. I am pleased that our senior boys want to take the lead in understanding more about gendered behaviour and in modelling appropriate discourse and attitudes.

An assembly on Monday will begin the program. We will use the occasion to launch the Equality Committee. The aim of the Committee is to promote greater sensitivity to societal issues of diversity and welfare, so that our students become better informed and encouraged to behave and conduct discourse in a positive and inclusive manner. On Tuesday and Wednesday Year 10 and Year 9 students will be taking part in the One Woman Project - Gender, Inequality and Feminism workshops. On Thursday, we will host a breakfast (#myiwdbrekkie). On Friday, we will have a Q & A panel event, taking place in the Great Hall. Throughout the week, we will be fundraising for programs sponsored by UN Women with the selling of purple ribbons

NAPLAN Bonus for Student Awards Scheme

In our Student Award Scheme, we reward good performances in academic competitions and consistently excellent academic effort. We are now rewarding students for reaching or exceeding their NAPLAN, growth targets for Years 5-7 and Years 7-9. Mr Dowdell tracks student progress in the NAPLAN tests and rewards students up to 5 Awards Scheme points per test, depending on how much growth they have shown. Those boys who take NAPLAN seriously, and prepare themselves for it and perform at their best during it, will get something more than the satisfaction of knowing that they have improved. We need to convert more Year 7 Band 9 results into Year 9, Band 10 results. Our policy is that we don’t teach to the test. Nevertheless, we can teach more about the test. Skill development is supposed to be included in our subject programming. However, some boys need help refining their skills. There are many suggested activities and resources available within NAPLAN on MySchool to help boys to help themselves to improve their basic skills.

Driving On School Grounds 

Students move around inside the school grounds very frequently, presuming they are safe. They frequently do not attend well to their surroundings, being distracted by their friends or technology. They may run out from behind a parked car or across a driveway. In the area in front of the UTS gymnasium there is a great deal of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Several cars driven by parents have been observed travelling towards the school building at speeds well in excess of 10km/hr. They also execute three point turns in the bus bay area where visibility down the hill is poor. We ask parents to respect our speed limits and to use designated drop-off zones.

Parking is rear to wall or rear to fence to maximise driver views of the roadway. There have been several tragedies involving SUVs and small children in recent years in schools. In the interests of providing the maximum possible safety for our students, staff and visitors, please be careful when parking and when exiting the site and please drive slowly in school grounds. Try to enter by gate 1 and exit by gate 2 whenever possible.

Weights Room

Memberships for the Weights Room have now closed. Thank you to the 210 boys who value this facility and have joined for 2017. Kurt Rich can now focus on the personal preparation, training and development of all members. Training session times to suit all members can now be allocated. Visits when space is available is unlimited throughout the year and extends to school holidays when the weights room is open but with reduced hours.

Early Bird Discounts Have Closed

Parents of students in Years 8-12 have had an opportunity to earn a substantial discount in return for paying all of the items listed in their letters. The scheme concluded at close of business on Tuesday, February 28. Discounts no longer apply. Thank you to so many parents who have supported the school fully in its efforts to provide high quality facilities and resources for everyone.

Games to Play Out…

The former Headmaster of Shore, Mr Robert Grant, has written a detailed history of the Athletic Association of Great Public Schools. This handsome hard cover volume detail the history of membership of this elite school sporting association since its inception in 1892.It is an interesting account of how schools have changed and grown and of how participation in various sports have altered. I commend the book to you. I found it an enjoyable read. The project was inspired by the quasquicentennial celebration of the founding of the AAGPS. By agreement, the schools are selling the book for $40. Michelle in the High Store has copies available for purchase.

Solar Generation Savings Report

Since our expanded solar electricity generating system was installed last October, considerable savings to the school budget have accrued. Our Systems Administrator, James Rudd, has calculated that the school saved $1400 on its electricity bill last year and has saved $850 in the first two months of 2017. Even though the system was conceived as a contribution to combatting climate change via a reduction in our consumption of coal-fired base load power, it has had welcome economic side benefits.
Dr K A Jaggar

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