High Notes, Vol 19 No 1, February 02 2018

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From the Principal

Welcome to Term 1

On behalf of the wider school community at High, I extend a warm welcome to all new staff members, students and parents commencing with us in 2018. New appointments to High are Mr Siddharth Gurjar (mathematics) and Ms Rebecca Mellor (English). We welcome back temporary teachers Emily Stephens and Matthew Kwong (Mathematics), and Sam Higgins (Social Science). Mr Gainford and Ms Mack have also returned after extended leave. Where we are heading and what we are trying to achieve (2018-2020) are outlined in the updated Principal’s Message on the website www.sydneyboyshigh.com Navigate to ‘About’/ Introduction/ Principal’s Message 2018-20.

High Talent

At the recent NSW State Age Swimming Championship, Ike Matsuoka (9M) qualified for the National championships in the 14 years 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley. Great work, Ike.

Properties News

During the holidays the lighting system in the Great Hall was completely renewed. It has been a P & C priority for some years. The refurbishment of the COLA is well underway. The sheds have been given new doors and the barbecue shack is almost complete. Room 703 has been expanded air conditioned separately and completely refurbished. It will operate as our new IT Centre from next week. As promised to the SRC next year the priority room for heat relief 901 was also air conditioned. The next hottest room on the SRC list will be air conditioned this year. A number of rooms are being recarpeted, causing some disruptions to normal routine. We are targeting several rooms to be painted and have invited contractors to quote on the job. A significant amount is being invested (>$100k) to improve the learning environment for our community.

Weights Room for 2018

High’s weights room offers exceptional value for money. The room has appropriate equipment for preparing the bodies of teenage boys and crucially, it is constantly supervised. When handling weights, technique is vitally important and boys need to learn the correct way to lift. Kurt Rich, our Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, is a well-credentialed and experienced trainer. His presence ensures that the boys are training safely and sensibly. So as well as getting gym facilities, clients have a supervisor and adviser to help them during their unlimited visits. The Weights Room operates much more effectively if all boys get their training in how to use the various pieces of equipment and in proper lifting technique, as soon as possible. Kurt Rich provides this service at the beginning of each year and can tailor individual programs for members after the introductory sessions. Having a fixed clientele makes his job more productive and leads to a better training experience for members and better strength outcomes for participants. Hence, we decided to close off memberships by the end of February each year. Boys who have not paid by that time can no longer attend the weights room.

Costs for this service are held down to a minimum and reduced by boys taking out a full year’s membership. For 2018, a full year Weights Room membership costs just $246. Boys wishing to have full year membership must register and pay by Wednesday, February 28, 2018. There will be no extensions of time nor another window of opportunity later in the year if you forget to pay on time.

Early Bird Discounts

In order to help all areas of the school we offer a substantial discount to parents who pay all their invoices in full before Wednesday, February, 28. It is not only a great demonstration by them of their commitment to the ethos of the school but also it’s an encouragement for others to follow their lead and it helps to create a critical mass of financial support for our programs. The annual cash contribution by the DOE finances less than one quarter of our programs at High. The rest comes from the support of parents and the efforts made by School family volunteers, helping in fund raising. Having substantial funds early in the year allows us to make sure that capital works are completed in the holidays, orders are made promptly and that the boys get the maximum benefit out of equipment and services deployed for them this year.  Quality services, extra staff and high standards come at a high price. A very large number of parents see the package as value for money and contribute in full.

The early bird discount is available for students who were invoiced in December, 2017 or later and doesn’t apply to students who were invoiced in October, 2017 and subsequently came to Orientation Day in November and had the opportunity to pay everything on the day and obtain the discount.  Year 7, 9 or 11 boys who were not made offers before Orientation Day are eligible for the discount. Students in Years 8-12 have the chance to make a saving by paying in full by Wednesday, February 28.

Welcome to Year 7 Assembly, 2018

My welcome address to Year 7 and later enrolling students is reprinted below:

"On behalf of everyone in our High community – teachers, support staff, IT staff, groundsmen, cleaners, coaches, Old Boys and volunteer parents - I extend a warm welcome to all new students this morning. We celebrate renewal each year by clapping in our Year 7 students, and look forward to clapping Year 12 students out as young men in 2023, in our formal farewell. We acknowledge and recognise your previous academic success, earning you a coveted place at High. You were offered enrolment after a rigorous ability test. We understand that each one of you is an academically gifted individual with a unique suite of natural abilities, skills and interests. Our task is to mould these abilities interests and skills into talented performances, in several areas of school life.

"To the new students joining us in Year 11, I offer you a special welcome from the High family. You were selected because of your all-round achievements in secondary school so far. You have demonstrated talent in a variety of activities or excellence in one and competence in others. We welcome you and expect you will grow as people and add value to the High culture. You have a great opportunity to establish yourselves at our school by getting involved quickly in the co-curricular program. I urge you not to waste time waiting and watching. You need to grasp every opportunity. Get organised and be prepared to work really hard. Set yourself incremental academic goals and strive to achieve them. Focus on your own academic growth. Many people are ready to help you.

"We have a school-wide BYOD policy. Increasingly, Information and Communication Technology’ is integrated into the daily life of our school. Use your device and your researching privileges responsibly. Look after the security of your device. Our IT Centre is Room 703 where you can go for help.

"Our teachers will be endeavouring to work closely with you to find out more about your preferred learning styles and individual needs. We will be trying to improve your learning. We will be fussy about focus in order to get more out of each lesson. We will need you to pay attention in class and participate positively in activities. We need you to discipline yourself to stay on task. We want you to relate respectfully to everyone at all times.

"We will expect excellence from you not just adequate work. We care about compliance – do all the work that is set for you. Our teachers will be concentrating on consistency in completing tasks in class and at home to the required standard. We are dedicated trustees of our reputation and success at High. Together, if we work hard and help each other, we can maintain and enhance our excellent outcomes.

"I expect that you will all adopt our all-rounder culture and take advantage of activities at High.  We want you to work hard, train hard and play hard. We will also expect you to give some of your time and effort back into school and community service. I expect all students to involve themselves in co-curricular activities - the Student Awards Scheme identifies the main ones available. Sport is a very important part of life at High. Our traditional involvement in GPS and CHS competitions makes us unique.

"Sport training is offered at High on at least two afternoons. Membership of our weights room is excellent value for money. My strong expectation is that you will play competition sports on Saturdays. Participating in GPS competition is an integral component of our ethos. We focus on team sports for educational reasons – group cooperation, team building, goal setting, collaboration, time management, grit development, managing loss, resilience and motivation skills – these are most necessary in modern work contexts. We are trying to nurture future earning skills: problem solving, evaluating information, working in teams, communicating ideas and fostering creativity and innovation. You will have an assessment of these skills in various contexts included in your semester reports in the Junior School. For each boy we want to build: positive emotions about High, engagement with High programs, respectful relationships with everyone, meaning in all we do and a sense of accomplishment for sustained effort. At school and in class show your teachers, peers, all staff members and volunteers in activities the respect they deserve. Ask them for help. Be responsible for your own learning. The pursuit of excellence is a lifelong discipline. Let’s pursue our goals hard but have fun, too. I wish you all a happy and prosperous experience at High."
Dr K A Jaggar

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