High Notes, Vol 19 No 10, April 06 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Commiserations to our first XI cricketers who were unsuccessful in the final of the Davidson Shield cricket competition in Bathurst. The boys lost to Warners Bay High in the final. It was High’s first appearance in the final since 1980, so just making it that far in the competition was a highly commendable effort. The team is young and should come back even stronger next season. Congratulations to: Bilal Abbasi (9S), Saarangan Arvind (10E), Menuja Goonaratne (10S), Anish Joseph (10F), Nicolas Leong (11M), Vivek Mahajan (10R), Harris Memon (10E), Arvin Niranjan (11S), Cameron Pereira (11T), Aditya Shiva Rudraiah (12F), Abhijot Singh (12M) and Hunar Verma (11T). Thank you to coach, Darius Visser and MIC David Smith for the time and effort they devoted to the campaign on behalf of the boys.

The School Plan 2018-2020 – Part 1

“Sydney Boys High School has autonomous learning, more sophistication in reading and writing and promoting excellent teaching as its major priorities. We intend to intercept entropy and refresh teaching and learning and administrative practices at High”. For the next triennium we will focus on: engagement and meaning, lighting up literacy and skills for life.

The rationale at High is to ensure there is a holistic approach to student growth, incorporating the four intelligences: IQ, PQ, EQ and CQ. We operationalise our goals through well researched and acclaimed models of organisation and pedagogy. Martin Seligman’s contribution to positive psychology is very significant. His PERMA model has been pursued at High for a number of years. It takes time to change a culture from a primary focus on what is being taught to one where what is being learned is the priority. Our focus is on teaching students rather than subjects – a significant shift.

Positive emotions are strengthened when students enjoy going to school. An important aim of ours is to make school an interesting and rewarding place to be and belong to. Positive relationships are enhanced through increasing student choice, voice and autonomy in learning. Self-determination in learning builds engagement with the process and the place where it occurs. Our three electives structure, Year 10 camp and end of year activities, give students completing Year 10 a greater sense of agency. Our student wellbeing program encourages participation in a wide range of peer to peer activities through school and community service and school committees established to further causes. Engagement is also fostered through participation in co-curricular activities and team sports. Connection to school through interactions with people and being immersed in activities grows stronger and with it a broader scope to the meaning of schooling. Learning becomes a personal, group and community endeavour. Student voice is encouraged through TTFM and Year 12 exit surveys. We analyse the results of these surveys closely and the insights gained inform school planning. The point of all our efforts is to enable students to feel a sense of achievement – preferably every day they come to school.

High’s Monthly Giving Scheme  

For new and existing parents – there is a really painless way to help the school reach its development objectives – the Monthly Giving Scheme. Our school’s highest priority is to commence construction of the Governors Centre during Q4 2018. The Centre will greatly increase the school’s capacity to hold lectures, drama productions, musical recitals, examinations and receptions. In a Joint Project with SGHS, we have to raise the $12 million necessary for completion of the building. The funds are being raised entirely by the two school communities. The Monthly Giving Scheme allows you to make a deduction each month from your nominated credit card account. Deductions occur around the 15th of each month. In June, the Development Office sends you a statement for taxation purposes including the total of your donations for the year. I urge you to do as I do and make a regular financial investment in public education. The effect of philanthropy in a public cause is bidirectional - it benefits the donor and the recipient.

Tell Them From Me Survey

The online survey of student opinions about school life closes this week. I encourage parents to talk to their sons about the importance of using an opportunity to express their views and influence possible change. The survey gives students a voice in our development of policies and processes. It is very simple to access and easy to complete. This year there are several questions designed specifically for our school. We are always grateful for feedback about our policies, programs or processes. You can email me any time – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr K A Jaggar

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