High Notes, Vol 19 No 16, June 01 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Alexander De Araujo (12R) was a member of the NSW Schools debating team which won the National Schools Debating Championship. Well done, Alex.

High Histories – Glenn Fraser (SHS-1985)

On behalf of the Sydney High School community, I would like to express our thanks for the wonderful creative contribution made by Glenn Fraser, Creative Director at Transmedia Entertainment. Glenn shot, recorded and edited a series of interviews with High Old Boys at a recent development Office function. Candid, impromptu interviews were recorded during the evening in a classroom.

When he was in his final year at school. Glenn had two films chosen for ARTEXPRESS. His work was first screened by the ABC in the following year. Glen has forged a successful career following his passion for film making. He currently works as a writer, director and transmedia consultant.

Glenn’s pro bono production for the school’s community engagement program was valued at $10,000. We really appreciate his generous gift of time and expertise. We have now a rich legacy of Old Boy commentary about life at school spanning five decades.

Caught Doing the Right Thing

It is gratifying to receive congratulatory emails from commuters about our students’ behaviour on public transport. People usually take the time to convey criticisms rather than praise. I received the following email last week.

“I frequently catch trains on the Bankstown line and am always impressed by the good behaviour of boys from your school. I have been meaning to send a message for a long time but yesterday morning was prompted by another example. Two boys could see the train was filling up and stood up from their seats as the train pulled into a station to make them available for the incoming passengers. They are a credit to both the school and their parents.” MK. Well done to our boys on the Bankstown line!

Interpreting Year 11 Reports  

For 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 are 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 English Extension 2 have similar decisions to make as to their courses. Others want to be rid of a weak course and explore choosing others – eg 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. By the time of the semester 2 report, these decisions will have been made. Please discuss these matters with your son so that a well thought out decision can be made about the courses he takes in Year 12.

Winter Sports Assembly 2018

My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest David Campese, parents, staff, students, welcome to our Winter Sports Assembly. We assemble on this day each year just before the commencement of the official GPS competition season, to introduce our teams and acknowledge the work of our staff, coaches and committees.

"Our volleyball progam is one of our most successful, year on year. I’m pleased to announce that as from 2019, 2nd grade volleyball will become an official GPS competition. Mick Kay has been MIC and first grade coach for all of this century. I want to thank him again for the great work he does and the strong team of people he has assembled. Thank you to Patrick Parker, Everett Coan and Kerryn Ibbott for their support of volleyball. The team of Old Boy coaches are a great asset.  Pinyan Gao (SHS-2014), Kevin Lu (SHS-2015), Gordon Qin (SHS-2014), Sunny Xu (SHS-2015), Ryan Seong (SHS-2016), Wanyu Tang, Ray Gu, Kalvin Xu and Shane Chen (SHS-2017). Thank you all for your great work for our boys.

"Our Football program at High has great participation, but is still not very competitive. We need more boys who are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to create competitive sides. We are getting good fixtures for most boys. At the top end of the competition other GPS schools have sharpened up their skills and fitness and we will have to stretch our boys in order to reach the new standard. I would like to thank our MIC and Football Coaching Coordinator, Jason Hayhurst, for taking on two big jobs and meeting the outcomes expected so well. Thank you to our 1st XI coach Jordan Hayhurst; 2nd XI Coach: Ian Huddleston ; 3rd XI coach Adilmorad Nadir and all the lower grade coaches. Thank you to our Football Committee President, Winston Loke, to all 1st and 2nd XI parents for helping with the catering, and to our Football Staff for helping with Saturday supervision: Ms Eggleton, Mrs Manolios, Ms Genias, Mrs Luu, Mrs Rigby, Mr Drivas, Mr Cinquetti, Mr Choy and Ms Harcourt.

"I want to thank Matt Cotton for his efforts as Rugby MIC again this year. He is on sick leave at the moment so we all wish him a speedy recovery. Thank you in particular to Mick Aldous and Paul Scrivener for their work with the first and second XV this year. We appreciate the help given to our boys by Bronson Harrison and his team. Geoff Stein’s work with our junior teams is of great value. Thank you to scrum coach, Mark Giacheri and backs coach David Knox for their technical assistance. Thank you to statistician, Hamish Covell. On Mr Cotton’s behalf I want to thank all coaching staff, SBHS staff and especially the parents, Angus Robertson, Julie fox, Pit Trent and the Rugby Committee, who have contributed their time to assist in fund raising and other activities that enrich the program for the boys.

"Rebecca Dam, MIC cross country, has again organised a glitch-free sporting program for our boys. Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you again to Head Coach, Dani Andres, for his coordination of the coaching program and to his coaches Ian Zhou (SHS 2015) and Kevin Chung (SHS 2017) for their assistance. Cross country can take up to 100 students but they have to be prepared to do the training before competing.

"When things go wrong on the sporting field – the own goal you score in desperate defence, the cut-out pass resulting in an intercept try – sports people often begin a process of self-recrimination as a reaction to what has happened. Negative self-talk or derogatory comments by teammates can affect an individual’s performance for the rest of the game. Sports minded athletes develop the ability to exercise personal control over their own thoughts. Rather than wallow in self-pity, the mindful sportsman directs his thoughts in positive, constructive ways. Negative self-talk can become a habitual way of thinking.

"The antidote to this poisonous state of mind is the use of positive affirmations. You engage in positive self-programming by focussing on short, positive statements. ‘I will get goal side before trying to clear a ball next time!’ ‘I will keep my passes short for the rest of the game’. These re-focused thoughts are empowering. Positive self-concept about the rest of the game will overcome present feelings of negativity. If you want to change behaviour you have to imagine a better outcome than the one you just experienced. The right time to be positive is when you least believe it.

"How many times have you seen players who have made a big mistake try really hard for extended periods of time to make up for it? Why do professional players make a point of touching a teammate who has made a crucial error in a reassuring way?

"Why do coaches find the good things a losing team has done and talk about them at half time? The answer is that sports minded people know what the effects will be if negative thoughts dominate a player’s mind. Performance will be reduced. Affirmations work because they make people feel better about themselves. To combat negative self-talk, you need thought interruption. ‘No that’s not me I’m better at that skill than I just showed.’ Then you need thought substitution. ‘I will make that play better next time.’

"At High, we have to cope with many losses and disappointments in our very competitive contexts.  What I have always admired about our boys is that they display great qualities of resilience and stoicism. ‘Keep playing the game.’  ‘Never give up.’  ‘Try to do your job well next time.’ They support each other and try hard to be positive about the next phase of the contest. As our teams are being introduced and when they accept their piece of uniform on the stage, they are joining that tradition of striving against formidable opposition to try to win for the team, themselves and the school.

"Let us all help improve collective performance by focussing on positive affirmations – about ourselves, our teammates and our school. I wish all the boys honoured with selection here today the best of luck for the GPS season ahead. We play sport because it is fun. Let’s make sure we have fun by remaining positive."
Dr K A Jaggar

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