High Notes, Vol 19 No 18, June 15 2018

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From the Relieving Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to the six students who have reached the semi- finals of the Dr Evatt legal debating competition: Alex De Araujo, Lincoln Hui, Ryan Jepson, Justin Lai, Aman Mohammed, Guy Suttner. This means SBHS will compromise a mighty 10% of the semi- finalists – Good Luck boys and thank you to Ms Hitchcock for her organisation of the UN Debating Program.

Interpreting Year 7 Reports – Semester One

Year 7 boys received their reports this week. Please read your son’s report with him and highlight any comments that will help him make further progress. Parents need to know that with scores for grades – HD (6), D (5), Credit (3) PM (2) and P (1) – boys are expected to score thirty points or 10 credits equivalent, in order to reach the school standard. Proficiency levels for future oriented skills, such as problem solving and evaluating, are also reported. Parents will be able to trace the growth of their son in the five reported skills as he progresses through the junior school. These skills are reported in their own textbox and are distributed among the Faculties. We understand that boys transitioning into Year 7 face many adjustment challenges. The top group of boys are acknowledged on the Academic Achievement List. Unless special circumstances preclude it, letters are sent to the parents of the boys in the Academic Support Group (those boys with scores less than 30). Boys scoring 27 points or less will meet with their Year Adviser to find an appropriate form of support. Many boys I have spoken to have already told me that they need help with their organisation or they are unsure how to plan revision for exams. These are areas we can help students with and I am confident that with good habits embedded then they will improve. Some students have mentioned that they have been spending too much time playing games or on social media. I urge parents to put time limits on such activities because they can be very addictive and have a negative impact on learning.

PEWCC Skills

Check your son’s progress in future oriented skills – problem solving, evaluating, working with others, communicating ideas, creating and innovating. They are reported twice each year in their own text box on the school reports. Every Faculty has an opportunity to report at least twice on each of the five skills during the six reporting periods during Years 7-9.You can understand more deeply about how your son is building his capacity in the discrete dispositions that we have targeted for development as a school. The idea is that you can track your son’s growth over his three years in the Junior School. These PEWCC skills are very contextual. Hypothetically, your son might be really good at working with others in English where he is confident and comfortable but not so effective in mathematics where he is weaker, is reticent and defers to the strong mathematician in the work group. Consequently, skill growth might not be a simple progression from 1 in Year 7 to 3, 4, or 5 in Year 9 (depending on the scale in the rubric for each subject). Your son’s progress might be uniform neither across the subjects, nor across the dispositions. I look forward to an informed dialogue between parents and teachers on the individual student’s development of these important life skills. Find out more about PEWCC reporting on our website www.sbhs.nsw.edu.au/curriculum


We are lucky that Ms May organises photos of key events at school. Some parents have been asking us about how they can get copies of those photos. Photos are saved in the W:\PhotoArchive\2018. Parents and students who have taken fantastic photos are encouraged to share them with Ms May in the Visual Arts Department. They will be saved in the photo archive so that other people can enjoy or for potential publication in the Record or website.

Draft Anti-bullying Plan

In order to review our school procedures for proactively preventing and reacting to bullying behaviours, we have established an Anti-bullying Team which has met five times so far. I have been leading the team and would like to thank the teachers, parent representative and wellbeing prefects for their hard work and enthusiasm so far. In High Notes I have included the draft plan and would welcome comments and suggestions from parents and students. We would like these before our next meeting so the deadline for submissions will be 25th June. Please email directly to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I can share them with the team. We will be making a formal presentation of the plan and our work in school at the P&C Meeting on 15th October.

School Prefects 2018

Last Friday the prefects were formally inducted into their prefectships at a most wonderful assembly which praised the work of a range of school student leaders. My speech is below.

"As a leader in many different schools, I have been on numerous leadership courses about effective leadership. Amongst others, I have been taught about servant leadership, transactional leadership, emotional leadership, distributed leadership, transformational leadership and instructional leadership. The qualities of each might be different or they might overlap and they fill countless books and articles.

"As a History teacher, of 25 years, I have taught countless lessons where students have had to brainstorm “What makes a good leader?” You can probably remember doing such an activity yourselves. Usually with a Roman Emperor, Medieval King or Tudor Queen in mind Year 7 students will come up with a list of qualities similar to this: strong, powerful, clever, fair, confident and trustworthy.

"For this assembly I wanted to come up with my own list of qualities, but instead of considering the best Australian Prime Ministers, the most influential people in social justice or the top 20 CEOs according to Forbes, I looked a bit closer to home.

"Who better to study for an illustration of what makes a good leader than our School Prefect Body for the class of 2018?

"I re-read all their ‘Meet the Prefect Intern’ articles in High Notes and was struck by the fact that in spite of the unique nature of each one which obviously reflects the unique nature of each prefect intern, there was a commonality to their comments which made it easy for me to draw conclusions.

"Our leaders are thankful for the opportunities they have been given. They don’t take their place at High for granted.

"They are proud to represent their school.

"Our leaders value diversity and support inclusivity.

"Appreciating the help that was given to them, these leaders see leadership as an honour and a chance to serve others.

"These leaders work tirelessly for themselves and for those around them.

"Each leader has a passion that they want to share.

"There is a strong sense amongst them that they should, and indeed, they want to give back to the school community and for many that extends to the wider community.

"That the Prefect Body of 2018 have chosen wellbeing and mental health as a focus for their attention this year reveals so much about their leadership qualities. They have chosen to start a conversation about a much-maligned topic for young men who are the lowest help seeking group of any demographic in Australia.  Depression and anxiety are not topics that win awards or gain acclaim, but they are amongst the most common mental health problems experienced by young people.

"I feel extremely privileged to be Relieving Principal for the 2018 Leadership Assembly and I am honoured to confirm their Prefectships.

"It is fitting that this assembly also praises the work of our outdoor education leaders, the Community Service Committee and the Environment Team. The members of these teams all embody the qualities of good leadership and the qualities we look for in our future prefects.

"To conclude, I would like to quote our Community Service Prefect, Nishant Suriyadeepan 'To me the role of a prefect is more than just a badge or a fancy title, it’s a chance to make a positive influence around me.'"
Rachel Powell
Relieving Principal

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