High Notes, Vol 19 No 22, July 27 2018

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From the Principal

Welcome back to term 3

I trust all members of the school community have returned well, refreshed and ready for another busy term. Our Joint Staff Development Day with SGHS was hosted by SBHS this year. Our keynote speaker was Dr Ben North, Principal Research Officer, Centre for Educational Statistics and Evaluation. He presented an overview of recent research on gifted education as the background to the development of the new Gifted Education Policy to be released later this year to replace the 2004 policy. Faculties from both schools also had the time to explore issues of interest to them in workshops.

High Talent

Alex Yeung (10S) and Roy Lin (10M) are members of the NSW U15 table tennis team. Alex recently represented NSW in the Australian Senior and Youth Championships U21 team, winning silver in the team event. Congratulations to Joshua Lam (10F) who has been selected as an Indigenous Literacy Foundation Student Ambassador. He is one of ten students in Australia tasked with promoting the cause of improved literacy for indigenous students. Joshua also was invited to be part of the ‘Secretary for a Day’ executive shadowing program. William Winter (10E) was honoured at city Tattersalls club for completing their Max Potential Program. Great job, William! At the GPS Rifle Shooting competition held this week, High’s young team acquitted themselves well. In the Second Grade competition High placed second and finished third in the First Grade contest. Jackie Wu (8F) was selected in the Combined GPS team to compete this Sunday – a wonderful individual result! Our Hume Barbour debating team won their inter-regional debate this week. Well done to Alex, Justin, Guy and Simeon!

Notice to Students and Old Boys

The school is still holding 2016 photographs. These will be disposed of by August 17 if they are not collected.

Notice to Parents and Students

Recently, two student laptops have been damaged accidentally while being used in the playground. Laptop security is the responsibility of each individual student. We encourage boys to exercise and socialise during breaks, instead of playing games on their devices or accessing social media. The school will not be held responsible for damage to individual devices that may result from their use in the playground or in corridors.

Recent Media Attention

Recent Sydney Morning Herald articles have questioned the elite nature of selective schools and how some of them raise significant amounts of money, whereas most comprehensive schools do not. A parallel assertion is that selective schools do not increase equity in education because the parents of so many of their students are in the upper quartile of the Index of Socio-Educational Advantage. This index has its critics (see Brent Michael’s SMH article from 19.7.18). Sydney Boys was singled out (as it has been many times before) for raising the most money of any government school. After consultation with school community representatives, I sent the following email to the Education editor at SMH.

“I am loathe to reply to inquiries from journalists because they inevitably slant the subsequent published story in ways that do not help the school’s mission – to provide opportunity for excellence for gifted boys. It is tiresome that each year some newspaper does a story on how much money is collected by particular state schools. Sydney Boys High is in a unique position as a six-day government school with commitments to engage in weekend sport and after hours’ activities as a consequence of its membership of the AAGPS. Sports and co-curricular activities are offered in depth to our students. These activities are expensive and funded by our engaged and supportive parents. The particulars of our fundraising needs and expenses I am not prepared to disclose to the SMH. To support our belief in equal opportunity, charges and levies for those families in necessitous circumstances are written off and absorbed by the school community”.

COLA Refurbishment

Our COLA has had a complete makeover. The artificial grass has been replaced. Repaired or replaced netting has been suspended from chains to do away with the metal poles we had before. In order to preserve our refurbished asset, I have decided to engage in a community use agreement with Sydney Cricket Academy to operate the COLA for an initial period of 12 months. Darius Visser, the proprietor, is well known to our cricketing community as a cricket coach. Training times will be reserved for cricket and fencing at no cost to the school. We expect that the security and maintenance of the COLA will be enhanced under the management of a commercial operator.
Dr K A Jaggar

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