High Notes, Vol 19 No 30, September 21 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Last Friday night our first grade debating team made history negating the proposition that we should regulate doctors’ pay. They defeated a very polished SGS with their great teamwork and self-belief. They are only the second debating team this century to achieve the  Hume Barbour- Louat Shield double crown,  the last being the 2000 team. Importantly, they extended High’s unbeaten run in the Louat shield to four years – an unprecedented result! Symeon Ziegler, Alexander De Araujo, Guy Suttner and Ryan Borges are arguably the most accomplished High debating team ever, since the PDC Hume Barbour Competition only went state-wide and co-ed in 2001. To top off a great weekend against SGS our school chess team of eight players won the GPS Knockout Competition comfortably. The team comprised Peter Boylan (11R), Henry Chen (11S), David Zeng (11F), Amerthan Thevathasan (11M), Justin Wayne-Low (10S), Kerwin Ma (9M), Jinghan (Harry) Wu (9R), Ryan Lee (9E) and Jack Keating (8R). In the NSW Junior Chess League Competition, the High team retained the shield hanging outside the front office as state champions. The team involved was: Mahroun Rahme (8M), Austin Liu (8R), Dean Nguyen (8S), William Wibawa (8F) and Jack Keating (8R). Well played boys! High will be well represented in the Sydney East cricket team to play in the Championships in November - Arvin Niranjan (11S), Vivek Mahajan (10R), Menuja Goonaratne ( 10S) and Hunar Verma (11T) were selected. Congratulations, boys! In the NSW State Basketball Championships, our open team were runners up to NC after winning through to the final.

Governors Centre Update: Joint Announcement by Schools

The construction of the Governors Centre, the joint SBHS-SGHS multi-purpose facility that has been in the planning for many years, has come a step closer. The NSW Government and the Schools are in the final stages of agreement to tender the construction works, with construction expected to begin in early 2019.

The Governors Centre has needed tremendous support to reach this stage. The generosity of parents, graduates of the schools, and members of the community has been overwhelming and will create a vital legacy for the future education and well-being of students at SGHS and SBHS for years to come. After raising over $10m over many years of contributions, design work, building approvals and negotiations, we are finally moving to the next stage of the project. The efforts of school staff, parents, community members and Department of Education officials have all contributed to reaching this milestone.

We expect to be able to complete the base building with the $10.6 million already raised by the communities of the Schools. Over the coming period, some further financial support will be needed to complete the fit-out of the building interior and have a truly state-of-the-art educational facility. All going well, construction will be finished by late 2019 or early 2020.

Open Day

Our annual Open Day was held this week. Thank you to Stephanie Francis for her very effective organisation of the event. Thank you to the Jim Crampton who was a tower of strength on the day and to the SAS staff who helped out with the gift bags and last minute arrangements. Stephanie managed all the publicity to schools, as well as coordinating all the stalls, activities, volunteers and promotional material packed into 400 High shoulder bag. The Great Hall was packed, with standing room only. Our thanks go to her and all the teachers, coaches, Old Boys, parents and student volunteers who participated in the activities that showcase our school. Our aim for the morning is to show visitors the school in operation. The format included an assembly to listen to information about High followed by a Q & A with the Principal. Visitors were then invited to attend classes in different subjects in multiple locations around the school. Other groups were taken on a school tour by our new Prefect Interns. Clubs and group displays, musical performance and morning tea by the P & C filled up the grassed area of the courtyard. Sports displays were held in the gym. Feedback was positive about the tone of the school.

Interpreting Semester 2 - Year 12 Reports

All Year 12 students ought to have their final reports. The ATAR estimate for the second semester report is based on the results of the Trial HSC alone. Students can get a more accurate appraisal of how they would perform if the HSC were to be held now. Those who performed better at assessment tasks, practical projects or performances than in formal examinations, are disadvantaged by this method of calculation. However, unless the examination marks are earned, they cannot be distributed to those with the best ranks in the course. Unless students take radical steps to address areas of weakness highlighted by their teachers, or until students adopt rigorous study schedules and stick to them for weeks at a time, then the ATAR predictions given to them at interview will, in all probability, closely reflect the actual HSC ATARs. Intensive effort for a month or so can make a very big difference to examination scores. Students are urged to take the short-term pain for the long term gain.

Tell Them From Me Survey

The School and The Learning Bar support team are looking forward to working with our school community this semester, to maximise the opportunity to collect feedback from our stakeholders using the TTFM surveys. The survey window has been open since 27th of August and will remain accessible until 26 October. You can complete a survey at any time during this window. Over recent years we have built up a data base of staff and parent opinions about various aspects of school life. We appreciate the feedback – both positive and negative – as it helps us with our forward planning in our search for continual improvement. Information given is confidential and will not be used in any way that identifies a person or the school. Additional information for parents, including parent FAQs, can also be found on the CESE website at: http://surveys.cese.nsw.gov.au/information-for-parents. I urge as many parents to participate as possible. Parent voice is very important to us at High.

To have your say about our school go to: https://sbhs.co/pil18

Dr K A Jaggar

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