High Notes, Vol 19 No 37, November 23 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Craig Moller (SHS-2012) was selected in the Australian Boomers basketball team for their upcoming tour. Great work, Craig! Arvin Niranjan (11S) Hunar Verma (11T) and Menuja Goonaratne (10S) were selected in the NSW CHS open cricket team. Vivek Mahajan (10R) joined them in the Sydney East representative cricket team. Well done, boys! Congratulations to Nicholas Shao (11F) for his honesty and integrity for handing in a boy’s school jacket containing $120. As a result of leaving his jacket in a classroom, the distraught student had no money to pay for his music tuition. Nicholas saved the day with his ethical action in handing in the jacket to the office.

Student Awards Scheme

Last points for the Award Scheme can be earned up to next Friday, November 30. If you check your participation file and detect that something is missing, it is up to you notify the MIC in charge of the activity to have the text file of successful participants compiled and sent to Mr Dowdell. Awards have to be determined and medallions/ plaques ordered before the end of the school year so that they will be ready in time for our awards assemblies early next year. Don’t miss out on getting all the points you should!

Year 10 Reports

After lobbying by the PDHPE HT Mr Stein, I have decided to restore the PE score for Year 10 students a part of the calculation for Dux and the Academic Achievement List. There has been a steady downward trend in 1.6k cohort performance since the PE score was removed from the ATAR-style calculation of Year 10 student performance. Students have not been taking their overall fitness seriously and have not tried as hard as they might have in the assessment component of Year 10 PE.

I want now to re-incentivise earnest participation in PE in Year 10. The subject will be weighted as 0.3 of a full subject, in recognition of the proportion of student time spent. I urge all students to work on their aerobic fitness. Good habits formed now, will carry you throughout your life

Scholarship Applications

There is only one week left for students to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial and Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Scholarships. If you have financial needs due to family or special circumstances; if you are a great all-rounder; or if you have a special talent that needs extra resources to help you develop, please consider applying. Scholarships are valued at $1500 in school credit. Application forms can be downloaded from the school website – www.sydneboyshigh.com/scholarships.  Applications close on Friday 30 November.

Interpreting Year 9 Reports – Semester 2

Students in Year 9 should have collected their yearly reports. There are often violent fluctuations in rank order as a few marks can determine the difference between a D and an HD.  Many boys have really taken to their electives and have achieved well in semester 2. Parents should be aware that boys who have decided to discontinue an elective after Year 9 for any reason, may have reduced their effort, with a negative impact on their overall result. Also, those who will not continue core subjects (such as history or geography) may lose motivation and not perform to their potential.

Such actions can also result in movements in the rank order. Encourage your son to maintain a high standard in the core subjects, English, mathematics and science, as these are compulsory in Year 10. An honest effort ought to be applied to all subjects while students are enrolled in them. ‘N’ awards may be issued in Year 9 for history and geography students as these are stage 5 compressed curriculum courses.

Electives Process for Year 9 boys going into Year 10

Students make an initial free choice with their electives. They are also asked to rank their choices so that if they do not get one, they will be considered for the next ranked choice. Many boys have shown interest in robotics, code-based game development and the online learning elective. Many others have aspired to accelerate in a particular subject. For those attracted to acceleration, a process is in place to apply and have applications assessed. For robotics and game development, Ms Dam culls applicants based on their demonstrated mathematics proficiency and previous interest in IA subjects. Usually, a D in mathematics is a minimum requirement for entry into robotics or game design. Boys who applied for both will be allowed to do only one of these subjects. For the OLE, students need to have an interest in autonomous learning, a proficiency in using excel spreadsheets and to have a rank of 105 or better to qualify. This year 33 students qualified for 2019. Mr Dowdell uses raw scores submitted by HTs to calculate the dux of the Year group, using z scores. I cull the accelerant applicants. The criteria are academic in nature. Students apply to Head Teachers who send the forms of recommended applicants to me for assessment. Students have to be above average across their subjects at the Year 9 yearly examinations. They have to have a HD or D in the subject area in which they wish to accelerate. On rare occasions, highly talented students in just one subject area may be considered if they fall outside of the cut-off rank. Year 10 electives are designed for students to branch out and test their interests before settling into stage 6 study. Students need to choose carefully and follow their interests in a low-stakes learning environment.
Dr K A Jaggar

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