High Notes, Vol 19 No 39, December 07 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Tim Hanna (8R) won best project in the Illawarra Coal Science Fair in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category. Well done to our first grade tennis team that beat Scots in the final of the GPS Plate Competition in tennis. Our first grade cricketers are competing in Adelaide in the 5- Highs tournament. Our 15s and Opens basketball teams are in Melbourne, competing in the National School basketball competition. Around 50 Year 10 students are experiencing life in the open at the outdoor education camp for 5 days. Our Chess boys competed in the Scots Invitational Chess Tournament.

Scholarship Applications

Applications for scholarships have now closed. The Principal, has assessed the applications, consulted with the Executive and the successful applicants have been be notified by letter. Thank you to all the students who applied. All were worthy. Decision-making was difficult. Congratulations to those receiving scholarships and encouragement awards.

Student Awards Scheme 2019

The Student Awards Scheme starts again this week. As from Monday, students can start accumulating points. It is a good idea to get involved in events that score points, like parking, early on in the year so that later in 2019 there will no need to scramble for those last few points to qualify for an award.

Year 10 – Life Ready Stage 6 Course

There is a mandatory 25-hour Life Ready Course that has to be delivered to all students in stage 6 in state schools. Some of the topics for this year are: breaking down depression and building resilience; safe driving; mental fitness; safe partying; mindfulness; Breaking the Man Code workshop and online learning materials. Outside presenters are delivering several of these learning experiences. They cannot be repeated for absent students next year. Alternative arrangements will be made involving free periods for Year 11 students who have not experienced this course. For these reasons, and to conserve important teaching time in Year 11 in 2019, it is most important that Year 10 students attend school Monday 17 through to Wednesday 19 December.

Interpreting Year 8 Reports – Semester 2

When coming to the end of Year 8, some boys do not put much effort into subjects they do not intend to continue. This behaviour is regrettable but understandable. Parents should realise that such lack of interest in one or two subjects can result in big fluctuations in overall ranks. Such fluctuations will be reflected in comments on reports by teachers and by the Principal. From one perspective, parents can appreciate better what sort of learner their son is not. It is better not to persist in a discipline that does not excite you. For other students, doing well in the Yearly examination is their objective. They can turn around their cruising first semester with much more self-disciplined effort in the second half of the year. Elective choice going into Year 9 is very important. Students need to follow their interests in a low-stakes choice environment. Some boys change both electives again in Year 10! We offer a wide range of electives for students to experience different learning contexts, with varying content and required skill sets. By the end of Year 8, the generalist focus for secondary education is completed. Stage 5 is characterised by learner exploration and enlargement of perspective. Of course, the core subjects are important and students need to be held accountable for their satisfactory progress. Discuss your son’s report from the two perspectives – core and future electives.

Unauthorised Parking on School Grounds

We have recently had a number of vehicles parked without permission on our school grounds, in some cases for multiple days. We all need to be vigilant – staff, parents and students – when driving, parking or walking through our car parks. Please report to the school office or inform a Deputy Principal if you see someone getting out of a car and then exiting the site. Commuters can save a considerable amount of money by avoiding paying for a car space in the city. Sometimes people working in our immediate vicinity try to use our grounds as their car space. Car spaces for staff and visiting parents are already at a premium without the burden of freeloading commuters making things worse. Let’s be alert together to report strange vehicles on our site!
Dr K A Jaggar

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