High Notes, Vol 20 No 12, May 03 2019

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From the Principal

Welcome Back To Term 2

After what I hope was a relaxing break, I welcome staff, students, coaches, parents and Old Boy employees to what is always a hectic term two. Our newly appointed Deputy Principal, Junior School, Mr Jamieson Kay took up his position this week. We welcome back Jamie, formerly a social science teacher and Head Teacher Student Welfare at High, after his tenure at Northern Beaches – Manly Selective – as Head Teacher of HSIE. In English, Vivian Paul (SHS-2002) is replacing Anna Hitchcock for Term 2.

This week Year 9 had their half-yearly examinations. They will be followed by Year 8 next week. Year 12 reports will be collated next Friday for distribution and discussion in week three. From Tuesday of week 3 until Monday of week 4 (14-20.5) Years 7 and 9 will be having their NAPLAN tests. Students need to make sure they know when and where their testing will occur as the exam periods are staggered to accommodate online delivery. Year 7 exams commence immediately after NAPLAN on May 21. Year 11 have their exams beginning in week 6 (3.6). Year 10 exams begin on Friday 7.6.Year 12 examinations commence in week 8 (17.6).

In term two, students need to be well organised and must plan for all their commitments – academic, sporting and co-curricular. It is easy to fall behind if you do not allocate your time and anticipate the time demands that will be placed on you for each week. I urge parents to get involved and to discuss personal organisation with their sons.

High Talent

Dean Nguyen (9S) was awarded a gold medal and perfect score in the National Latin Exam this year. A marvellous effort, Dean! Congratulations to Isaac Ayoubi (9F) and Izak Taylor (9F) on their selection in the NSW U15 basketball team. Well done to Lachlan Ho (11T), Ethan Kwan (11M), Adrian Leong (11F) and Matthew Pellen (11R) who represented Australia in the Oceania Cadet Fencing Championships in Wellington, New Zealand. Lachlan won gold in the teams’ event and bronze in the individual foil. Matthew won silver in the teams’ epée event. Adrian and Ethan won gold in the Men’s Sabre Teams event, while Adrian won bronze in the individual event.

Ground Improvements

During the holidays, quite a few areas of the school were concreted. The long jump pit next to the barbecue shack was filled in to make the area more usable. A pathway and drain were installed beside the COLA up to the shower/toilet steps to prevent gravel from being dragged onto the new artificial grass and to facilitate drainage in major weather events. A pathway was laid around the gate leading to The Flat, to make access easier and to stop erosion of the bank caused by heavy pedestrian traffic. The new electric boom gate was protected by a bollard set in a concrete pad.  The UTS gymnasium had the exhaust fans replaced in the second week of the holidays – a major undertaking. Conditions for players in the gym will be much improved. On behalf of the High community I want to thank UTS for the improvements made at considerable expense.

Student Awards Scheme - NAPLAN Results Bonus Points   

Boys in Years 7 and 9 sit the NAPLAN tests this month. The idea behind NAPLAN is for all boys to try their best in each test to prove to themselves that they are progressing well at school, from Year 5 to Year 7 or from Year 7 to Year 9. They can demonstrate growth. Regrettably, often boys do not treat the tests as seriously as they might – rushing through just to finish early or working carelessly because the results do not count on their reports. We need to convert more Year 7 Band 9 results into Year 9 Band 10 results. Our policy is that we do not teach to the test. Skill development is supposed to be included in our subject programming. However, some boys need help refining their skills. There are many suggested activities and resources available on the NAPLAN website to help boys to help themselves to improve their basic skills. Go to www.nap.edu.au/naplan/the-tests if you would like to do some preparation or to hone your skills.

We decided to incentivise wholehearted student performances in NAPLAN tests. We offer up to a maximum of 20 Student Award Scheme points for the four tests – 5 points each. Students maintaining their expected growth trajectory will receive three points and those exceeding it, five. We want to give boys an extra reason to try hard, to progress to the highest level possible, to use all the available time and to check their answers for careless errors or mistakes of logic or judgement. In short, we want to nurture the process of performing to your best ability under pressure. We want to make your growth as a learner visible to you.
Dr K A Jaggar

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