High Notes, Vol 20 No 21, July 05 2019

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From the Principal

End of Term 2

Thank you to all staff for their efforts during term two. It is always the hardest term and this year there were added complications to deal with, arising from all the maintenance work being carried out around the school. Together, we provided quality educational experiences for our students in a convivial atmosphere. Have an enjoyable break!

High Talent

Last week, Joshua Lam, Roy Lin, Alex Yeung and Adam Masen, all Year 11, won the CHS Table Tennis knockout for the fifth year in a row. They defeated Castle Hill High in the final.

Congratulations to all the boys for their high standard performances over many years. Two High students, Arman Mohamed (12F) and Ryan Borges (12R), were selected in the CHS Debating team. Well done! Marcus Nguyen (12F) returned from Tokyo where he was a member of an international youth group the 2019 Model G20 Task Force. The group were in camp for ten days. They produced an impressive Y20 Position Paper that was scheduled to be presented to the G20 leaders at their conference. The paper covered the ‘state of teenagers’, the Future of Work, Business and the Environment and International Trade. Congratulations, Marcus! In the recent ‘International Mathematical Modeling Challenge’ our High team of Rayne  Fangwu, Martin Lee, Duy Ngo, & Chen Zhang (all from 9E), received an award as National Finalist in the competition. Congratulations to the team and their advisor Andrew Wang. Ben Kernohan (11S) and Etkin Tetik (11E) are representing Australia in the Open Rescue division of the International RoboCup Competition. This year the competition is being held in Sydney at the International Convention Centre: https://2019.robocup.org/ . For the competition, the boys designed, 3D printed and developed the software to control the autonomous functions of their robot. Good luck to you both!

Caught Doing the Right Thing

I received this email from an airline passenger…“Just wanted to pass on some feedback for the young men from your school who travelled on JQ503 from Sydney to Melbourne this morning. While thinking that so many of them on the same flight would have been a nightmare, their behaviour was impeccable. From the boarding area (where they politely waiting their turn) to their mature behaviour on board, to the orderly fashion of letting people off and exiting the terminal, they represented themselves and your school very well. If these are the young men that you are nurturing, it is a credit to the teachers accompanying them, their classmates and to your school.” Well done to all the students on the Melbourne Exchange trip and their teachers & support staff!

Collection of Reports

All boys should have collected their reports. Regrettably, there are still many boys who have not fulfilled their commitments and completed their Clearance Forms and booked an appointment time to see me to discuss their progress at school. This is an important step in our feedback loop and I insist on speaking to boys personally. Boys can come and get their reports before or after school and at lunch or recess on most days, unless I have appointments or have already set aside a time to chat with boys about their reports. There are also sheets provided for ‘Stragglers’ Reports’ for an hour or so on selected days. Boys just need to make an effort to comply with policy and come and see me. Once I have had a short feedback session with each boy, his report is loaded online against his personal file and on Find A Student. Appointments can be made in the new school year by filling in one of the sheets on the Waterhouse desk in the corridor or just drop by before school, recess and at lunch (except Tuesdays). The benefits of my interactions with boys lessen if the discussion is too far removed from the assessment events being discussed.

Interpreting Year 10 Reports - Semester 1

Boys in Year 10 have had their reports handed out after consultation with the Principal. Parents should be aware that there are changes to the way the rank order is calculated in Year 10. HDs (6 points) and credits (3 points) etc…are no longer added together to form the scores on which the rank order is based. We use individual marks supplied by teachers. We calculate ATAR equivalent scores for those marks based on twelve units (six subjects). PE included in the calculations as 30% of two units (a course), because it has only four periods and is a practical course only in Year 10. PASS elective scores are calculated in the usual way.

Rank order variations can be large between Years 9 and 10 for these and other reasons. For example, boys take on additional electives that do not have to include history or geography. Sixty + boys are attempting stage 6 courses as accelerating students and they are assessed on stage 6 criteria, which are more rigorous. Sometimes, they spend more time than they should on their accelerated course and get their time management out of balance. Some stage 5 electives, like commerce, robotics and filmmaking, are infused with stage 6 concepts and content. The Online elective can only be calculated as the average of the rest of the students’ scores because it is a mastery-based elective. That calculation may lower or increase a student’s rank. Science is delivered in a series of modules – chemistry, physics and biology. Some boys are much more engaged with one science module rather than another. Regrettably, some boys switch off in subjects they are not planning to pursue in Year 11. These subjects can be electives that they just picked for enjoyment because they had already decided on their Year 11 courses, or ones that they chose but with which they have not become engaged . Please bear in mind the possible impacts on ranking in the cohort of these changed contexts, when discussing the report with your son. Quiz him about his three electives and about how he is engaging with them.

Sick Students Attending School

It is important that parents make arrangements to keep their sons at home when they are unwell with symptoms with the potential to infect others. I appreciate how inconvenient it can be to do this. Nevertheless, we have had occasions, particularly in winter, when students who are obviously unwell have persisted in coming to school with the effect that they infect others who then become sick as a consequence of their exposure to infectious students. In the interests of Public Health, please be mindful of your son’s medical condition before deciding to allow him to go to school.
Dr K A Jaggar

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