High Notes, Vol 20 No 37, November 22 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

In the recent 2019 Koala mini Challenge & Friendship Cup, Jayden Ho (7M) won bronze in the U12 Sabre and gold in the U12 Sabre team and Oscar Shi (7S) won bronze in the U14 Sabre and gold in the U14 Sabre team.  Well    done, boys! Hunar Verma (SHS-2019) was awarded the prestigious NSW Combined High School Sports Association Sporting Blue for cricket. Congratulations, Hunar!

School Chaplaincy Program

The Australian Government is investing $247 million over four years (2019-2022) to renew the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP). While the Australian Government funds the NSCP, states and territories are responsible for its administration. The NSCP supports the wellbeing of students and school communities through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies delivered by chaplains. Participating schools are eligible to receive up to $20,280 in metropolitan areas. This funding will support approximately 3000 schools per year to access the services of a qualified chaplain. The renewed NSCP has a greater focus on supporting students and school communities affected by cyberbullying, with NSCP chaplains to complete professional learning on this topic.

Sydney Boys has been awarded funding for a School Chaplain for 2020-2022. For next year, Mr Matthew Cotton will be in the role of School Chaplain. His focus will be on mentoring late enrolment students and wellbeing issues generally, including cyber-bullying. The position is part time and will complement Matt’s other duties as Year Adviser and MIC of sailing and rugby.

Scholarship Applications

There is only one week left for students to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial and Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation 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. There are different criteria for each of these scholarships. Scholarships are valued at $1500 each year in school credit. Application forms can be downloaded from the school website – www.sydneboyshigh.com/scholarships.  Applications close on Friday, November 29.

Interpreting Year 11 Reports - Semester 2

Teachers record individual marks for courses, and these are run against an ATAR predictor program. All the raw marks are converted into scaled marks per unit. In the iterative scaling process, students’ marks in one course are compared against all the other students who completed the same course and against their performances in their other courses. The data we use are last year’s HSC results for High. The essential comparative assumption is that boys will perform at the same standard this year as they did last year. Means and standard deviations are derived from our HSC results from the previous year and applied to our results in the current year. A scaled score out of 50 is calculated for each course on a one-unit basis. Where candidatures are very small – eg visual arts and LOTE- we use historical results in that course in our school to calculate the mean and standard deviation to be applied to this year’s results. We use all 12 Preliminary Units to calculate our ATAR estimate for two reasons. First, we would like students to receive a realistic appraisal of their progress in state terms as well as relative to their peers at High. Second, we want them to know their relative performance in each of their courses, to inform their subsequent choices. Next April, the estimate process will be moderated against the 2019 HSC results and calculated for the best ten units for each student.

At this stage of the year, every Year 11 student faces a choice, some have more choices to make than others. Will I do 12 units, 11, ten or less? For those students who have a guaranteed entrance into Extension 2 mathematics, they can drop two courses immediately (Extension English and a 2-unit course) and still have ten units to present at the HSC. Students who really want to exit a course and have made the rank cut-off for extension 1 mathematics, can keep their Extension English and drop a course. Most accelerants remain doing ten units until their HSC results in the acceleration course are published. Acceleration students have a choice to reduce their load to 8 units if they believe their HSC marks for their chosen course are high enough. Students qualifying and choosing to do four units of English can drop one course. High performing students tend to use acceleration results as insurance and do ten units for the HSC anyway. Others want to be rid of a weak course and explore choosing others – eg picking up one or two-unit studies of religion, or taking an extension unit in history, music or LOTE. Students I speak to when discussing their reports are thoughtful about their strengths and weaknesses and mindful of their preferred tertiary options. Pragmatism often informs their decisions. At this important time, future tertiary intentions are important considerations. Choices are made to maximise enjoyment, ATAR ranks or both. I hope all Year 11 students choose sagely.
Dr K A Jaggar

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