High Notes, Vol 20 No 38, November 29 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Samuel Yu (SHS-2019) has also been awarded a Combined High Schools Sporting Association Blue for the sport of volleyball. Congratulations, Samuel!

Student Awards Scheme

Last points for the Award Scheme for 2019 can be earned up to next Friday 29 November. 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. We are on a tight schedule. Medallions have to be tallied, ordered and names engraved on them. Workplaces start to wind down for the holidays from now on so we need to be efficient with our process. The outcome is that all medallions and awards are ready in time for our Student Awards Assembly in week 4 next year. Don’t miss out on getting all the points you should! It is very important that individual students go to the R drive to check up on their activities and points. If there are discrepancies, Mr Dowdell needs to know about them so he can contact MICs or program organisers so everyone gets what they deserve.

Orientation Day 2019

Thank you to Sharon Kearns and her staff, teachers, students and parent volunteers who worked so well together to make the orientation / enrolment process as smooth and efficient as possible. The enrolment processes were completed in record time thanks to the smooth organisation and hard work of the SAS staff. They had to process 215+ new students. The Great Hall was full for the assembly at the new time of 3 pm. Many new students and their parents were shown around the school by School Prefects. These boys also did a wonderful job assisting the SAS staff in the Common Room as they processed applications. Volunteers who attended the various activity stalls did a great job too, as did the parents who gave up their time. Thank you also to the P & C for providing refreshments. Thank you to all the people involved in setting up the stalls (Jim and George in particular) and serving in them for the afternoon. Ms Chan, Ms Powell and the Year Advisers, Mr Kay made sure everyone felt welcomed to our school. The day ran very efficiently again. Thank you to everyone involved.

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 100 or better to qualify. 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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