High Notes, Vol 20 No 4, February 22 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Old Boy Emmett Naar (SHS-2011) who joins Craig Moller (SHS-2012) and Andrija Dumovic (SHS-2011) as Australian representatives, having been selected to play with the Boomers. At the GPS Swimming carnival last Friday, Justin Yi won the U13 50m breaststroke and butterfly and it took a GPS record by Newington to edge out Ike Matsuoka in the U16 400m individual medley. Well done, boys Xenos He (11F) was chosen in the U17 NSW Badminton team – congratulations, Xenos! At the ACT International Open Judo championships, Ivan Samsonov (9F) won gold in the U66kg division. Great result, Ivan!

Early Bird Discounts on financial contributions

There are only four days remaining for parents to take advantage of the early bird discounts on our contributions package. February 28 is the last day to receive the benefit. With the maximum contribution, you get the value of one year of equivalent private school education for your son for about one-thirteenth of the price. Please support the school in its goal to provide opportunity for your sons to pursue excellence in a wide range of endeavours.

Weights Room Memberships

Only four days remain for students to join the Weights Room. It is such a great program and offers a real opportunity for boys to increase their strength, fitness and self-confidence. All the routines are carefully matched to both the age and experience of the member. Our strength and fitness Coordinator, Kurt Rich, is highly qualified and attends nearly every session the Weights Room is open for student use. Costs for this service are held down to a minimum and reduced by boys taking out a full year’s membership. For 2019, a full year Weights Room membership costs just $252. Boys wishing to have full year membership must register and pay by Thursday, February 28, 2019. There will be no extensions of time nor any other window of opportunity later in the year if you forget to pay on time.

New Curriculum for 2019

In English and history and the sciences, the new curricula and school programs will be examined for the first time. In Year 11, the new syllabuses in Mathematics Advanced and Mathematics Extension 1 will be taught for the first time. There are new syllabuses for stage 5 history and geography electives and physical activity and sports (PASS). K-10 PDHPE and K-10 Chinese, French and German as well as Year 7 & 8 technology, will be taught for the first time, too. It takes a while for teachers and students to get across all the changes in curriculum implementation.

Presentation Night 2019

Congratulations to Ms Joanna Chan for her impressive organisation and management of Presentation Night, 2019. The night ran smoothly and concluded punctually. The executive and staff helped support the occasion, but Brooke Ashton, George Barris and Anthony Cipolla should be congratulated in particular for their work. Kushaal Vyas spoke passionately about his work with disadvantaged and indigenous communities, while pursuing concurrently a combined Arts/Law degree at UNSW. My speech to the assembly is reprinted, below:

"Special guest Khushaal Vyas (SHS-2013), Mr Richard Skinner, Director Port Jackson Network, Ms Rachel Powell, Principal James Ruse Agricultural High School, Mr Vince Del Zio (CEO Sir Roden & Lady Cutler Foundation), Life Governors: Phil Lambert, Dr George Lewkovitz and Dennis Briggs, Professor Ron Trent (President SBHS School Council), Dr Geoff Waring (Chairman, SHSF Inc. & President  SBHS P & C), Mr Paul Almond (President of the Sydney High Old Boys Union), Warrant Officer Mark Cooper ADF, Associate Professor Dimitria Groutsis –University of Sydney Business School, Juliet Raynor – University of Sydney, guest presenters, Old Boys, staff, parents and prize winners – thank you all for joining us this evening.

"The most impressive change in the last twelve months at High is that it has had a major, positive facelift. With new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint on Killip Wing, the cloisters, the Great Hall and the main building, High looks the best it has looked this century, arguably the best since 1928. The Department of Education has invested heavily in refurbishing High. The wider school community is thankful and really appreciates the way the school looks. Internally, with our IT Support Centre, Maker Space and Hall sound system, the quality of our student experience has been enhanced.

"While the HSC results for 2018 were disappointing overall, there were some excellent individual performances. In Mathematics Advanced, Christopher Ta (11R) placed first in the state, with Jaden Yang (11T) 4th.  In physics, Matthew Tang gained top honours. Justin Lai was fourth in Modern History. Jay Patel ranked 7th in Chemistry as did Jack Jiang in Software Design and Development with George Flabouris 10th. Pico Dos-Santos-Lee, Kai Huang, Nathan Trinh, Sampson Xie, Jinmin Xu and Christopher Yuan, had their performances nominated for Encore. Lingyu Wong had his Music extension composition nominated for Encore. Brandon Nguyen had his body of work nominated for ARTEXPRESS.

"The ATAR average for 2018 was 92.04 calculated for 207 candidates. Three 99.90 ATARs were earned. Thirty students were ranked at 99 or above; 155 scored 90 or above. Forty-two students, who enrolled after Year 7 by means of our local selection scheme, averaged 89.92 ATAR. The results overall were weakened by 12% of students earning an ATAR below 80.

"In sport, the big results came from volleyball. High claimed titles in the NSW All –Schools Opens and U15s; won the CHS Open Knockout competition and reclaimed the GPS title. The Open basketball team were champions at the CHS Knockout competition.  Our open table tennis team won the CHS Knockout Competition for the fourth consecutive year. Our tennis team retained the Stan Jones Cup as champions of CHS tennis. High won the Kippax Cup for the highest achieving boys’ school in athletics at CHS level. Our open cricket team qualified for the finals of the Davidson Shield CHS Knockout competition. High dominated CHS Rowing with nine gold medals. Our first grade debating team won the treble in 2018 – Eastside, Hume Barbour (CHS) and the Louat Shield (GPS). Our chess teams won the GPS competition and the NSW Junior Chess League competition – Intermediate Division.

"There were many individual achievements, some of which are printed in your programs. Justin Lai won the National ESU Plain English Speaking Competition – the first time for High since Mark Swivel in 1983. Guy Suttner won the National economics competition. Bill Wong (11M) was the national winner of the ASX Schools share game, with Tim Wan (11T) as runner up. Henry Thi won the National Business Studies competition – Senior. Equal first in Australia in the Australian Geography competition were: Felix Yi (7F), Rayan Haque (8S) and Mitchell Liu (10R). Ben Kernohan and Etkin Tetik won the Australian National Robocup Open Rescue Competition. At the National Championship in athletics, Anthony Vlatko won the U18 800m and Rowan Tan (9M) won the U14 triple jump, setting a national record. Our U14s 4x100m relay team won gold at the CHS athletics championships. Joshua Suto won gold in the CHS U13s long jump, breaking a school record that has stood since 1971. Rowan Tan won gold in the U14 400m, while Kane Shields won the U14 800m and 1500m. Eric Holmstrom and Kane Shields qualified to compete at the National Schools cross-country championship. Our U16s won the GPS Intermediate division of the cross-country competition. Alex Yeung won team gold medals at the Australian Junior Table Tennis competition. Kieran Guan was selected in the national team to compete at the Junior World championships in speed skating. Archie Fox won a CHSSA Blue for rowing.

"Tonight, I want to pay tribute to the work of our former Deputy Principal of the Junior School for her significant achievements 2015-2018. I outlined these in the first High Notes of the year. We all wish her great success in her demanding new role.

"In saying goodbye to members of the Class of 2018 for the final time, I ask myself the question: What kind of future are we preparing our alumni to enter?  Are we getting them ready for the future, or is it already here?  Robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are driving a new level of disruption in many industries.  In particular, industries such as healthcare, financial services, transportation, agriculture and retail, will be altered significantly by technological advances.  Commercial drones will be used more frequently in agriculture, architecture and construction, manufacturing and delivery.  In healthcare, AI will impact on physicians viewing and analysing patient scans.  3D printing will match medical devices to the exact specifications of patients.  Genomic sequencing will make it possible to diagnose and treat diseases earlier; and robot-assisted surgeries will improve surgical outcomes for patients and reduce the cost of patient care. Collaborative robots – cobots – will support the work of humans.  Cobots will make human work faster, safer and cheaper in confined workspaces. Autonomous vehicles will appear in constrained environments such as airports, education campuses and retirement villages, where reliability and predictability can be assured.  Businesses of the future will rise of fall on their capacity to adapt to robotics and AI. 

"As robotic and artificial intelligence technologies in our daily lives proliferate, their benefits will impact on the public consciousness and outweigh the fear of the unknown. Artificial intelligence, or machine learning, is a part of our daily lives and will have an increasing impact on us.  Web browsers, medical scans and mail delivery drones are examples of applied artificial intelligence. Within the next decade, it is likely that human behaviour will be modified, augmented or enhanced, by microchip implantation.  Researchers are working on medical, educational and performance applications for microchips. It won’t be long before technology of that kind is applied to educational delivery.  Teachers would love to have the technological means to be able to personalise their learning, to become a personal tutor for each member of each of their classes.

"Software is being developed to make assessment adaptive.  The next step is to diagnose individual strengths and weaknesses, to make pedagogy personal through technology – adaptive learning and assessment programs.  Both content and checks for understanding could become adaptive to individuals, during the learning process.  Feedback tools could be expanded greatly in range and specificity. Schools are already using learning management systems to track individual student progress.  Students and parents can get reports weekly or monthly online. 

"‘Robotics’ is an emerging area of interest for educators.  In Chinese kindergartens robots are already in use engaging children in play, learning numbers and vocabulary – building games.  Interactive robots may well become a feature of secondary school classrooms to assist individual students with remediation tasks, make up information and exercises for missed lessons or rote learning assignments. In December, 2018, a robot was trialled in a  Victorian school for students with special needs.

"As versatile, resilient, autonomous and innovative High graduates, I know you will feel confident, after your university training, to enter with confidence, occupations in professional sectors disrupted by artificial intelligence and machine learning. I want to offer my warm congratulations to all our award recipients this evening. For those leaving High, whatever your future careers maybe, engage in them with passion and perseverance, to ensure you reach your potential. It was a privilege to serve you as your Principal. "
Dr K A Jaggar

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