High Notes, Vol 20 No 40, December 13 2019

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From the Principal

High Notes - last edition for 2019

This is our final edition of High Notes for 2019. I want to thank all the regular contributors who keep us all up to date with the many and varied achievements of our students at High. Thank you to our editors, Dave Te Rata and Meredith Thomas who collate and set out the articles for publication each week and to Brooke Ashton for proof reading each edition.

High Talent

Barberis Cup victory! Sydney High has not won this interschool U15s cricket cup for five years. Melbourne High have had our measure. This was only our 10th win since we started this friendly rivalry against Melbourne in 1973. Sydney High defeated Melbourne High 3 – 0 in the matches over three days at McKay Oval. Outstanding performances for High were Albert Giles, who had a hat trick of wickets on the first day; Cody Robinson who scored 90 not out, and strong contributions from Harsh Shirodkar (57) and Aikaansh Ahi, with a quick 73 off 52 balls. A great performance, boys! At the recent five Highs tournament, High finished 3rd with a very young team. The boys beat Melbourne High to retain the Cec Rubie Trophy. Well done, boys! Our open basketball team played very close to their maximum potential to finish fourth at the National Schools Basketball Championships. Our U17 team finished 3rd in Division 3.  Congratulations to the teams and thank you to coaches Ben Hayman and Sam Higgins and to Bruce Gordon, High’s ever-reliable team manager. It is a mammoth job to organise a Nationals campaign year after year. Kevin Fernando(10T) was selected in the Performing Arts Unit 2020 Drama Company. Well done, Kevin. From the list of HSC Encore nominations, Yung Kim (11T) performance and Kent Gu (11F) composition, were selected to perform at the Opera House in Encore next year. Congratulations, boys! In the ‘Flickerup’ competition, James Walker (9M) was nominated for his film ‘Pollution’ as was Victor Zhang (10R) for his animation. Jared Smith (SHS-2019) was awarded a Macquarie University Leaders and Achievers scholarship for Marketing and Media, valued at $50,000. Congratulations, Jared!

Interpreting Year 10 Reports – Semester 2

All Year 10 boys should now have their reports. Parents are advised to work with their sons in the process of choosing Year 11 courses. Choosing courses for Year 11 study can be assisted by evaluations of Year 10 performances. English and mathematics courses are determined by the school’s pattern of offered courses and by the results of the mathematics selection process for extension 1. Next year, an additional mathematics extension 1 class will be offered to allow more opportunity for students to prove that they can master stage 6 mathematics. For Year 12, 2021 the permitted number will be as is our custom –seven classes only. Year 10 boys should have done their Career Voyage questionnaire during their Transition Education periods. These results should be discussed in the light of your son’s interests and abilities. Courses can be selected to underscore certain tertiary directions – e.g. chemistry for medicine, or economics for commerce degree.

As for the semester 1 report, ranks are varied by several factors. Students who have not performed well in PE will have a reduced ATAR prediction because the calculation is made on 12.3 units (using a pro rata for PE based on time spent). Students who do the online elective receive the average of the other units so as to neither advantage nor disadvantage them, whereas they may have taken another elective and earned an above average score or a below average score. Students accelerating have a harder task than non-accelerants as they are assessed at stage 6 standard. Consequently, their scaled marks may be lower. Students may also lose interest in electives they are not continuing and record weaker results. Electives done for enjoyment are in contrast to the serious efforts that will need to be made in their stage 6 courses. I do not make a judgement on these outcomes. What matters is what happens next, in stage 6.

Interpreting Year 8 Reports – Semester 2

When coming to the end of Year 8, some boys do not put much effort into subjects they do not intend to continue. This behaviour is regrettable but understandable. Parents should realise that such lack of interest in one or two subjects can result in big fluctuations in overall ranks. Such fluctuations will be reflected in comments on reports by teachers and by the Principal. From one perspective, parents can appreciate better what sort of learner their son is not. It is better not to persist in a discipline that does not excite you. For other students, doing well in the Yearly examination is their objective. They can turn around their cruising first semester with a much more self-disciplined effort in the second half of the year. Elective choice going into Year 9 is very important. Students need to follow their interests in a low-stakes choice environment. Some boys change both electives again in Year 10! We offer a wide range of electives for students to experience different learning contexts, with varying content and different required skill sets. By the end of Year 8, the generalist focus for secondary education is completed. Stage 5 is characterised by learner exploration and enlargement of perspective. Of course, the core subjects are important, and students need to be held accountable for their satisfactory progress. Discuss your son’s report from the two perspectives – core and future electives.
Dr K A Jaggar

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