High Notes, Vol 21 No 1, January 31 2020

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From the Principal

Welcome to Term 1, 2020

This year as we resume work we are faced with some extraordinary challenges. We may find the precautions around the coronavirus outbreak irksome – quarantine, loss of schooltime, disruption to the start of the school year, medical checks – but we need to set these inconveniences against the loss of habitat, crops, homes, animals, livestock and livelihoods that many Australians have had to endure as a consequence of the continuing bushfires menacing our society. Others have been impacted by cyclones, flooding, hail and damaging winds. The drought is still a clear and present threat to townships running out of water. In such times of crisis, Australians have always managed to try and put community before self.  Our volunteer fire fighters have done much to protect us… sometimes at the cost of their own lives. Let us learn from their example and work together to start this school year as comfortably as we possibly can by cooperating with each other and working effectively, within our self-imposed restrictions. January is a time for renewal at High each year. We welcome 180 Year 7 students, three in Year 8, 34 in Year 9 and nine in Year 11. I trust you will all settle in quickly and start to enjoy the many co-curricular opportunities that High offers.

High Talent

In mid-December last year, our U-17 volleyball team won the Australian U17 Championship in a 5-set nail biter against Mazenod College. Congratulations to Oliver Yang, Billy Nguyen, Zac Lui, Blair Zhong, Alec Ng, David Zhou, Sean Giang, Matt Awad and tournament MVP Joshua Reid. Well done to Pinyan Gao (SHS-2014)  for his great coaching. In the Open division 1, High won gold; Year 8 Division 1 won silver and Years 9/10 Division 1 won bronze. This was our most successful Nationals campaign in volleyball in the history of the school. Thanks to MIC Michael Kay and his staff for all they do for our students.

Staff Changes

We welcome back Ms Elly Harcourt to the History department after maternity leave. Mr Gainford is returning to us in Mathematics on a half load while convalescing from his multiple and invasive operations. Ms Penny Schlam has been appointed as our new drama/English teacher, replacing Ms Hancock. Temporary engagements for this term, include Ms Marina Trompetter in English, Ms Zishan Zeng in Mathematics, Mr Lucas Matto in Science and Ms Elianna Apostolides in Visual Arts. I am confident that they will fit in easily over the coming weeks.

The Governors Centre - Update

At our latest Project Control Group meeting on 8 January, we were informed that blockages by Sydney Water around the sewer and stormwater diversion had been overcome. Construction work was back in operation. Regrettably, the projected completion date will now be pushed back until mid-November 2020.  Thus far, no other obstacles have been encountered during the excavation phase. We need your continuing support to finalise the fit-out of this facility. We are down to fixtures, fittings and furniture for the interiors.  We will be closing off donations to the Governors Centre at some stage this year. For Year 7 and new enrolment parents, only a limited time remains to purchase a theatre seat or a brick in the wall of gratitude. If you are interested in finding out more about how to support this project, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Holidays Properties Changes

Over the break, rooms 401-404 were upgraded with whiteboards and interactive smart projectors. We now have 11 rooms completed. My plan is to ramp up the effort this year, with installations planned for six more rooms in the first two-week break. The ergo room was air conditioned. The cricket/ fencing COLA had new sheeting and guttering fitted to the gap left for the tree which had to be removed. Prep rooms 303-4 had fume cabinets removed and storage shelves fitted. Gas pipes and heaters were removed from rooms 303 & 304. In the research room 301-302, plumbing and waste pipes were removed to enhance storage space. At High there is always something in the pipeline designed to improve the working and learning environment for students and staff.

Light Rail Update

For new students and those wanting to access light rail, I have included excerpts from the latest advice.

‘The Sydney Light Rail commenced services between Circular Quay and Randwick in December 2019 and services between Kingsford and Circular Quay via Central are expected to open in early 2020. Students can plan their journey on the Sydney Light Rail using transportnsw.info and for real time information they can refer to the light rail stops and on-board passenger information displays.

‘During school terms, additional shuttle services will be operating between Central Chalmers St and Moore Park from Monday to Friday; in the morning and afternoon to provide additional capacity for students and staff from Sydney Boys High and Sydney Girls High Schools in Moore Park, as well as other commuters’.

‘Operating times for Sydney Light Rail trams are 5am to 1am. Services operate on the CBD and South East Light Rail run approximately every four to eight minutes between Circular Quay and Central and every eight to twelve minutes between Central and Randwick from 7am to 7pm every day of the week. Services between Kingsford and Circular Quay via Central are expected to open in early 2020’.

‘Students now travelling on a School Opal card under the SSTS will be able to travel on any mode of transport, including light rail, to get to or from school, or college. Students are reminded to tap on and tap off on all modes of transport. Students do not need to update their entitlement to include Light Rail as it will be automatically applied. Any school students making a new SSTS application for free travel to and from school, or updating an existing entitlement, are eligible to travel on the new Sydney Light Rail, as well as other transport modes, as long as they meet the usual eligibility requirements. Applications for student travel are available online. Students or parents should go to the SSTS online application form at apps.transport.nsw.gov.au/ssts
Dr K A Jaggar

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