High Notes, Vol 21 No 37, November 20 2020

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From the Principal

SRC Executive

The annual election for SRC office bearers has been held and declared. The Executive for 2020-21 comprises Joshua Suto (10S) President, Yu Ming Lee (10T), Vice-President and Rahul Pant (10R), Secretary. Congratulations to our student leaders in all years. It is your role to be a sounding board for students to have their voices heard. It is up to students to contact their student leaders if they have concerns or information that might promote the wellbeing of all students or protect them from harm. These students are your representatives, keep them informed.

Student Awards Scheme

The Student Award Scheme for points to be earned for this calendar year will close on Friday, 27 November.  All students will have their points calculated as of this date. Check your points’ status on ‘R’ drive to see how close to an award you are so that you can make up the difference. If you see something missing, contact the MIC for the activity to make sure a text file is created and sent to Mr Dowdell. Year 11 Prefect Interns will have their final points calculated and must have qualified to continue as Interns by earning an award this year. Even if they have carry-over points, they must earn 100 this year to stay as a Prefect Intern. The 2021 Scheme commences on December 1, 2020. Boys who are close to getting an award should fire up now. Look for service areas in parking, school-related working bees or volunteering, in order to reach the threshold required.

Orientation Day 2020

This year’s Enrolment Day had no opportunity for ‘orientation’ due to COVID restrictions.  Appointments were scheduled alphabetically, and paperwork processed expeditiously. It was a surreal experience with no stalls, activities, music, tours or assembly. I hope we can make up for the lack of a High welcome this year in our functions next year. Thank you to Sharon Kearns and her staff and Prefects who worked so well together to make the orientation / enrolment process smooth and efficient. The enrolment processes were completed very efficiently thanks to the great organisation and hard work of the SAS staff. They had to process 230 new students in a five-hour window. The finance staff had to manage $400k in transactions. Everything went well and parents enrolling their sons complimented staff on the process. Thank you to everyone involved.

Interpreting Year 7 Reports Semester 2

In Year 7, we do not provide ranks to students. We have an Academic Achievement List for high-performing students and a Monitoring Register for students performing below expected standards. We try to let students settle in and find their feet before making too many outcomes comparisons. We ask that you check your son’s progress in future-oriented earning skills – problem solving, evaluating, working with others, communicating ideas, creating and innovating. They are reported twice each year in their own text box on the school reports. Every Faculty has an opportunity to report at least twice on one of the five ‘earning skills’ during the six reporting periods during Years 7-9. These skills will be needed in jobs of the future. You can understand more deeply about how your son is building his capacity in the discrete dispositions that we have targeted for development as a school. The idea is that you can track your son’s growth over his three years in the Junior School. These PEWCC skills are very contextual. Hypothetically, your son might be really good at ’working with others in English’ where he is confident and comfortable, but not so effective in mathematics where he is weaker, is reticent or defers to the strongest mathematician in the work group. Consequently, skill growth might not be a simple progression from 1 in Year 7 to 3, 4 or 5 in Year 9 (depending on the scale in the rubric for each subject). Your son’s progress might be uniform neither across the subjects, nor across the dispositions. I look forward to an informed dialogue between parents and teachers on the individual student’s development of these important life skills. Find out more about PEWCC reporting on our website: www.sbhs.nsw.edu.au/curriculum.  

Some students choose not to put much effort into one of the languages they do not intend to pursue in Year 8. While this is regrettable, it is also understandable. The consequence can be that the overall achievement level, as measured by out points system, might decline. Students have their second opportunity to choose a subject when they decide on their language/s for next year. Will they do one language or two? What are the commitments if they take offline classes? Will their other activities be affected? Please discuss language choices for Year 8 with your sons.

‘N’ Awards for Stage 5

There were nine students in Year 10 who had unresolved warning letters in subjects and thus were issued ‘N’ determinations this year on November 6. Even students in Year 9 are vulnerable, because the stage 5 curriculum is compressed in Year 9 for history and geography. They had until Tuesday, November 10 to submit their appeal form or hand in the missing work for assessment. Of those who appealed, four submitted their work and were signed off. As of Monday, 16th five still had unresolved warning letters. Our goal in enforcing accountability for work assigned is to make sure students do not have holes in their learning that might have the potential to restrict them from reaching their potential in the HSC. Every student has a responsibility to complete all work assigned by his teachers to the best of his ability. Receiving an ‘N’ determination in a core subject means a student cannot progress to stage 6 in that subject. It is a serious matter with strong negative consequences.

Scholarship Applications

There is only one week left for students to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial and Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Scholarships. If you have financial needs due to family, health 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. Scholarships are valued at $1500 in school credit. Application forms can be downloaded from the school website at: www.sydneboyshigh.com/scholarships.

Applications close on Friday, November 27.
Dr K A Jaggar

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