High Notes, Vol 21 No 40, December 11 2020

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From the Principal

This will be the final edition of High Notes for 2020. In this most unusual year for the students and staff of High, I have been inspired by the resilience and collaboration exhibited by the High community in their adjustment to the changes, restrictions, additional work and stress, generated by government responses to the pandemic. I regret the lack of personal interaction with students and parents that has been necessary due to DoE restrictions and the diminished ‘rites of passage’ that our Year 12 and Year 7 students experienced this year. Everyone helped each other with good cheer, and we made it through the year. Thank you to High Notes editors Meredith Thomas and Dave Te Rata and proof-reader Brooke Ashton for their work in producing this publication each week.

High Talent

At the recent NSW All Schools Athletics Championships, Kane Shields won the 16 years 1500m Gold with a time of 4:00.66 and scored Silver in the 800m with a time of 1:55.69. Max Russell (9T) won Silver in the 15 years Steeplechase (6:01.17) and in the 3000m (9:11.12). Kane Ni (11F) also competed in the 100m but was unplaced. Congratulations boys! Andrew Nguyen (12F) who won the 2020 Games category of the Bright Awards. He won $1000 in prize money for himself and $3000 for the school. Congratulations on your success Andrew!

Caught Doing the Right Thing

I received the following email from a commuter last week. I would like to congratulate all the students involved.

“Last Thursday 26 November I was catching a bus back to the city from Moore Park at around 3.30 pm, there were members of the public and students waiting to board the bus as the light rail was not running. One student asked me to go before him and then told the other students to stand back and let the public board first. The other students all stood back as they had been asked to do. I think they then found out the bus was not the right one for them.

“I was very impressed with the good manners of the students and yes, they were students and obviously excited as their day had finished, however their manners towards the public were impeccable. I would be grateful if you could pass on to the students my gratitude for making a rare visit, I have made to Sydney a much more enjoyable one due to their manners. You should be very proud of your students”.

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. 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 sons interests and abilities. Courses can be selected to underscore certain tertiary directions – eg chemistry for medicine, or economics for a 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 in class). Scaled marks make comparison between subjects possible in terms of their relative ATAR contribution. Students accelerating have a harder task than non-accelerants as they are assessed at stage 6 standard. Consequently, their scaled marks may be lower for the stage 6 course than for their stage 5 ones. 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.

Weights Room for 2021

High’s weights room offers exceptional value for money. The room has appropriate equipment for preparing the bodies of teenage boys and crucially, it is constantly supervised. When handling weights, technique is vitally important, and boys need to learn the correct way to lift. Kurt Rich, our Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, is a well-credentialed and experienced trainer. His presence ensures that the boys are training safely and sensibly. So, as well as getting gym facilities, members have a trained supervisor and adviser to help them during their unlimited visits. The Weights Room operates much more effectively if all boys get their training in how to use the various pieces of equipment and in proper lifting technique, as soon as possible. Kurt Rich provides this service at the beginning of each year and can tailor individual programs for members after the introductory sessions. Having a fixed clientele makes his job more productive and leads to a better training experience for members and better strength outcomes for participants. Hence, we decided to close off memberships by the end of March each year. Boys who have not paid by that time can no longer attend the weights room.

Costs for this service are held down to a minimum and reduced by boys taking out a full year’s membership. For 2021, a full year Weights Room membership costs just $268. Boys wishing to have full year membership must register and pay by Friday 26 March 2021. There will be no extensions of time. For 2021 we are trialling a second weights room option for terms 3 and 4. Payment must be made by August 31. Thereafter, membership applications will close for the year.
Dr K A Jaggar

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