High Notes, Vol 22 No 1, February 05 2021

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From the Principal

Welcome to 2021!

To new staff, students and parents, welcome to High. To everyone else, welcome back. Let us hope that 2021 allows us to function more like the very busy, open and welcoming school that we usually are, not constrained by lockdowns or attendance restrictions on school and sporting events. I would like to pay tribute to all High staff who kept the timetable running through lockdown and held as many co-curricular events as they could. It was a steep learning curve and a very stressful experience for all. They handled everything thrown at them with an admirably calm professionalism. I know that the students appreciated their efforts. I certainly did.

Staff Changes

We welcome Dr Lynda Pinnington-Wilson as our Deputy Principal – Senior School, replacing Bob Dowdell (2001-2020). Lynda is an experienced Deputy Principal who held positions at Hurlstone Agricultural College and Tempe High School. Having taught stage 6 in multiple disciplines, her strength is in programming and pedagogy. She has high-level leadership experience in state-wide projects. She will be attached to the English faculty for her teaching load. Fotini Tsavdaridis joins us in the English Faculty to replace Ms Anneliese Mack. We welcome her and wish her well, as we do Ms Cassandra Pride who is relieving Head Teacher English for 2021. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Ms Julie Eggleton for her work in the HT role for several years. Mr Lucas Matto has had his appointment into the Science Faculty confirmed, replacing long-serving chemistry specialist, Colin Harvey. Congratulations, Lucas! Mr Rian Wiramihardja has been appointed as 0.8FTE Teacher-Librarian for the Cec Rubie Senior Library, replacing Ms Suzanne Gordon who served our community well in that position for over a decade. Welcome Rian! Tom Dolan is taking some well-deserved leave from teaching and will be replaced by Tim Davis Frank (SHS-2002). Paul Scrivener (Industrial Arts) is also on leave and will be replaced by Allyson Faulkner this year. Terry Broockmann is making up the load of Mr Gainford and Mr Dowdell in mathematics this year. Best wishes to Tim, Allyson and Terry.

The Governors Centre Update

At the end of 2020, 200+ chairs were stored in the first-floor storage room and sixty or so examination tables. During the holidays, the sound and lighting system was installed in the Governors Centre. This was commissioned outside the SE contract by both schools. Staff training on the system will be conducted for representatives from both schools next week. We have obtained our Interim Occupancy Certificate but need to wait for works on the drainage pit and pumps to be finalised before a full Certificate is issued. The fence fronting Cleveland St. was repaired and painted at our expense. The Schools did not consider they ought to have to pay to have the damaged fence replaced, our preferred option. There are still defects being attended to by the contractor, but they are of a minor nature. Classes have been held in the facility and the students and teachers are impressed.

Welcome to New Students

At the end of last week, we welcomed new students and their parents to High. The students were addressed by the Principal, Deputy Principal – Junior School Mr Kay, Mr Marcos HT sport, Ms Chan HT Wellbeing and by Messrs Rich and James, the Year 7 Student Advisers. There was a great deal of information given to them in a short space of time. Over the next few weeks, the boys will process it all and settle into school life well.

This week, witnessed by other cohorts, the Year 7 group were formally recognised with a modified ‘clapping in’ ceremony, coinciding with our summer sports assembly.  I welcomed them more formally to the school without their parents in attendance, as did School Captain Jivan Naganathan. We outlined what the School could offer them over the next six years and what they could do to maximise their opportunities. In order to compress two functions into one assembly time, we also had our MICs introduce our first and second grade summer GPS teams.

Welcome to New Parents

Thank you to Ana Egeressy (P & C President) and Binh & Daniel Johnsun, who hosted and managed our virtual welcome to new parents evening. Mr Kay and I shared information with parents about the history, institutions and culture of the School. Ms Egeressy made a presentation followed by a Year 7, 2020 parent reflection. Binh & Daniel coordinated a very lively Q & A session. At the height of the Q & A session, 218 people were logged on, some with multiple people viewing. Despite the lack of important face-to-face socialising, my sense was that those who logged on had plenty of opportunity to share comments or ask questions.

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.

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, March 26, 2021. For members who paid in 2020 but could not access the weights room during lockdown for six weeks, we have a discounted rate of $200 for membership this year.

Year 7 only! For those who have qualified for an early bird discount by paying their invoices in full, there is an additional special introductory weights room offer of a full year’s membership for just $155. Don’t miss out!

Student Survival Guide

From Coordinating Editor, Harry Wu (12R): ‘I'm pleased to present the final version of the Student Survival Guide for new students of Sydney Boys. It is available on https://www.sydneyboyshigh.com/publications/survival-guide

I want to thank Harry and his team for the effort and time they have put into this publication. I am confident that all new students will find this publication enlightening. It works particularly well in combination with Harry’s group’s previous work - Zenith: Student Opportunity Handbook - which describes a wide range of activities offered at High. You can find it on the Student Portal at R:\School Admin\Zenith\Zenith Issue 1. I commend these engaging resources to you as a quick and entertaining way to learn more about High and what it does. Mr Rich has also produced a PDF Overview of Co-curricular activities @ High. Year 7 students can find it on the Year 7 CANVAS page. It connects activities with the names of staff members who manage them.
Dr K A Jaggar

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