High Notes, Vol 22 No 13, May 14 2021

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Henry Lau (9S) who has been selected in the NSW U16 Schoolboys basketball team. Well done to Saxon Gerstl (10K) and Daniel Morris (11S) on their selection in the Open CHS Sydney East Rugby team which competed at the CHS Rugby Championships at Kiama.

Interpreting Year 9 Reports – Semester 1

All Year 9 boys should now have their reports. Parents should be aware that students have fewer compulsory subjects in Year 9: English, mathematics, science, history, geography and PDHPE. They have added two electives to the core group of subjects having completed compulsory music, visual arts and technology. All of the stage 5 requirements for history and geography are completed in Year 9, so there is plenty of content and many skills to learn. This also means that students in history and geography may receive ‘warning letters’ for missing assigned tasks necessary for the completion of stage 5 compulsory subjects. The cut-off points standard for Year 9 is 24 (or 8 subjects at credit). Parents are cautioned that large fluctuations in points earned and rankings in the cohort can be caused by a few marks more or less at the cut-off scores for HDs, Ds or credits. An influx of 30 new students into the cohort has an immediate impact on rankings, enlarging the rank order swings. Also, all the Ds could be near to the top, just below the

cut-off mark for an HD. Sometimes boys underperformed last year in subjects they knew they did not have to continue. This would cause a recovery in their rank this year if they tried harder in the subjects they chose. Conversely, the additional challenge of stage 5 work or a mistaken elective choice, could impact on a student’s ranking negatively, particularly if he were good at the practical subjects in Year 8. In Year 9 students are expected to be developing some autonomy. They should be responsible for managing their personal workload and thinking ahead about what commitments they have in the near future. Ask to look at their personal organiser – electronic or paper, to see how well they are managing their time. Their weeks should be planned in advance, not only to ensure that tasks and activities are not omitted, but also to fit in with family, social and leisure activities scheduled for that week.

May P & C Meeting

At this week’s P & C meeting, we benefited from two presentations. Daniel Hermens, Professor of Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology at USC, is studying stressors on adolescent brains and their neurobiological effects on mental health and wellbeing. His research also investigates the frequency, intensity, duration and type of physical activity undertaken by young people and its effects on health. Put simply, physical activity to at least a moderate level, undertaken for 60 minutes every day, coupled with 9-10 hours of sleep, is the ideal combination for adolescent lives. Good wellbeing in adolescents is associated with five factors: activity, sleep, diet, connectedness and mindfulness. Kurt Rich, MIC of athletics and our strength and conditioning coordinator, outlined the positive effects of participation in the athletics program and weights room. Consistent training of the body over extended periods of time helps students to organise their time, builds a sense of community with other athletes and promotes positive self-ideation – self-efficacy and self-esteem. There are currently 31 Year 7 students signed up in the weights room, hopefully building good routines and core body strength. Fewer injures are suffered by participants in multiple sports if they are building core strength on a regular basis. Surveys of device use in young people at High revealed up to 6 hours per day spent on a device per day spent on a device was not uncommon. Mr Rich and I would like to see more of that time devoted to regular physical activity so that boys can improve their strength and fitness while simultaneously improving their brain’s capacity to learn.

Governors Centre Update

After putting in a very busy week, the DOE, using Spotless, has cleared away all the contaminated material from the Governors Centre. Disinfecting and drying are proceeding, and the curtains being taken down for cleaning. The building then will be made safe. The next step is to scope out the works and prepare tender documents for the repairs. The DOE is endeavouring to complete these repairs by the end of week 9. At this stage, given that Mr Kay has secured a change of date for the rights to perform Matilda, we are planning for the joint production to proceed in Week 10 of this term.
Dr K A Jaggar

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