High Notes, Vol 22 No 36, November 19 2021

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Eric Yang (10S) who was judged this year’s winner of the Judy Cassab Art Prize ($2000), sponsored by her son Peter Kampfner. The work was titled ‘social distancing’. The judge wrote:

“This is an ingenious and sophisticated work chronicling the state of the world in 2021. The artist has used the ubiquitous blue surgical mask as a symbol of the overwhelming and pervasive presence of COVID-19. In his statement he likens the masks to icebergs and cliffs that dwarf the human race, making his bleak “message” clear to the audience. This moving work is beautifully painted with exquisite detail in both the mask forms and the miniature humans. The drab and omnipresent grey background, mimicking a corner, also depicts our place in time. This is a thought provoking, yet sensitive, painting revealing both a strong concept and very accomplished painting techniques”.  (Karen Profilio - Judge of the artworks submitted for the Judy Cassab Prize Competition.)

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HSC Examination Progress

The HSC has gone off without a hitch so far…touch wood. Examinations completed include English, Economics, Modern History, Music 1 & 2, Mathematics Advanced and Extension 2, Ancient History and PDHPE.

Caught Doing the Right Thing

I received a letter recently which I want to share with you. “I am a Chinese woman who is nearly 70 years old. When I took the L2 bus at 8:00am on 1/11 due to the unfamiliar route and poor English (I was anxious). I came across a schoolboy…. carrying a book bag and school utensils. I asked the kid if he could help me, and he said ‘yes’. He asked the address very politely and then downloaded the map to help. When we arrived at the station, he saw me with a worried (look) that I was going the wrong way, so he took the initiative to get off the car in advance and accompany me to find the main street. I was moved and asked which school he attended…Thank you for your school’s training and education…I hereby thank Gabriel of 7M for his selfless help.” Well done Gabriel!

End of Year Reports

All boys in Years 11, 9 & 7 should have discussed their reports with me. Students with completed Clearance Forms who have not yet had their appointment should sign up for one of the interview time slots on a ‘Straggler Reports’ that appear on the Waterhouse Desk. Failing that, I am often available for appointments but only out of school time or in breaks. Please make sure that your son meets his obligations to the school and then books in for an appointment to review his progress.

Interpreting Year 8 Reports – Semester 2

When coming to the end of Year 8, some boys do not put much effort into subjects that they do not intend to continue. This behaviour is regrettable but understandable. Parents should realise that such lack of interest in one or two subjects can result in big fluctuations in overall ranks. Such fluctuations will be reflected in ratings on skills and participation by teachers on reports and by comments from the principal. From one perspective, parents can appreciate better what sort of learner their son is not. It is better not to persist in a discipline that does not excite you. For other students, doing well in the Yearly examination is their objective. They can turn around their cruising first semester with much more self-disciplined effort in the second half of the year. Elective choice going into Year 9 is very important. Students need to follow their interests in a low-stakes choice environment. Some boys change both electives again in Year 10! We offer a wide range of electives for students to experience different learning contexts, with varying content and required skill sets. Information Processes and Technology is offered in Year 9 as an accelerating subject and students need to apply using the appropriate form. They need to have their parents’ permission and the faculty Head Teacher’s support. Also, they have to have an overall rank in the top 100 of the cohort at the end of the year. By the end of Year 8, the generalist focus for secondary education is completed. Stage 5 is characterised by learner exploration and enlargement of perspective. Students start to prepare for stage 6 selections by trialling subjects. Of course, the core subjects are important, and students need to be held accountable for their satisfactory progress. Discuss your son’s report from the two perspectives – core and future electives.
Dr K A Jaggar

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