High Notes, Vol 22 No 9, April 01 2021

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From the Principal

End of Term 1

As this is the last day of term 1, I would like to wish staff, students and parents are restful break and added family time that holidays allow. This has been a productive term. We have prepared our School Improvement Plan 2021-24. We have engaged in preparation and training ready to implement the first module of our new Student Information System – Sentral Attendance. We have revised and ratified our School Enrolment Policy, published on our website. Second grade tennis won a premiership. We successfully named the Governors Centre.

Year 7 Progress Reports

Year 7 parents should have seen the Interim Report for their sons for each subject. The reports were distributed by each Faculty towards the end of term one. Many Faculties require students to stick their Interim Report into their workbooks. The idea of the report is to let parents know how well their boys are adjusting to school life and the workload involved for each subject. Also, having so many teachers is a fundamental change for students used to having one only for most of every day. The emphasis is on socialisation and how boys are coping with the work. Their ability to get organised and meet their commitments is being assessed also. The Interim Reports are dispositional, and socio-emotional in content, rather than academic reports. Faculties have varying styles of reports and methods of communication to parents. Talk to your son about how he is responding to the teaching in the various subjects in each of his subjects and about how he is adjusting to high school life.

Governors Centre Naming Ceremony - March 25

Our joint naming ceremony was held last week in the conference room of the Governors Centre. Invited guests represented the donors as well as the parent governance teams from both schools. My speech is reprinted below.

"Special guests, Dame Marie Bashir and Lady Joan Cutler, Susan Shehadie and Dr. Anthony Cutler, Executive Director Dr Sylvia Corish, Director Educational Leadership, Mr Richard Skinner, building architect Alex Kibble from TKD, SINSW Assistant Project Director Mr Andrew Watts, guests and donors, welcome to our naming ceremony for the Governors Centre for Excellence.  We are honoured to have you all here. It is an important moment in the history of the Sydney High Schools as we acknowledge our alumni Governors. Between them, Sir Roden and Dame Marie provided nearly thirty years of dedication to representing the Crown in our state.  In this wonderful community-funded building, we have established a monument to two outstanding role models of scholarship, professionalism, leadership, courage, kindness and extended service to the community of NSW.  Moreover, in office they were widely admired for their effective leadership styles and emotional intelligence.  It is fitting that this centre should honour the accomplishments of these two esteemed Australians who attended our schools. Both Sir Roden and Dame Marie have often been recognised individually in structures and public places.  The name of this building represents them as twin symbols of excellence and long-enduring community service, embodied in the gubernatorial office. It will offer inspiration and an exemplum to cohorts of our students for at least another two generations.

"Our project began serious planning in August of 2010, after both schools had funding constraints for their individual building projects and decided to work together.  The decision proved to be inspiring and challenging to both communities, with their differing priorities and cultures. Notwithstanding the roadblocks and potholes that delayed our decade-long journey and made it uncomfortable travelling at times, together the communities rode the whirlwind to reach their destination – the opening to student use of this iconic building.

"Thousands of people have contributed to this endeavour.  On the schools’ behalf I thank them all for their donations of money or time or both. Thank you to Binh, Janet and Diane for their work organising this evening’s ceremony for the schools. A handful of major bequests and donations to each school made a material difference to the completion of this project.  They inspired us all with their personal demonstrations of faith in the outcome, to keep trying to make the vision a reality. In the process, our communities proved that they were resilient and perseverant.  Thank you all for staying the course and suspending immobilising disbelief until the project was completed.  This building is a triumph of collective will.  However, to take great liberties with Churchill’s words, this is not the end of our journey.  It is not the beginning of the end.  But it is definitely, the end of the beginning.  The next fifty years will determine what we make of our propitious commencement."

The Record

Captains of summer sports teams have a responsibility to prepare a short report about the season their team had. A focus on the positives is appreciated and also highlighting any good individual performances. Reports should have been submitted electronically to Ms May already. One enduring feature about The Record is the pleasure gained by Old Boys returning after 30 or 50 years who relive moments of their teenage years through the photographs, names and summaries preserved in The Record. Leaders of co-curricular activities need to submit reports also. Parent or student supporters with good action photographs are asked to email them as attachments to Ms May who might be able to use any interesting ones in The Record. Parents are asked to remind their sons to submit their reports if they captained a team or crew in summer sport.

Weights Room

Memberships for the Weights Room have now closed. Thank you to the many boys who value this facility and have joined for 2021. Quite a few Year 7 students took advantage of our great introductory offer to join the weights room for their first year for just $150. Kurt Rich can now focus on the personal preparation, training and development of all members. From now on, training session times to suit all members can be allocated.  Visits when space is available are unlimited throughout the year and extend to school holidays when the weights room is open but with reduced hours. The development and maintenance of core strength are enhanced through regular weights room programs.

Early Bird discounts tallied

Parents of students in Years 8-12 have earned substantial discounts in return for paying all of the items listed in their statements of accounts in their letters. A record 61.79% of parents responded to the offer, sharing $160,000 worth of discounts on their total contributions. Another record of 158 parents from Year 9 took up the offer. I am very heartened to find such support from so many parents who show their appreciation of what we are trying to accomplish here at High. We run a six-day school on a shoe-string budget and deliver very worthwhile student outcomes which build character in our students.
Dr K A Jaggar

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