High Notes, Vol 6 No 11, May 06 2005

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From the Principal

School Development Day
In the first session of the day, John Beringer brought staff up to date with the new 'Suspension and Expulsion of School Students' Policy which came into effect on January 5. Definitions of dangerous and offensive weapons and knives have been clarified. Next Mr Watson ran us through the careers diagnostic survey (Career Voyage) and the new 'Careers Website'. Together they provide a very comprehensive and free online service for senior students through the students' intranet. All boys in Year 12 will have to bring evidence of careers research to their report interviews with me later this term.

All teachers beginning their service in NSW schools this year are governed by the Institute of Teachers legislation and protocols. A new document 'Professional Teaching Standards' was distributed to staff by John Beringer and its outlines discussed. The new standards have three domains concerning professional knowledge, practice and commitment. There are seven elements associated with these domains and multiple aspects describing competencies in these elements. The standards are also described in four key stages in an ascending rubric of competence: graduate teacher, professional competence, professional accomplishment, professional leadership. In addition, a draft 'Accreditation Support Documents' provides evidentiary examples of how accreditation at the professional competency stage can be demonstrated in each of the elements. The initiatives of professional standards assessment and external accreditation in combination have the potential to have a profound effect on teacher quality in the medium term unless the weight of compliance protocols and the burden of record keeping crushes the spirit of participating teachers. The accountability movement in the USA has shown no signs of slowing down, so I sense that externally validated assessment of professional competence is here to stay. (Many of us remember the Inspectorial system!)

Bob Dowdell demonstrated to staff the procedures for attendance and progress monitoring. The school is pushing to have all sports teachers submit marked rolls before 0900 on Thursday or Friday mornings. Mr Dowdell then issues detention letters to suspected truants during period 3 on Thursday or Friday. We are deliberately shifting the onus of disproof onto students. Boys are now responsible for proving that they were where they should have been or for producing a note to explain their absence. There will be occasional glitches and inconveniences but sports truancy is in rapid decline. In respect of unexplained absences, telephone calls are made from the McDonald Wing Offices, Year Advisers are targeting students with poor attendance records and Mr Dowdell is identifying two (or three) individuals each day with the most unexplained absences and delivering detention notices to them in class. As a bonus, all the other students in those two (or three) classes who have unexplained absences get detention notices too. Students not wishing to be detained are strongly urged to bring notes to school promptly to explain their absences. For Years 7-9, Mr Prorellis is managing fractional truancy by processing email notifications from teachers who report student absences from their classes if their names do not appear as absent for the day on the daily sheet. Detention notices are issued and returned to the class teachers who distribute them to students. If the student has a legitimate reason for not being in a class, yet was reported and subsequently issued with a detention notice, it is his responsibility to make the punishment go away by proving to his teacher that his absence from class was legitimate. This may involve obtaining written verification from other people. The teacher then communicates the information to Mr Prorellis who consequently removes the student's name from the detention list. All this needs to occur promptly otherwise Mr Prorellis will be chasing a boy for not turning up to detention. In the case of Years 10-12, Mr Dowdell is informed electronically by teachers of senior classes about instances of fractional truancy. He generates an official 'Warning Letter' and issues a detention notice to reported students. Again, the onus is on the student to disprove the alleged truancy.

I have authorised this co-ordinated approach to attendance monitoring because time in class is related to achievement. We cannot teach your sons if they are not here. We desire to maximise opportunities to learn. There will be some perceived injustices and irksome tasks for boys to avoid negative consequences. Nevertheless, my executive is convinced that responsibility for attendance issues needs to be assigned to the students. I agree with them.

The final morning session concerned the new reporting system for the senior school. Having resolved to move from single sheet to booklet reporting for seniors this year, the staff had to discuss the common format for the Year 11-12 reports. Course descriptions and outcomes statements need to be developed. After progress reports from Ms Trompetter in English and Mr Kay in Science, the staff adjourned to get on with the task of developing performance descriptors for outcomes based senior reports.

Trials at McKay
Saturday was fine and unseasonably hot for winter sports but High junior rugby came to play. The 15As played St. Gregory's, a big, physical side that was uncertain about the finer points of rugby but full of running and hard-hitting in defence. By half time with a try each, the game was there for the taking. Inspired by coach Hannon's half time pep talk about making something happen, the boys played some good multiple phase rugby in the second half to grind down the opposition. Two tries by Louis Yang highlighted a solid team performance on the day. The 16As started a little tentatively but soon settled into their work. Again our boys conceded height and weight to the opposition but made up for these deficiencies with disciplined, relatively skilful rugby. Two good set piece tries from close to the opponents line by Archer and Morgan allowed High to take a 10 point advantage to the break. Coach Stein praised the forwards' effort but wanted the backs closer together and deeper in attack. The second half was as entertaining as the first. Our defence kept coming up and the St. Greg's attack used a variety of kicks to try and break the line, but to no avail. New centre Frisoli jinked his way to the line without a hand laid on him and later Levy crashed over wide out to put the game beyond doubt. It was a free flowing entertaining match. There was a good deal of optimism around the ground about the way our two A teams played their games.

Our football fortunes fluctuated as usual. It would be great for our open sides to put in a consistent effort through all grades. The thirds had nearly two teams of players all thinking they were going to score against an outclassed SCEGGS Redlands side. After 5 quick goals the game became quite chaotic. Our boys scrambled around in the second half to run out winners 6-1 in a game that did not help coaches or selectors. The seconds played a similarly lopsided contest against a SCEGGS team below second grade standard. Our boys created so many chances but could not convert, with Luscombe and Shuttleworth banging away at goal without success. Eventually the pressure took its toll and goals started to come thick and fast. Song (2), Shuttleworth, Yu and Karunaratne all scored as High ran away with the game. Our boys played some good attacking football at times. Much was expected of the first XI who must have been thinking that all they had to do was to get to the 16 yard box and goals would come easily. The marking from SCEGGS was a lot closer, cutting down passing lanes and time for decisions. Despite a slow start our boys warmed to their work and created 5 or 6 really good chances in the first half that just would not go in. The High players were quite frustrated by half time, knowing that they were the superior side but the scoreboard said otherwise. For most of the second half our side created the better chances but as every coach remembers, the other side took advantage of one mistake at the back to put in a goal very much against the run of play. I was really disappointed for our lads because they did look the goods all the way to the goal mouth but poor finishing robbed them of a victory. Luckily, they will have a chance to make amends in a rematch in a couple of weeks time.

High Old Boy's Funeral
Belatedly, I would like to thank our Prefects Daniel Thomas, Mitchell Taylor, William Kwok, Jason Phung and Suren Wickramasinghe who represented High at the funeral of Troy Serhan (1981) in late March. Eulogies were read by Shane Serhan (1982), Andrew McGregor (1982) and former teacher/coach Greg Harris.

Swimming competence
In the summer edition of Swimming Matters published by Swim Australia, there is the following statement about competency levels ". . .a general idea for parents to consider is for their child to be capable of swimming 400 metres (with good technique, without stopping and without becoming exhausted). That level of skill may take years to reach, but establishes a strong foundation and children over 7 years should retain those skills." Can your son achieve this swimming standard? If you think he cannot, you may understand better why the school insists on boys reaching its modest swimming standards before they are allowed to play any other sports. As from next year, all boys in rowing and sailing will need to demonstrate swimming competency at the school's swimming carnival in order to remain in their chosen sport.

Armidale visit arrangements
On Friday, May 13 a large number of students will be travelling to Armidale for our annual visits. Years 11 and 12 will be allowed to have study day. Years 7-10 will have lessons as usual.
Dr K Jaggar
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Developmental and Behavioural Patterns in Children and Adolescents

The School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is conducting research to investigate how pubertal development affects the way children think and behave. The Department of Education has given approval for this research to be conducted in local schools including Sydney Boys High School. Participation in this study involves completing some game-type cognitive tests (eg vocabulary, memory, tracing mazes, reading names of colours written in different coloured ink), surveys about attitudes and behaviour, and a pubertal development survey. The school has arranged for UNSW researchers to administer the surveys in a 20-30 minute group session, and the cognitive tests in an individual 20-30 minute session during regular school hours. If your son would like to participate in this study with your approval, please ask your son to pick up an information sheet with consent form from the school office next week, and have him return the forms to the school office within a couple of days. As a show of appreciation for assisting UNSW with this research, your child will receive a free new release voucher from Randwick Block Buster and a voucher from Randwick Subway if he participates in this study.

Further enquires may be directed to Mr Beringer at the school.

This project has been approved by the ethics committees of both the School of Psychology of the University of New South Wales, and the NSW Department of Education.
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From the Weights Room

Attendance in the weights room was high during the first term with many attending for the first time and others continuing on. The many changes have been working well with many more on the way. Please note the following:

Term Payment
Payment for the term is now $35 instead of $65, with no rebate. Payment will cover you for the use of the gym during the term that you paid in. There will be no carry-over to the following term so get in early and make good use of the facility. Those of you who paid $65 last term and are entitled to a rebate must see Jason for your rebate slip for last term. If you are a current Weights Room member (from 1st term), then you should have paid before Monday 2 May to be a financial member for the second term. Payment is required before you can use the gym. New members will need to pay before starting a strength program.

Gym Rules (Penalties Apply)

  1. No pay, no play
  2. Bring a towel (100)
  3. Use it (50)
  4. Sign in before commencing your workout (50)
  5. Put your weights away (50)
  6. If you don't know, ask
  7. Shoes must be worn at all times
  8. Work with a partner or ask for a 'spot' when needed
  9. Share weights and work in with others
  10. Don't try exercises that you haven't been shown
  11. Appropriate strength tests must be completed before the end of each term
  12. Always work hard with a high intensity.
  13. Use deodorant
  14. Update your program every 3-4 weeks
  15. Complete your full program.
  16. Technique, technique, technique.

Busy Times
A list of times when the gym will be busier than usual due to senior team strength training will be posted as these times become apparent. Please take note of them. At no time will you be stopped from using the gym during these times but the senior groups will have right of way.

Protein Drinks
The 1st XV squad kindly pooled their money during the holiday break and bought a bar fridge for the gym. This fridge will be stocked with protein revival drinks which can be purchased after your workout. The money made from the sale of drinks will go towards new purchases for the gym. Thanks go to the Rugby Boys.

Opening Times
Monday 7-8:45 am and 3.30-5 pm
Tuesday 7-8:45 am and 3.30-5 pm
Wednesday 7-8:45 am
Thursday 7-8:45 am and 3.30-5 pm
Friday 7-9 am and 3.30-5 pm

Jason Tussell
Weights Room Strength Coach

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Rugby Committee Meeting Summary

The second meeting of the SBHS Rugby Committee for 2005 was held on 27/4/05.

The following is a summary of the meeting:

  • Attended: G. Stein, Ted Hoare, John Bull, Serdar Bolen, John Mittleheuser, Adrian Vertadakis, Rob Fetherston, Kel O'Keefe, Joe Conway, Katherine Deacon, Sue Polis.
  • Apologies: V. Roser.
  • Election of office bearers and service coordinators for 2005 - President R. Fetherston. Treasurer K. O'Keefe. 1st XV afternoon teas C. Conway, S. Polis. BBQ A. Vertadakis, A. Bowes. Canteen and coffee J. Mittleheuser, J. Bull. Lunches M. Mittleheuser, W. Bull, S. Polis.
  • Extra rugby supporters notes to be available on Saturday to encourage more parent participation in rugby activities.
  • G. Stein to meet with Dr Jaggar to discuss royalties to be paid to the High Store for the use of the school crest on donated equipment.
  • Arrange for a student competition to design a new "High Rugby" logo.
  • A levy will be charge to 1st XV and 16A players towards the donated equipment.
  • Bunnings BBQs may be a good off-season fund-raiser.
  • High/Sydney Uni raffle tickets to be sold during the season beginning with the Grammar game.
  • Meeting concluded at 7.30pm.
  • Next meeting is on Wed. 25 May 2005, 6pm in Room 901. Everyone is welcome to attend.

G Stein
MIC Rugby

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Rugby Committee Meeting Summary (No. 2)

An extraordinary meeting was held on 24/11/04 in Room 901 to discuss the financial situation of the Rugby Committee and rugby at SBHS in 2005 and beyond. The following is a summary of the meeting:

  • Attended: G. Stein, T. Hoare, J. Evans, S. Creer, P. Girdler, S. Bolen, V. Roser, T. Hannon, J. Mittleheuser, J. Bull J. Conway and P. Eriksson..
  • G. Stein reported on the recent financial history of rugby at High, the current situation and an estimate for 2005.
  • T. Hoare gave a report on the financial activity of the Rugby Committee in 2004. The current balance being $5000 + $550 owing from Cricket for repairs to the fridge in Fairland Pavilion.
  • Several fundraising options were suggested and discussed including ASF donations for rugby development, a player levy, business/individual sponsorship, a raffle and sausage sizzles in local areas.
  • A Fund-raising sub-committee of Serdar Bolen, Joe Conway and Tony Hannon was formed with assistance from Paul Girdler, John Evans, Valda Roser and Paul Eriksson to explore the various options.
  • Serdar Bolen requested that his remuneration of $10K from the Rugby Committee begin immediately with $3K from the meeting, $1K at the end of January, $1K at the end of February with the balance due at the end of the rugby season 2005, if the Committee has the funds available. A motion was put to the meeting, voted on and accepted.
  • John Evans volunteered to write a letter to the P&C concerning the costs of hiring facilities.
  • Tony Hannon reported the 15 years trip to the Gold Coast in 2005 was well in hand with the boys very keen to go and currently selling chocolates to fund their trip.
  • Sean Creer announced his resignation from the Rugby Committee. Sean has been a tremendous worker for High rugby over many, many years, doing things behind the scenes that make the differences people notice. His announcement was met with sadness and regret by the meeting as well as appreciation for the service Sean has given High rugby.
  • The meeting closed at 7.40pm.
  • Next meeting is on Wed. 30th March 2005, 6pm in Room 901. Everyone is welcome to attend.

2005 will be an important year for High rugby. I hope all the parents get behind the Rugby Committee, Serdar Bolen and our fund-raising efforts. If anyone missed the meeting and has any suggestions for Serdar and the fund-raising sub-committee, please get in touch with Serdar directly on 0414061345 or myself on 93610027 during school hours.
G. Stein
MIC Rugby

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School Athletics Carnival 2005

The School Athletics Carnival was held at E.S. Marks field.

The aims of the Athletics Carnival were:

  • promotion of fair competition between athletes and houses
  • promotion of a sense of pride in the achievements of fellow athletes and of the school.
  • promote athletics as a fun activity for the school community.

The introduction of compulsory house shirts had the desired effect of encouraging inter-house competition. It was great to see so many athletes (many senior athletes) competing; well done. Feedback from staff and athletes indicated participants and spectators enjoyed the activities. The Carnival went very smoothly thanks largely to the efforts of staff, student volunteers and willing competitors. Thanks to the computer team of James Rudd, Toby Rosengarten, George Qin, Alexandro Lai, Ziggy Harrison-Tikisci, Anthony Ho, Nic Lochner and Alex Shapilsky for donating their skills and expertise over the two days.

I would also like to thank the House Captains and Vice-captains for all their efforts on the two days. These include Eedy's Samuel Gribble and Sriram Srikumar, McKay's Faraz Amin and Michael Levy, Fairland's Remesh Nithiyendran and Tanvir Uddin, Rubie's Dinuka Gunasekera and Chris Rodrigo, Saxby's James Morgan and Mark Samarasinghe, Torrington's Eddy Blaxell and Adam Farrow-Palmer. Their help ensured that the day was a great success. Congratulations to the Age Champions - Derek Trang (12 Years), Kieran Taylor (13 Years), Lachlan Street (14 Years), Gehan Karunaratne (15 Years), Richard Xu (16 Years) and Mischa Steen (Open).

Special Awards from the Carnival include:
The A.M. Eedy Cup for 100m Champion: Suren Wickramasinghe
The McArthur Memorial Cup for 1500m: Paul Watzlaff
The Frank Albert Cup for Senior Athletics Champion: Mischa Steen

Full results of the Carnival are published at http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/SRC/athletics/ac2005/index.htm.

Eedy was the winning House this year but Rubie (as we can see from the results below) is the house to look out for next year. It was great to see Fairland improve over the course of the year. Torrington needs to be more competitive for the 2006 carnival.

Over the coming term the athletics coaching staff will be targeting training of athletes in long jump, shot put, hurdles and relays. It is envisaged that these training sessions will be held at lunchtimes on the flat. Over the next couple of weeks all aspiring GPS Athletes need to collect their athletics training program from the History staffroom. The training at this stage should be about skill acquisition and should not interfere with winter sport activities. Anyone interested in joining the athletics team this year, come and see me in the history department. All welcome.
Robert Devlin
MIC Athletics

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From the School Counsellor

Most institutions that participate in the University Admissions Centre (UAC) have an Educational Access Scheme (EAS) for applicants who have experienced long term educational disadvantage. To qualify applicants must demonstrate that their educational performance during years 11 and 12 or equivalent has been seriously affected by circumstances beyond their control.

The School Counsellor is available to advise students about their application and to assist with supporting documentation. Any student considering applying for EAS needs to make an appointment with the Counsellor as soon as possible to discuss their individual situation.

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact the School Counsellor during school hours.
Estelle Harman and Gillian Maury (relief counsellor)
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From English

Term 2 is already shaping up to be a very busy time for English and to help our students navigate their way through the next few weeks I would like to give parents some indication of what is most pending:

  • Year 12 have now completed their current round of Assessment Tasks. Upon returning to normal lessons they will receive both written and verbal feedback for each task. In addition I will be implementing a program of writing tutorials to support those students who have struggled with their English Course to date.
  • Year 11 will undertake English Assessment Tasks in Week 4 and 5. They have received instructions about these tasks and to support their success in their forthcoming assessments they have also been given specific revision preparation. In addition, on 16 May Year 11 have the opportunity to attend a poetry presentation in the Great Hall by celebrated Chinese writer, academic and poet Ouyang Yu.
  • At the end of last term Year 7 completed wonderful visual representations of Coleridge's Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - a selection of these is now brightening the corridor outside the English staffroom and I commend the boys for their effort, creativity and insight. Also on display outside the English staffroom are a selection of some of the best written responses produced in the Year 7 common writing task at the end of term 1. I would encourage students to take the opportunity to read some of these. Students will also receive written feedback when their task is returned to them.
  • There are currently a number of writing and poetry competitions for the boys to enter. In particular we would like to see as many entries as possible in the SMH Young Writer Of The Year Award and the Taronga Foundation Poetry Prize. Details about the latter are available from the English Faculty.

Sydney Writers Week
May 23rd - 29th 2005
This is an opportunity for all SBHS students and their families to involve themselves in a literary feast. For the juniors we suggest talks held by James Valentine, James Maloney and James Roy. For the seniors there is an enormous choice. Indulge!

Marina Trompetter
HT English

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From the P&C

The next P&C General Meeting is on Wednesday 18th May at 7:30 in the Great Hall.

Ms Trompetter, who has joined the school as Head Teacher, English, in 2005, has kindly agreed to give a presentation on her

Vision for English at Sydney Boys High School.

She expects to spend around 30 minutes, emphasising the senior school issues and will have handouts for parents and will then spend some time on junior matters.

She feels it is a forum which the boys will be welcome to attend.

There will be time for questions afterward.
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Science News Results of Science Quiz no. 2

Evolution of humans was the topic for this quiz. Congratulations to Aditya Hatle (8S) for his correct answers. - The questions:
(a) What is a "Hominid"?
(b) One of the most recent finds is Homo floresiensis. Contrast the features and age of this hominid with those of humans and explain the significance of its discovery.
(c) What is the apparent anomaly (something that is out of place) in the facts listed in the article?
(d) Try to explain it. (You might have to do some research.)
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SBHS & SGHS Universities Evening

For Parents and Students in Years 10, 11 and 12

Great Hall
Sydney Boys High School
7pm - 9 pm Wednesday 8 June

University and Faculty Representatives from the following tertiary institutions will be present:

  • Australian National
  • University Macquarie
  • University University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Technology, Sydney
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Macquarie University Parent Liaison Program 2005

The Parent Liaison Program aims to give parents and families of Year 12 students information regarding study at Macquarie University. Information evenings led by the Vice-Chancellor will be held at Macquarie University on Tuesday 28 June and Wednesday 27 July 2005 between 6.00 pm - 7.30 pm. These sessions will provide information on admissions, the UAI, transition to university from high school and HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP university loan schemes.

Bookings are essential. More information and booking forms are available at http://www.hscandbeyond.mq.edu.au/ or by phoning 02 9850 9446.