High Notes, Vol 6 No 18, June 24 2005

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From the Principal

High Talent
Pat McDonnell was selected in the combined GPS 2nd XV our first such representative for some years. Congratulations, Pat! Tom Mainprize was picked as a reserve for the 3rd XV. Given the context in which they are playing, these students have shown great talent and tenacity to impress selectors. Tom was singled out for great leadership actions during the Shore game. A teacher and Shore parent approached Messrs Stein and Bolen after the game to congratulate Tom on his inspiration and encouragement to his team members in a difficult situation. She was so impressed that she also rang me to let me know. Well done Tom – a great example of High Spirit in action. Daniel Thomas was selected in the Combined High Schools 2nd XV. In the GPS v CHS game we will have a boy on both sides! Our Hume Barbour debaters were defeated in the regional final at Parliament House by Sydney Girls High. In racing terms they were ‘a good thing beaten’. The boys performed very well indeed, according to coaches from both teams. I hope the team will bounce back from this shock loss to capture the Roat Shield for GPS debating in term 3. High won the CHS Volleyball Championship at Homebush on Thursday. Congratulations to the team and Mr Kay.

The Election of Prefects
The school executive has agreed to a reform of the system of voting for School Prefects. The modifications were part of a raft of proposals negotiated by Mr Kesting (Prefects Master), William Clegg (School Prefect) and me. Prefect roles will be discussed later.

School Prefects will be appointed by the Principal from a declared poll of eligible applicants. The first 36 plus ties will be appointed. To be an eligible applicant a student must have satisfied all the following criteria:

  1. He has or can demonstrate he will be eligible for a Special Award in the Student Awards Scheme by the induction assembly in October. (New Year 11 students may be eligible if they can demonstrate they will have a Bronze Award by that time).
  2. He has an academic record that is at least average for the cohort. The final judgement about academic standards is made by the Principal.
  3. He has an acceptable record of attendance and punctuality.
  4. He has not been suspended from school or committed a serious breach of discipline since term 2 of Year 10.
  5. He has not been vetoed by the School Executive on grounds other than in b-d. (Appeals against such vetoes may be made in writing to the Principal).
  6. He must have his nomination supported by at least one member of staff.

Voting will be confined to three electoral colleges with approximately equal numbers of maximum votes. Each constituent will be able to vote for a maximum of 20 eligible applicants on the ballot paper. Year 10 students will have a vote with a weighting of one (maximum 180). Year 11 have one vote with a weighting of one (maximum 215). The third college will comprise staff, School Prefects and SRC representatives from Year 12 who are not School Prefects. School Staff who are permanent employees and also, in the case of teachers, temporary or casual teachers with at least six month’s service at High will be eligible to vote. Staff votes have a weighting of two (maximum 160). School Prefects and SRC members have a weighting of one (maximum 48).

Each of the electoral colleges will participate in a compulsory voting process. The rationale is that the successful applicants will represent the three colleges equally. No one college can be allowed to dominate the total number of votes cast. Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. Votes will be tallied and scrutinised and a poll declared and submitted to the Principal. Our aim is to have a fair, transparent and defensible system of selecting our School Prefects. Up to 75% of departing Year 12 students are disenfranchised under the new system. Our justification for this is that exiting students will not be led by the people they would vote for, so it is reasonable that only their leaders help identify and promote emerging leaders from Year 11.

Entry to Years 8 to 12 in Selective High Schools for 2006
Advertisements appeared in Sunday papers for applications to fill vacancies in Selective schools. High will have up to 30 places for Year 11, but very few elsewhere. Applications close on August 1. School Family members are encouraged to let people know about our process of template scoring of applications by a panel of assessors, followed by interview with the Principal. Good all rounders are our target applicants. All the relevant information can be downloaded from our web site www.sydneyboyshigh.com.

New Library
Last chance to make a difference this financial year! You are invited to do as I do and contribute to the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund to help us acquire a new library. We have a target of reaching $250,000 this year. Help us to reach our goal. Make a tax deductible donation now.
Dr K Jaggar
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2005 National Chinese Eisteddfod

The day was filled with an exciting, nervous and embarrassing atmosphere. This was the first time I had participated in Chinese Eisteddfod. I was full of anxiety as I did not know what to do and what would be done. Then everyone was seated in the hall and prepared to present their selected poem as a group. Everyone before us performed excellently. This put a lot of pressure on us, but our confidence remained high. Then it was our turn to go on the stage. We performed as we had practised at school. We raised our tone on the right line and made eye contact when we needed to. Unfortunately, the result was not what we had expected, as we just missed out on a place in the final.

After the group finished, it was time for the individual performances. Just as with the groups, all the participants gave an outstanding presentation. I was now on my own to compete against the other contestants. I recited the poem smoothly until I was up to the second last line, when I felt suddenly tense. I stopped for a second or so on a word. I thought there would not be any chance of my getting a place. Then the announcer surprised me when she called out my name for third place. I could hardly believe what I heard. I had thought I could not possibly get a place, but I suppose if you try your best, there will always be a chance for you to win.
Shorson Zhang
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Science News

Results of Science Quiz No. 6
This was about the recent space craft that was testing whether it was feasible to use the solar wind as a power source. Congratulations to Aditya Hatle (8S) and Nikita Slinko (7R) for submitting comprehensive answers. Quiz number 7 will be posted next term and is again open to everyone.
I Cox
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High Store

The High Store is having a clearance of assorted rugby training jerseys. Normally $35 - for one week only – a special offer of only $25.

Be quick so you don’t miss out on this special offer.

Additionally, school beanies are now available to purchase form the High Store - $20 only. Keep warm and be cool!!!
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Parent-Teacher Interviews

Parent-Teacher interviews for Years 7-12 will take place on:
Thursday, 30 June 2005
3.00pm – 7.30pm

Please note the following arrangements –

  • Boys will be dismissed from class at the conclusion of Period 5 (2:15 pm) on this day. School Special buses will run to normal schedules and there will be supervision in the Junior Quad of boys waiting for these buses.
  • All boys will be issued with details of arrangements for interviews early next week. They should complete the Record of Appointments section in consultation with teachers. It is the responsibility of boys to negotiate interview appointment times with their teachers.
  • Details of interview times with teachers should be recorded in the Record of Appointments section of this booklet. Teachers will sign to confirm the appointment.
  • If a teacher is unavailable this fact should be recorded in the Record of Appointments section and signed by the teacher as confirmation.
  • All interviews will take place in classrooms on the upper floor of the Main Building and the Killip Wing. A map and details of locations of teachers will be provided.
  • Interviews should not exceed five minutes’ duration. If there is insufficient time, a further appointment may be made for a later date, or contact by telephone arranged.
  • Timing of appointments should allow for movement from one location to another between interviews.
  • Tea and coffee will be available for parents throughout the evening in the Staff Common Room.

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From the Library

Big things are happening with our technology!

At last OASIS is to be replaced – phased out over next 4 years – it kept NSW School Libraries in the Dark Ages for the last 8 years.

HUGE THANKS to the many parents who have been so generous in donating to the Library Fund.

Because we have enough money we are able to provide much better quality equipment. Our very able and hard working technical staff has just installed a duplex colour laser printer and a duplex b&w laser printer.

As I mentioned in the last High Notes we have now put the Library’s Catalogue onto the Internet. Students and teachers planning units of work can see if we have resources they need by typing in http//www.sydneyboyshigh.com/library/enquiry.

DON’T’ FORGET – When our library shuts at 3.30 your local library is a great place to find resources, computers, printers and a pleasant place to work on homework and assignments.

The Bowen Library at Maroubra Junction has a huge collection of Infocus articles – HSC related articles to support the English and HSIE - Geography, Economics, Business Studies and History - courses. It also has shelves and shelves of Excel and other HSC Cribs - much better than we have. They are also telling us they have really wonderful and expensive on-line full text databases and software programs for you to access.

They have FREE one on one tutoring in Maths, English and Science - you just have to ask. You do have to join the Library first but you do not need to be a Randwick ratepayer. The fact that you are in a school in this area is a good reason. Bowen Library is a 15 minute bus ride straight down Anzac Pde - you cannot get lost!
Mrs Crothers
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Year 11 Parents

Please update your contact details:

I’m getting many “bounced” emails. If you haven’t received an email from me in the last few weeks, would you please email me with your new contact details?
Antoinette Farrow Parent Rep.
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Year 11 Parents

Help Wanted!
For a Farewell to Year 12 Parents 11th November 2005

If you can help with providing or serving food on the night, please contact either:

Antoinette Farrow
9427 0586
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Sue Levy 
9371 0872
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From the Weights Room

Term attendance still remains high although a lot of the boys have struggled with the flu with the onset of colder weather (bring a tracksuit for the trip home). Protein drinks are selling well with the money already going to purchasing a second power sled and plywood to make 4 x junior plyometric boxes. Future purchases will include more sets of dumbbells (so we have 2 sets of each weight), 3 more power sleds, leather skipping ropes etc. I will also be updating the weight training section of the School’s website in the near future with possibly some photos and health and fitness information.

Weights Room Slogan/Motto Competition
I have spent many hours trying to decide on a gym motto that epitomises what the new look weights room is about and have decided that as it is your gym, you should have a say. Discipline, hard work, straight, willpower, focus, mateship, teamwork, self confidence, inspiration etc are the types of ingredients that make success. Over the next two weeks I will be accepting submissions from everyone with the winner receiving one free term of gym and a set of boxing gloves and focus pads. All entries should be supplied on a sheet of A4 paper and be clear and legible with a name and contact number. If written in Latin (for example) you must also submit the proper translation. The winner will be contacted. It must be passionate, empowering, inspirational…that’s what I’m looking for.

Medical Questionnaires
All boys who use the weights room will be issued with a medical questionnaire/contact form to be filled in and returned to the weights room Strength & Conditioning Coach. As the gym is open before and after school (when the office may not be staffed), it is necessary that parent/guardian contact details be available to weights room staff in the event of an emergency. The information on the forms will also help the Strength Coach to give your son an appropriate program or alter a current one. As boys go through many growth spurts during their teens and also sustain many sporting injuries, this information is essential for the Strength Coach and will be ongoing (new form each term). Parents of boys who currently use the weights room are encouraged to pop in and see me at any time to discuss any concerns that they may have regarding their son’s strength and conditioning program.

And to answer the most asked questions regarding weight training and young boys….WILL WEIGHT TRAINING STUNT MY CHILD’S GROWTH? ANSWER: NO. (I will elaborate on this fully when I update the web page.)
Jason Tassell
Strength & Conditioning Coach Weights Room

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From the Rugby Master’s Desk

I’m sure all High supporters will join with me in congratulating Pat McDonnell (2nd XV), Tom Mainprize (3rd XV) and Serdar Bolen (Coach 3rd XV) on their GPS selection. It is appropriate recognition of Pat’s electrifying displays, Tom’s powerful performances and Serdar’s coaching commitment. I know they will relish the challenge of representative rugby and hope that it will inspire our future 1st XV players to set their goals high.

To all players and coaches: enjoy the upcoming vacation. However, do not let your skill and fitness levels deteriorate during this time by being inactive.
G Stein
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Volleyball Report # 6

GPS News
Last week saw the start of the second round of the competition. High had a bye and are keenly looking forward to the upcoming challenges.

CHS News
Sydney High finished first in the CHS Sydney East Regional Volleyball KO. As a result they played in the “Final 16” tournament at Olympic Park this week. More news on this in the next edition of High Notes. (Editor’s Note: We won)

Last year they finished 6th in the state and they were keen to improve upon this. As this goes to press, High has beaten Balgowlah High from Sydney North. This has put them into playing in the top 8.

From the Metro Schools Cup on 12th June
Sydney High Black Match Report (U16s) Our under 16s slowly arrived at Olympic Park, all feeling sleepy and cold. However, during the warm-up for our first game for our first match, those dreamy feelings went away. We stepped away for our first game, prepared and determined to take out first place in our first tournament for the year.

In our pool we played our own U15s Brown team, Great Lakes and Westfields: winning all three games in straight sets. We played NSW U15s for the semi finals. Some jokes came from Jamie Tao, on the sidelines, during the match that kept us in a comfortable position to play. Taking yet another game in straight sets.

We observed carefully the end of the other semi-final. Westfield played Christian Brothers. The same team that defeated us last year. The match was tight on the third set but Christian Brothers prevailed again.

We saw the grins on their face as they won, which plainly said “look its Sydney Boys High again”. I doubt they really knew what they were about to face.

The first set came to our hands fast without much resistance. Second set went flying off to their side. The decisive third set saw some poor sportsmanship from Christian Bros. High didn’t want such a team to win again!. With that in our thoughts, we took the lead by a good number of points and won the match.

This placed us 1st in the Metro Schools NSW volleyball competition. Congratulations to Victor Nguyen (our outside hitter who sent off strong and smart attacks), David Dizon (vicious outside hitter and a great help on calls), Alex Le (setter, without him spikes can’t happen), Warren Trac (middle blocker), Danny Ng (middle blocker), Daniel Chim (outside hitter), Zid Mancenido (Uni/Middle blocker). Also thanks to our coaches, Mr Kay, Mr Parker and Mark Retter who trained us so that it was possible for this great day.

A big thank you to Jamie Tao and Raymond Tran for coming out to support and cheer us on!
Johny Shih
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From the Office

REMINDER TO PARENTS CHANGE OF ADDRESS If you have recently changed your address or have changed your employment the school needs to know. There have been a number of occasions when Administration have had difficulty contacting parents because of change of workplace. This is extremely important in a case of emergency. If parents are going to be out of the country for any length of time the Principal needs to know this information as well.

Please ask your son to obtain a change of details form from the Main Office and also change forms for travel when changing your address. Your son's travel passes will be affected if he does not have the correct address. Failure to complete these forms may result in your son not having a travel pass.

LETTERS RE ABSENCE/LATENESS/ EARLY LEAVE When your son returns to school from being absent he is required to provide a letter of explanation signed by parent or guardian. If your son is going to be late for school a note is also required.

If your son has an early leave note he is required to have his note signed by either Mr Beringer, Mr Dowdell or Mr Prorellis before 8:55 am and handed in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by parent or guardian with the name date and roll class of your son printed clearly. Your son needs to pick up a leave pass from the Main Office before he leaves the school.

LEAVE If you require leave for your son please, apply in writing and address your application to the Principal, Dr Jaggar, stating the reason and length of time of the leave. Your son must then present this application to Dr Jaggar for permission for the leave. Please remember to apply before the leave and not after.

The Principal must approve all leave applications.

Another email service for parents
Parents who supply the school with an email address can now have two useful information streams. A reminder about High Notes with a link to the current edition can be emailed to you each week. An updated report on your son’s attendance record can now be sent to you on a daily or weekly basis. To get your electronic High Notes, send your email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you would like to have your son’s attendance record sent to you sent the email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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Da Vinci Decathlon At Knox Grammar School

This is an academic interschool gala day run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon, with events of an academic nature. Schools enter teams of eight in years 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Students will participate in activities in the following disciplines;

Mathematics - emphasis on problem solving, number patterns and logic puzzles.
English - spelling, word origin, scrabble, definitions and writing.
Science - higher level scientific concepts and ability to apply them.
Code Breaking - deciphering several codes.
Engineering Challenge - a building task designed to test creativity and ingenuity.
Forensic Sleuths - dealing with maps, photographs and other evidence.
Creative Producers - developing and presenting a 30 second commercial to promote a particular product.
Art and Poetry - develop a poem plus a complementary work of art on a given theme. Games and Strategy - mastermind, chess and connect 4 General Knowledge - current affairs, entertainment, sport and trivia.

The tasks will be exciting and challenging with a particular emphasis placed on higher order thinking skills. Students will be highly stimulated by the day’s events. Schools should aim to select students who are able to complement each other in the various disciplines.

Sydney High will enter teams in each year group.

Lawson Centre
Knox Grammar School.
8.30 am - 3.15 pm

Years 9 + 10 Tue 9th August (Week 4 Term 3 )
Years 7 + 8 Wed 10th August (Week 4 Term 3 )

Interested students can obtain application forms from Mr Dolan (Social Science).
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Year 8 Excursion – Chinese Nantien Temple

On Friday 10 June, Year 8 Chinese classes went by coach to Nantien Temple, Wollongong. When we finally arrived at the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, we enjoyed several activities, a tour and a vegetarian buffet. Buddhists don’t eat meat, so they have a tofu alternative, which could fool some of the toughest critics.
Mishu Osinski 8E

The temple was completely extravagant, more like a palace. The steep steps at the entrance almost challenged me like I were to climb Mt Kosciusko. There were two flags pillared at the front, one on each side – the Australian and the Buddhist.

Our first activity was tai-chi, a slow-motion style of martial arts, known to relax the body, mind and soul.
Simon Lu 8T

Next was lotus flower folding. It’s actually quite simple, but if Year 7s want to find out how, you’ll just have to do Chinese next year. The lotus looked great. Some of us attached them to our ties!
Abraham Chan 8R

Inside the museum were many mind-boggling artefacts. One was calligraphy on a strand of hair. I was really delighted with our day at Nantien Temple!
Kent Nguyen 8M

The museum was awesome. They had a piece of wood, which was carved by one man into this amazing cloud, with over 50 different little men on it. It weighed 90kg and took 5 years to make.
Clive Chen 8M

We visited various shrines. It was interesting to learn about the original Buddha and the history of Buddhism. Our visit was a fun and enlightening experience.
Kang Lim 8R
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VisionCRC - Your Child Can Help to Prevent Myopia

What is myopia?
Myopia is also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. People with myopia have difficulty seeing distant objects clearly.

The myopic eye is longer than the normal eye. This means that light from distant objects focuses in front of the retina rather than on it, causing blurred vision.

What influences whether an eye becomes myopic?
The environment. Living in cities and close-range activities e.g. reading and computer work, are making us a near-focus species.

Genetics also has a strong influence.

1 in 5 Australians suffer from myopia. Myopia affects a quarter of the world’s population (1.6 billion people). 1 out of 3 Americans and in some Asian countries, 1 out of 2 people are affected.

Myopia is a rapidly increasing epidemic. By 2020, it is estimated that the number of people with myopia will grow to one third of the population (2.5 billion).

For example in Singapore a series of studies has shown an increase in myopia in males aged 15-25, from 26% of this group in the late 1970s, to 83% in the late 1990s.

What affect can myopia have?
Vision impairment can affect all aspects of an individual’s life – education, health, employment, well-being, and social interaction.

High myopia creates a significant risk of other eye disorders such as glaucoma, retinal trauma, malfunction and detachment. These may lead to significant loss of vision or blindness.

What are we doing in our myopia study?
Bifocal or multifocal contact lenses might be able to slow the development of myopia.

The Vision Cooperative Research Centre is investigating the use of these lenses. Children aged 8-14 will be fitted with either standard contact lenses or multifocal contact lenses. They will then be monitored over 2 years to determine the rate of progression of myopia.

The study will help us to develop new ways to slow or even stop the development of myopia.

Being involved You can be part of this important work.

We are looking for 100 children to take part in the study. Children will receive free vision testing and eyecare throughout the study. You will need to attend the Vision CRC clinic at the University of New South Wales in Kensington.

What is the Vision Cooperative Research Centre?
The Vision CRC, based in Sydney, is the largest vision correction research centre in the world. It aims to deliver better eyecare for Australia and the world through the development of new vision correction technology and education programs.

If you are interested in being part of the study, contact visionCRC.