High Notes, Vol 8 No 19, June 29 2007

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Yujin Wu (7R) who achieved the highest score in NSW for his Year level in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools – Science. What a wonderful effort by our first grade basketball team to place third in the state in the knockout competition. This result is the best ever for High in basketball, particularly since the establishment of dedicated sports high schools around the state. The success of the team is a tribute to the great basketball administration and development of recent years, led by Ben Hayman and the passionate coaching by his brother Alex this year. Well done to Dominic Bowes (Year 11) who was chosen to deliver an address during the holidays to a Secondary Principals conference on 15-19 Year Olds entitled: Inspire, Prepare, Achieve. Only four school speakers of great skill and confidence were chosen to perform for this large gathering of educators. Congratulations to Anthony Morris who has been selected to represent Australia in the International Mathematics Olympiad, to be held in Hanoi early in Term 3. Well done also to the following boys who were successful in their respective events at the Sydney East Regional Cross Country Carnival, making it through to the state carnival – Harrison Lane, Jeremy Ireland, Edwin-Montoya-Zorrilla, Michael Denny-Smith, Matthew Ling, Nathan McDonnell, Ty Linegar, Tom Castleton, Roshan Karunaratne, Eugene Stadnik, Pasan Pannila and Samuel Lane.

Distribution of Reports
All Years have had their report interviews with me and should have discussed the document with their parents. Quite a few boys have not collected their reports for one reason or another. I discovered that some boys have been telling their parents that the school has not supplied the reports yet. Parents should expect to see reports at the end of term 2 each year. Absences, sporting commitments, examination periods or Clearance Forms might make coming to see me to talk about academic progress more difficult, but all boys who want to collect their reports can find a way to do so. Those who do not will invent any excuse to avoid the issue.

Parent Teacher Evenings
The separation of Parent Teacher Nights into Junior School and Senior School appears to have been well received by parents. In future, I ask that parents monitor the booking sheets prepared by their sons to confirm that the schedule of appointments is possible. We recommend a minimum ten minute interval between appointment times to make certain that parents can move without undue delay from one teacher to another. Thanks to Barbara Traylor we have feedback from the Year 11 Parents Group. I invite feedback from all Year Groups on the initiative.

Travelling to School
I have had concerns raised by parents that boys are breaking their journeys at Central Station and going in groups to Internet cafes. The school and parents expect that all boys come directly to school from home and do not waste time, nor put themselves at potential risk by stopping off along the way to school. Boys with early morning time on their hands are invited to go to the library to engage in educational experiences in a safe environment.

Digital Projection Rollout
Digital projectors were installed in rooms 214, 505, 602, 603 and 901 with security cages and wall mounted speakers for sound reproduction, at a cost of $18,000, subsidised by a $12,000 donation from the P & C. I intend to equip another 5 rooms in the second semester. A network maintenance switch was purchased for $5,000 to protect the network in case of a repetition of a potentially disastrous switch failure.

End of Term 2
Thank you to all staff, parents, Old Boys and volunteers who have worked with such commitment this term to make it as productive as it was. I believe we are making measurable progress in our quest to make a very good school into an outstanding one.
Dr K Jaggar
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Academic Achievement Lists - Semester 1 2007

Year 8

Congratulations to the following boys in Year Eight whose excellent academic achievements in Semester 1 are recognised.

Points were awarded as follows - High Distinction: 6, Distinction: 5, Credit: 3, Pass with Merit: 2 Pass: 1, with the qualifying total being 43.

Nikhil AUTAR
Austin LY
Dominic NGUYEN
Andrew CHAN
Kenneth NGUYEN
David CHAN
Michael PHUNG
Thomas DIEP
William SHAO
Andrew HAU
Jeffrey TANG
Dennis KIM
Vincent WANG
Nathan KOK
Vivian LE
Michael WONG
Gordon LI
Kevin LIN
Anthony XU
Wen Jia LIU
Vinson ZHENG
Henry LU

Year 10

Congratulations to the following students whose outstanding performance in the recent half-yearly examinations is recognised.

Razeen AHMED
Kang LIM
Victor Seng Yi LIM
Daniel LO
Yiming CAO
Simon LU
Clement CHEN
Maxeem MIKHA
Jeffrey CHEN
David NAM
Matthew DINH
Desmond HI
Daniel SHAN
Brandon JIANG
Wilson SZET
Vincent KHOU
Matthew TONG
Phillip KURTS
Matthew LAU
Henry YU
Aolin LI
Timothy YU

Any student placed in the top 50% in seven or more subjects in the half-yearly may make a direct claim for the Academic Achievement category in the Student Awards Scheme. See Mr Beringer.

Year 11

Congratulations to the following students whose outstanding performance in the recent half-yearly examinations is recognised.

Michael BOCK
Bernard LUNG
William CHAN
Daniel PHAM
Daniel CHIM
David FAN
Marco SUN
Darren HO
Andrew TANG
Anthony HUYNH
Dao Chen TONG
Albert KIM
Andrew TSE
Simin YANG
Nathan LIEU
Zheshu ZHANG
Ruiwen LIU
Justin ZUO

Any student placed in the top 50% in ten or more units in the half-yearly examinations may make a direct claim for the Academic Achievement category in the Student Awards Scheme. See Mr Beringer.
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The Year 9 and 10 Da Vinci Reports

Year 9 Da Vinci Decathlon
The 2007 Da Vinci Decathlon was a great day out. Everyone on the Year 9 team had fun, even if we didn’t place right up there. But many of you are probably wondering, “What is the Da Vinci Dewhatnow?” It is a large competition of forty teams of different schools competing for glory and shiny pieces of metal in a battle of wits. There are many different subjects which the teams compete in, such as mentally challenging Forensic Sleuths (in which it deals with evidence and logic puzzles) to the Engineering Challenge where competitors design something with supplied materials to complete a set task.

When we got there and found our tables (we actually went around the venue before finding our table near where we came in.) we were given some puzzles and then the day was underway. First up was the Engineering challenge, Art and Poetry, Science and Games of Strategy. With the engineering Challenge, our creative construction team quickly set to work building a structure that could roll a ping pong ball the furthest distance while keeping it 10cm above the ground. We were given the materials of six drinking straws, two A4 sheets of paper, and 50mm of masking tape. They tested several theories, but concluded that using the straws as support and cutting and folding the paper to create a long pathway was the best way to go. The reasoning was sound, as the winners used the same design, but managed to get a longer pathway out of the paper.

Science was the task to create a newspaper article on using small things to go a long way, based on a newspaper article provided. Some eager scientists in our group took this task on themselves and managed to come up with a creative solution to the problem. I mean, making cows out of stem cells to provide food, so simple! It’s a wonder it has never been done before.

Art and Poetry was the task to create a poem and accompanying artwork based on the working life of Sydney in 2007. Our artists took a good look at the task and managed to come up with some very interesting ideas, but unfortunately by the time they had completed the first stage of the artwork, time was up, which infuriated our creative team members. Time, they say, is the problem of the workplace!

Games of Strategy had two parts. The written chess exam, in which our resident chess master had to complete a task within a few moves, and the computer exam, in which the games “mastermind” and “connect four” had to be played against an intelligent computerised opponent.

With this last task out of the way, it was time to find a sunny spot outside and enjoy a light recess. Juice was supplied by the tournament organisers, and we had a good half hour break to recuperate from the mental challenges we had faced, and prepare for the ones we were yet to face. Heading inside we were presented with Mathematics, English, and Forensic Sleuths. Mathematics and English were quickly taken up by those students who enjoyed such subjects, while myself and two other team mates tackled the logic puzzles set for us from this paper. We broke right through the easier puzzles, and set to work on a difficult picture with many things wrong. After a few minutes of checking the picture, and then checking our eyes, we managed to complete the puzzles without much further challenge.

Mathematics was rather beyond me, but as much as I could extract from the minds hard at work on it, was that it was fairly hard. They seemed to be happy with what they had done, so we checked through the work they had done, and submitted it at the end.

English was many word puzzles, some easy (like anagrams) to difficult (deciphering words and the Latin meaning for them, which means what the word is now) but our cultured crew soldiered on through them, eventually completing the paper.

During this time, we sent off half of our group to do the “Creative Producers” where your group has to produce an advertisement on a product, which for us this year was “Goldmines Greatest Hits” and our team produced a side-slapping advertisement, but it sadly didn’t stand up to the people who won. They REALLY knew how to speak to an audience.

With our tasks done and dusted, we quickly hurried outside for the hot lunches. Pizza from Dominoes! We devoured our allotted Hawaiian and Meat-Lovers pizzas, and spent a few minutes discussing the tasks we had completed, and wondering what was next. But, to our surprise, we had a visitor from Sydney Girls, bearing a gift! More pizza! Our hungry minds and hungry bellies quickly thanked the girls and tucked into our pizza, and by the time lunch was over we had really eaten a lot of pizza.

The final challenges were up next, and we assembled at our table to tackle what was bound to be our hardest challenges as a collective force, determined to complete them.

General knowledge was a few tasks over a range of subjects, such as current affairs, entertainment, trivia, knowledge of cities and a few famous faces. Such a task was easy with a few minds working on it, and you never know what other people know until they tell you what they know, and it can be very interesting.

The final and probably most difficult task was code breaking, in which we were faced with many puzzling things that made no sense at all until we had carefully thought through and collaborated to find our answers.

After that, we handed in our final segments and went outside for an ice-cream. Well, when your day is so challenging, it’s nice to relax over an ice cold treat. The final things to do were to watch the winners of the creative producers perform the winning entries. I thought we did pretty well, but these charismatic people totally blew us out of the water. After that, they announced the winners; unfortunately, we didn’t win, but I don’t think anyone minded really. We had fun and put our minds to a challenging test, and we were glad to cheer on the Year ten team who were awarded third place in the Year ten division.

To all those who are thinking of competing, go ahead! It’s a great day and you can learn all sorts of interesting new things. I’m sure you would enjoy it just as much as we did. Thanks to Mr Dolan and the Talent Development Committee for giving us the opportunity to compete in this prestigious event.
Lachlan Chant

Year 10 Da Vinci Decathlon
On Tuesday 5 June, 2007, a group of Year 10 boys (Alasdair Brown, Alik Belokopytov, Clive Chen, Patrick Desmond, Kang Lim, Victor Lim, Leonard Teng and Thomas Nguyen), participated in the Da Vinci Decathlon, an academic gala day run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon, with events of an academic nature, held annually at Knox Grammar. 40 different schools from all over the state (as well as the ACT) sent teams of eight students to compete in the ten different activities As always, the activities were:

  1. Mathematics – This year, there was a heavy emphasis on problem solving and number patterns.
  2. English – Spelling of particular words, the etymology of certain words, the “-phobias” and “-ologies”.
  3. Science – Creating a scientific invention
  4. Code Breaking
  5. Engineering – Every year, Engineering is the most competitive of the activities, and this was no exception. We had to make a bridge for a ping-pong ball, using only 5cm of masking tape, 2 A4 sheets of paper and 6 straws. At all times, the ping-pong ball had to remain at least 10 cm above the ground.
  6. Forensic Sleuths – Spot the Difference, Detective work and things of the like.
  7. Creative Producers – A sub-group from the team has ten minutes to develop and present a 30 second commercial to promote a particular obscure product. This year’s product for Year 10 was “University Courses for Vegetables”.
  8. Art and Poetry – The team is to develop a poem as well as a complementary work of art on a given theme – this year’s was based on Collin Street, 5p.m. by John Brack (1955).
  9. Games of Strategy – The same as every other year, solving Chess problems, as well as playing Mastermind and Connect 4 against other schools.
  10. General Knowledge – General Knowledge is always the most coveted activity by our team. This year, topics included current affairs to entertainment and geography to trivia.

However, there was something that was different from the other years, and that was our results in the various subjects. Our most noticeable performances were 7th in the Engineering, 3rd in Art and Poetry, 5th in Science, 3rd in Games of Strategy and 3rd in General Knowledge. To top it all off, we came 1st in the pizza-eating competition, held at lunch-time, in the Knox Courtyard. The aforementioned performances (minus the pizza eating) resulted in a 3rd placing and a bronze medal.

Overall, the event was a hectic and frenzied day, however, as always, it was a learning and knowledgeable experience. Unfortunately, this year was our last year of the Da Vinci Decathlon; however, the memories will remain with us for many years to come. We appreciate the efforts of Mr Dolan and thank him for organizing our involvement in this year’s Decathlon.
Thomas Nguyen 10F
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Boggabilla Exchange

Once again we have billeted the students from Boggabilla and we look forward to our return visit on August 20 to 21, Week 6 Term 3. Priority is given to those who have billeted but we try to take a couple of students at least from Years 7 to 11. If you are interested please contact Mr Barris.

Students from Boggabilla can only be involved in the exchange if they have greater than 80% attendance in the month leading up to either visit. This year they actually screened the number of students so there are signs our involvement has a positive impact.

I would like to thank the families who billeted the students. (Blomberg, Bastable, Deacon, Joo, Koerber, Lindeback Whtitng, Street, Shuttleworth, Taylor). This year we also provided billeting while two students who have been involved with the exchange for five years attended work experience at the Alexandria Fire Brigade Centre.

Dr Jaggar presented Boggabilla school with a Souths football that had been signed by their indigenous players. Mr Stein provided a SHS football which was presented to Todd as the best behaved Boggabilla student on the exchange.

Thank you to Mr Kay and Mr Ayre who transported us to the train on State of Origin night, Mr Devlin who collected the Pizzas and Serdar who helped me get the students out of Telstra Stadium and safely home, no mean feat.

The following is written by Neil Street:

There has been a great deal of public debate over policy regarding the treatment of Aboriginal communities Australia-wide over the last few weeks. It is encouraging to see certain issues being addressed, but here at High we have been actively involved with the Aboriginal community for some years now through our annual cultural exchange with Boggabilla Central School. I have been fortunate enough to billet twice now and go up there once. I urge all of you to get involved in the program not only for your benefit but for the benefit of the Boggabilla students as well.

The program involves the students coming down for three nights. One of these is spent at the school's rowing shed. State of Origin is the main drawcard for the majority of the students, but this event is supplemented with visits to other attractions in Sydney. The Powerhouse Museum, for a rare opportunity to make your own music track. The Art Gallery of NSW to see Yiribana: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Fortunately, our visit coincided with the media's coverage of a robbery from the gallery. We were informed once we had arrived, that a masterpiece had been stolen, worth an astounding 1.4 million dollars. We thought we had spotted the room from which it had been stolen. It turned out to be a contemporary piece involving shards of glass.

A Bondi-Coogee walk saw the group spot a waterspout off the coast. A cyclone of sorts that sucks the water from beneath the surface and spits it back out. Something I'd never seen before. Origin was interesting although not much of a league man myself it was an intense and an enjoyable night. Meeting new people was great as was catching up with mates from previous trips.

So once again, I urge you all to get involve so the program can grow and grow and grow. If you do care about the lives of Australia's indigenous, you may want to consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I promise you it is an enjoyable, cultural and rewarding experience.
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Did You Know?

Did you know that the Royal Society, which was founded in 1660, is the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence? Candidates for election as Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS) must have made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science". Eight Fellows have attended Sydney High: Sir Grafton Elliot Smith (1888); Sir John Cornforth (1933); Sir Henry Harris (1941); Graeme Clark (1947); William Levick (1948); Lord Robert May (1952); Herbert Huppert (1959); and Bruce Stillman (1971). Grafton Elliott Smith was Vice President of the Society, 1913-1914 and Robert May was President, 2000-2005.

SHS Old Boys Union
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Chess Notes

After 7 rounds of the Eastern Region Inter-School competition 5 of our 8 teams will go on to the finals next term.

The Senior, Intermediate A&B and Junior A all won their divisions. Junior B progress due to their strong showing.

Intermediate C and Junior C&D have completed their divisions with pleasing results and all our players should be congratulated on their effort and commitment.
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The 2007 SBHS Football Dinner

This year, SBHS Football will celebrate the efforts and achievements of our boys as well as acknowledge staff, coaches and supporters by holding the first SBHS Football dinner:

The coach of each team will be invited to attend the dinner as a guest. Players are asked to take responsibility on a team-by-team basis for any end-of-season gifts to their team’s coach.

The dinner will be held on

Saturday 11 August 2007
Great Hall

The cost of the dinner will be $30 per adult and student. For children under 11 yrs old there is a special rate of $20.

Payment for the dinner can be made at the Main Office from now until Friday 3 August. Tickets are limited. Please detach the form below and hand it in with your payment at the Main Office

(Boys to wear school uniform)

Student Name    ___________________________________
Year/Roll class _______
Football Team   _______
TOTAL Number of adults   ________    @ $30 per adult         = $ _____
TOTAL Number of students ________    @ $30 per SBHS student  = $ _____
(Special rate of $20 for family members under 11yrs = $20 per child) 
TOTAL                  $ ________
Do you have any special dietary requirements?  _____ Vegetarian
                                               ______ Other - Please state

____  YES!  I can help on the day with setting up the hall, table decorations etc. 
Helper’s name and contact details : _______________________________________
Email address: ____________________________________________________________
Phone Numbers: ____________________________________________________________ 

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Music Notes

Our Junior Stage Band and Jazz Trio performed stunningly last Thursday as part of MusicFest; the Australian edition of Fête de la Musique, a unique international event that takes place on 21 June each year to celebrate the summer/winter solstice. At present Fête de la Musique brings together more than 120 countries and 250 cities in an exciting live music celebration. The bands played in the middle of the serene setting which is Parramatta Park, hosted by the Parramatta Park Trust and will be featured in the local paper this week. Well done to all our boys who represented High with great pride despite the winter cold.

Tutor of the Week – Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis is our tutor of the week. He began learning the cello at the age of 12 (in Year 7 at Canberra High). By the age of 19 he started his professional career with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. (This shows that 12 is not too old to start the cello: Year 7 boys take note.) Adrian has had experience performing in many musical genres including symphonic, operatic, ballet, jazz/rock and commercial. He has also had a parallel career in academia, lecturing in philosophy and art theory.

Adrian has been teaching the cello for over twenty years with a number of his former and present students performing with the Sydney Youth and the Australian Youth Orchestras, and some of whom have pursued professional careers in music. As well as at Sydney Boys High, Adrian also teaches at Cranbrook and Scots College, and owns his own private music studio in Randwick. He enjoys teaching very much, and just appreciates dedicated and hard-working students.

Student of the Week – Kevin Lin
Kevin Lin is just one of these. Kevin had already been studying the cello in China before coming to High. There is a fine tradition of cello teaching in China though not a very long one, but very deep and well-informed.

Adrian writes: “Kevin is working at around 6th grade level, developing a solid intermediate technique. The cello is profoundly lyrical, and Kevin is finding his voice in the instrument, shaping increasingly complex melodic phrases and making the cello sing. He is a lot of fun to teach.”

Piano Competition
The Sydney Boys High School Piano Competition will begin in week 2 on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes till week 4, to be held in the Great Hall. There are two categories this year; Junior (Years 7-9) and Senior (Years 10-12). The time limit for each performance is 5 minutes and the entry fee is $5.00 for all competitors. Please enrol by the first week back in term 3 if you have not already done so, in order for times and performance pieces to be arranged before the start of the competition. All piano players are highly encouraged to participate in this event, particularly if you are preparing for a piano exam. Please see the music staff for application forms.

Music Tuition Scholarships
The music department is offering scholarships to students who would like to play; Oboe, Bassoon, Double bass and French horn.
Please see the music staff if you are interested.
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Rugby Supporters Dinner

High Rugby Friends Inc. invites you to attend the inaugural
Rugby Supporters Dinner
7:00pm Wednesday July 25
The Great Hall
Sydney Boys High School

Special guest for the evening is the coach of the NSW Waratahs Ewen McKenzie

Tickets are $40, which includes a two-course sit down dinner. Wine, beer and soft drink will be available for purchase.

This night is an important fundraising event for Sydney High Rugby, and the aim is to raise enough money to purchase a new scrum machine. If you are unable to make it, a donation would be much appreciated. Tables are for 8-10 people, however individual tickets are available.

If you have any queries, please contact:
Tom Miller (0415 973 574 – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or
Ben Friis-O’Toole (0414 383 857 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

To reserve your place:

  • To pay by cheque, fill out the slip and mail it to:
              High Rugby Friends, PO Box 664, Surry Hills, NSW, 2011
  • To pay by credit card, go to www.highrugbyfriends.com/dinner/

High Rugby Friends – Rugby Supporters Dinner     RSVP: July 15 2007
Name:  __________________________________________
Ph:    __________________
Email: __________________________________________
I am able to attend and require _________ tickets at $40 each totalling $___________.
I am unable to attend but would like to donate $___________.

(Cheques should be made payable to High Rugby Friends) 

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