High Notes, Vol 9 No 16, May 30 2008

Attention: open in a new window. E-mail

From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Tanvir Uddin (2006) who has been selected by Goldman Sachs to go to New York as a finalist in its Leadership Program. University of Sydney Outstanding Achievement Scholarships were awarded to Michael Chen, Tzu-yun Hsiao and Andrew Pham for their 99.95 results at the HSC 2007. Congratulations to super collector, Lawrence Png (11) for his heroic efforts during the Sir Roden Cutler Day collections. He filled 3 collection cups and came back for a 4th. He and all the other community-minded Year 11s raised $9,195 on the day – a great effort. Congratulations to Lachlan Street (football) and Spencer Llewellyn (basketball) on their selection in Combined Independent Schools’ representative teams. Well done, boys! Our Year 9 team won the Eastside Debating Competition

Non-intellective outcomes help students into university courses
Recent newspaper articles (SMH May 10) have highlighted the dilution of the importance of the UAI as the sole indicator of eligibility for university courses. The Australian Catholic University is to offer half its intake places on the basis of a student’s school performance and involvement in cultural, sporting or religious activities. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Craven, asserted that HSC marks alone did not indicate if a person would be a good student or employee. Marks can’t measure personality. Additional tests, references and interviews are being incorporated into university selection policies. The trend is once again validating the strong stance that we take at High on all round participation in search of excellence. The real test is not whether a boy played two seasons of sport for a few years, or collected for charity a few times, or helped during Clean Up Australia Day once or twice, or played in a Junior Ensemble for a couple of years, but whether he has a record of doing so over 6 years! Students and their parents need to think about the balance of work, play and service their sons have in the context of university entrance. Students need to learn to manage their time and to get involved in school life.

ADF Long Tan Leadership & Teamwork Awards
The Australian Defence Forces Awards (2007-08) are designed to promote personal development, leadership and teamwork in secondary school students. The awards are: $100 (Year 10), $250 (Year 11) and $500 (Year 12). The published criteria are: leadership, teamwork, values, problem solving, resourcefulness, communication, cooperation, community involvement. These criteria mirror the qualities that we are endeavouring to nurture in our leadership programs. I applaud the widespread (2,200 schools) and generous recognition the ADF is making to student leaders around the nation. I urge staff and students to be aware of and support student leadership initiatives.

Year 9 Reports
Year 9 students should have brought home their reports. They were issued to most boys on Wednesday and Thursday. Boys on music camp and going to Armidale will have to collect their reports on Monday. Some boys had to have Clearance Forms signed off for excursions or sports transport fees etc but the number is small. In a week or so improved students will have their parents contacted by mail as will students on the Student Monitoring Register.

Ice Machine
P & C Sub-Committees and MICs are advised that the school has purchased and installed an ice making machine. Several sports groups consume 6-10 bags of ice each Saturday. The school now produces and stores its own bagged ice. Storage of ice will be at the Fairland Pavilion and at the UTS Gymnasium. Please contact Richard Ayre to gain access to supplies.

Rugby season opener
SCEGGS Redlands, playing at Macquarie University, hosted our boys who made the trip last Saturday to a good facility with well maintained grounds. Our boys were rusty in their combinations and suffered at the hands of the referees with multiple infringements at the breakdowns. The 15As won well and the 16As fell victim to their own over exuberance and drew a winnable game. First grade lost three tries to one but finished strongly and showed skill in their mauling. The weight of Redlands possession courtesy of the referee’s penalties led to tries being scored. We will have to cut down infringements against TAS this week. Second grade were mismatched against a giant Hurlstone first XV but tackled gamely. Kogulan celebrated his return to rugby with a 75 metre solo try at the end of the game to thrill the High crowd. The good news is that so many 16s turned up to play that we are going to enter 3 teams at the next fixtures meeting. Back at Mackay we were smacked in first grade Football by a faster, well drilled Redlands team. We have work to do on our defensive patterns and finishing before the GPS season. Star of the day was Sam Higgins, banging in 3 goals in second grade. Dr K A Jaggar

Return to Index

SBHS: Foundation Years

The School’s cadet corps was the first, best organised and most consistent of the extra-curricular activities conducted at the School in Castlereagh Street.

The cadet movement in NSW was established in 1872 and was carried on under the control of the NSW Volunteer authorities. Lieutenant H W Strong was the Commanding Officer.

Within a short time of the opening of the School, in 1883, a request was made to the acting Headmaster, John Waterhouse, for permission to establish a cadet corps. The permission was given and the corps was formed within a few weeks. The first officers were appointed by Lieutenant Strong. The corporals were “more or less elected” by the boys. Unlike other activities, the cadets were carried on with the official sanction of the Department of Public Instruction from 1884 as part of its own batallion formed from among the leading public schools. However, unlike the other Companies in the Department’s battallion, the Sydney High cadets were granted special privileges. Instead of carrying wooden replicas, the Sydney High cadets were armed with rifles that fired bullets.

The original uniform would be a startling affair to modern eyes according to the following description:

The jackets were scarlet with white braid trimmings; badges of rank were silver stars and chevrons; the long trousers were navy blue with a two-inch red stripe; and the head-gear was a peaked cap with a silver bugle worked on the front, and with a white pugaree for hot weather.

By the end of 1884, the corps had five non commissioned officers, 43 cadets and 48 Enfield Carbine Rifles. At the end of 1891, the corps boasted 2 captains, 3 lieutenants, 2 colour sergeants, 9 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 bugler and 74 privates, making a total of 95. Equipment included 60 rifles, 55 carbines (short light muskets), 63 bayonets and 95 belts, pouches, peaked caps and shoulder straps.

In 1888, it was noted that in most, if not all, other schools, there was at least one master who also acted as an officers in the corps. There was none of this at Sydney High, where the school magazine could report that “a real lieutenant has been manufactured from the boys, and is, we are glad to learn, a success”.

Shooting was one of the main activities. In 1888, it was recorded that the “taller and more intellectual cadets are taught an efficient use of the Martini-Henry rifle, both in drill and shooting”. The Martini-Henry rifle was a breech-loading lever-actuated rifle adopted by the British military. The smaller cadets, who were unable to use the rifles, were taught an efficient use of the Martini-Henry carbine (a shorter, less powerful, version of the rifle). The principal justification for such activities being that “you get a good knowledge of the drill, which would be very useful to the country if attacked suddenly by an enemy”.

The cadets also went on two or three country trips a year. These trips, held during the school vacations, included a trip to Junee in 1887, to Orange in the Easter break of 1888; to Tamworth and Melbourne later in 1888; and to Glen Innes in April 1889. The boys were billeted with local families and participated in rifle and other sporting matches as well as social events in the evening.

The unit was reorganised in the late 1880s when the Sydney High corps was divided into two companies, A Company and B Company and, for the first time, a master, Captain T B Trebeck, led A Company. Also, at this time, unlike the other school units, the Sydney High cadets were permitted to attend the Easter training camp with the Permanent Land Volunteer Forces. Captain T B Trebeck, recalled:

In 1891 I took 54 riflemen to Campbelltown Camp (NSW Military) as a unit and we took part in movements for the whole period, having the bands playing at Mess as in the regulars; turning out the Guard at 4 am; and visiting pickets at certain hours. A grand sham fight took place, with the explosion of a mine and artillery attack. A great many "shells" (oysters) burst as we marched to positions at the rear of the Commissariat. The Officers' tents were floored with oilcloth and wood and had proper beds and internal fittings.

The unit maintained a separate and continuous identity until 1913 when all school cadet activities were subsumed into the Commonwealth government’s compulsory military training program. All eligible members were a part of the Citizens’ Forces until compulsory military training was abolished in 1929.
SHS Old Boys Union

Return to Index

Public Speaking

On Monday Zid Mancenido and Anosh Sivashanmugarajah proudly represented High in the Regional Final of the Plain English Award. Both boys delivered fantastic speeches which were both entertaining and thought provoking. Well done, boys!

The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award is the next competition on the calendar. This is a State wide competition in which students compete in three rounds and if successful have the opportunity to represent the state. This is a highly competitive Award which requires students to deliver a prepared and impromptu speech. Students in Years 7-9 are invited to try out for the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award in week 7. See Ms Howland for details.

Return to Index


Sydney Boys High and Sydney Girls High Joint P&C function
Professor Don White, Adjunct Associate Professor in Faculty of Engineering at Sydney University, will be our guest speaker at the Sydney Boys High and Sydney Girls High Joint P&C function to be held on Wed 25th June at 7.30pm in the Great Hall at Sydney Boys High.

The topic will be 'Environmental Sustainability for our schools'. Professor White has considerable interest in sustainability and conservation and is also the Chairperson of Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Coordinator of Green Shareholders and active in the Zero Waste Network.

All parents, staff, friends and families are welcome to attend.
Simon Chan
President of P&C

Return to Index

High Store

Winter is fast approaching so why not pop in to the ‘High Store’ and purchase yourself an SBHS Scarf at $22 each and/or a Beanie at $20 each.
M Gentele

Return to Index


In addition to offering opportunities to students to develop their skills and understanding in class with their own teachers, the English faculty is seeking to foster a culture of student oriented study, to facilitate lively independent interaction between our students. We want to help students to help each other, and we are currently developing a new way to make this happen. Today we announce a fantastic new initiative which is coming soon.

In the past the English Faculty has set up small study groups for our HSC students, with a view to the boys supporting each other in refining their skills and tackling weekly practice questions for all sections of the HSC papers. This year we intend to both streamline and consolidate this process. With the help of our amazing school techie, James Rudd, this year we hope to create spaces on Moodle where each study group can share ideas and upload responses. Each week students will receive a new revision question. Study groups can meet at school or online to discuss ways of tackling the question and, after they have scaffolded or answered it, to give each other meaningful feedback based on a published marking rubric. Students who take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the programme of revision will be rewarded after the Trial exams with access to not just their own group’s work, but to a huge bank of student contributions.

We are very excited about the possibilities generated from this initiative. Students who take advantage of this student centred revision programme will develop communication skills, teaching skills, and critical thinking skills. Moreover if every student’s HSC English result goes up by even one mark, the flow-on effect to the boys’ UAIs will be dramatic.

More good news- the senior team of the deeply talented Alvin Leung, Beau Greenslade, Johnny Lieu and Nathan McDonnell are in the semi-finals of the Theatresports Schools Comp. Their heat has been drawn, and this Monday night, June 2, they take to the stage at St Ursula’s College (69 Caroline St Kingsgrove) at 7pm.Tickets are just $5 at the door. We hope many of you will come along to support our lads in this epic night of theatrical gymnastics and see them through to the Grand Final to be held at the Enmore theatre.

We look forward as well to the Year 10 drama students performances on stage at Fast and Fresh, the schools version of the biggest short play festival in the world- Short and Sweet. Three groups from High have been selected to compete on Friday June 6th at Parramatta Riverside Theatre. We wish them well in the heats. If you’d like to support the boys you can book tickets through the Riverside Theatre.

Finally, Thanks to Mr Bruce Gordon, Leo’s dad, who came along with Year 10 to the STC production of Romeo and Juliet. It is so gratifying to have parents involved in an excursion- we appreciate the support very much.

Today I want to finish by encouraging our boys to remember that becoming a great writer is no different to becoming an excellent footballer or a fabulous long distance runner, or a brilliant violinist – you need to practise. Sci-Fi writing legend Ray Bradbury tells it like it is: ‘Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.’ Avoid doom- keep practising!
Ms Trompetter

Reading Torque
This week’s Reading Torque is our first from a student. Today Year 12’s Simon Liu tells us about one of his favourite reads, Jostein Gaardner’s Sophie’s World.

The mention of philosophy may pique the interest of many of us readers, but that is about as far as we will get. Our excitement in reading about the deeper issues of being, religion, happiness and reality are lost somewhere in the dry, bland and migraine-inducing passages that such philosophers have penned. Jostein Gaardner’s Sophie’s World however proves otherwise. Blurring the genre constraints, Sophie’s World perhaps could best be described as philosophical fiction.’ Gaardner introduces us to a fourteen year old girl called Sophie who receives mysterious letters presenting her with the history of Western philosophy. Throughout its 513 pages these letters guide her through the timeless thoughts and beliefs held by some of the deepest philosophers from Socrates to Sartre. Indeed, Sophie’s World gives only a mere taste of what’s in that melting pot called ‘philosophy,’ flavoured by the likes of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Rousseau to name a few.

The book moves at the right speed for those who, like Sophie, are beginners in this field. Entertaining yet thought provoking, the Big Questions are not exactly ‘answered,’ but explained through illustration in the humble context of a fourteen year old girl’s life. I have found this book to be one of those reads which does not leave us satisfied at having finished the last page, but opens up whole new insight of understanding the world. As one of Gaardner’s characters muses mildly, ‘It’s a strange thought that we live on a tiny little planet in the universe’
Simon Liu

Return to Index

Visual Art: ARTeFACTS

The Visual Arts Department this year has offered for the first time at Sydney Boys High School, a Film Making and Digital Media elective course open to Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) students. The course has been enthusiastically welcomed with many students electing to do the course.

First term saw the two Year 9 classes complete their first project in which they were given a script and were required to work in a group to produce a three-minute short film. Each student then used the Windows basic editing program Movie Maker to produce a finished film for assessment.

For the Term two project, students have been given the topic ‘Places and Spaces at SBHS’ and a specific role in the ‘film Crew’. They need to brainstorm a concept, develop a script, perform, film and edit the footage to complete a 3-5 minute film.

The development of this course has been made possible by the Gifted and Talented Committee flagging such a widespread interest and need and Dr Jaggar supporting the purchase of Digital Video cameras and the building of a Digital Media and Editing lab complete with Digital projector and 20 new computers. It is hoped that with 40 Year 9 film students the expertise will benefit all subjects setting video tasks.

Year 8 have also been making use of the new Digital Lab this year as they complete a Self Portrait with Digital photographs taken by their peers and manipulated using Adobe Photoshop to express an aspect of their personality.

There are many competitions being advertised for interested Visual Arts, Film and Visual Design students. Check out the noticeboards around the Art department and enter.

Information about the Student Film Festival can be found in the PDF version of the High Notes, or at www.harmonyfilmfestival.com
See the Visual Arts Department for more information

Return to Index


Chess Results
This is a marvellous achievement again. Well done boys! Please see below the results for the last week

Results from 23 May 08
Round three
Senior             4 v 0   Marcellin 
Inter A         4 v 0   Ascham C 
Inter B         Bye 
Inter C         2 v 0   Waverley 
Junior A        4 v 0   Trinity D 
Junior B        0 v 4   Grammar A 
Junior C        2 v 2   Homebush Boys 
Return to Index

Cross Country

Regional Cross Country
Congratulations to all the boys who took part in the Zone Cross Country Carnival held on Friday 23rd at Centennial Park. We had a fabulous turnout, and excellent results in all age divisions. High is the Eastern Suburbs Zone Cross Country Champion School for 2008.

Cross Country Team runners will be going to the Sydney East Secondary School Sport Cross Country Championships on Friday 13th June 2008 being held at Canterbury South Public School, High Street Canterbury starting at 11am.

Runners who came in the top 12 at the Zone Cross Country Carnival need to see Mr Prorellis to collect a permission note.

Return to Index

Lost Property

The lost property office in the McDonald Wing office is once again overflowing with items including the following:

  • A variety of single/pairs of leather school shoes and runners
  • School summer/winter shirts and sports jackets
  • Pairs of prescription glasses Items can be viewed during recess and lunch breaks

L Molloy

Return to Index

SBHS Football: The Onion Bag

Trial match 3 31st May
This weekend see the majority of our matches against St Patrick’s College, Strathfield. The venues have been shared between both schools. See links below for details.
Fixture Details - http://www.sydneyboyshigh.com/ (Sports list found in ‘Upcoming events’)
MPW 16 & 17 - http://www.centennialparklands.com.au/cp/map
SPC 3 and Mason Park fields - http://www.spc.nsw.edu.au/co_curriculum/jnr_winter_sport_venues.php

End of Season Football Dinner and Awards night
Will be held on Thursday September 4th in the Great Hall, from 6.30 pm Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to help with this.

Match reports - Trial 2 24th May
1st grade struggled to deal with a fast, skilled Redlands line-up, losing 4-1. The added pressure compared to last week saw High consistently turn over possession through poor passing and control. This coupled with High’s reluctance to challenge for the ball in the air allowed Redlands to dominate play. After such a promising start to the season last week, the High 1st XI has received a timely wake up call, reminding them all of the standard that will be required during the season proper.

2nd grade opened the scoring to the pre season against Redlands with an unstoppable header by Sam Higgins, who also on the day scored his first hat trick for high football. The match was tough at times with Redlands penetrating our defence multiple times but nothing too hard for keeper Josh Sutton. Special mentions to Matt Jones for 2 assists and Jarrod Chan, for scoring one of our 4 goals, reminding footballers to make use of every part of the body.

Other match reports
16As v Redlands Lost 0-2
Unable to display any real dominance in our opening match, High's aim was to show the crowd that they were a team to watch out for the coming season. In our way was a determined Redlands team, each of them bigger and taller than our players. They looked a lot more solid than what they actually were, but it was enough to defeat us 2-0. An unfortunate miscommunication led to the first goal, followed by a goal which was marred by an uncalled handball by the Redlands striker. Despite the loss, a lot of positives were picked out with the defence playing a more composed game in comparison to last week. However, an improvement in laying the offside trap as well as more imposing through balls will definitely see the 16As lay a good foundation for next year's firsts and seconds. Our thanks go to Lachlan Street who has been a consistent referee throughout the first two matches of the season.
Enoch Hui

14As v Redlands Won 1-0
The 14As had a great start to the game running Redlands all over the park, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. After forcing a corner, we put our strategy into action. The cross-over from Andreas and Al made a huge gap for Andrew to run through and tap the ball in. Many chances followed, but we failed to score another goal. The forwards battled well but as usual our defence was impenetrable. A great game from our centre defender Gavin earned him the man of the match.
Al Hughes

Mr R.Gifford
MIC Football
Wk: 9361 6910 Ext:119
Voice mail: 291
: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Return to Index


U 15 U 13 School Championship Teams at Newington on Saturday 24 May 2008
Three U15 and one U13 teams represented SBHS on Saturday and despite competing so early in the season performed very well.

The hero of the day was Ankur Paul who saved one feverish fencer competing by fencing up in an older age division. Thanks to Brendan and his father who arrived at the tournament despite illness prepared to fence and prevent the team from forfeiting.

U13 Fencing Report
Last Saturday on the 24th of May, our only U13 fencing team of Ming Pan, Shaun Pak and Mathew Chan fenced extremely well with each of us taking at least one victory against rival schools. We fought St Andrews and St Aloysius and although we lost to St Andrews one to five, we defeated St Aloysius five to two. Shaun Pak fenced very well with three victories and won our last bout against Aloysius. Because of our joint team performance, we have successfully won ourselves a pass to the finals.

They are ranked 5th and compete in the finals on Saturday 31. Good luck
Mathew Chan

Saturday was an intense way to kick start the year of fencing competitions. We won against Newington C, providing a confidence boost. Albert Nguyen put on a great show outwitting and out manoeuvring one of the opposition. Grammar B was a close loss, our fencers being quite evenly matched. Nishant Paul put on a strong performance and soundly played around the opponent’s defences. Aloysius B were a force to be reckoned with and defeated us 5:2. Overall the bouts were quite close. In this match, Ian faced his toughest opponents yet and managed to seize victory against a prioritised opponent in a sudden death. SBHS U15A are ranked 9th and are through to the finals. Good luck.

Weicong, Shaun and Ankur fenced Newington B, Aloysius A and Sydney Grammar and managed to keep the opposition on their toes. Shaun managed to steal 4 bouts over the competition and Ankur won one bout [and out of his age].

In their first matches for the season, and without the training time the opposition had the benefit of, Ben, Toby and Eric all fenced bout by bout against Grammar, Hills and Saint Andrews.

Return to Index


First Grade
Sydney High Volleyball started off their 2008 campaign with a 3-0 win over the Scots College. Although the team had not trained together as a complete unit since last term, their win marked a clinical display. Stephen Dong’s float serves got the team going in the first set, with captain Ping Du cranking a couple of big hits to take out the set 25-13. The second set saw Daniel Shan hit some great winners from the right side, along with a strong blocking display by the huge middles Warren Trac and Chris Morrow, who made a brilliant GPS debut – especially in a gym not much taller than he was. Merlin Li also showed his prowess, bringing some extra magic to the court with consistent serves. Set 2 culminated in a win to High 25-8. Shorson Zhang switched from a passer to the setter in the final set and showed his versatile nature. His sets were quickly transferred to the other side of the net by strongman Nishan. A string of floaters by Ritam sealed the set and High were the victors: 25-13, 25-8, 25-7.
Ritam Mitra

Second Grade
High’s first game of the season was against Scots College. After losing the first set 13-25 High regained its composure to win the second set 25-17. The third set was dominated by High in a convincing 25-20 win.
Tony Wang

Return to Index


Promising Start For High Teams
High teams made a promising start to the season in trial games against SCEGS Redlands and Hurlstone at Macquarie Park last Saturday. The form of the Juniors was impressive with strong wins by the 15As and 14As and a narrow loss by the 13A/Bs.

The Seniors also did well: the 1st XV played strongly and just need a bit more combination; the 2nds kept their structure and ‘gutsed it out’ against a huge Hurlstone team; the 16As achieved a creditable draw; and the 16Bs weren’t daunted by Hurlstone’s combined 1st grade reserves and 16s.

Coaches and parents were unanimous in their praise of our boys.

Team of the Week: 14As
Player of the Week: Ishnad Zaman 15As
Coach of the Week: Cameron Conway (1st XV 2002-04) 15As

Three Teams for Enthusiastic 16s
The 16s showed their commitment to High Rugby with 46 boys turning up to play Redlands and Hurlstone. This has allowed Mr Hannon to set up three teams so all boys get plenty of game time - the first time this year group has had three teams. School Captain David Vien and old boy rugby players will help coach the the 16Bs and 16Cs and 16s parents will help manage the teams.

Record Numbers for Armidale Rugby Trip
This weekend SBHS is taking a record number of players to The Armidale School (TAS) for our annual rugby trip and trial matches. We are hoping to field all our 14 teams, up 3 teams on last year. The boys will travel in 5 star, air conditioned coaches with reclining seats and DVD/Video for the trip to Armidale in northern NSW and stay on the TAS campus on Friday and Saturday nights.

Get On the Rugby Email News List
This year, the Rugby Committee will be distributing fixture lists, team lists, ground locations and other useful information about each weekend’s game by email each Wednesday. So far we have email addresses for about 60% of the Junior Rugby parents. If you did not receive an email last week, please email or call your parent Age Group Coordinator

13s: Julie Connolly This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 0418 470 203
14s: Peter Daniels This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 0400 872 550
15s: Anita Bezjak This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 0408 021 584


Return to Index