High Notes, Vol 21 No 36, November 13 2020

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From the Principal

High Talent

Bilal Abbasi (11S) was selected in the under 17 NSW Metropolitan cricket team for the 2020/21 season. He will also have an opportunity to play at a state challenge in late January at Dubbo. Congratulations, Bilal!

Scholarships Offered at High

SBHS offers only two scholarships/bursaries – the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship and the Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Scholarship. All enrolled or enrolling students are eligible to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship. It is a one-year credit on the school account for $1,500. The Selection Criteria covers talented boys in an academic area or a co-curricular endeavour. Good all-rounders qualify as do students with special needs – financial or otherwise. There are many boys in the school who would make good candidates for this award. I urge them to take the trouble to download and complete the application form. The Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Inc Scholarship is a two-year award with a credit at the school account for $1,500 for each Year – 11 and 12. Only boys enrolled or enrolling in Year 11 are eligible to apply. The criteria for this scholarship are different. It has an emphasis on a prior record of service to others, to the school and / or the community. Boys with initiative, compassion, a record of school or community service and leadership skills, are invited to apply.

Look for the details on the school's website at: www.sydneyboyshigh.com/scholarships.

Do not assume that you are not worthy or eligible. Applications close on Friday 27 November.

Electives Process for Year 9 Boys Going into Year 10

Students make an initial free choice with their electives. They are also asked to rank their choices so that if they do not get one, they will be considered for the next ranked choice. Many boys have shown interest in robotics, code-based game development and the online learning elective. Many others have aspired to accelerate in a particular subject. For those attracted to acceleration, a process is in place to apply and have applications assessed. For robotics and game development, Ms Dam culls applicants based on their demonstrated mathematics proficiency and previous interest in IA subjects. Usually, a D in mathematics is a minimum requirement for entry into robotics or game design. Boys who applied for both will be allowed to do only one of these subjects. For the OLE, students need to have an interest in autonomous learning, a proficiency in using excel spreadsheets and to have a rank of 100 or better to qualify.  Mr Dowdell uses raw scores submitted by HTs to calculate the Dux of the Year group, using z scores. I cull the accelerant applicants. The criteria are academic in nature.  

Students apply to Head Teachers who send the forms of recommended applicants to me for assessment. Students have to be above average across their subjects at the Year 9 yearly examinations. They have to have a HD or D in the subject area in which they wish to accelerate. On rare occasions, highly talented students in just one subject area may be considered if they fall just outside of the cut-off rank. Year 10 electives are designed for students to branch out and test their interests before settling into stage 6 study. Some of these electives are competitive entry subjects. Students need to choose carefully and follow their interests in a low-stakes learning environment but may not always get what they want.

Interpreting Year 9 Reports – Semester 2

Students in Year 9 should have collected their yearly reports. There are often violent fluctuations in rank order as a few marks can determine the difference between a D and an HD.  Many boys have really taken to their electives and have achieved well in semester 2. Parents should be aware that boys who have decided to discontinue an elective after Year 9 for any reason, may have reduced their effort, with a negative impact on their overall result. Also, those who will not continue core subjects (such as history or geography) may lose motivation and not perform to their potential. Such actions can also result in movements in the rank order. Encourage your son to maintain a high standard in the core subjects, English, mathematics and science, as these are compulsory in Year 10. An honest effort ought to be applied to all subjects while students are enrolled in them. ‘N’ awards may be issued in Year 9 for history and geography students as these are stage 5 compressed curriculum courses. Failure to resolve stage 5 warning letters may result in denial of entry into stage 6 courses.

Strategic Planning Process

Each cycle when we turn our attention to planning, we try to find the gap between where we are and were we would like to be.  What has worked and what can be improved?  What should we stop doing because it does not have measurable impact?  What should we start doing because it has demonstrated such impact elsewhere?

We need to be evidence-informed in our decision making.  We are asked to look at all the data points.  The contexts include the voices of staff, students, parents and stakeholders.  Once we have gathered data from these sources we need to design plans, programs and processes to action our values and narrow the gaps between our aspirations and our operations.  To ensure that our plans are clear, comprehensive and likely to meet success criteria, we are advised to leverage the findings from research.  The benchmarks come from ‘What Works Best’ literature.

If we can plan strategies that have alignment with what our community, staff and students would like to see implemented, we increase their chances of success in practice.  If you have anything that you would like us to consider doing in the School Improvement Plan 2021-23, please feel free to email me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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