High Notes, Vol 22 No 6, March 12 2021

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our Combined GPS representatives in basketball: Isaac Ayoubi (11F) & Izac Taylor (11F) (1st grade), Andrew Kim (12R) (2nd grade) and Alec Ryan (12S) reserve. The combined GPS swimming team this year is captained by Ike Matsuoka (12M) as a 17+ years representative. A deserved honour,

Ike! Other High boys selected to compete at CIS were Mark Yan (7F) 12 years, Jiazi Chen (7T) 13 years, David Kim (9E), 14 years, Brian Ahn (9M) 15 years and Jaden Yi (10T) 16 years. Congratulations to our Old Boys from 2020 who were awarded the prestigious UNSW Co-Op scholarships for 2021 – Mridul Pant (Business Information Systems) and Ramon Zhang (Commercial Information Systems).

Agreed School Values

Our agreed school values begin with RESPECT. If we believe in showing respect, we will act in a thoughtful manner around others, being sensitive to their rights as persons. We will consider and reflect upon how our words and actions impact ourselves, others around us and our environment. If we hold the value of COMPASSION, we will know that we exist in a community of others.  We will strive to create an inclusive community where everyone feels they belong. Our words and actions will demonstrate an understanding of diversity.  We will show empathy by sensing how others may feel in certain circumstances and contexts, and by showing our support for them at all times. If we believe in behaving with INTEGRITY, we will be open and honest in all situations.  We will show our moral strength by taking ownership of all of our actions, recognising their consequences.  We will seek truth and act truthfully, modelling its value. We will walk our talk. Given the very high expectations that we have for ourselves and our families have for us, we will show our DEDICATION to all our tasks.  We undertake to perform to the best of our ability.  We will fulfil commitments we make to ourselves and to others.  We believe that we will have to be determined, resilient and versatile if we are to embrace our challenges and succeed in them to our own satisfaction.

These agreed values were seen as the most important among many possible drivers of collective endeavours.  Students, staff, parents and Old Boys would like to see these values define our learning community.  We are jointly and severally accountable for making them a shared reality and not a collective dream. These value statements will become benchmarks against which we will assess our progress towards becoming the fully formed learning community to which we aspire.  The values are both worthy and demanding for students and staff alike.  For the life of our School Improvement Plan 2021-2024, we must keep these agreed values at the forefront of our discourse about our school, be it positive or negative. These values must drive our actions on behalf of the School. We will strive to celebrate our successes and make good our shortcomings. Most importantly, the possibility of improvement has to be a shared belief and a collective goal.

International Women’s Day

International Woman’s Day is held on March 8 each year.  The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Choose to Challenge’ – it reads as a call to arms for women to challenge men behaving badly in all contexts in life. To forge a gender equal world, women are urged to do three things: celebrate the achievement of women, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. The campaign for gender quality is not designed to be a single day of awareness raising, but rather as the beginning of a plan of action in areas felt as most in need of change in local contexts.

Given recent news events highlighting toxic, male-dominated work cultures and sexual powerplays, there is a growing awareness among men that they must make more of an effort to become the future that women want to see. Young women are speaking out in every available forum to establish that it is not OK for young men to make and then act upon assumptions about the possibility of sexual activity in certain social situations, without first ascertaining informed consent. It is apparent that, as a society, we have work to do to educate young men on this concept and their responsibilities in certain situations. In the bigger picture, it is not about whether historical rape allegations can be proved or not; it is about a freedom for women to call out inappropriate behaviour by men as it occurs and about the responsibility of other men to acknowledge it when it happens. Men need to put their hands up and admit that certain behaviours are morally wrong in a society where gender equality is now the accepted norm. Men need to start walking the talk.

There have been recent media petitions and statements about misogynistic single-sex boys’ schools and repeated calls for better education programs about sexual violence and gender. At High, everyone has to be sensitive to this issue. Each utterance or action by boys, young men, coaches and male staff in many different social settings will be under scrutiny. It starts with respect, one of our values. If we just live up to our own agreed values, then reportable incidents should not occur. Ms Chan, Head Teacher Wellbeing, has commissioned training programs within our Life Ready Course for Year 10 students. An intensive workshop is planned to unpack this issue for a group of our students. We have a rocky path ahead, but we have made a beginning. It is a careful journey we need to make together.

Invoices for Summer Activities Co-payments   

Families in Year 7, and those later year enrolments, have had statements posted for Term 1 activities. In addition to the income generated by these charges, most activities are also heavily subsidised from school funds, particularly in direct grants from school funds (voluntary contributions >$200k), provision of MICs, teacher supervision, GPS capitation fees WHS compliance costs, and first aid costs (co-curricular supervision levy) and parking allocation support. Co-payments are used primarily for the provision of coaching. In basketball alone, a team of over 50 people delivers the program! We have staff, students, Old Boys, parents and volunteers working to make your son’s school experiences more enjoyable. It would be appreciated if you could make your co-payments promptly for your son’s summer sport and co-curricular activities. Thank you.

Weights Room Memberships

Only a couple of weeks remain for students to join the Weights Room. It is such a great program and offers a real opportunity for boys to increase their strength, fitness and self-confidence. All the routines are carefully matched to both the age and experience of the member. Our strength and fitness Coordinator, Kurt rich, is highly qualified and attends nearly every session the Weights Room is open for student use. Costs for this service are held down to a minimum and reduced by boys taking out a full year’s membership. For 2021, a full year Weights Room membership costs just $268. Boys wishing to have full year membership must register and pay by Friday, March 26, 2021. There will be no extensions of time nor any other window of opportunity later in the year if you forget to pay on time.
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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