High Notes, Vol 23 No 1, February 04 2022

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From the Principal

Welcome to Term 1, 2022

Once again, we commence a school year in a context dominated by public health responses to the COVID -19 pandemic. Everyone in the High community is adjusting to the shifting constraints on their freedom to live their lives. I want to thank John Prorellis, Jamie Kay and Jim Crampton for all their preparatory work which enabled the school week to start smoothly. Staff and students have their RATs and their timetables and teaching and learning are underway in a nearly usual manner. In particular, I want to welcome our 180 Year 7 students and our 41 new students in Years 8,9 and11. I want to assure you of our commitment to foster your rapid and successful integration into the High culture. We have five priority actions. We nurture your academic growth through a wide range of subjects, courses and competitions. We develop you as a whole person through the format curriculum and a large variety of co-curricular activities. We try to promote in you a sense of belonging to High through encouraging full participation in our six-day programs. We endeavour to develop you as global citizens and future leaders through our community service and school leadership opportunities. We support you in all your activities through our numerous support staff, incorporated associations, committees and governance organisations. I look forward to a successful year as we commence with a complete suite of teaching spaces equipped with smart projectors, whiteboards and Vivi software. Teacher expertise with our Learning Management System, CANVAS, is growing. Our migration to ‘Sentral’ Student Management System is proceeding well with the reporting module to be rolled out in semester one and our bespoke student awards scheme in semester two. Our pedagogical infrastructure allows us to respond to student learning needs as never before. Our challenge is to use that infrastructure to build capacity to broaden and deepen learning outcomes for all students. I urge all new parents to join our New Parents Welcome Evening by Zoom on Tuesday 8 February at 6 pm. The link is


High Talent

Congratulations to Matthew Awad (SHS-2021) whose short film Arriving at Eternity's Gate won ‘best editing in a high school film’ in the Flickerup Schools and Youth Competition at Bondi. Eric Wu (SHS-2021) was a finalist with his entry Stasis. Their HSC work is a credit to them and to Jenni May and Lynnea Stewart from the Visual Arts Faculty.

Staff Changes

In English, we welcome Mimi Wong and Cindy Rojas. In History, Vivian Paul. In LOTE, Dale Burrow and Philip Johnson. In Science, Stuart Olsen. In Industrial Arts, Laurence Chapple. Kurt Rich is relieving Head Teacher PDHPE (Geoff Stein has retired). Our Careers Adviser, Anthony Cipolla is on a year’s long service leave. Matt Cotton is relieving in his position.

Welcome to New Students Assembly, 2022

My speech welcoming Year 7 and later year enrolments on February 4th is reprinted below:

'On behalf of everyone in our High community – teachers, support staff, IT staff, groundsmen, cleaners, coaches, Old Boys and volunteer parents - I extend a warm welcome to all new students this morning. We celebrate renewal each year by clapping in our Year 7 boys and look forward to clapping out Year 12 young men in 2027, at our farewell assembly. We acknowledge and recognise your previous academic success, earning you a coveted place at High. You were offered enrolment after a rigorous ability test. We understand that each one of you is an academically gifted individual with a unique suite of natural abilities, skills and interests. Our task is to mould these abilities interests and skills into talented performances, in multiple areas of school life.

'To the new students joining us in Years 8, 9 and 11, I offer you a special welcome from the High family. You were selected because of your all-round achievements in secondary school so far. You have demonstrated talent in a variety of activities or excellence in one and competence in others. We welcome you and expect you will grow as people and add value to the High culture. You have a great opportunity to establish yourselves at our school by getting involved quickly in the co-curricular program. I urge you not to waste time waiting and watching. You need to grasp every opportunity. Get organised and be prepared to work really hard. Set yourself incremental academic goals and strive to achieve them. Focus on your own academic growth. You will need perseverance and conscientiousness to succeed. Many people are ready to help you. We have a school-wide BYOD policy. Information and communication technology is integrated into the daily life of our school. Use your device and your researching privileges responsibly. Distraction is our greatest enemy. Master the possibilities of the CANVAS system. Look after the security of your device. Our IT Centre is where you can go for help. Don’t forget that you must also write by hand every day in your own words. You need to have legible, fluent handwriting to reach your examination potential. You need to build your written vocabulary to be able to recall it under the stress of examinations. You need to grow your capacity to deconstruct questions and answer them in your own words and not in the regurgitated expressions of others.

'Our teachers will be endeavouring to work closely with you to find out more about your preferred learning styles and individual needs. We will be trying to improve your learning. We will be fussy about focus in order to get more out of each lesson. We will need you to pay attention in class, take notes and participate positively in activities. We need you to discipline yourself to stay on task. Relate respectfully to everyone at all times. We will expect excellence from you, not just adequate work. Care about compliance – do all the work that is set for you at the required standard. Our shared values – respect, compassion, integrity, dedication - permeate our pedagogy. We are dedicated trustees of our reputation and success at High. Together, if we work hard and help each other, we can maintain and enhance our excellent outcomes.

'I expect that you will all adopt our all-rounder culture and take advantage of activities at High.  We want you to work hard, train hard and play hard. We will also expect you to give some of your time and effort back into school and community service. I expect all students to involve themselves in co-curricular activities - the Student Awards Scheme identifies the main ones available. Sport is a very important part of life at High. Our traditional involvement in GPS and CHS competitions makes us unique.

'Sport training is offered at High on at least two afternoons. Membership of our weights room is excellent value for money. My strong expectation is that you will play competition sports on Saturdays. Participating in GPS competition is an integral component of our ethos. We focus on team sports for educational reasons – group cooperation, team building, goal setting, collaboration, time management, grit development, managing loss, resilience and motivation – these are most necessary attributes in modern work contexts. We are trying to nurture future earning skills: problem solving and critical thinking, evaluating information and claims, working in teams, communicating ideas and being creative and innovative. You will have an assessment of these skills in various contexts included in your semester reports in Years 7-10. For each boy we want to build positive emotions about High, grow engagement with High programs, establish respectful relationships with everyone, find meaning in all we do and a feel a sense of accomplishment for sustained effort. At school, in class, at sport, show your teachers, peers, all staff members and volunteers in activities, the respect they deserve. Ask them for help. Be responsible for your own learning. The pursuit of excellence is a lifelong discipline. Let’s pursue our goals hard. A balanced life requires time for fun and reflection. Find time for those time-outs, too. I wish you all a happy and productive experience at High'.
Dr K A Jaggar

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