High Notes, Vol 23 No 2, February 11 2022

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our HSC students from 2021 who achieved state rankings in their courses and to Hanyang Zheng and Ryan Lee for their maximum ATARs. In chemistry – Ryan Lee (1), Eric Ho (7), Auguste McNally (10), Richard Bao (13). In Mathematics Advanced – Sarfaraz Ahmed (1) & Andy Xia (14) from Year 11. In Mathematics Extension 1 – Hanyang Zheng (1). In Physics – Hanyang Zheng (2). In Latin Extension – Nicholas Arvanitellis (2). In Chinese in Context -Yifei  Wu (2). In Software Design and Development - Cyril Vivek Subramanian (6). In Engineering Studies – Ryan Lee (10). In Biology – Julian Waring (17). Well done to Isaac Ayoubi (12F) for his quadruple double (points, rebounds, assists, steals) against Shore and for his selection as starting point guard for the U18 Metropolitan Sydney basketball team.

Welcome to New Students and Summer Sports Assembly

At the end of week one, we welcomed new students and their parents to High. The students were addressed by the Principal, Deputy Principal – Junior Shool Mr Kay, Mr Smith HT sport, Ms Chan HT Wellbeing and by Mr Wang and Ms Millar, the Year 7 Student Advisers. There was a great deal of information given to them in a short space of time. Over the next few weeks, the boys will process it all and settle into school life well.

Last week, witnessed by other cohorts, the Year 7 group were formally recognised with a ‘clapping in’ ceremony, coinciding with our summer sports assembly.  I welcomed them more formally to the school without their parents in attendance, as did School Captain, Joshua Suto. We outlined what the school could offer them over the next six years and what they could do to maximise their opportunities. Guest speaker Maquis Navarre shared his journey as a professional athlete who overcame physical and athletic limitations to pursue a successful career in basketball. We also had our team captains or MICs introduce our first and second grade summer GPS teams and present them with their gifts of team apparel ahead of the first round of the GPS.

Welcome to New Parents

Thank you to Andrew Hybler (P & C President), Saheel Hafiz, Binh Johnsun, Andrew Chan, Paul Harapin, Diana Chan, Luc Tran (10M), David Smith and Dan Johnsun, who contributed to our virtual welcome to new parents evening. I shared information with parents about the history, institutions and culture of the school. Jamie Kay ran through our processes, procedures and portals, to broaden and deepen parental understanding about how High operates. Andrew Hybler made a presentation on High’s organisations, followed by Andrew Chan on behalf of the Sydney High School Foundation Inc. Paul Harapin outlined the objects, events, functions and benefits of the Sydney High School Old Boys Union and explained the Student Life Membership Scheme. Diana Chan shared a recent parent perspective of the ups and downs of transition into life at High, with advice about how to manage the inevitable anxiety of transitioning into a new school. Luc Tran offered a student perspective, emphasising how High Spirit grows as ‘a collective mindset of resolve and resilience’. Binh & Jamie coordinated a Q & A session on Slido which grouped many questions together to assist getting through as many answers as possible. At the height of the Q & A session, 207 people were logged on, some with multiple people viewing at some locations. Despite the lack of important face-to-face socialising, my sense was that those who logged on had plenty of opportunity to share comments or ask questions. Thank you to all concerned.

Weights Room for 2022

High’s weights room offers exceptional value for money. The room has appropriate equipment for preparing the bodies of teenage boys and crucially, it is constantly supervised. When handling weights, technique is vitally important, and boys need to learn the correct way to lift. Kurt Rich, our Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, is a well-credentialed and experienced trainer. His presence ensures that the boys are training safely and sensibly. So, as well as getting gym facilities, members have a trained supervisor and adviser to help them during their unlimited visits. The Weights Room operates much more effectively if all boys get their training in how to use the various pieces of equipment and in proper lifting technique, as soon as possible. Kurt Rich provides this service at the beginning of each year and can tailor individual programs for members after the introductory sessions. Having a fixed clientele makes his job more productive and leads to a better training experience for members and better strength outcomes for participants. Hence, we decided to close off memberships by the end of March each year. Boys who have not paid by that time can no longer attend the weights room.

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 $275. As an incentive to Year 7 students, an introductory one-year membership is available for a mere $155. Boys wishing to have full year membership must register and pay by Friday 11 March 2022. There will be no extensions of time. In semester 2, half-year memberships will be offered to students for a short period of time at a cost of $155.

Early Bird Discounts

For much of what we do as a six-day school, particularly on Saturdays, High is a self-help, self-funded organisation. In order to help maintain all of our many activities we offer a substantial discount to parents who pay all their invoices in full before Friday 11 March. It is not only a great demonstration by them of their commitment to the ethos of the school but also it’s an encouragement for others to follow their lead and it helps to create a critical mass of financial support for our programs. The annual cash contribution by the DoE finances less than one quarter of our co-curricular programs at High. The rest comes from the support of parents and the efforts made by School family volunteers, helping in fund raising. Having substantial funds early in the year allows us to make sure that capital works are completed in the holidays, orders are made promptly and that the boys get the maximum benefit out of equipment and services deployed for them this year.  Quality services, extra staff and high standards come at a price. A very large number of parents see the package as value for money and contribute in full.

The early bird discount is available for students who were invoiced in 2022 and doesn’t apply to new students who were invoiced in October 2021 and subsequently came to Orientation Day in November and had the opportunity to pay all invoices on that day and obtain the discount. New Year 7-11 boys who were not made offers before Orientation Day and hence could not attend, are eligible for the discount. Existing students in Years 8-12 have the chance to make a saving by paying in full by Friday, 11 March. 

Last year, 61.79% of families saw the benefit of supporting the school in all of its activities early in the year and thereby earned the early bird discount. Together they saved $160,000. I thank them sincerely for their support and reset our target to attract 65% of parents this year. Let’s carry on High’s self-help culture to make sure we achieve our goals for your sons in 2022 and beyond!
Dr K A Jaggar

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