High Notes, Vol 23 No 8, March 25 2022

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Eric Wu and Matthew Awad (SHS-2021) as their Visual Arts Body of Works were selected for exhibition in the ‘Zoomers – excellence in HSC Visual Art Exhibition’ at the Hazelhurst gallery in Gymea. Well done to Isaac Ayoubi (12F) on his selection into the combined AAGPS first grade basketball team. Congratulations to our swimmers for their GPS carnival 4 successes - Jiazi (Matthew) Chen (8T) won the 14 years 100m and 50m freestyle; Jinu Shin (9S) won the 15 years 100m and 50m freestyle and Kester Jan (7S) won the 12 years 50m freestyle and butterfly.

Head of the River 2022

Well done to all our rowing crews at the Head of the River. It was a challenging day with rain and mist covering the course early. Our crews were very disadvantaged in lane 8 with communication failures by marshals and starters and the southerly breeze pushing other crews into their lane. Despite the mishaps our boys acquitted themselves as well as they could, matching the pace in the first VIII for 500 metres before fading in the latter stages to post a time of 5.49.55 or the winner’s time +12.45%. Thank you to all those who braved the weather to support our rowing boys on their big day. Let’s look forward to a more normal rowing season in 2023.

Harassment or Bullying

Students and their parents should be aware that the school has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on homophobic harassment, sexist or racist utterances, bullying or teasing behaviours. At High we are proudly anti-discriminatory.

Our Anti-Bullying team developed a solid policy on what victims, ‘upstanders’ and teachers can do to combat bullying and reduce bullying behaviours in our school. There is a quick reference guide - ‘Responding to bullying at Sydney Boys High’ - posted in every classroom. No individual, student, staff member or visitor should be discriminated against by virtue of their sexual identity, race, religion, philosophical or political views or cultural customs. We promote ourselves as being inclusive and must put our actions where our words are. Students who discriminate against others, verbally, physically, in writing, on social media, or online, can expect strong negative consequences. Any defence based on the idea that teenage discourse customarily encompasses the use of homophobic language to the extent that it has lost its original meaning, will be disregarded.

The essence of the problem is in the use in discourse of discriminatory words or phrases and multiple perpetrators repeating them. Perpetrators and victims will engage in a restorative media process called ‘The Method of Shared Concern’. ‘Upstanders’ will be acknowledged by the Deputy Principal, Junior School. Well-reasoned argument measured discourse and healthy debate are good for organisations. However, there is no place for harassment, discriminatory comments or racial or religious denigration, slurs, taunts or innuendoes. It starts with the way we speak – our tone and choice of words. ‘A word spoken, or a stone thrown, can never be recalled’. Let us all be more respectful towards one another!

The Sydney Boys High Student Research and Resources (Public Library) Fund 

The Sydney Boys High School Student Research and Resources Fund is a fund to resource our two school libraries. Purchases of books, e-books, subscriptions to magazines, databases, audiobooks and streaming services such as Clickview, as well as library furniture and minor equipment, are paid for from the Fund. In addition, the wages of 0.8FTE of a second Librarian and SAS staff employed to extend library hours and run Library archives, are paid for from the Fund. As contributions to the Fund are tax deductible, it provides a very cost-effective way for parents and Old Boys to help fund an important and growing area of school life – online learning. There is a class of boys in our Online Learning elective in Year 10 accessing these facilities. As well, more than boys can enjoy the library facilities simultaneously. Total receipts during the year were $152,149. Total payments were $126,753. We need to retain $40,000 working capital to fund the budgets for the two libraries for the year ahead. I commend the Student Research and Resources (Public Library) Fund to all parents and ask for your financial support in the form of tax- deductible donations each year.

Early Bird Support

Thank you so much to the families of the 807 boys who supported the school financially by paying all their invoices by Friday 11 March. We reached our target of 66% (66.80) and parents shared the benefit of $199,125 in discounts. We will try to honour your commitment by providing the best possible facilities, resources, learning experiences and co-curricular activities for your sons, within the limitations of our current COVID-restricted operating environment.
Dr K A Jaggar

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