High Notes, Vol 16 No 18, June 12 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Max Koslowski, Ganeshmoorthy Chandrasekaran and Thomas Shortridge for their win in the Hume Barbour Regional Final against SGHS at Parliament House last week. Well done to our mock trial team – Hugh Bartley, Arthur Chao, James Goh, Max Koslowski, Thomas Nguyen and Thomas Shortridge who won their case this week. Our Year 10 debating team (Louis Saunders, Louis Shapiro, Akheed Ahamed Razmi) were victorious against the SGHS Year 11 team at the UNSW Debating Competition. Good job, boys!

Individual Learning and Support Plans (ILSPs)
A recent survey of 600 teachers and principals found that 50% of them didn’t have time to focus on the mental health of their students and 20% were not confident in handling the mental health issues of their students. At High we take the psychological health of our students seriously. We know that teachers are experts at solving pedagogical problems but when it comes to depression, diagnosed syndromes, gaming/social media addiction, or relationship issues, professional advice and expertise are needed.

With our Wellbeing team, we are identifying students whose learning is affected by a disability, learning problem or psychological issue blocking their progress. Recently, students whose outcomes were not up to the school standard were identified and their progress discussed with their Year Adviser, HT Wellbeing and the Principal. The next step is for students to be interviewed by Year Advisers and appropriate strategies implemented. Where it is deemed necessary, our staff will negotiate an Individual Learning and Support Plan that must include the student’s parents as partners in the support of their son’s learning.

Our School Plan has a target of at least six Individual Learning and Support Plans for each Year group. We also have a legislative obligation to make reasonable adjustments on behalf of any student with an identified disability – using a very broad definition of ‘disability’.

Light Rail Update
Thanks to the efforts of the School Councils of SBHS and SGHS, the design of the planned footbridge over Anzac Parade has been modified in an important feature to improve the safety of students using it. Stairs from the overbridge now will run directly down to the platform, obviating the necessity for students to cross the light rail tracks first, as the original design made them do. The location of the new bridge is adjacent to the SGHS Bear Pit, just south of the existing pedestrian crossing. I would like to thank Ron Trent, Nea Saunders and Ian Sweeting in particular for the time and effort they have invested in achieving better design and functionality outcomes for the proposed light rail.

Road Safety
Parents are urged to remind their sons about road safety and obeying the lights at marked pedestrian crossing on Cleveland Street and Anzac Parade. On Friday evening one of our Year 8 boys was thrown up onto the chassis and against the windscreen of a taxi while misusing Cleveland Street. He was extremely lucky not to have been more seriously injured.

Please ask your sons to conform to the traffic management systems at all times. “Don’t rush” is the safety slogan our own students composed for a previous road safety campaign. All boys should be more aware of the dangers of traffic on our busy streets.

Sports Policy
The Sports Council brought two recommendations to the School Council. The sports scheduling recommendation was acceptable to the Council.  In order to make training schedules more accessible to senior students who are timetabled off on Thursday afternoons, the official training schedule will move to Monday afternoon for seniors for the start of next summer season. The three training sessions will then become: Monday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning or weights sessions/Runners Club. Our expectations of ABC teams remain as a minimum of three sessions per week. Greater commitments are negotiated on a team by team and sport by sport basis. The Sports Council’s second recommendation relates to Sports Development and is still under review by staff.

Financial contributions – 2016
The School Council ratified the financial contributions to be levied for 2016. Established levies and charges were increased in line with CPI changes in 2014-15. The Technology Levy was increased this year to accommodate the increased costs of a school-funded Technical Support Officer and to manage our BYOD program.
Dr K A Jaggar

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