High Notes, Vol 16 No 6, March 06 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Jack Hutchison, Bailey Musulin and Nathan Sutton who have been selected in the combined GPS first team. Well done to Luke Schroeder who made the GPS seconds. There were some strong results at the GPS Swimming carnival 2 – Leonard Mah took out the open 50m freestyle in 25.41; Khalil Youssef won the 13s 50m backstroke; Adam Feng won the 15s  50m backstroke and the 16s 4x50 freestyle relay was won by – Jake Rowlands, Kalem Best, Luke Schofield and Isaac Haddo. Great job, boys!

Instructions for accessing Tell Them From Me Survey
We are again asking as many boys as possible to access and complete the anonymous research instrument Tell Them From Me. We hope that students will take advantage of an opportunity to express their views about different aspects of school life. Please take the questions seriously. An Award Scheme point will be awarded to participants. The staff has analysed the 2014 data and found many useful insights into what students think and how they feel about many aspects of school life. The more you share your views and feelings with us, the better we can try to meet the needs of more boys at High.

The school is likely to respond with to the accumulated data that it receives from this instrument, so long as it represents a significant sample of student voice.

The site will be open from Monday 9 March until Friday 12 April:

Log into the Student Portal:

  1. Click the “Student Survey 2015: Tell them from me” link in the Portal Services menu
  2. View your survey username and password
  3. Click the link to access survey website at http://nsw.tellthemfromme.com
  4. Log in to the survey site using your survey username and password
  5. Click the Go button to start the survey

Speed limit on school grounds is 10 km/hour
Students move around inside the school grounds very frequently, presuming they are safe. They frequently do not attend well to their surroundings, being distracted by their friends or technology. They may run out from behind a parked car or across a driveway.  In the area in front of the UTS gymnasium there is a great deal of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Several cars driven by parents have been observed travelling towards the school building at speeds well in excess of 10km/hr. There have been several tragedies involving SUVs and small children in recent years. In the interests of providing the maximum possible safety for our students, staff and visitors, please be careful and drive slowly in school grounds.

New agreement for awarding grades
In order to reflect more accurately the improved overall standard of the school’s outcomes in the last decade, the protocols for awarding grades to students for their reports has been modified by the Executive.

The school standard of 90 ATAR is maintained but the expected rate of achievement has been adjusted upward from 75% to 80%. Consequently, the grade breakdown now becomes:  HD 20%, D 30%, CR 30%, PM 15-20%, P 0-5%.

I have asked again that all faculties investigate the prospective P awards to ascertain whether they are only assigned to: those who failed to meet deadlines and then didn’t complete the class tasks or homework  set, or those who exhibited very few if any of the understandings or skills expected. I would expect that some communication with parents had taken place during the reporting period expressing the teacher’s concerns about lack of student progress, prior to a P award being determined.

Our School Plan 2015-17. 2 – Sophistication and skill in reading and writing
At the HSC level our boys lose valuable examination marks due to imprecise reading, poor inferences and simplistic or overwritten answers. Our boys need to develop more confident and sophisticated ‘voices’ as writers. They need to appreciate the opportunities that the NAPLAN testing presents to them to measure their growth in Years 5-7 and 7-9. In stage 4, boys need to master the core subjects so they can learn to think broadly and deeply about the valued areas of knowledge and skill.

Teachers need the skills to set stimulating and challenging writing tasks. Parents can work with staff to help their boys build grit in tackling their reading and writing growth. School culture will show how literacy is valued and growth is measured and reported. Teachers will engage in more collaborative tasks across KLAs to build expertise and confidence in creating literacy tasks. The DEC ‘Literacy continuum’ will form the basis of our assessment and reporting of the components of literacy growth.

We intend to improve NAPLAN results for reading and writing in the highest bands.  We will use the literacy continuum to audit our progress in the Junior School. We will compare HSC means across courses with major literacy tasks being assessed to monitor our progress in reaching our targets for performance in bands 5 and 6. Our focus will be on professional collaboration to raise the standard of targeted aspects of literacy.
Dr K A Jaggar

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