High Notes, Vol 17 No 21, July 22 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
In the recent World Social Science Championships c10,000 students competed. Hoang Nguyen (7M) received an Elite Award, placing his score in the top 0.2% internationally. Congratulations Hoang!

Welcome Back to Term 3
This term is always a very important one as the Year 12 trial HSC sets our boys up for their big test in a public examination. Year 11 students complete their Preliminary Courses and make important changes to their courses to sit for the best ten units in their final year. During the holidays the badly worn carpet in Killip Wing on the first floor leading up to the Andrews Library was replaced. Additional storage spaces were also fitted out, allowing us to free up some space in the Projection Room at the rear of the Great Hall for special examination students.

Our umpires’ chairs for the tennis courts were refurbished and a security grill added to a Killip Wing window.

Staff Changes
The English Faculty welcomed its new Head Teacher, Mr Michael Cinquetti, who took up his appointment this week, replacing Ms Marina Trompetter. Mr Cinquetti has a great deal of experience in selective schools having taught at Girraween and at SGHS for a number of years, where he was highly valued. He brings great energy and a fresh approach to teaching and learning. Ms Julie Eggleton, previously Acting HT, has retired but is returning as a Temporary Teacher – replacing herself in Term 3.

Celebratory Dinners – Table Cloths
Thank you so much to the Eastern Suburbs Laundrette (227-231 Clovelly Rd, Clovelly) for their great generosity in giving a massive discount for cleaning school tablecloths. The gesture of parent proprietors Joe Zhou and Katherine Ye means that having linen on tables instead of coloured paper at celebratory dinners is much more affordable than it used to be. For event organisers, contact Ms Powell or Mr Barris to get the details of the offer.

Debating and Rifle Shooting Assembly
My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Dr Michael Fullilove, staff, parents, students, representative debaters and rifle shooters, welcome to our annual assembly recognising the achievements in these two popular and demanding co-curricular activities. The official start of the GPS debating season is this Friday night. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Debating Coordinators and Headmasters who have generously allowed us to postpone our first two competition debates so as to allow us to be at full strength when Thomas Shortridge returns from the World Schools Debating Championships in Germany. Such a sporting gesture is much appreciated. Since our assembly last year, High boys won the Year 10 PDC state title and were runners up in the Hume Barbour. We hope to vigorously defend the Louat Shield for first grade GPS competition won so well last year.

"The debating program at High continues to be popular with the boys, well supported by parents and efficiently managed by Rachel Powell, whose contribution as Manager in Charge continues to be very significant. On her behalf I would like to thank the members of the Debating Supporters Group for all their work.  Pam Jepson has served as chair of the group. Usha Arvind and Edwina Henningham have coordinated High’s highly regarded suppers. Vivien Suttner organised the parking effort. Keith & Elaine Shortridge were joint treasurers.

"Justin Chan (SHS 2010) our Head Coach is leaving the program to enter the work force. I thank Justin for his service to High. Angud Chawla (SHS 2010) is also leaving us for employment. Thank you Angud for your guidance for our first grade team. Declan McCrea-Steele (SHS 2010) has mentored second grade well but he too is leaving. It is really gratifying that our Old Boys give back so much to the school.

"For rifle shooters their season concluded on Wednesday after a long commitment over the holidays. They trained then competed in the All Schools Competition, then backed up to train and compete in GPS shooting at Hornsby this week. The team was very successful. The first grade boys won the NRA Shield for only the seventh time since 1885 and the Rawson Cup and placed second in the Buchanan Shield. The second grade team established a tradition by winning the shield for the fourth consecutive year.  High history was created when first grade won the premiership along with second grade – our first ever double premiership win!  The depth of our program is very impressive. The sport is very well managed by Cathy Meaney and Daniel Comben. I acknowledge and thank them both for their efforts. Literally thousands of hours of voluntary coaching are donated to the program by our team of Old Boys, headed up by Sam Kremer (SHS 1992). Brendan Leo (SHS 2011), Kevin Chan (SHS 2000) Justin Hill (SHS 2002), Jacky Yang (SHS 2012), Joe Banh (SHS 2006) and Nathan Scudder (SHS 1993) have provided great support to our boys. They help us improve at a variety of venues: Cessnock, Wingham, Canberra, Malabar and Hornsby. I want to thank them all for their contribution to our recent successes in this sport. Our parent supporters are heavily engaged in our program, too. Thank you so much to the Parent Support Group headed up by Amy Cao who also coordinates parking. The catering at our competition events is very high quality. Target rifle shooting has developed a strong culture and is well placed for future successes.

"Returning to debating, the benefit for participants in our school program are many and varied. The Kaplan Graduate Recruitment Report: Employers Perspectives (August, 2014) ranks 'effective communication' as the skill that most employers are looking for with 73% saying they are looking for this in their recruits. Being a team player is also highly regarded with 61% of employers rating this skill. The report said: "Employers are recruiting for attitude and training for competence. Essentially employers are looking for graduates with strong communication skills and a positive attitude so they can be developed into professionals." A recruit is already expected to have communication skills before they come to the workplace whereas the specific skills that job requires will be taught or learnt on the job. Debating training and competing at school certainly enhances those skills and enlarges individual capacity to communicate with others and work as a member of a team.

"The Confederation of British Industry agreed with, and endorsed, the report. Rob Wall, CBI head of education and employment policy, said: "The UK is facing a growing skills gap, so we must have an education system that better prepares young people for the world of work. That means not only do they need higher skills, but the character, determination and ability to communicate effectively and help forge successful careers." Debating training whether it is in schools, university debating societies or outside formal education, potentially has a key role to play in providing the skills employers want.

"Communication skills and teamwork are at the heart of debating. Learning how to speak in public, what to say to persuade someone - or to sell something and knowing how to defend your ideas are important for employers just as they are within a debate.  It is good to start early and build self-confidence in communication skills.  Debating training, whether it leads you ultimately to be in a competition team or not, is good personal development for your future. You are enlarged as a person by your participation in it.

"I congratulate all boys selected in debating teams and wish them the best of luck in the GPS season ahead."
Dr K A Jaggar

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