High Notes, Vol 17 No 22, July 29 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
First grade and second grade rifle shooting won their premierships, establishing history for High. Second grade are on a roll with four straight wins (2013-2016). Nathan Wong (11F) and John Huang (12R) qualified for the Combined GPS rifle team. Congratulations to all. The first grade volleyball team won another CHS Knockout competition last Thursday, accounting for Denison College Bathurst in the final. A fine effort, boys! During the holidays Tim Trent (10M) competed in the Sydney Regional Interschools Snowsports Championships in Perisher Valley and qualified for the state Championships in snowboarding. Well done Tim! Max Koslowski (12E) was runner up in the state final of the ESU Plain Speaking Competition. Great work, Max!

Reporting on PEWCC Skills
Year 7 parents will have noticed a series of text boxes on their sons’ reports which describe particular learning skills that we want to develop in the Junior School. In Semester 1 different faculties reported on different skills. For instance, English reported on ‘evaluating-supporting and argument’ while mathematics reported on ‘evaluating-developing an argument’. Science had the brief to report on a student’s skill in working in teams. Geography reported on problem-solving skills as did music. In languages and visual arts, ‘communicating ideas’ was the focus. The skills of ‘creativity and innovation’ were commented on by design and technology and PDHPE teachers. We have developed a PEWCC skills reporting continuum and a rotating schedule of reporting so that all the skills are covered by each Faculty during Years 7-9. Our aim is to provide a means for you to track your son’s growth in these important ‘future-focussed’ earning skills. You will notice that your son may have a different level of development in the same skill in two different subject areas. This is to be expected as students develop at different rates in different contexts. Later next month, you will have an opportunity to provide us with some feedback about this reporting initiative. The Tell Them From Me survey for stakeholders will include a question concerning the PEWCC skills reporting process.

Full Uniform Policy
High is proud of the fact that its boys wear their school uniform. We expect boys to be in their appropriate uniforms at all times. In winter there can be extreme weather events but where adjustments need to be made in clothing, the High Store has responded to the requests from the SRC to supply approved supplementary items. The school beanie and school scarf can be worn at all times as part of the official school uniform. Students feeling the cold should not improvise with random items of clothing of various colours and designs. It is permissible to wear white skivvies underneath school shirts when it is really cold. Students in Years 7-9 are allowed to wear sports clothing on Thursdays and can add the school tracksuit for warmth. When it is raining, umbrellas or the new wet weather jacket are authorised. Non-uniform anoraks, jackets and non-approved wet weather gear are not permitted under any circumstances.

Governors Centre Update
Now that we have received the signed DA approval documents from City of Sydney Council we are ready to plan for the next stage in the development. The current thinking is to split stage 2 into two parts – 2a (develop to 100% stage in drawings) and 2b – the tendering process. Each part is likely to take around 3 months. As a parallel activity, a small group has been working on a joint legal entity to represent the two schools in their combined dealings with the Department of Education. A draft has been prepared for circulation and the two schools will make a decision on the entity in the next week or so.

Staff Development Day and Twilight Session
Last Monday and this Tuesday evening, teachers at High were busily engaged in staff development activities. We held our inaugural Joint Staff Development Day with SGHS which was well received by both schools. The planning and organisation was managed by the DPs from each school (particularly Rachel Powell and Geoff Denyer) and the program featured a mixture of outside presenters and in-house presentations and workshops by staff from SBHS and SGHS. Collegial sharing was a valuable outcome of the combined event. We are planning in future to have more contact and professional sharing, focussed at the Faculty level, with SGHS. This week our twilight session centred around literacy in its broadest sense. I want to thank Rachel Powell and the Literacy Team headed up by Julie Eggleton. Presenters Julie, Colin Harvey and Jeremy Ohlbach enlightened staff with approaches to literacy from many perspectives. Improving literacy is a whole-staff responsibility. Our students really need to develop more confidence in expressing themselves in a variety of modes. They are also inattentive readers who frequently respond impulsively to questions in assessment contexts. It is timely that all staff are refreshed in their thinking about approaches to literacy enhancement at High.
Dr K A Jaggar

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