High Notes, Vol 17 No 32, October 21 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to Kieran Guan (8R) who placed second in the Australian Short Track Ice Racing Championship (12-14 years’ division). Well done to Ricky Pachon (12T) who won the Oceania Championship in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Congratulations to our competitors in the Sydney Olympic U13 Cup Fencing - Kevin Fernando (7T) won gold in the U-13 Epée and Lachlan Ho (8T) won silver in the U-13 foil. Great work, boys! Our U15 basketball team has qualified for the CHS finals in the Knockout Competition to be contested early next month. Congratulations to: Alexander Bassil (9T), Noah Casaclang (9T), Campbell Green (9S), Carl-Joshua Gunther (9T), Steven Li (10T), Julian Markworth Scott (9E), Carter Opperman (10T), Brendan Purdon (9R), Kobe Shannon (10T) and Varun Narayanan (9F). Good luck boys!

Library After Hours Trial Discontinued
After many weeks of providing supervised after hours’ library access for boys wishing to study, the program has been discontinued. Thanks to the generosity of Mr Dowdell giving up his time to be the supervisor during the two months’ trial, the experiment was cost neutral to the school. I want to thank the SRC boys who followed up on student suggestions, created and administered the survey of students, collated and analysed the results and argued for the proposal at the SBHS School Council. The exercise was not a waste because it confirmed that while people are willing to say that they would like a service provided, they are not making any commitment to use it if it were provided.

External Validation Completed
An external evaluation panel comprising two serving Principals analysed and sought clarification of the evidence supplied in a very well annotated folder. They spent two hours reviewing and discussing the evidence with our team. The Principals agreed that the evidence presented by the School was consistent with our self-assessment of our performance in each domain – learning, teaching and leading. In addition, they suggested that in several areas we had evidence which would have justified rating ourselves at the highest level even though we did not rate ourselves there. Our school is benchmarking very well against the School Excellence Framework. The two Principals were extremely impressed by the organisation and presentation of the evidence and were lavish in their praise of the work of George Barris, our Head Teacher, Teaching & Learning. George has put a mountain of work into preparing our evidence and liaising with the District Principal who has the responsibility for supporting the validation process. He has shouldered the burden of preparation so that staff can continue the job of teaching with minimal impact from this accountability process. He has had the focus and drive to keep the development of our responses to the School Excellence Framework building during the last twelve months. He made us all look good. My thanks are extended to all staff for their cooperation in making this process so professional and painless. Thank you particularly to Joanna Chan, HT Student Wellbeing, who joined us for the validation interview to provide a broad perspective on how our student support network functions and to extol the virtues of our community service and social justice programs.

We have also distilled our next steps down into a few key areas where we see potential for improvement.  First among these is to develop a greater collective responsibility for school wide learning. Our development of PEWCC skills, increased used of dispositional teaching methods and visible thinking routines, and broadening of take-up of our literacy continuum, will help deliver this goal in the next couple of years. We will improve the provision of formative feedback across the school. We will also try to engage more closely with our local community as well as with our parents and Old Boys. I am very proud of the work of the staff and students at High and I believe that we can move from good to great in a few areas of our practice in the medium term.

Scholarships Offered at High
SBHS offers only two scholarships/bursaries – the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship and the Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Scholarship. All enrolled or enrolling students are eligible to apply for the Phillip Day Memorial Scholarship. It is a one-year credit on the school account for $1,500. The Selection Criteria covers talented boys in an academic area or a co-curricular endeavour. Good all-rounders qualify as do students with special needs – financial or otherwise. There are many boys in the school who would make good candidates for this award. I urge them to take the trouble to download and complete the application form. The Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation Inc Scholarship is a two-year award with a credit at the school account for $1,500 for each Year – 11 and 12. Only boys enrolled or enrolling in Year 11 are eligible to apply. The criteria for this scholarship are different. It has an emphasis on a prior record of service to others, to the school and / or the community. Boys with initiative, compassion and leadership skills are invited to apply.

Look for the details on the website www.sydneyboyshigh.com/scholarships. Do not assume that you are not worthy or eligible. Applications close on November 25.
Dr K A Jaggar

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