High Notes, Vol 22 No 24, August 13 2021

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Yu Ming Lee (11T) who has placed second in the 2021 Essay competition on the topic of friendship, sponsored by The Association for Philosophy in Schools New South Wales   http://philosophyinschoolsnsw.org It was a remarkable essay, even more so because he composed it while on music camp!

Week Five of Online Learning

Over the course of the week there have been many changes in an environment characterised by the constancy of uncertainty. Anxiety levels amongst students, staff and parents are high due to their inability to be certain of the path ahead. Onsite HSC Trials were stopped from being held by a DoE directive due to the growing numbers of cases and LGAs affected in the state. HSC students are not returning to modified on site learning on 16 August. At High, we decided to maintain our usual routine of holding Trial Assessments, during which students are not expected to attend ‘school’ except to do tests. My feedback is that students and teachers could do with a break from the added intensity and workload occasioned by online learning modes.

A calendar of test tasks and times has been prepared by Mr Barris and distributed to HSC students. The ‘Trial’ period has been reduced from three weeks to two as the mathematics and science course teachers did not opt for any form of online assessment. Instead, they will apply a mathematical solution by means of a pro rata calculation to align with existing weightings. Practice HSC questions are available for those courses. Trial marks for Year 12 reports will be due on September 17 as will the final assessment marks for submission to NESA.

A vaccination program for HSC students in the eight Sydney LGAs on level 4 restrictions was announced for this week and our school supplied 176 contact mobile phone numbers against the names of Year 12 students and HSC accelerants from those LGAs. If any personal identification details were incomplete or changed, NSW Health may well not have sent through a text with an appointment time. The Department of Education has supplied a contact number 1800 922 886 for queries about the vaccination project. Please call this number if you have not received an appointment text.

As part of the mandatory immunisation record for each student that is being compiled by Ms Rodakis, COVID vaccinated students are sending details of their vaccination to her as well. Our sense is that the NSW Government will want to obtain this information from schools ahead of the formal HSC examinations, commencing in October, so it is wise to be pre-prepared. Please send in your details once you are fully vaccinated. I hope that all NSW HSC students will have access to a vaccine program ahead of the HSC in October.

Prefect Elections

The poll for the election of School Prefect Interns for 2022 has been declared. The process is that qualified nominees are approved for placement on the ballot by the Executive. They then have an opportunity to put up a thumbnail sketch of their skills, contributions and aspirations online for consideration by the electoral college, consisting of Year 10, Year 11 and 2021 School Prefects and teachers with double-weighted votes. Ms Rigby and I then consider the voting results, looking for natural breaks where differences in totals are significant. This year’s process resulted in 28 students being elected. There names are published elsewhere in High Notes. The Prefect Interns will meet online with Ms Rigby to elect a School Captain and Vice -Captain. These students, along with Ms Rigby then nominate a Senior Prefect, based on his perceived capacity to carry out the duties of the role. I want to thank Ms Rigby, our longstanding MIC Prefects, for her wise custodianship of these school leaders.

Year 11

The Executive decided to run a test block in weeks 9 & 10 for Year 11 students. A calendar of assessment tasks and times was prepared by Mr Barris and ratified by the Executive. Year 11 students now know how the second half of the term will pan out for them. As with Year 12, timetabled classes will be suspended for the last two weeks of term for Year 11, in order for this process to take place. By then, teachers and students will be needing a break from the full on routine of CANVAS conferences or zoom meetings.

Properties Report

After the pause in construction work in Sydney, we were able to finish off the asphalting work at the Governors Centre, completing the project to install a reflux valve in the sewer pipe and re-locate the riser escape valve in a lower location. In addition, a large area next to the basketball courts up to the trailer compound and bordered by the concrete pad for the bins and the Governors Centre roadway was excavated and asphalted. Our drainage system in the area around TGC is now complete. This expensive, but necessary work will secure the area for decades to come and add to the amenity of students and visitors to the site.
Dr K A Jaggar

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