High Notes, Vol 22 No 28, September 10 2021

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From the Principal

Staff Changes

Susanna Millett is now on maternity leave from the Social Sciences Faculty. She is being relieved by Mr Casey Writer. Welcome to High, Casey.

The Wall of Gratitude and Our Culture of Giving

The long-awaited memorial to those who donated a brick as fundraising for the Governors Centre has been constructed.  There are 539 engraved bricks in the wall which runs parallel to the side wall of the gymnasium, facing the basketball courts. I want to thank the significant work done by Paul and Diane Harapin, Cindy Larson, Brooke Ashton, Brett Harrison, Jim Crampton, John Prorellis, Steve Comninos and Daniel Xu.  Along with Stephen Edwards, the contractor, we made it all happen.

Many donors purchased bricks for other family members, usually Old Boys or Old Girls from SGHS.  I really appreciate the forbearance of these donors, some of whom have waited a decade for the promised recognition.

We all agree that the fruits of our collective efforts, the Governors Centre, was worth the wait and justified the faith entrusted in the project by the early donors.  The interior fit out of the facility has been delayed until rectification works for the sewage surge have been completed. It is not too late to be involved in this project.  A $3,000 donation to the Sydney Boys High School Building Fund will buy you a named theatre seat in the Governors Centre.

Over the last couple of decades, the High family has developed an admirable giving culture.  Whether it is just paying the annual building and library fund contributions, joining the Monthly Giving Program or buying a theatre seat or a brick, a great many people have seen the value of our giving culture at High. Others contribute to sports through the Australian Sports Foundation or donate to the SHSF Advancement Fund to assist with our Bursary Program.  More and more people have adopted what is called ‘the cathedral view’ of giving.   Building cathedrals took hundreds of years. The long-term effects of your contribution may not be seen immediately but will continue on, under the care of others for a long, long time.

Our next building project is the new demountable science laboratory. So far $400,000 has been raised for its construction, thanks to the School Family contributions to the SHSF Building Fund and to our successful application for a joint-funding grant.  In order to fit out the new facility with interconnections to Killip Wing and interior furnishings, cabling and equipment, we need to raise $75,000 quite quickly.  We need 75 donors at $1,000 each to complete this project.  People donating $1,000 or more will be remembered on an honour board attached to the building. This project is up and running. The design option has been chosen, the 100% drawings completed, and we are moving into the tendering phase. Help us to make a difference in the number of practical science experiences available to your sons going forward.

NAPLAN Results for 2021

In numeracy, Year 7 state results were close to their 2022 target, which is pleasing. Overall results in the top two bands rose +0.8% (33%) over 2019 figures of 32.2%. Year 7 reading made a small +0.7% gain but was 2.3% below the 2022 target. Year 9 reading actually declined and was 7.2% short of the 2022 targets. The percentage of students in the top four bands declined by 0.4%. expected growth in reading (Years 7-9) declined and in numeracy fell 22% short of its target. High v Low SES groups gap in the top two bands worsened by 8.2%.

The question as to whether the targets are too demanding is moot because they are set by the system and supposed to be seen as aspirational. Nonetheless, we all have work to do to move forward in literacy and numeracy competencies.  Our school results will be ready for analysis soon. Parents will receive their individual son’s results towards the end of this month.
Dr K A Jaggar

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